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

By Michael Puskar|Updated July 12, 2022
CheckedMedically 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 partner. However, something unfortunate happens that leaves a bad taste in your mouth, causing you to lose interest and doubt the chances of a serious relationship developing.

This article will discuss some of the biggest and most common deal breakers in dating. The goal is to help you decide whether to reconsider seeing this person or whether it would be better to end things for good.  

  1. Chronic Lateness

Not Sure If You Should Cut Off The Relationship?
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Dating someone late all the time can get old after a while and can be a deal-breaker. Some people are happy to make an exception for being late for a date if the person has an actual excuse; others, however, might find it disrespectful even if you're a few minutes 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. Everyone is late occasionally when there are things beyond their control, but chronic lateness could be a red flag and a sign of disrespect.

  1. Smoking, Drinking, And Drugs

Unless otherwise stated, substances can be a major deal-breaker for many people. While drinking alcohol tends to be more acceptable than smoking cigarettes or doing drugs, substance use disorder can certainly cause concern. Compared to alcohol, however, a smoking habit or other drug addiction is more frequently cited as a deal-breaker when it comes to dating.

  1. Lack Of Hygiene And Self-Care

If you go on a date and it seems like the person you're seeing didn't bother to put themselves together, this may be a red flag. Some would even argue that this could be grounds for dismissal in shorter- and longer-term relationships. It's possible that someone who does this doesn't have self-respect or respect for you. This lack of consideration could signal future problems and maybe a deal-breaker depending on how much it bothers you.

  1. Racism & Other Forms Of Bigotry

For most people, any signs of racism or bigotry are understandably a huge red flag. Unfortunately, this doesn't necessarily come up in early dates and might reveal itself later on once you have gotten to know each other. Regardless of how many dates you have been on, if you find that the person you are seeing is a racist or a bigot, it's best to move on and look for someone more tolerant of others.

  1. Political Opinions

Racism and bigotry are obvious deal breakers, but even simple political differences can cause problems in relationships. If you and your date have strong opinions on opposite sides of issues, this could very well be a deal-breaker. That said, some couples can work past having different political opinions and reach enough common ground.

  1. Having Multiple Relationships

If you are dating someone who sees other people aside from yourself, you may want to break things off with that person because it tells you that they are not fully invested in you. It is one of the biggest deal-breakers out there. This topic applies to already married people, 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 with strangers 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, as 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, especially because your immediate health and safety are at risk. Even if the abuse wasn't directed at you either, or perhaps someone has informed you that your date has a history of it, you should proceed with caution and strongly consider removing this person from your life.

If you are facing or witnessing abuse of any kind, the National Domestic Violence Hotline is available. Call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or Text "START" to 88788. You can also use the online chat

  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 fulfilling that role 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 a child, for example.

  1. Messiness

While it doesn't seem as severe as some of the other items in this list of deal-breakers, 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

Sometimes, there is a fine line between wanting affection or showing concern and being overly dependent. For example, if this person never stops texting or calling you, and you don't feel the same passion, this might be a deal-breaker. If they don't seem to have any hobbies or passions or life beyond your relationship, this could also be a red flag.

  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 dependency in that it is more rational; therefore, try to determine if these trust issues are legitimate or possibly you're overthinking it.

  1. Bad In Bed & Impotence

Sexual incompatibility is quite logically a deal-breaker for many people. After all, it can be hard to envision a serious, long-term relationship together if you have no romantic or sexual compatibility. There are different strokes for different folks, so you're likely better off finding someone with whom you feel comfortably and strongly compatible on a sexual and romantic level.

  1. A Lack Of Confidence

One of the biggest deal breakers in relationships is displaying little to no confidence. You don't need to be boastful and arrogant, as these are also qualities that people dislike; instead, you need to trust your ability to do things and try to be comfortable in your skin. Before others can depend on you, you need to rely on yourself.


Not Sure If You Should Cut Off The Relationship?

A list of the biggest deal-breakers will typically vary from person to person, but this article has provided 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 avoid when dating someone. If you struggle with any of these, counseling and therapy may help you address them. For example, if you have any issues such as anger, confidence, or trust issues, therapy will allow you to work on them safely and healthily.

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.

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