Top 13 Deal Breakers in a Romantic Relationship

Updated on June 28, 2017

When you are madly in love, it can be difficult to see past your partner’s fabulous qualities. Now and then you might notice a tiny little flaw but you quickly brush it aside because, after all, this is the most amazing and wonderful person you ever met . . . Well, before you take the next step, into marriage or whatever form of deeper commitment in your relationship, do yourself a favour and have a long, hard, honest look at the following thirteen deal breakers.

If your answer is ‘yes’ to one or more of the following questions, please be very careful. If you walk away now, rather than later, you may be able to save yourself years of struggle and heartache.

Is There a Lack of Family Support?

At the end of the day “blood is thicker than water” as the saying goes. If either of your families disagrees profoundly with your choice of partner, it will be a very difficult road ahead. This is particularly true if your partner is not willing to stand up for you in front of his or her family. When you get married, husband or wife takes first place, then other family members. If you are feeling pushed aside where the in-laws are concerned, it is a deal breaker.

Are My Friends and Colleagues Warning Me About Him or Her?

What are friends for if not to give us good advice? Good friends who know you well will express their concern to you in different ways because they care about your future happiness. Ask around and be willing to listen to what your friends and colleagues really think about the one you love. If they have reservations, take them seriously and do some more research and soul searching.

Do I Find His or Her Friends Unbearable?

Speaking of friends, do you and your partner have any mutual friends? Or do you feel uncomfortable with his or her friends? In order for your relationship to thrive you will need to be able to hang out with friends together that you both enjoy. The alternative is isolation or living separate lives with separate friends. So if you find his or her friends unbearable, it is a deal breaker.

Is There Any Form of Abuse?

Before you quickly answer “Of course not” think very carefully about this one... abuse is not only physical. Other forms of abuse can be less known or noticed but every bit as painful and destructive – emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Does your partner subtly put you down, and make you feel somehow guilty and on edge? Does he blame you or others for things he has done? Is there any history of abuse in his family?

Am I Irritated by His or Her Personal Habits?

Whether it’s eating loudly, smoking or biting fingernails – take note of these little things and ask yourself if you are prepared to live with them indefinitely. What may start out as a mild irritation can later escalate into full-blown hatred when subjected to the pressure-cooker atmosphere of an intimate relationship.

Is There a Lack of Sexual Attraction?

Maybe you get along really well and you enjoy doing lots of stuff together as platonic friends – but that’s as far as it goes... Or maybe the thought of having sex with this person makes you feel sick... Either way, it’s a deal breaker. In a healthy relationship there is a healthy sexual attraction.

Is There a Lack of Trust Regarding Unfaithfulness?

Maybe there’s loads of sexual attraction and that’s what’s worrying you. How many other people does your partner also feel attracted to? If you have any reason whatsoever to think that your partner may be cheating on you, don’t shrug it off. Observe very carefully and make sure. This is especially important if he or she has a history of unfaithfulness. If you can’t trust your loved one it is a deal breaker.

Do We Have Completely Different Goals in Life?

When you set sail in a boat together with someone, you need to be going to the same destination. Otherwise you end up with a hijack situation where one of you feels like they didn’t sign up for this particular voyage. If you want to settle down and have a family while your partner wants to travel the world, it is no doubt a deal breaker.

Do We Disagree About Children?

Speaking of children, this is another area where you need to be on the same page. Imagine the shock of a young wife, eager to start a family, when she finds out that her husband does not want any children at all. Or vice versa. And even if you do both want children: how many? And how will you bring them up? What faith will you teach your children? And how will you discipline them?

Do I Have a Desire to Do My Own Thing?

Everyone has a bucket list of places to go or things they would love to do... If your list includes stuff you want to do as a single person, whether it’s travelling the world, or pursuing a certain career choice, then maybe it’s not your time to be in a serious relationship. Rather finish all those things before you commit yourself so that later you don’t have regrets and feel like you missed out.

Do We Fight and Squabble a Lot?

Every couple has their fair share of disagreements, but if you find you and your partner are squabbling and arguing incessantly it is probably a red flag. Ask yourself if this is the way you want to be relating to each other indefinitely in the years to come. You may find it entertaining and diverting now to try and win every argument, but eventually it will wear you out.

Do I Think One or Two Changes Will Fix Our Relationship?

Maybe you’re thinking you can change your partner (or yourself) in one or two aspects and then your relationship will be perfect... There is no perfect relationship, just two imperfect people who are willing to love and forgive and work on their own faults and weaknesses. If there is not a willingness in both parties to admit where they are wrong and where they need to change, then it is a deal breaker.

Is My Conscience Telling Me It Won't Work?

When you take a quiet moment to reflect on your relationship, what is the still small voice of your inner conscience saying to you? Listen very carefully, and don’t squash down any little doubts or fears that may be raising their heads tentatively. Take note of them and pay attention – they could be trying to save you from making a very costly and painful mistake.

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.


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    • dashingscorpio profile image


      3 years ago from Chicago

      This article is especially helpful to anyone who does not know them self very well or has not created their own “mate selection” and “must haves list” prior to entering into a relationship.

      Over the years I have come to realize that there is no such thing as a universal “deal breaker”. Anything that you or I could come up with there is someone who is presently living under those conditions and they have absolutely no plans of leaving.

      I’ve also learned that there is a big difference between “life” and the “hypothetical”. A lot of people will tell you if their mate cheats on them it’s an “automatic deal breaker” and yet I’ve seen people opt for forgiveness and therapy when it actually happens. In some instances there was no real forgiveness but they chose to stay based upon a promise he/she wouldn’t do it again.

      With regard to gaining friends and parents input before making a decision on who to marry I’m not a real fan of that approach. Life is a (personal) journey.

      No one can tell you who is “right” for you especially if you’re fully in touch with who you are. Immature and irresponsible people on the other hand may need some guidance.

      It's important to learn to be the driver and not a passenger in your own life. One man's opinion! :)

    • aefrancisco profile image


      3 years ago from somewhere down the road

      I do wonder if "trust" still exists. It seems trust is just simply the "c" in the market nowadays.

      Maybe, if we did found someone we really trust wholeheartedly, he or she is the one.


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