Cupid's Pulse Article: Dating Advice: Deal breakers That REALLY MatterCupid's Pulse Article: Dating Advice: Deal breakers That REALLY Matter

By Marcus Osborne for

If you’re one of the millions of women who are single, dating regularly, and yet you’ve had inconsistent luck in the match game, it may be time to do some introspection. I can’t begin to tell you how often I hear complaints about scarcity of quality guys. I hear it in the dating echo chamber with alarming regularity; “Men don’t want to commit!”

Okay, let me clear that last bit up. The idea that guys won’t commit or don’t want to commit is an unabashed fallacy. I’ve said this before, it’s not that the guy won’t commit — he just won’t commit to you. The right guy for you will find you. That’s a guarantee.

Now about this so-called, “quality guys” drought….complete bunk. Seriously, most of the guys I know who are looking for serious relationships bristle at that statement. Because they know a certain general truth that women don’t seem to appreciate; the quality guys are there but you’re either ignoring them or not giving them the opportunity to show you how great they are. But why does this chasm exist? There are obviously variables aplenty that cause these missed connections. But I would submit that the idea of “dealbreakers” is a major culprit.

We all have relationship dealbreakers. That handful of key traits that any potential partner must possess in order to stay in the game — dealbreakers. And quite frankly, we all should have them. But our dealbreakers should be meaningful. I like to have women break their dealbreakers into two separate groups: shallow dealbreakers and substantive dealbreakers. We should have both but with the understanding that the major emphasis should be placed on the substantive dealbreakers. You’d think that that would be a given.

Of course the substance should take precedence over the shallow.

Unfortunately, what we know doesn’t always inform our actions. So let this be your reminder. Keep your priorities in order. Those shallow dealbreakers, “must be this tall, must have this color hair, must have this type of degree, must make this six-figure salary, must come from this kind of family, must look like George Clooney” should ultimately be seen as great-to-haves instead of must-haves.

The real stuff, the substantive stuff, is what’s going to get you through the years. You want to find the quality guys? Use these as your new dealbreaker template.

1. His closest friends should be great people. — You want a real gauge on what kind of guy you’re getting involved with? Observe his friends. The type of people in your potential partner’s inner circle will say a lot about his character.

2. He should be calm under pressure. — Long-term relationships are rife with emotional highs and lows. That being the case, the person closest to you had better be some one you can count on to be not only be in control of his emotions but who can also be a steadying and comforting influence when times aren’t quite as great.

3. Must be in pursuit of his passion. — Maybe he doesn’t make six figures. Heck, most people don’t. But he had better be driven by something other than money. Far too often women get involved with guys because they have a juicy bank account, then they get serious with that guy and realize that the man who’s passion is making money may never have enough money. This then creates the real possibility that Mr. Moneymaker may only have time to make money and not have time for you.

4. Must appreciate your independence. — You’re your own person with your own opinions, perspectives and aspirations. Whether you’re traditional and expect to be a stay-at-home mom or a lady with dreams of being the President of the United States, your guy had better be on board with you. Do NOT commit that typical mistake of trying to change your guy’s mind try to get him to understand your position. The right guy requires no convincing.

5. Your friends should like him. — This isn’t to say that your judgment should be completely colored by your friends’ opinions, but if there’s a collective aversion to your guy by your inner circle, it’s definitely time to start asking questions.

6. Laugh, laugh, laugh. — He better be able to laugh….and you’d better be able to laugh with him. Few things in a relationship are as intimate as a couples’ ability to share the gift of laughter. You’ll find that successful couples’ most common trait is the two simply know how to make each other smile.

So there you go. Take those deal breakers to the bank and that’s where you begin seeing your quality guys. Everything else, the looks, the money, the career, are all amazing icing on the cake, but for long-term potential start with those six building blocks and you’re suddenly finding good quality guys to date.