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21 Relationship Deal Breakers to Watch Out For

When it comes to relationships, we often focus on what we want from a partner and what makes us happy. However, it is equally important to identify what is not acceptable in a relationship. That’s why it’s essential to know what your relationship deal breakers are. In navigating the dynamics of intimate relationships, individuals often encounter challenges and stumbling blocks along the way. These barriers, arising from varying reasons, can jeopardize the foundation of trust, mutual respect, and understanding essential for any relationship to flourish.

Relationship Deal Breakers

When it comes to relationships, we often focus on what we want from a partner and what makes us happy. However, it is equally important to identify what is not acceptable in a relationship. That’s why it’s essential to know what your relationship deal breakers are. In navigating the dynamics of intimate relationships, individuals often encounter challenges and stumbling blocks along the way. These barriers, arising from varying reasons, can jeopardize the foundation of trust, mutual respect, and understanding essential for any relationship to flourish.

We’ve all heard the saying, “love is blind,” and it’s true. When we are in love, we tend to overlook or make excuses for behaviors that may actually be deal breakers. So, how do you know when a behavior should be considered a deal breaker? Everyone has different limits and boundaries of what is and isn’t acceptable in a relationship. Identifying your deal breakers can help you avoid unnecessary heartache and find a healthy, fulfilling relationship.

In this blog, we look at 21 common relationship deal breakers that you should be aware of and consider when evaluating your current or future relationships. We also look at what relationship deal breakers are and how to identify your own. Let’s dive in!

What are relationship deal breakers?

Deal breakers are the qualities or behaviors that you cannot tolerate in a partner and would lead you to end the relationship. These can range from serious issues like cheating or abuse to smaller things that may simply not align with your core values or future goals. Basically, they are the non-negotiables in a relationship.

It’s important to remember that deal breakers are personal and can vary from person to person. What may be a deal breaker for you may not be for someone else, and vice versa. Therefore, it’s crucial to identify your own deal breakers based on your core beliefs and past experiences.

How to identify your relationship deal breakers

Identifying your relationship deal breakers may require some self-reflection and honesty. Here are some steps to help you identify your relationship deal breakers:

1. Reflect on your past relationships: Think about the reasons why your previous relationships ended. Were there certain behaviors or traits in your partner that you couldn’t tolerate? These could be potential deal breakers for you in future relationships.

2. Consider your values and beliefs: Your values and beliefs shape who you are and what you want in a relationship. Think about the qualities and behaviors that align with your values and those that don’t. This can help you identify relationship deal breakers related to character, morals, and lifestyle.

Relationship deal breakers - Communicate

3. Pay attention to your gut feeling: Sometimes, our instincts can tell us when something is wrong in a relationship. If something doesn’t feel right or makes you uncomfortable, it could be a potential relationship deal breaker. Trust your intuition and listen to your gut feeling.

4. Communicate with your partner: It’s important to have open and honest communication with your partner about what is and isn’t acceptable in the relationship. Discussing deal breakers can help avoid misunderstandings and ensure that both partners are on the same page. It also allows you to understand their boundaries and deal breakers.

5. Read the list below and consider if any of these are deal breakers for you: Understanding common relationship deal breakers can help you identify your own. Read the list below and decide which of these would be a deal breaker in your relationships. Then, when the time comes, you will know your boundaries and be able to communicate them clearly and confidently with your partner.

21 Relationship deal breakers

1. Lack of communication

Words left unspoken breed discontent and misunderstanding. When communication becomes sparse or worse, deteriorates into passive-aggressiveness, it’s time to reform the dialogue. Encourage open talk, active listening, and an environment of respect, even when opinions differ. Communication is the foundation of a healthy relationship.

2. Cheating

The sacred trust of monogamy can be irreparably shattered by infidelity. While many couples can work through cheating, for some, it is an immediate relationship deal breaker. Cheating can erode the foundations of a relationship and lead to feelings of insecurity and resentment. It’s vital to address the root causes leading to such actions and to decide if a rebuild of trust is possible or if it’s time to part ways. Quite often, people think they will be able to forgive cheating, but in reality, it can lead to long-lasting emotional trauma, and the relationship may not be salvageable.

3. Financial secrets

Money matters are often at the heart of many breakups, especially when one partner keeps significant financial secrets. Has your partner racked up a significant amount of debt without informing you? Do they have hidden bank accounts or investments? It’s understandable if these secrets cause trust issues and could be a deal breaker for some. Establishing transparency in your financial dealings can significantly quell future disputes.

4. Substance abuse

Drug and alcohol abuse can damage the relationship, causing pain and heartache for both partners. Substance abuse can lead to broken promises, financial strain, and health problems that affect not only the abuser but also their partner. It’s essential to address these issues before they escalate and cause irreparable harm to a relationship. If possible, you can work together to seek help, but it’s also essential to protect your own well-being. And if it becomes a recurring issue, it may be time to walk away.

5. Misalignment of core values

Deep-seated beliefs and values form the compass by which individuals steer their lives. A relationship in which these are fundamentally at odds may find continual strife, making a healthy coexistence challenging. This might include conflicting religious views, political opinions, views on abortion, or even where to live. It’s important to discuss and compromise on these issues early on in the relationship to avoid potential deal breakers down the line.

Relationship deal breakers - Communicate

6. Disrespect

Kindness and respect are fundamental building blocks in a solid relationship. Whether displayed through snide remarks, passive neglect, or outright verbal abuse, any form of disrespect can gnaw away at even the strongest foundation. If your partner consistently shows a lack of respect towards you or others, it may be a sign to reevaluate the relationship.

7. Lack of emotional support

Partners should be each other’s biggest supporters, providing love, comfort, and understanding in times of need. If your partner is emotionally unavailable or unwilling to provide support when you need it most, it can leave you feeling alone and unfulfilled in the relationship. Healthy communication and emotional support are essential for a relationship to thrive. Therefore, a lack of emotional support can be a significant deal breaker for many individuals.

8. Different life goals

Having different life goals is not an immediate death knell for a relationship, but when they are fundamentally misaligned, it can be hard to find a compromise that satisfies both parties without major sacrifice. Things like one partner wanting children or marriage while the other doesn’t don’t mesh well in the long run. It can lead to long-term resentment when one person sacrifices their goals for the other. It’s essential to discuss and understand your partner’s life goals before committing to a serious relationship.

9. Lack of intimacy

Intimacy is an essential aspect of a romantic relationship, and when it’s missing, it can be a significant deal breaker. This doesn’t just refer to physical intimacy but also emotional connection and closeness. When partners stop making an effort to connect and share their lives with each other, it can lead to a sense of loneliness and disconnection. Check out navigating the complexities of a sexless relationship for more information on this relationship deal breaker.

10. Abuse

Abuse in any form, whether physical, emotional, or sexual, is never acceptable and should always be a deal breaker. No one deserves to be mistreated, and it’s vital to seek help and remove yourself from such a toxic situation as soon as possible. It’s never your fault, and you deserve to be in a safe and loving relationship.

11. Lack of trust

Trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship, and when it’s broken, it can be challenging to rebuild. Whether due to past infidelity or other actions that have eroded your trust, a lack of belief in your partner can lead to constant doubt and insecurity, ultimately destroying the relationship. It’s essential to address and work through trust issues early on in a relationship to avoid it becoming a deal breaker later on.

Relationship deal breakers - Apathy

12. Apathy

Growing disinterested or indifferent towards the relationship and its partner can signal an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. It’s crucial to discuss these feelings openly and with compassion. Apathy can be a deal breaker when it leads to neglect and a lack of effort in maintaining the relationship. As a result, if both partners are not willing to put in the work to reignite their passion and commitment, it may be time to reevaluate if the relationship is worth salvaging.

13. Controlling behavior

A healthy relationship should be built on mutual respect and trust, not control or manipulation. If your partner consistently exhibits controlling behavior, such as monitoring your every move or trying to isolate you from friends and family, it can lead to a toxic and unhealthy dynamic. It’s crucial to establish boundaries and address any controlling behaviors before they become relationship deal breakers.

14. Discrepancies in contributions

Whether in household chores, emotional labor, or finances, feeling like one partner is carrying more than their fair share can breed resentment. If one partner consistently feels like they are doing more, it can lead to feelings of being taken advantage of and can ultimately become a deal breaker. Open communication about expectations and contributions is key. It’s important for both partners to contribute equally and with a sense of fairness in the relationship.

15. Jealousy and possessiveness

While some levels of jealousy can be natural in a relationship, extreme levels of possessiveness and controlling behavior can be toxic and even abusive. Some people believe jealousy proves you care, but this is a toxic mentality that can lead to controlling and manipulative behavior. It’s vital to set boundaries and address possessive tendencies before they become a deal breaker in the relationship.

16. Dishonesty

Lies, whether big or small, can erode trust. Maintaining honesty, even when the truth might be painful, is crucial for maintaining credibility and a strong, lasting bond with your partner. If you consistently catch your partner in lies or half-truths, it may be a sign that the relationship is not built on a strong foundation of honesty.

17. Constant criticism

Constructive criticism is essential for growth and self-improvement, but constant negative feedback can wear down a person’s self-esteem and cause resentment towards their partner. If your partner constantly belittles you or criticizes your every move, it can lead to a toxic dynamic and damage the relationship. It’s essential to communicate openly and respectfully with your partner about how their criticism makes you feel.

Constant criticism

18. Consistently selfish

Selfishness is a trait that can be challenging to change, and when one partner consistently puts their needs above others, it can lead to feelings of neglect and resentment. A healthy relationship requires compromise and selflessness from both partners and when this balance is not present, it can become a deal breaker. It’s crucial to communicate and address any selfish behaviors in a relationship to maintain a strong and happy bond.

19. Incompatibility

Different values, beliefs, and interests can lead to significant conflict in a relationship. While some differences can be beneficial, it’s essential to have shared core values and interests that align for a healthy and fulfilling relationship. If you find that you and your partner are fundamentally incompatible, it may be time to re-evaluate the relationship before it becomes a relationship deal breaker.

20. Feelings for someone else

Developing feelings for someone outside of the relationship or holding a torch for an ex-partner can be a significant deal breaker. It’s essential to communicate these feelings openly and honestly with your partner and work towards finding a resolution, whether that is through therapy or separating. Ignoring these feelings or acting on them without discussing them with your partner can lead to betrayal and damage the trust in your relationship.

21. Refusal to work on the relationship

Every relationship requires work, commitment, and a willingness to grow together. When one partner consistently shies away from this, it may be time to reassess the viability of the partnership. Refusal to work on the relationship or make any efforts towards improvement shows a lack of investment and can ultimately become a deal breaker. It’s crucial for both partners to actively work on the relationship for it to thrive and last.

Final thoughts on relationship deal breakers

Every relationship is unique and has its own set of challenges. While some deal breakers are universal, others may vary depending on the individuals involved. It’s crucial to communicate openly and honestly with your partner about any issues that arise and work towards finding solutions together.

Identifying your dealbreakers and addressing them early on can help avoid larger problems down the road. It’s also essential to reassess your boundaries and deal breakers periodically as individuals and relationships evolve. Things you thought may never be relevant in your relationship, like cheating, may become deal breakers, and it’s important to address them accordingly.

Ultimately, a healthy and fulfilling relationship is built on mutual respect, trust, and effort from both partners. So, it’s important to address any deal breakers early on and work towards a strong and lasting bond. With open communication and a willingness to work through challenges, many relationship deal breakers can be overcome. However, if a deal breaker cannot be resolved, it may be time to re-evaluate the relationship and consider moving on for the sake of both individuals’ happiness and well-being.

Distant couple

Remember, you deserve to be in a relationship that makes you happy and fulfilled, so don’t be afraid to set boundaries and walk away if necessary. Trust your instincts and prioritize your emotional and physical well-being in any relationship. Ultimately, only you can determine what constitutes a deal breaker for you. But make sure you respect your own boundaries and don’t compromise on them for the sake of staying in a relationship.

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