After spending three months going from "single" to "in a relationship" to "engaged" to "single," I reconsidered my whole approach to finding a wife. Looking back, I had ignored every cotton-picking red flag that flew up and told me I was doing something wrong, all for the sake of my pride and what I thought God was doing in my life. Funny how things screw up when we presume upon His will. In the end, I decided that the best course of action is to broach the subject of deal breakers early on -- and when I say "early on," i mean "before anybody mentions dating or being in a relationship." I believe in having a much longer getting-to-know-you period, because that's where you ultimately decide whether you want something serious and committed with the other person. Anyone who says you have to date the person to figure that out is lazy. There are plenty of opportunities to interact with someone and find out who they really are; all you have to do is pay attention.
I've discovered one particular litmus test that works for me. The person may seem nice and all, but this will shut it down in an instant if she's not legit (and, so far, it has worked every time). Since I'm a Christian and looking for a Christian girl, this becomes less weird and paranoid. I start off with, "So, are you ready for the forthcoming persecution that the Bible promises?" If she says anything but yes, I explain what I'm talking about. Then I say, "You know the whole mark of the beast thing? There are provisions in Obamacare for Americans to have RFID tags implanted that contain our complete medical history." As a result, she gets eschatology and me disagreeing with President Obama in the same breath. Since I'm not after Caucasian females, you can understand why all of the subjects have answered the same (which is to say she doesn't verbally disagree or argue, she just backs away and stops talking to me).
So, without further ado, here are the deal breakers I have that get me to that one particular question (in no particular order):
1. Your Face. I can't do lazy eyes, messed up teeth or facial jewelry. Anything that distracts me from looking you straight in the eye turns me off.
2. Your Life. What are you doing with it? Where are you now, and where are you going? The Ex-Fiancee (or XF) had no concept of what she wanted to do with her life; as a result, she didn't finish high school, had a dead-end job, and couldn't accomplish the seemingly insurmountable task of getting her GED. "Where there is no vision, the people perish," Proverbs 29:18.
3. Your Call. If the place you're headed isn't the same place I'm headed, we can't be together. It simply won't work. To go with this, we need to have the same anointing; that way, when two become one, we strengthen each other instead of hindering each other.
4. Your Voice. When you speak, can you be heard over a fan, car engine, dishwasher, etc? Not that you necessarily yell all the time or have no concept of an "inside voice," but can you speak loud enough to be heard by a person not looking directly at you? In my family, we tend to include everyone in the house in the conversation, even if it's only between two people. To go with this, are you outgoing? Will you get out there and dance with me when there's a band playing a good dancing song? Will you take action on something when it needs to happen?
5. Pets. I know this one doesn't follow the format, but I've gotta know that you love dogs and at least like cats. I may or may not ever personally own a cat, but I'm not opposed to them. Dogs, on the other hand, will always be around as long as I can help it. Sophie the Wonder Basset is less than two years old, meaning she might just celebrate my 40th birthday with me.
6. Creativity. Can you express yourself? How so? Honestly, I want to marry a woman who can sing and play at least one instrument, as well as being a prophetic dancer. Visually creative would also be nice, as I tend to lack the ability to draw/paint/make a straight line/write extremely legibly without great difficulty; having someone else there to make up for that would be great.
7. Compatibility. Overall, it can't just be a proper match of individual traits, we actually have to be able to work together with those traits. That means she's gonna have to submit to me as i submit to God. One of my brothers in Christ is going through a breakup right now because she simply would not submit to God's plan for her life, and eventually he had to get out. Submission is about trust and respect; if a woman can't submit to her husband, that means she neither respects him nor trusts him. If she respected him, she would trust him, and therefore would have no problem submitting to him. Ultimately, the man being in charge is not about who's stronger, but about who is responsible for the family (i.e. takes the blame when things mess up) and who defends them from attacks of the enemy (both in the natural and spiritual).
So this is my list. Considering I've learned that being single has to be better than being in a relationship if I'm ever going to get into a good relationship that'll last forever.
What are some of your dealbreakers?