Falling in love is not the same as maintaining a relationship. Although love is an important component of a relationship, it’s not the be-all-and-end-all of it. There are always some non-negotiables that you just can’t look past no matter how much love there is. And here we are helping you identify them with a list of the top 20 relationship deal breakers.
In this article, trauma-informed counseling psychologist Anushtha Mishra (M.Sc. Counseling Psychology), who specializes in providing therapy for concerns such as trauma, relationship issues, depression, anxiety, grief, and loneliness among others, writes to help you better understand what relationships deal breakers mean and how to define and understand them.
What Is A Relationship Deal Breaker?
The literal meaning of a deal breaker is something that would cause a person to abandon a plan, mutual arrangement, agreement, or relationship. Now a relationship deal breaker is a behavior, value, or characteristic of your partner that you intrinsically disagree with.
They help prevent unhealthy behaviors, unbalanced relationship roles, or potentially dangerous situations in your relationship. Basically preventing an unhealthy relationship. Reflecting over your dating deal breakers is the first filter used for vetting out any difference in values and lifestyle. Communicating this can bring you and your partner closer if you can find a middle ground, or this can be the beginning of the end of your journey as a couple.
Top 20 Relationship Deal Breakers That Should Not Be Tolerated
A deal breaker makes you say, “I’m done.” Even if you love the person dearly or have been with them for a long time. This may sound a tad bit harsh but it actually lets you protect yourself from getting tangled in a toxic situation.
Below is the list of relationship deal breakers, which can act as a line of defense, protecting you from a controlling, hurtful, and potentially dangerous relationship.
1. They have a big fat ego
The first one of our top 20 relationship deal breakers is when you have to deal with a stubborn and egoistic partner. You might feel they are trying to suppress you, making you feel suffocated. You might be left dealing with constant judgment, criticism, and ridicule. This is one of the major relationship red flags and one of the most common relationship deal breakers.
2. They lie a lot
Another of many deal breakers for a woman as well as a man is when your partner lies about everything. This has the potential of making you experience a sinking feeling in the gut, along with anger and hurt. It can be devastating to be lied to by a partner, even small little white lies can feel like a death by a thousand cuts.
3. They manipulate you
Manipulation is a common type of abuse and another one of many deal breakers when dating. It might be difficult to spot the signs of manipulation at the beginning. Many people don’t realize they are being controlled by their partners. The manipulative partner may play mind games to get what they want. Their action causes a relationship to fail and is unacceptable because it affects both partners emotionally and mentally. This is one of the biggest deal breakers in a relationship.
Related Reading: Manipulation In Relationships – 11 Subtle Signs You Are A Victim
4. They are never around when you need them
A good relationship is based on healthy dependency that fosters a sense of security and an ability to rely on your partner. But when you notice that they haven’t been there for you, you have every right to walk away. This is because it is unlikely that they’ll be there for you when you need them in the future if they haven’t in the past. You deserve help and comfort from your partner.
5. They don’t trust you
Trust is an important part of any relationship. A study to assess the importance of trust in a relationship found that every participant agreed that trust is a key component in making an intimate relationship work. When there is no trust in a relationship, you can be left feeling worried and fearful. This can get very taxing due to the accusatory tone that your partner might use because they don’t trust you.
6. You can’t trust them
If you find yourself sneakily going through their phone or you are beginning to shut them out, then it is a sign that you don’t trust your partner or maybe she/he is not trustworthy. Trust, as I mentioned before, is a very important part of a loving relationship. If you are not able to trust them for whatever reason, then that can be a deal breaker.
7. There’s infidelity
With all this lack of trust, the risk of infidelity runs rife, which is another one of the top relationship deal breakers. A 2021 survey by Health Testing Centers polled 441 people and reported that a little over 46% of respondents in a monogamous relationship had affairs. This is damaging to your relationship and a good time to step away.
8. They are disrespectful
Respect is another vital component of a relationship. Disrespect or lack of respect in a relationship usually stems from a power imbalance where one person feels undervalued. This is another deal breaker because, over time, disrespect can lead to resentment and even abuse, creating a cycle of toxic behaviors which causes the relationship to fail.
9. They are violent
If your partner is violent toward you, immediately seek support and run away. This is the most important deal breaker in a relationship and there is never a reason for you to endure it. Violence can include:
- Strangulation, among others
This is never acceptable and you should never compromise on in a relationship.
10. They are abusive
According to the data from World Health Organisation (WHO), 20–75% of people reported experiencing one emotionally abusive act, or more, from a partner in their lifetime and 13–61% reported having experienced physical violence by a partner. Seek support and help if you are in an abusive relationship. This is the biggest deal breaker in a relationship.
11. There’s no sexual compatibility
A Quora user notes, “Sexual compatibility is important in a relationship. Many divorces and breakups happen because the sex was not good. Bad sex could be the result of something else that’s happening in the relationship. Therefore, it is a symptom and not a condition.”
This is a crucial point that they raise, it’s a symptom of a much bigger problem but it is still a valid enough reason for you to decide if the relationship is no longer working for you.
12. They are not ready to put in the effort
Relationships are not an effortless road to fairyland. They need work to keep running like a well-oiled machine. Now when your partner isn’t ready to put in that effort, it’s a major red flag. This means that they are not serious about this relationship. If you are looking for a stable, long-term partnership, this can be one of the top 20 relationship deal breakers for you.
13. They are rude to you and others
When they are rude to strangers and you, it is a sign that your partner might not be the best fit for you. They may also tend to be mean to their family members or yours, which speaks volumes about their character. Derogatory remarks about your appearance, achievements, background and the like are also ways a partner may express their rudeness and you don’t deserve that. This is one of the most hurtful in our list of relationship deal breakers.
Related Reading: How To React When Your Spouse Says Hurtful Things?
14. They are sexist
If your partner is outright or imperceptibly sexist, it’s an insight into their mentality and thinking style. A few signs to look out for can be,
- They belittle you
- They shame you about your body
- They don’t ask for your consent, and
- They make jokes at one gender’s expense
These are traits of a toxic partner. It is completely valid then to take your foot out of the relationship and also a justified deal breaker for you in a relationship.
15. They are racist
Maria, who was in love with a guy who casually passed racist slurs and comments on her and people around her, says that it was very frustrating to see someone she loved derogate her and others. She adds, “It took me a while to realize that this is a deal breaker because I was not raised this way. My voice was shaky but I eventually got out of the relationship.”
16. They don’t know how to manage their anger
Anger is a strong emotion and gets as destructive as wildfire if not managed. Many relationships break because a partner did not know how to deal with anger issues or how to control anger and frustration. If your partner isn’t ready to put in the work to manage these feelings, it’s wise to consider it one of the top relationship deal breakers since it can get abusive as well.
17. You are not a priority for them
If your partner is flaking on you, doesn’t put effort into special occasions, and rejects all the labels, then most probably you are not a priority for them and you might feel just like an option for them. Doesn’t this sound like a deal breaker to you? We all want to be a priority for our significant other and when this need isn’t met, it can lead to resentment and frustration. Is this something you’d want in your relationship?
18. You can’t be yourself around them
Another Quora user says, “I’d rather be alone than be in a relationship if I am not happy. You owe it to yourself (and to him, too), to be completely honest about how things are. A good relationship is open to communication.” I couldn’t have put it any better. If it’s pretentious, it’s going to bring you a lifetime of agony. That’s why not being able to be yourself with a romantic partner is one of the top dating deal breakers.
19. Different relationship goals
When your idea of commitment varies, your 5-year plans don’t match and your current plans aren’t aligned, it is a sign that you both have different relationship goals. When you have different goals, it is going to lead to a lot of dissatisfaction in the relationship. This is a significant one in our list of top 20 deal breakers in a relationship.
Related Reading: Relationship Goals For Me And Bae When We Turn 80
20. Opposing morals and values
If your morals and values are different from your partner’s, you two will run into some hurtful arguments. These arguments will only increase over time, again, leading to resentment and the possibility of turning into a toxic relationship. This is not worth it and is a valid deal breaker in a relationship for guys as well as girls.
- A relationship deal breaker is a behavior, value, or characteristic of your partner that you intrinsically disagree with
- Some of the top relationship deal breakers are that they have a big fat ego, they lie a lot, you can’t trust them and they don’t trust you, and they are never there when you need them
- Violence, abuse, and manipulation are some of the absolute non-negotiables that you must never compromise on
What might be a deal breaker for you, may not be a deal breaker for someone else. In the end, you who have to decide if something is a non-negotiable for you. You can always reach out to someone whose judgment you trust to guide you through this.
However, the decision is going to be yours since you’re the only one who can make them. This isn’t to say that it’ll be easy but you’ll thank yourself for assessing your deal breakers and acting on them.
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