Is It A Deal Breaker? 15 Reasons To Call Off A Potential Relationship

By: Michael Puskar

Updated July 07, 2021

Medically Reviewed By: Audrey Kelly, LMFT

So, you've gone on a date or two, possibly more, and things seem to be going smoothly between you and the person you've been seeing. In fact, you may even consider them your ideal mate. However, something unfortunate happens that leaves a bad taste in your mouth, causing you to lose interest and toss aside any possible chances of a relationship. This article will discuss some of the most common and biggest deal breakers in dating so that you can either re-consider seeing the person again or as a guide to things you should avoid doing if you want to increase your chances of having a lasting relationship.


  1. Chronic Lateness

Dating someone late all the time can get old and annoying after a while and can be one of the deal breakers in a relationship. Some people can make an exception for being late for a date if the person has an actual valid excuse; however, others might find it disrespectful even if you're late for the first meet-up. If you notice a pattern of lateness with a person, you may consider calling it quits on them if it bothers you enough.

  1. Smoking, Drinking, And Drugs

Unless otherwise stated, the use of substances can be a major deal-breaker for many people. While drinking alcohol tends to be more acceptable than smoking cigarettes or doing drugs, its abuse can certainly be a cause of concern. However, compared to alcohol, having a smoking habit or a drug addiction is more frequently cited as a deal-breaker in dating. [1]

  1. Lack Of Hygiene And Self-Care

If you go on a date and it seems that the person you're seeing didn't bother to put themselves together to give you a good impression, this is often grounds for dismissal in both short and long-term relationships. [1] This is because not only do they not respect themselves enough, but they also are not being considerate of how you might feel either, and can be a major deal-breaker.

  1. Racism & Other Forms Of Bigotry

For most people, any sign of intolerance towards groups of people from the person they are dating is a huge problem. Unfortunately, this one doesn't typically come up in the first dates and often reveals itself later on after you are comfortable with each other. Regardless of how many dates you are on if you find that the person you are seeing is a racist or a bigot, it's a good idea to move on and look for someone more tolerant of others.

  1. Political Opinions

Although racism and bigotry are legitimate talking points in today's political climate, having different political ideologies can consist of many more things that people feel strongly about. If their dates don't align with them, this can be a deal-breaker. However, some couples can sometimes work past the potential issues with differing political opinions and reach some common ground.


  1. Having Multiple Relationships

If you are dating someone who is seeing other people aside from yourself, and you are not okay with that, it is common to break things off with that person because it often tells you that they cannot be trusted and are not fully invested in you. It is one of the biggest deal-breakers out there. This topic also applies to people who are already married as well, which can be tricky to realize at first if the person you are seeing takes off their ring when meeting with you.

  1. Promiscuity & STD/STIs

A person doesn't necessarily need to be in a relationship with someone else to be intimate with another person besides yourself. Promiscuity or sleeping around with different partners is a major deal-breaker for most people. Being promiscuous or associating with someone puts people at risk for contracting STD/STIs. While many, but not all, can be managed, it is still a valid health concern that people would prefer not to have to deal with at all.

  1. Having Anger Issues

It's completely normal to become frustrated and get angry every so often, but if it's persistent, there could be some underlying issues that need to be fixed. If you're not married to the person, you aren't under any obligation to help them. Many people in relationships will work through anger issues. Still, those who notice it early on will often see it as a deal-breaker because it can potentially open up another can of worms, discussed in the next section.

  1. Physical And Emotional Abuse

Having anger problems that aren't managed and put under control can sometimes lead to abuse, and if for some reason the person you are seeing lashed out at you, or in the worst-case scenario, put their hands on you and tried to hurt you, you need to leave immediately. It is another deal-breaker that no one should have to put up with because your immediate health and safety are at risk. However, abuse doesn't necessarily need to be directed at you either, and perhaps someone has informed you that your date has a history of it and that you should either move on or be very careful.


  1. Having Kids Or Not Wanting To Have Any At All

Finding out that your potential love interest has already had children is a very common deal-breaker. Some people worry that they will have to take on the role of a parent and start providing even early on in the relationship, despite being told otherwise. Conversely, if they don't want to have kids, it can be an issue for those who would like to be a parent in the future. Although it’s one of the biggest deal-breakers out there, there is the possibility of compromise, such as through adopting an older child, for example.

  1. Messiness

While it doesn't seem as severe in nature as some of the other items in this list of deal breakers in relationships, dating someone who is untidy can irritate those who prefer to keep things clean, neat, and orderly if you are in the early stages of dating, you can decide whether you like the person enough to stay with them or not, but always consider the possibility that you might have to clean up after them if you decide to commit to something long-term.

  1. Being Clingy

There is sometimes a fine line between wanting affection or showing concern and being overly needy. Some examples of being clingy can include: texting them constantly, even if they aren't responding, getting upset because they aren't getting back to you right away, and overanalyzing everything. [3] Dating someone clingy will get tiring very quickly, and it can indicate that they don't completely trust you, which could end up being a deal-breaker.

  1. Untrustworthiness

Trust is a significant part of any healthy, functioning, and happy relationship, and if you think that the person has given you a reason that they cannot be trusted, you should move on and find someone that can be. This differs from the mistrust seen in clinginess in that it is more rational; therefore, try to determine if these trust issues are legitimate or possibly in your head.

  1. Bad In Bed & Impotence

Being bad in bed is a very general term that can describe multiple things. For instance, a person might be inexperienced and not know what to do. Someone can be experienced and only care about themselves and disregard the needs of the person they are with; this could be a potential deal-breaker. Sometimes these issues can be caused by low libido and impotence, which can, thankfully, be resolved with medications. Nonetheless, intimacy is an important part of many relationships, and if they are unwilling to address these problems, that's when it's often a deal-breaker.

  1. A Lack Of Confidence


One of the biggest deal breakers in relationships is displaying little to no confidence, and while the issue might be brought up more often by women, the truth is, it actually goes both ways. You don't need to be boastful and arrogant, as these are also qualities that people also dislike; instead, you need to trust in your own ability to do things and try to be comfortable in your own skin. [3] Before others can depend on you, you need to be able to rely on yourself.


A list of the biggest deal-breakers can vary from person to person, but this article has given you a list of some of the most common ones that can put an end to a relationship.

Hopefully, it also gives you an idea of what you should also avoid when dating someone. If you happen to struggle with any of these, counseling and therapy can address numerous problems such as anger, confidence, and trust issues.

At ReGain, licensed professionals are available online who can help improve your chances of having the best relationship possible, and luckily, most of the biggest deal breakers are things that can be resolved with some effort.

However, everyone has the right to end a relationship for whatever reason they seem fit. If you find any of these to be a deal-breaker in your current relationship, by all means, you can end it, especially if you've attempted to help fix the problems.


  1. Seidman, G. (2015, October 17). The Top 10 Relationship Deal Breakers. Retrieved from
  2. Goldsztajn, I. (2015, March 13). 7 Signs You're Too Clingy. Retrieved from
  3. David, T. (2016, December 19). Confident or Cocky? Retrieved from

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