Mix tapes and dealbreakers

Mix tapes and dealbreakers

Yesterday I had dinner with a friend and we got to talking about dealbreakers with our waiter. Tim (our waiter) was a super chatty Australian. He noticed my iPhone cover looked like a retro cassette tape and that got us started on the subject of mix tapes, and how much effort went into making them back in the day. We recalled the hours spent compiling songs. The careful ordering of tracks by mood or theme for the listening pleasure of the recipient. For the romantic types, a mix tape was a safe way to bare your soul a little, like a musical love letter.

Tim went on to say that when he used to date a girl, he’d make her a mix tape right away. Like after the 3rd or 4th date. We thought that was a bit intense and said so. He said a wise man once told him, “I don’t do things in halves. I have half as much fun.” That’s how Tim tries to live his life – no half efforts. We admired the sentiment but wondered if he needed to slow things down a bit, so as not to scare off the potential love interest.

The Mix Tape Test

Tim went on to explain his reasoning. “I make her a mix, and if she doesn’t like Slayer, then it’s a sign.” I guess Slayer (an American thrash metal band) is *that* important to Tim. But is it really a dealbreaker? He said he’s just gotta know – why wait months to find out?

In some ways, Tim’s strategy seems like a sound one. Sure, we don’t want to waste our time on someone whose values and interests run in a different direction, especially when it comes to the important stuff. But what is the important stuff? In my book, I talk about having soft limits and hard limits when it comes to dating and relationships. Soft limits are the stuff you don’t like but can compromise on (within reason). Hard limits are deal breakers that you simply can’t tolerate; putting up with them is repulsive to you. They are there to ensure your safety and happiness.

Soft Limit or Dealbreaker?

Could Tim be writing off a great girl, just because she didn’t appreciate his mix tape and doesn’t share a burning love for thrash metal? What if, after dating awhile, she introduced him to his next favorite band?  What if, after dating awhile, she developed a taste for metal? And what if, she never really ‘got’ that part of Tim? Could he still be happy? Could there be a hundred other things about her that compiled together and allowed to play out, made her rock?

Sometimes, when we set people up to pass certain ‘tests’ we are actually failing ourselves.

Next: Marriage or freedom? 



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Author Adele Frizzell/Sophie Winters

Sophie Winters is the author of two books on dating and relationships. Sophie’s real name is Adele Frizzell. She enjoys travel, hiking, and lifting heavy weights. She is a competitive bench presser, certified yoga teacher, and mountain addict. She loves inspiring people to get more out of life.

Her first book, The Cha Cha Club Dating Man-ifesto is written for all the single ladies, while her second relationship advice book, It’s Not You, It’s Us: A Guide for Living Together Without Growing Apart is for couples who want more joy, intimacy and respect in their relationship. She is working on her third book.

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