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  • Writer's picture Zalman Nelson - Therapist

Non-Negotiables in A Relationship

Updated: Feb 9

red flags and non-negotiables in a relationship

There are billions of people on the planet. If a person can't meet your core requirements, you're not a match. No big deal; you’re just not right for each other, so you'll keep on looking for one.

Negotiables in A Relationship

Our needs in a partner include negotiable and non-negotiable items. Negotiable items are things that you’d like to have, but aren’t deal breakers. They are things you don’t really, deeply care about. Yes, you would prefer your partner did or say such and such, or that they didn't do and say this and that. But, at the end of the day, it's not a deal-breaker for you.

Here's a list of some negotiables: They are shorter than you…He has a dog, but doesn’t like cats…She wants two kids but not three…He likes to hike in the mountains and doesn’t like the beach.

Non-Negotiables in a Relationship

Non-negotiables are SERIOUS and CRITICAL. They are RED FLAGS. If the person has all the basic wants, needs, and desires on your list, but has even ONE (yes, even a single one) of the things on your Non-Negotiable list…DON'T try to have a relationship with them.

What’s a want, need, or desire you have for your current or future partner that’s negotiable? What’s non-negotiable?

Looking back on past relationships, did you miss red flags and non-negotiables? Did you put too much emphasis on a negotiable?

List Your Non-Negotiables in a Relationship

While your negotiables can turn into non-negotiables during your time dating a person, generally speaking, you can generate a list of your Non-negotiables that you learned clearly from all of your relationship blind spots; even including friendships and colleagues at work. Non-negotiables include all those things you experienced with others that hurt, turned you off, pushed you away, left you feeling insecure and uncertain, shook the trust, and kept you from thriving and feeling good. For some, it's being late and not calling or messaging. Others see red flags in communication: not listening, not remembering important things, not making eye contact, not taking an interest in you, or not sharing about themselves.

What's on your list of Non-Negotiables? As you think back over your past partners, what stands out as things you experienced as negative and are clear you don't want and need to avoid?


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