DEAL BREAKER: Meaning & The Top 20 Deal Breakers in any Relationship


When we consider the type of person we’d like to date, we frequently develop a list of the attributes we want in a partner. But, regardless of how many other beautiful qualities someone possesses; we all have the dealbreaker characteristics that would eliminate us as relationship candidates. There has been a lot of research on deal makers, but not so much on deal-breakers until recently. In a series of studies, Peter Jonason and colleagues investigated the most common relationship deal breakers and how they influence dating decisions.

What is a Deal Breaker

You may come across memories you don’t like while filtering through dates, hangouts, or hook-ups. Things that irritate or turn you off. Things you don’t want in your relationship, as well.

These are referred to as “deal breakers.” They are the qualities that a relationship must have (or not have) in order to be successful. They are the factors that influence whether a union will succeed, as well as the basic demands and conditions; that must be addressed in order for the relationship to progress.

Individual needs vary, but you’ll find a list of frequent deal breakers below. This can be used as a checklist for potential relationships. You may use it as a warm-up exercise before your first meeting. I gathered my single pals and inquired about their deal breakers. Single men and women in their 20s and 60s told me that they wouldn’t put up with a relationship. I learned a few things, and hopefully, you will as well.

Deal Breaker in Dating

The researchers sought to see how these deal breakers influenced our dating choices. As a result, they ran three further experiments, each with different deal-breaking information about possible partners.

In one study, 132 adults assessed the profiles of four attractive and successful future partners. They were asked to rate their likelihood of considering a simple sexual connection, a short-term relationship; a committed long-term relationship, or friendship with each of these four people.

Following their ratings, the participants discovered that each of the potential partners had a specific potential deal breaker; such as an unhealthy lifestyle, undesirable personality traits, or a preference for a casual sexual relationship; when you’re looking for a serious relationship or vice versa. After learning about the deal breaker, participants re-evaluated their interests.

Non-dating-related deal breakers, such as an unhealthy lifestyle or bad personality qualities; made respondents less likely to have any form of relationship with the person, including friendship, according to the findings. Disparities between their own and the possible mate’s dating plans, on the other hand; were a deal breakers that merely hurt romantic attraction. And, contrary to popular belief, males were more willing than women to date someone interested in casual sex; when they desired something more, according to the study.

Men were more willing than women to enter into both short- and long-term relationships with each of the potential partners. Finally, discovering that a person possessed negative personality qualities elicited a stronger negative reaction in women than in males.

Top 20 Relationship Deal Breakers

You must first decide if someone is actually right for you before deciding to define the relationship; make a greater commitment to each other. We all have automatic deal breakers that we’re aware of.

While your list of “must-haves” and “can’t-haves” may differ from your best friends’, many of us share some universal relationship deal breakers. To find out if your relationship is destined to continue forever…or to dissolve as soon as possible, read on to discover about 20 top relationship deal breakers.

1. Your partner isn’t interested in the same things as you are.

It’s critical that you and your spouse are on the same page regarding your relationship’s future in order to have a long-lasting, happy, and healthy relationship. If you want to have children someday, but your spouse doesn’t see them in their future (or already has and doesn’t want more), this could be a deal breaker in your relationship.

2. You’re being abused by your partner

Abuse of any kind is a deal breaker in any relationship. You should never allow any form of abusive treatment and conduct in a relationship, whether it is physical, verbal, or emotional. If your spouse has harmed you in any way, whether by violence or by using their words to intimidate, wound, or belittle you, your relationship should be ended immediately. Not someone you dread, but someone who is your best friend and biggest supporter.

3. You’re always at odds with one another.

Conflict is an inevitable element of any relationship, and you and your partner will have disputes and arguments at some point. However, if you and your partner have a tumultuous relationship in which the two of you are constantly screaming and arguing, this could be a deal-breaker. You won’t always agree with your partner, but you should be able to discuss and resolve any disagreements in a healthy and constructive manner.

4. You Don’t Have Faith in Your Partner

If you want your relationship to last, you and your spouse must have complete faith in one another. According to relationship specialists and therapists Linda Bloom, LCSW, and Charlie Bloom, M.S.W., “When interpersonal trust is missing or insufficient, its absence all but predicts a difficult, painful, frustrating, and ultimately unsatisfying future for both partners.” If you’re constantly worried that your partner may cheat on you, the lingering ambiguity and doubt will erode your relationship and prevent you from ever being completely happy and confident in it. This relationship is probably not for you if you can’t trust your partner’s word and find yourself trying to figure out if they’re being honest or not.

5. You Aren’t Being Your True Self

When you’re with your lover, do you feel yourself playing a part? Do you speak up and say exactly what’s on your mind, or do you merely say what you believe your partner wants to hear? Another relationship deal breaker is not being able to be completely honest with your partner. If you’re in a relationship where you’re faking hobbies, suppressing your thoughts, and restricting yourself, it’s time to find someone who will let you be the person you truly are. Your partner should know and adore you for who you are, not who you believe they want to be.

6. You Are Undervalued

Both persons in a relationship must feel valuable to one another in order for it to succeed in the long run. Consider it a relationship deal breaker if your partner takes you for granted, isn’t grateful or appreciative of what you do, and doesn’t make a genuine effort to prioritize you in their life. You deserve to be with someone who genuinely cares about your happiness and values everything you have to offer.

7. They will not address the issues you have raised.

One of the most important aspects of any relationship, regardless of how long you’ve been together, is making sure that both you and your spouse are satisfied. So, if you’ve found yourself in a situation where your comfort is jeopardized and your partner is doing nothing to address the problem, psychologist Dara Bushman told Insider that this could be the catalyst for your relationship’s demise.

“When you first started dating, you felt connected and were enjoying a stimulating and soul-nourishing conversation,” she explained. “However, you’ve noticed a disconnect over time. It’s possible that the issue isn’t the distance, but rather the partner’s aloofness, incompetence, or unwillingness to discuss it.”

8. They’ve reconsidered having children with you.

Another key item to explore before committing to a long-term relationship with a possible partner is whether you envision yourself having children together. But, according to Bushman, if one of you develops second thoughts or is on a completely opposite side than you, that should be a deal breaker.

“Another major deal-breaker is if someone changes their mind about having children with you,” she said. It can be devastating if you want to have children when your spouse already has children — or even if you’re both childless — and they were initially receptive to starting a family with you but later decided against it.

9. They have a habit of canceling plans at the last moment.

Making arrangements with someone and then having them cancel at the last minute is one of the worst feelings in the world. And, if that frequent offender happens to be the person with whom you’re in a relationship, it could be the reason you’re thinking about breaking up with them.

“Having spontaneity in a relationship is excellent,” matchmaker Bonnie Winston told Insider, “but if your guy or gal is continuously canceling at the last minute to do something that ‘just popped up,’ that’s a deal-breaker.” “It demonstrates that they do not value your time, plans, or interests.

10. When it comes to money, you’re not on the same page.

During the early stages of dating, how your spouse spends their money may not be a major concern. However, as your relationship progresses, it may become more of a focus point, causing a lot of conflicts if you’re not on the same page. “Not being close to or on the same page about money is a deal breaker, and many people can’t get over the financial burden,” Winston said. “Also, some people believe that being consistently cheap with everything, bad tipping, or rudeness to waiters is a deal-breaker because it shows that someone isn’t giving in other areas.”

11. They don’t seem to be interested.

Despite the fact that it appears to be a simple thing to notice as a deal-breaker, many people overlook the signs of their partner’s lack of interest, and according to Winston, it may not always be as easy to spot as you think.

“It can come off as though they are not interested in one partner makes the other partner feel unattractive, divvy out criticism of the way one looks, comments on weight, or other things like that,” she told Insider. “Similarly, if one person only speaks about themselves and shows no interest in you, your life, your career, your friends, or your family, it can and should be considered a deal-breaker.”

12. Your values are not the same.

When choosing a spouse, you should think about all elements of the person, including how their values compare to yours. Do they share your values of integrity, ambition, family love, and other things that are essential to you? “Attraction and chemistry are wonderful, but what happens when the spark fades and the looks fade?” Insider spoke with Rachel DeAlto, a relationship consultant at “A relationship can be doomed if your possible spouse, and you, disagree strongly on a basic value.”

13. When they’re angry, they fight savagely.

DeAlto also suggested that if you’re in a relationship with someone who talks down to you or treats you badly when you disagree, you should think about why you’re still together.

“Everyone gets furious from time to time, and we occasionally say horrible things we don’t mean,” she continued. “The deal breaker, on the other hand, is when people get nasty with every dispute – name-calling, gaslighting, and failing to listen are all characteristics that contribute to relationship misery.”

14. They haven’t moved on from their ex.

Even if you’re crazy about someone, you shouldn’t let it slip if they’re still attached to someone else. “You can tell when someone is stuck in the past,” DeAlto explained. “When they talk about the — favorable or negative — their emotions are still high. They frequently admit they aren’t prepared, but this is reasoned away.”

15. It’s as if I don’t have a feeling of vision.

A lack of desire or drive in a spouse may be a significant turn-off for many individuals. That isn’t to say that it isn’t a deal breaker for certain people. But, according to Jeffrey L. Miller, a relationship specialist, and dating advisor, it should be. He explained, “Being a very determined and successful person and matching with someone who is satisfied may be damaging to any relationship.”

16. Either you or someone else has a history of abuse.

If you hear of someone being abused, whether it’s physical, mental, emotional, or sexual, it may seem like an easy remedy to “just go.”

Unfortunately, Judy Ho, a psychologist, and author of “Stop Self Sabotage,” told Insider that it’s not as simple as it appears and that noticing its happening is much more difficult. “Physical or sexual assault are relationship deal-breakers that happen more frequently than one might believe,” Ho added.

17. There is a persistent denial or refusal to get help for a substance misuse problem.

It can be tempting to stay with someone who is struggling with addiction. While a partner’s support can help people overcome addiction, if it’s affecting you and they aren’t seeking assistance, it may be time to go, according to Ho.

“There is no shame in having such a problem,” she added, “but it may wreak havoc on a relationship — not to mention the person’s life in numerous areas such as physical and mental health, job, and other social contacts.”

18. Unable to form cooperation.

We should be able to rely on one another and share life’s responsibilities. It doesn’t matter if it’s laundry or dishwashing. We should be equals and take it all in stride together, cheering one other on for victories and pulling each other up when things got tough.

19. Lack of etiquette

 I’m not expecting manners fit for the royal family, but you should be able to go to a nice restaurant and act appropriately, introduce people appropriately, and say your basic please-and-thank-yous. I don’t want to date a caveman.

20. Afraid of losing money.

My “I’m over this” button is flipped whenever you start trying to impress me with your materialistic trophies. Allow me to decide whether or not I am impressed by you.

Deal Breaker Questions

Love alone isn’t always enough to keep a couple together. So often, someone will bring up a problem in their marriage that is a clear deal breaker. When asked if the matter was discussed before the wedding, the most common response is “no.” Make sure you don’t make the same mistake. If you and your partner disagree on five crucial deal-breakers, compromise is usually not an option. Also, if you’re already married, now is the time to talk about these difficulties! If you aren’t married yet and don’t know what your prospective spouse thinks about these topics, postpone your wedding until you do!

1. Do you wish to start a family?

If you and your future spouse can’t agree on whether or not to have children, it’s a significant red flag in your relationship. It’s a mistake to think you’ll be able to deal with this later in your marriage. It is not fair to the child or to your marriage to decide to have a child when one parent does not want to have children.

2. May we discuss money?

The mechanics of how you and your partner handle your finances aren’t the problem. Many successful marriages have separate checking accounts, and many successful marriages have a single account. The question is if the two of you can talk about money calmly and practically. If how you spend, save, or don’t spend your money was an issue before you were married, it will be even more so after your wedding.

3. Can we discuss sex?

While it is difficult to foresee an individual’s sexual libido in the future, it is critical that the two of you can discuss sexual matters. If you and your partner were already having sexual problems, you shouldn’t have married until those problems were resolved. Sexual frequency, desire, preferences, fantasies, masturbation, pornography, expectations, and so on are all different.

4. Will we spend a lot of time with our in-laws?

Your inlaws may be excellent individuals who genuinely care about you both, but they should not be permitted to interfere in your marriage. The problem with your inlaws will only get worse if either of you will not or cannot set boundaries with your own parents when it comes to visits, phone calls, funds, children, and so on.

5. Who will be in charge of the housework?

If your husband responds with “No,” “Why should I?” or “Isn’t that your job?” you should be concerned. There are various alternatives available.

  • You can pay someone to help you with the chores you don’t want to do.
  • You can accept that you will be responsible for 90% or more of the household tasks.
  • Discuss how important it is to share household chores.

If none of these options work out, if you aren’t already married, you may want to call off the wedding.

6. How would you like to spend your free time?

The answer to this question will reveal a lot about your spouse.

  • What your future spouse enjoys doing in his or her spare time.
  • How important it is for your future spouse to have fun with you.
  • Whether you will come first before work.

Balancing work and fun and family time and personal time is not easy but is essential. Without talking about the time aspect of your life together, you may find yourself grumbling because your spouse is spending what you consider to be too much time with old friends and extended family, or on hobbies, sports, the computer, etc.

7. What about addictions?

The answer to this question, or to questions about smoking cigarettes or using drugs or harmful watching of porn, or drinking too much alcohol, will reveal whether your spouse or future spouse has a potential or current addiction problem which could end up not only threatening your marriage and spouse’s health but could also put you in legal and financial jeopardy.

8. Have you ever hit someone?

Don’t hesitate to seek treatment if your spouse has anger management difficulties, tries to restrict who you see and what you do, or makes you feel like you’re walking on eggshells. These are warning signals of an abusive personality. You won’t be able to “rescue” him or her. You can’t do it. This is a problem that requires professional help.

9. Do you believe it is critical to remain loyal to one another?

Some married couples choose open marriage and swinging, but the majority desire and prefer a monogamous relationship. If you and your husband or future spouse disagree about what constitutes cheating, make sure you talk about it.

10. How do you believe we will be in thirty or forty years?

If your spouse or fiancé can’t or won’t answer this question, you and your partner should talk about your expectations for a long-term relationship. Why marry someone who doubts your relationship will last?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a deal breaker in dating?

Deal-breakers in relationships are the factors that will force you to end your relationship, regardless of how long you’ve been together. A partner’s attitude toward having children, a lack of financial responsibility, or a lack of ambition are all classic deal-breakers.

What is a deal breaker for guys?

According to Matthews, being overly dramatic in any connection, whether it’s with a spouse, friends, family, or therapy, is a deal-breaker. It’s also exhausting if there’s too much drama in her life, whether it’s from family members or an ex, according to Bennett.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like