How to Choose Your Dating Dealbreakers Wisely

4 Relationship ‘Deal Breakers’ You Should Reconsider

How to Choose Your Dating Dealbreakers Wisely

It’s not wrong to have deal breakers. A big part of dating is about getting to know a person, learning all about what makes them human, and then choosing to love them—or not. Depending on the person, that choice can be easy or it can be hard, but at the end of the day, you must decide if some of those less-than-wonderful things—those human things—are deal breakers.

Self-awareness makes setting a good list of deal breakers a lot easier. For example, if you know that one day you want children, better not get into a serious relationship with a guy who doesn’t.

 But when we include items that are  subjective truth, such as believing we are only attracted to men who are six feet tall or have dark features, our list of deal breakers can get in the way of finding a partner.

A recent study surveyed a nationally representative sample of 2,744 single American adults, giving them a list of seventeen negatively associated traits and asking which they would consider deal breakers. For many of the seventeen traits, such as “lazy” and “lacks a sense of humor,” I understand saying “no thanks.” There were some traits, however, that I think we’d be wise to reconsider.

Let me explain.

Disheveled or Unclean Appearance

Seventy-one percent of women and 63 percent of men listed this trait as a deal breaker. I get it, I would be the first one to admit that I wouldn’t be thrilled to go out on a date with a guy who seemed as though he could do with a shower. But I think we can concede that there are different standards of disheveled.

I know many great guys who have not yet discovered the magic of wrinkle-free shirts and who don’t own an iron. But it might just be that they need a woman’s touch to streamline their look. It may be worth it to take initial appearance off your list and allow for the possibility of a mismatched guy without an iron to steal your heart.

If he is staunchly opposed to regular showers, then maybe that’s another thing. . . .

Lives More Than Three Hours Away   

It was shocking to me that, in a world of thriving online dating industries, 58 percent of women and 51 percent of men said that they would consider four hours of distance a deal breaker.

Really? You would not consider jumping in the car for four hours for a date with a cute guy who shares your outlook and values? That is a real shame, because long-distance relationships do work, and, according to research, couples in LDRs often have higher relationship satisfaction and better communication skills than other couples. Give it some thought, and maybe add a bit more mileage to your search criteria.

Bad Sex

It is my opinion that our culture focuses a bit too much attention on sex in dating and not enough on communication and shared values.

In fact, research indicatesthat sex with multiple partners—which is bound to happen if that is a part of your litmus test—hurts, rather than helps, your chances at a happy, lasting relationship.

Regardless, 50 percent of the women surveyed and 44 percent of the men said that bad sex is a deal breaker for them.

Here’s the thing, according to marriage expert Dr. John Gottman: Good sex has more to do with friendship, good communication, and emotional intimacy than it has to do with natural talent.

What’s more, psychologist and author of Sheet Music Dr. Kevin Leman insists that, alongside friendship, amazing sex takes practice. In his book, Dr.

Leman describes sex between two newlywed people with a violin analogy:

“The first night might result in more noise than music; even so, that’s no reason to be discouraged. Let’s go back to playing the violin. If you really applied yourselves, a good guess is that you’d eventually make people clap when they hear you play. But not right off the bat. a musician starting out, you’re going to need training and practice.”

So maybe it’s best to take sex the equation and trust that with friendship and lots of practice after your wedding day, the sex will be awesome. 

Stubborn/Talks Too Much/Too Quiet/Too Athletic/Not Athletic . . . You Get the Point

I found it amusing that more men than women selected “talks too much” as a deal breaker, and more women than men selected “too quiet” as a deal breaker—a perfect example of how sometimes we fall into the trap of desiring someone just us.

(Not to say that all women are chattier than men and vice versa, but generally women are much more verbal).

 We would be doing ourselves a disservice if we didn’t at least consider partners who challenge us with their differences or offer them an opportunity to grow and learn from us.

I should note, only 7 percent of men said they would consider “too athletic” a deal breaker. Go figure.

Photo Credit: The Happy Bloom


First Date Deal-Breakers: The 10 You Have to Know

How to Choose Your Dating Dealbreakers Wisely

For all those American singles who are sick of going on terrible dates; our survey investigated what the ultimate first date deal breakers are and some of the results might surprise you! While we all know talking about your ex, being rude and sitting on your phone the whole time are dating no-nos, some seemingly innocent acts may be preventing you from getting a second date!

A new EliteSingles study, sourced from anonymous user data from 1300 Americans looked into the ins and outs of first date deal breakers and discovered the top 10 first date faux-pas – take note!

The top 5 first date deal breakers

1) Number 1 Behavior Deal Breaker: Getting very drunk

There is a difference between having a small glass of wine for some Dutch courage before a first date and getting stupidly drunk over dinner. 1 in 2 Americans consider it a deal-breaker so keep it together people; getting wrecked on a date is a big no-no.

2) Number 1 Outfit Deal Breaker: T-shirt with offensive/childish slogan

Almost 70% of Americans agreed that offensive or childish slogans on T-shirts are a massive first date faux-par. You might find your t-shirt hilarious but leave it at home on a date; they are unly to be impressed and it will probably be at the cost of a second date.

3) Number 1 Conversation Deal Breaker: Mentioning upcoming dates

One would think this is pretty obvious but a large number of people experience their date speaking about upcoming dates they’ve set up. Naturally hearing about your other dates is hugely off-putting for the person who is currently on a date with you so don’t mention them! You never know, if your date goes well you may not have to go on the other ones.

4) Number 1 Post date Deal Breaker: Bombarding with texts

Of course, it’s nice to feel a date went well, and sending one text telling the person you enjoyed meeting them is fine, but bombarding them with messages is just silly. In fact 44% of Americans said it was a deal-breaker for them so be careful; you don’t want to spoil a good date by being too keen to post date.

5) Dating Deal breaker: Checking your phone constantly

It’s not rocket science. Obviously, if you’re sat on your phone throughout an entire date, you are not engaging with the person you are with and can come across as disinterested. In fact, men in particular disd this and 60% consider it a deal-breaker. Put the phone away and enjoy the moment; everything else can wait.

5 surprising first date faux-pas

1) Wearing a suit and tie

Americans nice-but-casual dates – so much so that wearing a suit and tie is deemed as much of a first date fashion faux-pas as turning up in activewear. In fact, 83% of Americans would prefer to go for a casual coffee on a first date (no suit and tie necessary!).

2) Taking pictures of your meal

Bad news for fans of the Hefe filter: taking photos of your food is definitely off-putting. In fact, it’s considered even worse than common dating deal-breakers not offering to split the bill! Eat the food, don’t photograph it.

3) Getting out your selfie stick during dinner

It might be wise to forget your camera altogether, as mid-date selfies are also frowned upon. Indeed, hated by men in particular (12% consider this a deal breaker), selfies are an even bigger first date sin than not tipping.

4) Listening carefully to your dates stories

68% of Americans would rather their date spoke too much on the first meeting. So those who think you need to be a good listener on a date can take a sigh of relief – chat away!

5) Adding your date on

You should wait before sending that friend request: 1 in 5 American singles would be put off of a second date with someone who immediately added them on social media, men more so than women.

The dating no-nos that are not as bad as you think

Being a bad kisser!

A tiny 3% of American singles consider being a bad kisser a deal-breaker, making it a far more minor offense than any of the deal-breakers above!

Not tipping!

Although singles might have strong opinions about who should pay for a date, tipping is not among them! Americans are usually pretty adamant about tipping (and there are plenty of studies suggesting that people would dump their date for not doing it) but surprisingly our survey revealed that a tiny 5% of respondents consider it a deal breaker making it one of the lowest on the list!

How much of a big deal are deal breakers?

Do deal-breakers matter? Considering that 74% of Americans surveyed would be prepared to end a date early over a deal-breaker (and that 32% have already done so), the answer is most ly yes.

The most common way to escape a bad date? For most, it’s fairly straight-forward. Indeed, Americans don’t the convoluted exit strategies so beloved of romantic movies and sitcoms; rather than a fake illness or phone call, 73% of singles would simply opt for the truth.

EliteSingles psychologist, Salama Marine, has these words of wisdom for anyone needing to leave a date early:

‘Rejection hurts. No matter how kindly or carefully it’s done; it will always hurt. Ending a date with someone prematurely, or pointing out their physical and social flaws, is damaging to their ego. What’s more, it can also harm their self-esteem and result in feelings of insecurity and low confidence.

In this study, the majority of people admitted that they would tell the truth about why they wanted to leave a date early, instead of making up an excuse. This is fair enough; you shouldn’t have to stay on an awkward date for hours with a stranger if you don’t want to.

But it is important to choose your words carefully; you need to show your date that you do respect them and consider them an equal, despite not feeling romantically attracted to them.

There’s no need to be unnecessarily hurtful or mean; you simply need to explain that you cannot picture yourself romantically with them and that you feel your personalities aren’t matched.

If your date insists on more information; feel free to continue explaining your reasoning in a nice way; this could even be productive and help them improve their dating skills in the future.’


50 Common Relationship Deal Breakers

How to Choose Your Dating Dealbreakers Wisely

Linda (Kaywood) Bilyeu is a self-published author. Her books are available on Amazon. She writes from the heart—there is no other way.

What Is a Deal Breaker?

While weeding through of dates, hangouts, or hook-ups (whatever you refer to them as), you may encounter memories you don't . Things that turn you off. Things that annoy you. Things that you don't want in your relationship.

These things are known as deal breakers. They are the things we absolutely must have (or not have) in a relationship in order for it to be possible. They are the things that determine the success of any union, the basic needs and requirements that must be met for the relationship to progress.

Needs can be very individual, but below, you'll find a list of common deal breakers. You might use this as a checklist for potential relationships. You could administer it as a pre-test before your initial meet up.

I rallied my single friends and asked them what their deal breakers were. Single men and women, ranging from their 20s to 60s, shared with me what they won't tolerate in a relationship.

I learned a thing or two; hopefully, you will, too.

Common Relationship Deal Breakers

  1. Doesn't children (or discusses wanting kids on the first date).
  2. Smokes or does drugs (and you don't). Nonsmokers really don't want to deal with the smell of cigarettes.
  3. Doesn't music. Especially country music.
  4. Lives too far away.

    This is why, on dating apps, most people set their distance to 15 miles.

  5. Keeps you waiting. If they are late for your date, it just isn't very promising.
  6. Lies. Once a liar, always a liar. In my survey, this deal breaker was the most common, which tells me that people don't liars.
  7. Family conflicts.

    For example, not wanting to hang out with your family. Family is important to me, and they aren't hard to get along with if you just make the effort.

  8. 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.

  9. Excessively vain.

    From fake hair to nails to breasts, with endless hours spent in front of the mirror or at the gym: This can be a deal-breaker.

  10. Cheap. Frugality is understandable to a point. We all want to save a buck, but in moderation. Being too cheap is a deal-breaker.
  11. Suffering from low self-esteem.

    If you don't think highly of yourself, how am I supposed to think highly of you?

  12. Obsessed with money. Once you start trying to impress me with your materialistic trophies, my «I'm over this» switch is flipped. Allow me to be the judge of whether or not I am impressed with you.
  13. Selfish. Greedy. It's not all about you.

    This time is about us.

  14. Unemployed. Has to have a job and know how to keep a job.
  15. Addicted. Raging alcoholics usually can't make a plan. They can't seem to get their shit together.
  16. Hooked on their ex. Leave the ex at the door. I don't want to hear about them or why your previous relationships failed.

  17. Broken. People who just need to be fixed. Fix yourself before you attempt to begin a relationship.
  18. Negative chatter. If I wanted to hear critical, negative talk, I would read my newsfeed.
  19. Bad breath. Proper dental hygiene is a must.
  20. Bad kisser.

    Do not brag that you are the world's best kisser and then come at me with a wet, sloppy kiss. Biting off my lips is not cool.

  21. Boring texter. If we are texting, and I am writing sentences, and you respond with one-word answers, that's a deal breaker for sure. Conversation needs to flow or else you get flushed.
  22. Snorer.

    I don't care how hot you are, once I hear you snore, I am outta there!

  23. Rude. There is no place in this world for rudeness. It's a red flag that you probably have underlying issues (such as a bad temper, which is also a deal breaker).
  24. Toxic. If I sense the slightest scent of toxicity with you, the deal is off. Toxic people are not part of my world.
  25. Gross manners. If I can hear you while you are eating—adios, amigo!

Red Flag or Deal Breaker Questions

26. Not trustworthy. If I sense that I could not trust you, that would be a deal breaker.

27. Talks too much (or too little). Conversation should flow for both of us.

28. Poor hygiene. Proper grooming is vital. Sloppiness is unacceptable.

29. Drunk. If I get the inkling that you have a tendency to be a mean drunk, the deal is off. I have zero tolerance for people who can't handle their alcohol intake. Don't try to keep up with me. Know your limits.

30. Fan of opposing team. If you are a fan of any Boston sports team.

31. Kinky. For example, if you frequent nudist beaches. To each their own when it comes to nudity, but public viewing is not for me.

32. Poor grammar. Whether written or spoken, poor grammar is an immediate deal breaker.

33. Excessive self-love. If a guy takes longer than me to get ready, it's a turn off.

34. Lack of humor. Life is too short to take everything seriously. Don't be so sensitive.

35. Unreliable. For example, a guy who won't put the relationship first. We are supposed to be each other's person and build our life together—there should never be a doubt that we have each other's backs.

36. Lack of ambition. If you have no goals, then we have no relationship.

37. No car. I'm not your Uber.

38. Poor communication. Talk things out whether they are good or bad. Respect each other's opinions and advice. Do not bottle things up.

39. Incapable of partnership. We should be able to lean on each other and share the workloads of life. Whether that is laundry or dishes. Cheering each other on for successes and picking each other up when things get hard—we should be equals and take it all in stride together.

40. Know-it-all. a dude telling me how to raise my kid on the first date, which was surreal since he didn't have a child of his own.

41. Indecisive. I have no tolerance for always having to make the plans. If you can't make a decision about what to do or where to eat and always expect me to be the planner, that is a problem.

42. Picky and finicky. There is no need to nit-pick and expect everything to be perfect. Perfection doesn't exist in the real world.

43. Having sex with other people. In addition if you are married or in a relationship.

44. In debt. A person having a ton of debt and not being able to manage their money.

45. Excessive chest or back hair. This applies to men, not so much the women.

46. Obsessed with pet ownership. I realize that you adore your four-legged family members, but a slide show on our first date is a bit much.

47. Angry. Road rage. Hot tempers are a major turn off.

48. Won't take «no» for an answer. No means no, dude.

49. Political. Discussing politics on the first date is not wise.

50. Selfie-obsessed. Taking too many selfies during a date is not cute. Put the damn phone away.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 Linda Bilyeu

Suzie from Carson City on May 23, 2018:

dashing…you're so damned smart!! :) Everything is all about individual choices…..some dill, some sweet and some don't pickles at all~!!! LOL.

dashingscorpio from Chicago on May 23, 2018:

I've come to learn over the years that «deal breakers» are much beauty; It's all in the eye of the beholder.

There really is no such thing as an «universal deal breaker». Whatever you or I could come up with there is someone living under those conditions who has absolutely no plans of ever walking away! :)

Suzie from Carson City on May 23, 2018:

Hey GF…..Hmmmm, let's see, how can I approach this topic? OK, I'll go with the possibility of an «imagined» situation, because currently, I don't see myself in any future relationship.

I have no doubt you'll believe me when I tell you that in my youth…or, when I was young, vibrant, confident & active, my rules were simple, GF. It was the old expression, «MY way or the highway.» LMAOL!! You know, fair and reasonable.

These days, the rules would have to involve what I simply will not tolerate from another individual, in a relationship. He would have to be a NO-drugs, NO-booze man. & I agree with Sha…

NO young KIDS! Jesus, please! I did my time and that of 10 other women.

Besides, SFAM, let's face it, some man anywhere near my age, who has a young child, is also a very stupid, extremely poor-planner!! RED flag. LOL.

Your list is soooo hilarious. You crack me up. While I realize it's mostly done with humor, they aren't that far from being serious!! Really, just about everything you have listed, can be, has been or might possibly be future deal breakers. C'mon, I didn't get to be this old, experienced and WISE, to just repeat former mistakes! Right? Right.

Point blank, painful honesty….the more I think about this, I would actually pity a man who might decide he wants a relationship with me.

I'm sorry to say, he would probably end up paying a high price for all the huge mistakes of men before him. I might do well to stick with having fun and socializing with my good female friends.

Safer, less stress & little chance of regrets. I mean, look….I'll always love YOU, Linda Sue. No problems…LOLOLOLOLO

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on May 23, 2018:

All great points, Linda, especially the must be able to hold a job one. I was the bread winner in both of my marriages. It got old real quick and is actually partially why I divorced both husbands. Another deal breaker, should I choose to start dating again, is no young kids. At my age, I'm done with child-rearing and don't want to go through it again. Now is my time!

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on May 22, 2018:

We do view relationships as deals but when we consider love, then it is a different deal. There are conditions with love. I think I am too idealistic. We do make deals in our relationships but make sacrifices and compromises to keep them.


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