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50 Common Relationship Deal Breakers

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 like. 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 like 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 like 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 like 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 Facebook 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. Like 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 like dill, some like sweet and some don't like pickles at all~!!! LOL.

dashingscorpio from Chicago on May 23, 2018:

I've come to learn over the years that "deal breakers" are much like 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 based on 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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