holding hands
Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
May 29, 2024 ·  4 min read

‘My Boyfriend and I Were Falling in Love. Then He Hit Me with a Deal Breaker I Never Saw Coming’

All too often, people stay in unhappy relationships for the sake of not being alone. On the other hand, some people like Alison stand by their beliefs and walk away when they encounter relationship deal breakers.

Alison Grinberg-Funes is living in Boston and recently recounted her recent experience with her, now ex, boyfriend. She explains that one of her biggest relationship deal breakers is religion. Although she’d had exposure to other religions, she is Jewish and she “felt Jewish in her soul. After the Pandemic, and a slew of bad first dates, she finally met a man she felt, “would be fun to do life with.”

Breaking the Relationship Deal Breakers

A few months later, the holidays rolled around. She had been invited to his family’s Christmas. He was part of a Greek Orthodox family and, My Big Fat Greek Wedding has always been her favorite movie; Alison was thrilled. She looked forward to taking part in a holiday celebration that would so closely resemble the family of her favorite movie. However, one day things seemed to take a drastic turn. When asked if she’d also be attending Mass with the family, her boyfriend gave her an answer that both hurt and gave her a new perspective on relationships, and it was a deal breaker.

Alison wouldn’t be allowed to attend because she was Jewish. She felt taken aback; after all, we are living in the 2000s and people are more open-minded to changing traditions that aren’t inclusive. Next, she got up the nerve to ask about marriage. Considering the family’s strict beliefs on holiday traditions, she wondered if it’d be ok for him to marry someone who wasn’t Greek Orthodox. “‘I want the Greek Orthodox wedding experience,’ my boyfriend sighed. He wanted his marriage to be blessed by the church and to have a ceremony within his parish. We stared at each other through iPhone cameras. My stomach dropped because I knew exactly what he meant.” Religion had suddenly become one of the worthy relationship deal breakers.

Realizing They Had Differing Values

Alison realized how important her family’s traditions were to her. She wanted the opportunity to break the ceremonial glass, she wanted to be lived on a chair while her loved ones dance the hora around her. In contrast, she was open to blending her beliefs with her significant other. In contrast, it seems he wasn’t. His future wife would have to be at the very least, a baptized Christian.

I put my head in my hands and started to cry. We had never gotten too in depth about the religions of our families — and now I see we should have. Alison explained.

She continued, “I hadn’t realized it may not work that way with the Greek Orthodox community. I brought up that there are Greek Orthodox and Jewish couples who make it work. My boyfriend explained that his family was “old calendar” Greek Orthodox — much more conservative than the “new calendar” Greek Orthodox that those other couples likely were.” Unexpectedly, the biggest of the relationship deal breakers, was staring the couple in the face.

She expressed now wanting to break up but acknowledged that maybe the pair shouldn’t be together because she wouldn’t be able to give him the future he wanted. He agreed and the pair parted ways.

Unexpected Relationship Deal Breakers

Alison went on to say, “I’d never ended a relationship over religion. Disagreements about having children? Absolutely. Political beliefs? Yes. The guy being a jerk? Oh, sure. But if you’d asked me whether I’d break up with a man I was falling in love with over religion ― Greek Orthodox or any other ― I wouldn’t have even considered it a possibility.”

Standing By Her Beliefs

She stands by the belief that, “…people have the right and freedom to draw their boundaries where they choose. I learned the hard way that when it comes to dating, you have to discuss those boundaries sooner rather than later, or else your relationship can end up in trouble.” Alison is proud of herself for picking up on the relationship deal breakers and standing by her beliefs.

It takes a lot of courage to walk away from something great, but people deserve to be happy. Picking up on relationship deal breakers and setting boundaries to avoid an unhappy life, is something we all owe to ourselves. Alison and her boyfriend had a great time together but also had fundamental differences. Fortunately, both realized love isn’t always enough to keep a relationship going. Every relationship teaches us something, if were receptive to learning. When it comes to relationship deal breakers, it’s important to stand by your convictions, as Alison did, to ensure a lifetime of happiness.

Keep Reading: ‘The Mistake I Made with My Grieving Friend.’