Relationship Deal Breakers: What are YOURS?

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

relationship deal breakers

In this week’s Love Essentially, published today in Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press, I did a survey, asking over 3000 men and women on Facebook what their relationship deal breakers are.

Survey Reveals Top 20 Deal Breakers in a Relationship  by Jackie Pilossoph

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.

But what happens when you discover something about him or her and you know in your heart you just can’t live with it? Often described as a deal breaker, his or her behavior can be horrifying, extremely disappointing, really scary or gut-wrenchingly sad. A deal breaker is the realization that your only choice is to break up because you know the person won’t or can’t change.

Everyone’s 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. Here are the 20 most popular deal breakers:




Someone trying to change me

Harsh critic

Big drinker


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

Someone who lives with his mother

A pot smoker

Someone who thinks sex is an annoying obligation


A guy who wears jean shorts

Someone who values money over love

Someone who is mean

Someone who is dirty/slovenly

Nutty family


Someone prone to addictions

Someone unemployed for long periods of time

Some of these might seem silly. Others are serious issues. But all are qualities, habits, addictions, character flaws or circumstances that people just can’t or simply don’t want to live with.

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:

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

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

Loyal, honest and willing to work through issues


Buy novels by Jackie Pilossoph


Someone who likes me for who I am

Someone who makes me feel loved and protected

Someone I respect and look up to

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

A giver

The thing about deal breakers and deal sealers is…Click here to read the rest of the column, published today in Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press!




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Jackie Pilossoph

Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

Divorce is a journey. Live it with grace, courage and gratitude. Peace and joy are on the way! Jackie Pilossoph is the creator and Editor-In-Chief of Divorced Girl Smiling. 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.

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