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27 Most Common Relationship Deal Breakers that Push Many Couples Apart

It’s easy to miss these common relationship deal breakers until it’s too late. Pay attention to the signs, and learn when to step away before you get hurt.

relationship deal breakers

A relationship could seem calm and perfect on the outside. But more often than not, it’s never as simple as it appears. You may think you’re the ideal partner who constantly tries to woo their lover or make them feel special.

But unknowingly, you may display a few relationship deal breakers that could be tearing the both of you apart without your notice.

On the same note, your partner may have deal breakers you haven’t seen yet. Keep a lookout and don’t ignore the signs. [Read: 18 subtle but critical signs of an unhealthy relationship!]

What is a relationship deal breaker?

A relationship deal breaker is a situation that the relationship simply cannot survive. There are all sorts of different relationship deal breakers, and they vary from person to person.

Some people consider their partner having a best friend of the opposite sex to be a deal breaker, while others wouldn’t mind at all. The most common deal-breakers are the obvious ones, such as histories of abuse or cheating.

How to identify your deal breakers in a relationship

There are so many little things that play a part in determining whether the relationship is going to last or not. But there are just as many little things that can drive a wedge between the both of you too.

Sometimes, it may be an ego battle that’s played subtly, or at other times, it could be trust issues or even the involvement of a third person that causes an emotional affair to enter into the picture.

Also, it’s not always the big things that always tear a relationship apart, but more often than not, it is the small things that accumulate to create a big issue. [Read: 18 signs you’re having an emotional affair and don’t even know it!]

Sometimes there simply is no compromise. But it is better to know what your deal breakers are to avoid potential disasters instead of continuing the relationship despite the big red flags. [Read: 25 most common dating deal breakers for women every man must avoid]

Some relationship deal-breakers to watch out for!

Every relationship is unique. But if it starts to fall apart, there are several things that can cause the breakdown. You may assume your new relationship is different from the others, but chances are, you’re making the same mistakes that most couples going through a hard time are making! 

So read on for the top relationship deal breakers to look out for- and ones you may already be committing. [Read: Top 20 reasons for divorce that most couples overlook]

1. Cheating

This one seems fairly obvious- don’t sleep with other people when you are in a relationship. But what about emotional cheating? What about your partner’s opposite sex “best friend” who is clearly in love with them?

Sometimes cheating may not always be as cut and dry as it appears, which is why it is such an insidious relationship deal breaker. Do yourself a favor and don’t waste your time and make your life miserable. [Read: Emotional cheating vs friendship – the point when a line is crossed]

2. Making plans on their behalf

Do you unintentionally make decisions on your partner’s behalf? If a friend asks you to meet up, but you already have plans with your partner, do you answer on behalf of your partner and tell your partner about it later?

If your partner finds this particularly annoying and irksome, this is one of the relationship deal breakers you should watch out for in yourself.

You may assume that you making plans on behalf of your partner for any reason at all just shows how well you know your partner. But somewhere along the line, you could be turning into a controlling partner without even realizing it!

If this is you, then you may want to reconsider your actions before you find your partner walking out the door because of this trait. [Read: How to handle and fix controlling behavior in a relationship]

3. Superiority complex

Ah, yes. We’ve all met someone who possesses a superiority complex, but you might not realize you have this trait as a partner! The second you believe you’re better than your partner or that you’re stuck with someone who doesn’t deserve the awesome you, you’re stepping on the threshold of a breakup.

You’re supposed to see your partner as your equal, so the minute you think you’re above them or better than them in some way, you have a superiority complex.

This is a huge relationship deal breaker as there will be an evident lack of partnership and respect throughout your relationship *which isn’t fair at all for your partner*. If left unresolved, this trait could cause a lot of friction against your romantic partner. [Read: 15 off-putting and obnoxious symptoms of narcissism in a person]

4. Clingy partners

There’s a substantial difference between showing your partner some love and having attachment issues. If it’s the latter, it’s a deal-breaker. This will make your partner feel very suffocated by your presence until they have no choice but to walk away.

If on your first date, you’re already out there saying your I love you’s and talking about marriage, you’re scaring your potential mate away.

Learn to give space in the relationship to your partner as soon as you notice you have this undesirable personality trait. It’ll only make your partner come closer to you and love you a lot more! [Read: 21 signs of a clingy girlfriend and how to avoid being one]

5. Airing dirty laundry in public

No, we’re not talking about personal hygiene here, although that could be one of the relationship deal-breakers too.

A relationship is personal and a special bond that’s shared between two lovers. Don’t talk about the things happening in your relationship with anyone else, especially behind your partner’s back. It’s very immature to bitch about your partner after every fight you have.

It’s okay, we’ve all done this, especially when dating at a young age. However, as you grow older, you realize that what happens behind closed doors should strictly just be between the two of you.

It is also important to remember how your partner is viewed by your friends and family. If all you tell people is the negative in your relationship, then they will view your partner negatively.

So be careful when you complain to your friends and family about your partner. You may forgive them, but your friends and family won’t. [Read: Emotional cheating and all the bad things it can do to you]

6. Lack of communication

Do you expect your partner to read your mind all the time? Do you say “I’m fine” when you clearly aren’t? If something bothers you, be honest about it.

Of course, when you’re upset, giving your lover the silent treatment feels so much better because you intuitively want to hurt them for hurting you.

But the truth is, your passive-aggressiveness isn’t going to help your relationship. This is one of the relationship deal breakers you should change about yourself when you realize you tend to do this to your partner.

They’re not mind readers, no matter how much you want them to be. And it’ll only infuriate your partner more with each new incident! You have to let your partner know how you feel to avoid potential problems. [Read: How to use the silent treatment correctly and improve your communication instantly]

7. Confrontational lovers

Learn to communicate without appearing like you’re always ready to pick a fight with your partner. If your partner tells you something you don’t want to hear, do you try to listen to their side of the story, or do you go, “what did you just say?!”

On the flip side, if you feel like everything you say to your partner starts a fight, it might be time to end the relationship. A relationship is supposed to make your life better, not worse. Life is too short for constant bickering. [Read: Whoa there! Signs you’re coming on way too strong]

8. Condescending and negative behavior

Do you put your partner down without even realizing it? Sometimes, you may think you’re being funny when you point flaws at your lover and show just how dumb they were for making such a silly mistake.

Do you feel like you and your partner are always “keeping score” and using them to fight dirty? Do you feel your partner cannot wait to criticize you at every turn?

If your answers to these questions point toward a “yes” and your partner shows a lack of respect for you, you might want to save some self-respect and determine if your relationship is really worth it.

A relationship should be about supporting each other, not putting one another down. Tolerating this kind of behavior will only give you a tough time and will affect your emotional well-being in the long run. [Read: Secret signs of a relationship that’s starting to go bad]

9. Drama in your life

Some people just don’t like a calm and stress-free lifestyle. They unintentionally find a way to bring on more problems over themselves and expect their partner to hear them out or deal with it. 

So if you find a way to create unnecessary drama in your relationship or make a fuss out of even the little things, you might want to check yourself and do something about it. [Read: 16 attention whore signs to watch out for]

10. Any form of abuse

This should be pretty obvious, but you should never let your partner have to tolerate any kind of abuse in your relationship like physical, mental, or emotional. If there is evident abuse, toxicity, or manipulation, this is one of the biggest deal-breakers included in relationships you shouldn’t ever ignore.

It’s easy for your partner to give you the benefit of the doubt even when there’s clearly manipulation, all because they love you wholeheartedly. However, it’s one of the top deal-breakers for a reason.

No scenario excuses abuse of any kind- including manipulation. It signals you’re bad for one another, and it’s time to let one another go.

Also, you shouldn’t even be abusing your partner in any way if you truly love them. Seek help from professionals so that you can become a better person before entering any relationship. [Read: Emotional abuse signs – how to spot an emotional abuser]

11. Substance abuse

In a way, substance abuse in a relationship is like cheating. Except instead of cheating on you with another human being, your partner is cheating on you with their addiction that slowly deteriorates their physical and mental health.

An addict cannot love fully, they are too enmeshed in the whirlwind of addiction, this is why it should be one of your non-negotiables.

12. Your relationship is a secret

There’s a big difference between simply being a private person and going out of your way to pretend your relationship is a secret.

If you pretend that your relationship doesn’t exist and your social media doesn’t have a single trace of your long-term partner on your feed, this is an evident deal breaker and a recipe for disaster. [Read: Secret relationship – why would someone want to keep things low key?]

13. Passive aggressiveness

Passive aggressiveness isn’t healthy in any relationship, and it will be detrimental to your communication and growth.

Do you tend to tell your partner that “it’s okay,” but hold resentment and anger deep inside? Does your partner shut down when they’re upset, instead of just telling you what is wrong like a grown-up?

You need to do something about this as early as possible before it ruins your relationship with someone who’s like that as a whole. Learn to communicate even your difficult feelings because otherwise, you’re building a wall between both of you. [Read: How to deal with passive aggressive behavior calmly & with class]

14. Selfishness and refusal to compromise

There is absolutely no room for selfishness when it comes to love. So if you’re looking for deal-breakers in a relationship to observe in yourself, this is one of those. If you’re selfish and you always want things their way without considering how to meet them halfway, it’s a red flag on your behalf.

While a relationship can never be perfectly 50/50, you need to at least agree to a compromise with your romantic partner. If you or your partner doesn’t want to compromise, your relationship is pretty much doomed to failure. [Read: Signs you’re being selfish in the relationship]

15. You are not empathetic towards each other

Love alone is not enough to make a romantic relationship work. You also need compassion, forgiveness, understanding, and most importantly, you need to have empathy for each other. Even if you struggle with it, you need to at least attempt to see where your partner is coming from in an argument.

16. Anger issues

Anger is a normal thing – human even. However, the way you express your anger is what differentiates healthy anger and someone with temper issues. If you’re looking for relationship deal breakers to look out for in yourself, this is one of those that cannot be overlooked.

A healthy relationship is not violent. It does not involve yelling, screaming, and cursing at your partner. It especially does not involve childish fits of rage.

Remember, your emotions shouldn’t control you, especially something as powerful as anger. If you see this in a potential partner, it’s a huge warning sign to run! [Read: How to stop being angry – free your mind and stop hurting yourself]

17. Lack of trust

In order to be in a relationship, you need to trust your partner. You cannot watch them 24/7 or keep them on a leash. You need to know that they are going to be true to you whether you are watching them or not.

If you can’t see your partner as a trustworthy person, you should just break up now. It doesn’t matter why you can’t trust them.

It could be that they have betrayed your trust before, or it could be that you are just a suspicious and controlling person. If that is the case, you need to work on yourself. There is no committed relationship without trust and respect.

What is a personal deal breaker in a relationship?

Personal deal breakers might be some of the less obvious ones. While the reasoning for dumping a physically abusive or addicted partner is obvious, personal deal breakers are just as valid a reason for ending a relationship. Read on to learn some common personal deal breakers.

18. Differing opinions on having a family

Compromise is the cornerstone of any good relationship, but there are some things you just cannot compromise on. Having children is one of those things. You cannot “sort of ” have a baby.

If one of you wants kids and the other hates the thought of seeing kids every day, no one is wrong. But it is still one of the major deal-breakers in a relationship.

19. Hating your partner’s friends

Sure, you can think your partner’s friends are kind of annoying from time to time *especially if you have to be the designated driver after picking them up from the bar*. But if you hate your partner’s friends or vice versa, then you have a major problem.

See, the friends were there first. And it is totally unreasonable to ask your partner to ditch all of their lifelong friends. So if you really, really hate your partner’s bestie, then it’s a relationship deal breaker. [Read: Fake friends – 42 signs & ways to tell them apart from real friends who care]

20. Spending habits

Some people can amass credit card debt with no problem. Others get hives even thinking about overspending. These two people should not date each other.

Nothing destroys a happy relationship faster than poverty. If you two cannot agree on spending and saving habits, you should just leave the relationship now.

Otherwise, you will be shackled to debt and deeply resentful of your partner. [Read: How to talk about money with your partner without fighting about It]

21. Fundamental beliefs

Fundamental beliefs are things like religious affiliations, political beliefs, and social beliefs. These beliefs are part of who you are as a person, and cannot be compromised on.

For example, if one of you is a starch environmentalist and the other is a conspiracy theorist who thinks that climate change doesn’t exist, that relationship is doomed to failure.

Religion is an important point that cannot be compromised on, especially if you have strong opposing views. It is better to find someone that your fundamental beliefs align with than attempt to fight through these deal breakers in an effort to stay.

22. Ambition difference

This is a less obvious potential romantic relationship deal breaker. If one of you is very ambitious with big dreams for the future, they might also want an ambitious partner.

If that’s the case, they are not going to be happy with a less ambitious partner. This is a classic case of mismatched values, where no one is “right” or “wrong.” It is just a relationship deal breaker that you cannot work through.

23. Adventurous vs homebody

This might seem nit-picky, but it’s a very valid relationship deal breaker. If one partner loves to travel, explore, and go on adventures, they need to find a partner who wants to do the same.

A homebody is not going to be happy being repeatedly dragged out of their comfort zone, and the adventurous person is going to be miserably trapped at home.

Your partner should encourage you to be your authentic self and if you cannot find a compromise, it will be a deal breaker. [Read: Signs you’re a homebody who needs to get out more]

24. Cleanliness

One of the most common things couples fight about is different expectations of basic levels of cleanliness around the home. Everyone has differing ideas of what “clean” means, and you should figure out if you and your partner are on the same page early on.

Otherwise, one partner is going to spend all their time cleaning up after the other, which will quickly erode the relationship. After all, you want a partner- not a child you have to clean up after.

25. Different sex drives

This is why you shouldn’t wait until you get married to have sex. You could discover that one of you wants sex daily, while the other would prefer to have sex only once or twice a month.

Sure, you could compromise, but nothing takes the fun out of sex like turning it into a mandatory chore. Everyone is much happier with a partner who has a sex drive that matches theirs. [Read: How to increase sex drive in women- libido boosting methods]

26. Differing diets

A vegan and a carnivore are not a happy pairing. Neither is a couple where one is a super picky eater and the other loves to try new restaurants.

Differing diets is a great example of a personal relationship deal breaker, because it’s something that is important to you that you are not willing to compromise on.

27. Long distance

Lots of people can make long-distance relationships work for a short period of time. But if you are hours apart indefinitely, it would be harder to find an intimate time. Most people are not willing to date someone they cannot actually spend time with.

Can you compromise on relationship deal breakers?

Every relationship is different. Some people love each other enough to work through these common deal breakers. That being said, some differences are just too great. Sometimes it is easier to say goodbye to someone you love but aren’t compatible with.

[Read: 30 relationship rules you need to follow for a happy relationship]

These deal breakers in a relationship may seem like little things that don’t really play a big part in the happiness of a relationship. However, it’s essential to ensure that your relationship keeps thriving as a happy and healthy one. 

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...