What do you consider to be a dealbreaker in a budding relationship?

Suppose you are dating someone, and after a few dates you start to feel a real love connection with them and you occasionally catch your subconscious already daydreaming of wedding bells, an exotic honeymoon, and what your kids will look like.
Then one day, you run into your love’s best friend at a coffee shop, and after a long discussion you learn that he/she is a ___________.
What would YOU put in that blank that would make you seriously reconsider your relationship. (No obvious stuff please, like “axe murderer”, but stuff that is important to YOU.) For instance, you find out they are: bi-sexual | of a very different religion or athiest | political activist with opposite view | a communist | has been in jail/prison | porn-addict | recovering alcoholic/druggie/sex offender | watches “Jersey Shore” | etc.
No wrong answers here… just trying to get a sense of which behaviours you feel would be changeable versus those that would send you running away screaming.

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16 thoughts on “What do you consider to be a dealbreaker in a budding relationship?

  1. EricaSwagger says:

    [Watches Jersey Shore is definitely a deal breaker. And/or Teen Mom.

    But in all seriousness, my main deal breaker is people who aren’t smart. I don’t mean like Mensa smart, just… on my level. I can’t date, people who don’t understand my jokes or can’t comment about things going on or can’t challenge me a little. Or can’t use proper grammar. That’s a big one!

  2. Shelly says:

    [Habitual liar. If I can trust what is being told to me, then nothing else will ever make up for that. There are aspects about a person that I wouldn’t like and probably wouldn’t tolerate, but _might_ be able to work through, but someone who is completely dishonest wouldn’t fall into that category.

    However, I wouldn’t take that “friendly” comment in the coffee shop at face value without other proof.

  3. Happy Pants says:

    [I know this is an election year and all, but for me, there are certain social and political issues that are so important that vastly differing views are just not going to cut it at this point in my life. It’s not because I only want to date people like me, but I feel like these issues are representative of other personality traits and characteristics that are incredibly important for compatibility with my partner.

    Also, any story I hear about him being a flat-out dick to anyone—especially blowing up at someone, or a story that makes me think he has anger management problems—would make me think twice about that “love connection”.

  4. Maracuya says:

    [… an asshole.

    Sorry, but even if someone has never been anything but sweet to me, once I find out they’re rude to:
    -waitstaff
    -baristas
    -their employees/coworkers
    -people who disagree with them nicely

    I’m totally out of there.

    I also share Erica’s dealbreaker, but it’s just so hard to pick one and I wanted to vary it a little bit. I need smarts but a lot of smart people can also be pretty condescending.

  5. MargieCharles says:

    [I’d be pretty hesitant to go off of what his friend told me in a coffee shop. My boyfriend’s best friend is kind of an asshole, and they try to make him look bad in almost every story they tell or situation they’re in. He does it “jokingly” and that’s just kind of his personality, but I can only imagine what I would have thought of my boyfriend if he had decided to give me the “low down” on what my boyfriend is really like.

  6. BreckEffect says:

    [Respect is at the basis of anything I would consider I dealbreaker, I think. Like, if I don’t respect his intellect, or his beliefs, or the way he treats others, or the way he does his job, etc. etc. then I will have a hard time in the relationship regardless of how much I love him. And respect can be a tough thing to pin down, but I think it comes down to values. He doesn’t have to agree with everything I believe politically, but if his beliefs are well-reasoned and thought out and logical, and generally fair, I will respect them.

    Another example…this hasn’t happened to me so I can’t say exactly how I would react, but I _think_ prior drug addiction wouldn’t necessarily be a deal-breaker if I respected how he dealt with it and the life choices he had made since.

  7. Metacognition says:

    [Selfishness. I can’t stand someone who takes things for granted because they think they deserve it. I like to show my love for someone with little things, small surprises and such. If they start being unappreciative of those things, it makes me uneasy. I expect more of a give and take in a relationship, not give and give and give.
    I agree with the intelligence one as well. I don’t need you to be a rocket scientist, but you’ve got to be able to keep up when we’re talking.
    Closed minded. This kind of goes back to the idea of the selfishness a bit. Communication is a give and take thing as well. I don’t expect you to always agree with my (or others) points of view, but if you can’t at least respect them enough to know that it’s okay to have differing points of view, we’re probably going to have a problem.
    Although all of them would need to be confirmed by the person, not just a friend.

  8. Liastim says:

    [Condescension. I find it very difficult to deal with. And a lack of respect for other people’s passions whatever the may be. Poking fun is all good, but once you start to think someone is genuinely stupid just because they are into something that you find bland/stupid I don’t think any good comes of that…especially when it’s an interest your partner is into!

    This is all takes place in a world where we notice these things in time, before we’re already hopelessly hooked 🙂

  9. DavidIsGreat says:

    [If she’s an active drug user, “that’s a deal breaker, ladies” -Liz Lemon

    I’m sure this offends someone but let me be clear, what you do to your body is your business. I don’t care what kind of poison you’re using, you’re an adult and can/should be able to make your own decisions.

    But once it affects me, that’s when it is my business. I’m not staying with you if you’re using, I’ve seen too many friends in caskets.

  10. Lili says:

    [I guess I like to think that I’m open anything because who knows what kind of chemistry we have and how our differences balance each other out. The two things I don’t know if I could handle are bisexual and abusive. The Bi thing is mostly me because I’m kind of a jealous person so my mind would always be wondering if so and so was more than a friend. The abusive thing speaks for itself. I would NEVER EVER let anyone disrespect me like that. No matter what circumstances because then my life would be consumed by not ever creating them again and thats now how I ever want to live.

  11. Eleanor Roosevelt says:

    [I’m with Happy Pants. If I find out someone has radically different views than I do on one or more political/social issues that are very important to me, not only would it be a deal-breaker, but it makes me think less of them as a person. I realize this might not be entirely fair, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but certain issues are so important to me that a drastically different stance than mine ruins any chance of a relationship in a split second.

  12. Solstice says:

    [I agree with being smart, or at least being interested in learning about the world around you, not making a ton of spelling/grammar errors, and preferably would have attended college. I know many smart people don’t attend college, but I like having the shared experience of both having attended college, since I enjoyed college so much.

    I used to think smoking was a dealbreaker until I liked someone so much that I overlooked it. But I think in any future relationships, I’d let it be a dealbreaker again.

    I’m really not into politics and don’t discuss them with SOs, so to me political issues aren’t as important as they are to some other people.

  13. resullins says:

    [A guy that treats me differently when he’s around his friends than he does when he’s with me. That drives me insane.

    Or any guy that won’t talk at all or make decisions. If I have to decide on every single date and keep the conversation going all night, that’s a no-no.

  14. Kier says:

    [I don’t think there’s anything that their friend could say to me that would make me drop them on the spot. I mean, there are certainly deal breakers, but none of them are things her friend could say without making him/herself look like a self-centered ass.

    In fact, none of the original poster’s suggestions would be deal breakers for me. For example, my girlfriend IS bisexual, and it has yet to be an issue.

    I take it back. There’s one thing that her friend could say to me: that she had a sex change. If the girl used to have a penis, I’m out.

  15. Happy Pants says:

    [I also think that—and a lot of other people have hinted at this—that anything I heard from a friend would have to be checked with the person I’m dating. I would never drop someone out of the blue because his friend said he was a liar, or a drug dealer, or a secret Mormon trying to convert me. After hearing whatever his dirty secret is, I’d go ask him about it directly, and if there’s no reason for me not to trust his answer, then I’ll take the guy’s word over his friend’s.

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