Woman's foot smelly and an unhappy man on the white wall for background.

Revealed: the top 10 relationship killers

By Sarah Moses June 9, 06:00 am
Is there something you simply won’t put up with in a partner? If so, you’re not alone. Recent research reveals the most common relationship dealbreakers.

A lot is known about what people look for in a potential partner. But when it comes to things people avoid at all costs in a guy or girl they’d date – things like unpleasant personality traits or annoying habits – research has been all but non-existent.

No slobs thanks!

Enter a group of researchers curious about this very topic. In a series of six studies, they went about asking over 6500 adults in the US about their relationship dealbreakers. The researchers were interested to see if there would be differences between men and women, as well as between quick flings and long-term relationships.

When it came to a long-term partner, a ‘dishevelled or unclean appearance’ was the number one dealbreaker for men and women, according to the findings of the largest study, which collected data on over 5500 men and women. Close behind, however, was laziness, with being ‘too needy’ finishing up in third position.

Funny please!

Dealbreakers related to an unhealthy lifestyle and a less-than-pleasant personality tended to top the lists in all the studies, but they weren’t the only things people wouldn’t accept in a potential partner. Take a sense of humour. Lacking one was dealbreaker number four, with over half the participants saying they wouldn’t start a long-term relationship with someone who wasn’t funny. And just over thirty per cent wouldn’t consider a partner who spent too much time watching TV or playing video games.

Men and women are more similar than they are different when it comes to what they avoid in a partner, the research showed. Still, there are a few differences. In general, women have more dealbreakers than men, and feel more strongly about the ones they do have when it comes to short-term romance.

Interestingly, dealbreakers are usually more powerful when a person is considering a potential partner, the research also showed. A dealmaker might be a trigger of sorts, leading a person to go up to a guy or girl with a trait they’re looking for. But a dealbreaker could result in a pretty strong reaction of avoidance or even disgust, say the researchers, which might serve the purpose of keeping us away from partners who won’t be good for us.

The 10 most common dealbreakers in a long-term partner

  1.     Dishevelled or unclean appearance
  2.     Lazy
  3.     Too needy
  4.     Lacks a sense of humour
  5.     Lives more than three hours away
  6.     Bad sex
  7.     Too much TV/video games
  8.     Low sex drive
  9.     Stubborn
  10.     Talks too much

Jonason, P.K. et al. (2015). Relationship Dealbreakers: Traits People Avoid in Potential Mates. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

What are your dealbreakers and dealmakers? Head for our forum and let's talk.


Did you learn something new?

Mon, 05/06/2019 - 04:56 pm
Hidden past. When u eventually find out dirty stuff about your spouse, sometimes they are intorelable. And yet you had tried to inquire all in vain.

Hi there, We appreciate your contribution. Everyone, however, has a past and what maybe a concern to one may not be to another. Also, a person can grow and change as they work toward what they want to become and it may not be fair to judge a person now based on their past particularly if they have made changes in their lives. On the other hand the past can have a effect on the current. Having said that, if you have concerns about a person's past, do let them know.

Hey Jabby, indeed the past of a person can lead to break up. However, since everybody has a past, it is important to not judge a person by their past especially if the person has made changes in their lives. Thank you though for your contribution.

Hey Will, so sorry about this. Have you considered reaching out to her to find out what made her to break up with you? It maybe helpful to reach out to her to find out her reason for breaking up with you. Remember, you have no control over the choices of another person, all you can do right now is to move and allow yourself to heal. Have a look at the following article for addition tips on coping with a break up;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/breaking-up/coping-with-a-break-up

Hi there, so sorry about this. It appears your ex wants nothing to do with you atleast based on how he choose to break up with you. Closure can help you move on after a break but in you case you may not be able to get that from your ex. You have no control over how he chooses to act and this was not your fault. All you can do now is accept what happened and begin your journey of moving on. Remember, not all relationships will last a lifetime even when you do your best. It takes time to heal from a break up and move on, but with time one is able to heal and move on. Check out the following article for more tips;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/breaking-up/coping-with-a-break-up

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