Relationship Deal Breakers: What are YOURS?

relationship dealbreakers

By Jackie Pilossoph, Creator and Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling site, podcast and app, Love Essentially columnist and author

What is a relationship deal breaker? Relationship deal breakers are things that someone isn’t willing to tolerate in the relationship; something that they can’t live with, something that they don’t want to live with, and/or something that makes it feel like it’s better to be without the person than to stay.

Relationship dealbreakers cause breakups and divorces. They can cause anger and sadness and tears and heartbreak, but dealbreakers can also be uncovered at the beginning of a relationship.

A deal breaker can be something the person does that is disappointing, scary, sad, annoying or even horrifying. You know the person isn’t going to change, or you have asked the person to change and he or she can’t or won’t so the only option is out!


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Everyone’s relationship deal breakers are unique personal choices. I know what my deal breakers are, but I was curious to hear what others had to say on the subject. So, I reached out to over 3,000 men and women on Facebook and asked, “What are your relationship dealbreakers?”

Here are the 20 most popular relationship deal breakers:

1. Cheating.

2. Dishonesty.

3. Smoking.

4. Someone trying to change me.

5. Harsh critic.

6. Big drinker.

7. Lazy.

8. Someone who hasn’t evolved or done the work on himself/herself.

9. Someone who lives with his mother.

10. A pot smoker.


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11. Someone who thinks sex is an annoying obligation.

12. Abusive.

13. A guy who wears jean shorts.

14. Someone who values money over love.

15. Someone who is mean.

16. Someone who is dirty/slovenly.

17. Nutty family.

18. Arrogance.


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19. Someone prone to addictions.

20. Someone unemployed for long periods of time.

Some of these might seem silly. Others are serious issues. A relationship dealbreaker can be everything from bad habits to addictions to annoyances or just something quirky.

Remember this. In every romantic relationship, there are things about the other person that bother us, annoy us and even drive us a little crazy. He leaves his dirty socks on the floor. She takes two hours to get ready for a party. He is glued to the couch during football season with the exception of answering the door for the pizza delivery guy.

Perfection in any relationship is impossible, but if we love someone enough, we are wiling to overlook certain things and instead appreciate all the wonderful attributes that make it work.

In closing, so as not to dwell on negativity, I decided to ask this same group of people what their deal sealers are – in other words, what factors would have them diving into a relationship?

Responses included these 10:

1. Someone who actually does what they say they are going to do

2. Someone with quiet confidence who is happily self-reliant, present focused and sees the humor in being human.

3. Loyal, honest and willing to work through issues.

4. Confident.



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5. Consistency.

6. Someone who likes me for who I am.

7. Someone who makes me feel loved and protected.

8. Someone I respect and look up to.

9. Someone I feel I can trust as much as I trust my own family.

10. A giver.

In closing, remember to NEVER settle and ignore your relationship dealbreakers.  Keep seeking your deal sealers!! You deserve that.

Like this article? Check out “9 Signs of a Healthy Romantic Relationship”


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    Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

    Divorced Girl Smiling is here to empower, connect and inspire you. Jackie Pilossoph is the creator and Editor-In-Chief of Divorced Girl Smiling, the site, the podcast and the app. A former television journalist and newspaper features reporter, Pilossoph is also the author of four novels and the writer of her weekly relationship column, Love Essentially. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism and lives in Chicago with her two teenagers. The author of the novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly dating and relationships advice column, “Love Essentially”, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press and the Chicago Tribune online. Additionally, she is a Huffington Post contributor. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University.

    One Response to “Relationship Deal Breakers: What are YOURS?”

    1. Dor

      Relationship deal breakers and sealers were right on.
      I would add mental illness, bipolar specifically. This is very difficult to deal with even with someone on meds.


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