I spent today with an awesome couple...happily married 14 years and yet still with amazing empathy for their uncoupled friends (like me!).
I am nursing a rather bruised heart right now, and although we spoke a little of this, as they did not know the ''bruiser'' the conversation was more general when we got on the topic of relationships.
We talked of red lights and deal breakers. I shared that sometimes one has to let go of something precious because it is impossible...or may never be resolved. The husband remarked to me that he reckoned it reminded him of buying a house.
Some years ago he and his wife moved towns. They looked at dozens of houses. Some were good, some were not. They discovered, through process of trial, error and evaluation, that actually there was only one thing they could not compromise on - that the house had to be north facing.
So, enthusiasm renewed they started looking again. Found the perfect house. But it wasn't facing north. Eventually, they decided that unless a house was, they wouldn't even (to use his words) ''step in the door''.
Yep, this is just like the deal breaker of a relationship. Decide if there is anything you absolutely will not and cannot compromise. If there's something the other person does, has, or doesn't have, that is a deal breaker - then don't even step through the door for a coffee. If you do, sometime, somewhere, someone is going to get hurt.