Here Are The 9 Biggest Dealbreakers In Relationships

Everyone has dealbreakers — or, at least, they should. And, although that word is a term that's typically used when it comes to business-related negotiations, the reality is that dealbreakers can apply to just about any type of relational dynamic, including romantic ones. So, just what is a dealbreaker, anyway? Probably the easiest way to define it is a violation of a set boundary which results in the end of some type of agreement.


How can you avoid dishonoring someone's dealbreaker? It's usually wise to make your dealbreakers clear early on in the relationship because the reality is that not everyone approaches relationships from the same perspective. That way, once a dealbreaker is on the table and is overlooked, you can be clear about whether your needs are being met — or not.

There are literally dozens of things that people consider to be dealbreakers in relationships. We're taking a look at some of the most common ones that the majority of people agree with when it comes to relationship expectations.

A lack of trust can be a major dealbreaker

Trust is a big deal in a relationship. According to Reader's Digest, several signs that indicate whether you can trust your partner include their ability to open up about their feelings, admit when they are wrong, listen when you speak, and make you feel as comfortable as possible without conversations feeling forced. Some indications that you yourself may have trust issues include not believing what others say, expecting the worst in others, and being jealous (via WebMD).


Keeping this in mind, it probably comes as no surprise that one of the biggest dealbreakers in a romantic relationship is a violation of trust (after all, how can you be with someone you don't trust?). However, you may be shocked to learn that many individuals actually consider trust problems to be a bigger issue in a relationship than abuse or addiction (via Psychology Today).

What this all boils down to is — as far as romantic relationships are concerned — trust holds a lot of weight. Clearly.

A first date with ho-hum conversation often doesn't lead to much

When it comes to first dates, especially after meeting online, you'd think that a lack of physical attraction would be a top dealbreaker. However, according to one survey, something else topped it: bad conversation, with 90% of singles sharing in a survey for online dating site Plenty of Fish that great conversation reigns supreme as a contributor to a solid initial connection with someone (via Yahoo!). There you have it: It really is all about personality.


Since good conversation makes for a good first date, it makes sense that poor conversation would be a dealbreaker, right? Considering that being unable to communicate well with your partner could ruin the relationship down the road (via mindbodygreen) or lead to divorce if marriage is in your future, it's super important not to ignore any signs of bad communication from the very beginning.

Not having a profile photo is a dealbreaker for online daters

Anyone who says that physical attraction isn't that big of a deal in a relationship is either lying or in deep denial. As Verywell Mind once shared, things like facial features and facial expressions play a valid role, especially when you're first getting to know someone. That's because, according to psychologist Sabrina Romanoff, "It leads to greater physical intimacy and connection, helping partners feel more bonded and attached to each other."


Online dating is not nearly as taboo as it used to be even 15 years ago. In fact, one survey revealed that, while only 22% of heterosexual people claimed to have met their partner online back in 2009, that number jumped to 39% in 2017. If you then factor in that reportedly 22% of couples who meet online end up getting engaged (via The Knot), this next dealbreaker seems like par for the course.

In the world of dating apps, a top dealbreaker is not including a profile photo. Science explains, "If a profile did not include a photo, for example, both men and women were 20 times less likely to even look at the rest of the person's profile."

While things like smoking and big age gaps also made the online dealbreaker cut, we have to admit, we agree. Who wants to get to know someone when you have no idea what this person actually looks like? Exactly.


Many men are totally turned off by rudeness

In 2018, NBC News published an article on why rudeness is considered toxic behavior. It stated that rude behavior cultivates negativity, can be triggering, and even has the ability to affect the health and happiness of those who come into contact with this type of behavior. Apparently, since rudeness even has the ability to make you dumber and has the potential to be "contagious" (via Scientific American), why would anyone want to be intentionally impolite or display poor manners?


This is all worth keeping in mind when going out with someone because many people say their top dealbreaker is rudeness. According to one survey, 81% of men said that rudeness was their greatest turnoff above other top contenders such as unattractiveness or bad sense of style (via Yahoo!).

Author Bryant McGill once said, "No one is more insufferable than he who lacks basic courtesy." Just a little food for thought as you prepare for a date — or if you're wondering whether you should or should not ignore a rude person you may be spending a lot of time with.

Short men finish last, according to most women surveyed

If your idea of the perfect guy is tall, dark, and handsome, while you are not alone, it's important to keep in mind that the average height for a man is 5'9" (via Verywell Fit). It should also go on record that this is pretty much the case all over the world (except for the Netherlands where the average height for men is 6').


Bustle once published an article on why height is such a relevant desire for so many. One woman interviewed said, "Tall men make you feel protected, snuggly, and small. I don't know if it is natural instinct or me being shallow but I think they need to be 6 foot or above, so I don't look like a giant next to them." The same article went on to share that a leading reason why some singles want to meet someone in person is to scope out their date's height.

Now, there's nothing wrong with wanting what you want, and if a short guy is a dealbreaker for you, don't settle. Just be aware that tall men are not exactly in abundance. So, there might need to be a little room for compromise in the height department.


Being a vegetarian can be a dealbreaker for meat eaters

Now, this is pretty fascinating. Did you know that only 4% of men and 6% of women consider themselves vegetarian? And, apparently, a whopping 30% of meat eaters,  according to Today, say they wouldn't date someone who is a vegetarian.


What could possibly be the reason for this kind of pushback? The article goes on to explain that some people feel they are being judged while eating a burger while their partner prefers a salad. Others said that vegetarians oftentimes come off as being too picky, which isn't very appealing. Additionally, the article claimed that vegetarians can sometimes come off high-maintenance — also not an attractive quality.

Whether you can totally relate to this or you think it's teetering on the ridiculous, what we do know is that lifestyle compatibility is important. In fact, having similar interests tops the list (via HuffPost). Since eating is an enjoyable activity for a lot of us — liking the same foods as your partner could prove to be an essential need (or concern).


Hanging out with an ex is a big relationship no-no

In 2020, Yahoo! published an article sharing 10 reasons why many long-term couples call it quits. The reasons included arguing over the same issues without coming to a resolution, not giving the other space to grow, experiencing a drop in intimacy, and feeling betrayed by their partner.


The articles goes on to explain that the reason for betrayal could be related to finances or infidelity. Yet, there's another way some people feel cheated on, whether or not any boundary has been crossed: when a partner hangs out with an ex. In fact, one survey revealed that 71% of men and 73% of women find it to be extremely problematic.

Are there ever times when exceptions can — or should — be made? An article for Bustle claims that if two exes started out as friends, work together, and/or have found a way to reevaluate the relationship, all should be fine.

Of course, you should probably discuss these topics with your partner first because it might come off as a red flag if you find your significant other hanging out with their ex all the time.


Lying about credit card debt is another big one

There will probably never come a time when finances won't be a reason for divorce. In a 2019 Insider piece ranking the top reasons for divorce, financial woes ranked No. 5.

A lot of things can fall into the category of financial drama. What's particularly fascinating, though, is that many couples say the dealbreaker isn't debt, in general, but, rather, the kind of debt.


For instance, while one survey cited that 75% of people admitted to financially deceiving their partner on some level, another survey shared that more than one-third of people actually find credit card debt to be far worse an issue than student loan debt (via CNBC). Surprisingly, credit card debt even ranked above drinking too much and having a messy house.

The reality is that, reportedly, the average American has somewhere around $90,460 of debt. That's why the biggest takeaway here isn't that you can't find love if you are in debt. It's that you should be forthcoming about it. Oh, and you might want to pay with cash more often than with credit — at least when you're with your partner.

A lack of sexual chemistry usually hints at poor communication

When asked how essential sex is to a relationship, certified sex therapist Laurie Mintz told The Healthy that sex is both the glue and the oil of a relationship. "In terms of the oil, sex helps prevent friction and makes you less irritable...I always joke with my clients who I'm trying to help get a better sex life that the things that irritate you about your partner before sex could even be endearing after sex."


Between the feel-good hormones that increase during sex, the health benefits that come from sex (via Healthline), and the way oxytocin can make you feel closer to your partner, it's a given that sexual chemistry is essential — and that a lack of it could indeed be a relational dealbreaker. One survey revealed that bad sex is such a big turnoff that 68% of people polled said they'd end their relationship over it (via Best Life). Interestingly, subpar sexual chemistry typically reveals poor underlying communication, which makes couples feel disconnected.

The good news? Another survey found that 54% of people who don't feel that "fire" with their partner are at least willing to try and work it out before putting in the towel — a great reminder that discussing your needs with your partner should be your first option. You never know how a good talk could turn things around.