What are your relationship deal breakers?

WASHINGTON — Dating is hard, especially if you go out with people with annoying personal quirks. Maybe he eats with his mouth open. Or she talks too much, mostly about herself. Are these deal breakers for you? Could you go out with people who act this way?

Wall Street Journal columnist Elizabeth Bernstein wrote an article about so-called relationship deal breakers that make people reconsider choosing someone as a potential mate. According to Bernstein’s report, new research shows people give more weight to deal breakers than deal makers — or positive qualities — they hope to find in a person.

Research from several universities found that women have more relationship deal breakers than men. They are the ones who get pregnant, so they want mates who can help them successfully raise children. In one of the studies, the researchers gave 5,541 single adults a list of 17 negative personal traits and asked whether they considered those deal breakers.

Both sexes listed “disheveled or unclean,” “lazy” and “too needy” as major relationship deal breakers. Relationship seekers said the deal breakers outweigh the good, according to the report.

“If you have a negative thing, it does loom a lot larger,” Bernstein told WTOP on Monday. “There’s all sort of things that could go wrong, and those could really be a lot harder on a relationship than someone who’s a good person or smart.”

This is the first time relationship deal breakers have been researched. Men listed “low sex drive” and “talks too much” as deal breakers. Women listed “bad sex” as a deal breaker. More women than men said a lack of a sense of humor is a deal breaker.

Another study said men don’t want to date women smarter than them.

Despite all the things that can stall your romance, Bernstein said it’s important to not base your relationships solely on deal breakers. Cut the other person some slack.

“You don’t wanna be ridiculous,” Bernstein said. “Look at the whole person and really weigh their goods and bads. Make sure your deal breakers are realistic and good things to watch for.”

July 23, 2024 | What are your relationship deal breakers? (Elizabeth Bernstein, Bonds Columnist for Wall Street Journal)
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