How To Solve The Impossible Deal-Breakers.

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Our relationship expert, Dr Pam Spurr (on Twitter @drpamspurr) takes us through the big issues that are making or breaking a new relationship.

Every new relationship faces hurdles, often these arise when first dating. They only have to drop the baby-shaped bombshell on your second date that they never want children – that all they care about is their career - to scratch them off your list if you definitely want to be a parent. 

Sometimes deal-breakers don’t arise until later. But there are certain ones that can destroy even a new couple who are in the grip of the hot passion phase. These can challenge your fledgling relationship even if everything seemed possible between you. 

Here are a few classic deal breakers likely to rock your relationship: 


The Deal-breaker - Having a baby is one of the most important things you’ll discuss while dating. It’s a heart-breaking dilemma when one partner would love a child and the other doesn't. 

This can tear you apart and you find yourself arguing despite having thought they were ‘the one’. 

The Deal-maker – Early on in dating discuss your feelings towards children - especially if you’ve hit your 30s and your biological clock’s ticking. If you’re younger and children aren’t on your agenda - it’s simple, no discussion if you don’t want to have one. 

But if you've left discussing children - and you're in love - it's time for honesty. It's essential to keep calm over this emotive issue. Tantrums or tears never help.

Top tips include: *Give each other time to express why you do/don’t want children. *Don't ridicule their reasons. *The more understanding and patience you show the more likely you'll sway their point of view. 

*Often the partner who doesn't want children has an anxiety around parenting, e.g., that children ruin relationships. By exploring such anxieties, they frequently can be worked through - and things get back on a happy course. 

*Agree to revisit the discussion in six months - drop it for a cooling off period. 

*Ultimately if you can't agree, you must soul search - would you be bitter not having children or giving in to their desire to have children? Not good for long term happiness.

Money Matters:

The Deal-breaker - When it comes to dating and new relationships money’s the root of much evil. Countless couples break up after a few dates moaning about the others attitude to cash. 

Money’s cited as a reason for separation in one in three divorces. But as you’re dating and not married (yet) you can prevent some common cash-related crises. 

The crux of the problem often lies in one partner being a ‘spender’ and the other a ‘saver’. You argue over, e.g., where to eat – one wants to go pricey, the other cheap – and any purchases you might want to make together, or even planning your first romantic weekend away.

The Deal-maker - Don't underestimate how emotionally-charged attitudes to money are. It’s important to get practical in your discussions. They can be successful when you take the emotional-sting out of how you approach them.

Top tips include: *Take turns deciding the type of date you go on. *Agree for special occasions you might spend more. *If you earn more money and like to spend it, pick up more of the bills. *Do so without attaching any strings. *If things are getting serious look at your incomings and outgoings and see what you really have to spend. *Look for compromise between spending and saving for a rainy day.

No Place Like Home:

The Deal-breaker - There may be no place like home but whose home are you talking about? When first dating problems usually occur as both partners have places and want the other person to move into their home.

The Deal-maker - Early in dating alternate between your two places. Do so with a smile even if you think your place is far superior. Remember they are used to their creature comforts at their place. It’s absolute bliss when you both agree that one of you has a better place but that’s pretty rare. 

Top tips include: *Discuss honestly things like travel times between work, cost of rent, etc. *Do any of these factors affect in a big way one of your locations? They should help you decide whose location is best. *If you simply can’t agree the compromise will probably be to find a new home that meets both of your needs.

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Follow Dr Pam Spurr on Twitter @drpamspurr and on Instagram @drpamspurr

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