Monday, November 16, 2015

Deal Breakers in Dating Relationships

What really turns you off to someone new?  Consider what you can not see yourself getting past with a potential partner. Would it be selfishness? Being rude to wait staff at the restaurant? Monopolizing the conversation so that you can hardly speak? Maybe you avoid people who are arrogant or inconsiderate.

Apparently, according to recent studies, most people find the qualities of laziness and being disheveled to be two of the top deal breakers when it comes to potential dates. After these two qualities, there are some differences in how women and men see potential dating partners and what turns people off.

Recent research on deal breakers in dating was published in the October 2015 online version of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, which incorporated studies done by Western Sydney University, Indiana University, the University of Florida, Singapore Management University and Rutgers University. The Wall Street Journal featured their results in its' November 3, 2015 edition.

Researchers found women have more deal breakers than men do. Everyone has more deal breakers with a long-term relationship than a short-term one. People who consider themselves "a good catch" have more deal breakers as well. There are theories relating to evolutionary biology about why women tend to be more selective than men. Perhaps women are hard-wired to want a partner who is confident and intelligent enough to support her if she bears children.

The researchers administered a list of 17 negative personal traits to 5,541 single American adults. Each individual identified the traits they would consider deal breakers. "Disheveled/unclean" ranked number one for both genders, followed by "lazy" and "too needy".

Women ranked "lacks a sense of humor" as a bigger concern than men did. Men were concerned by women who "talk too much"  or with "a low sex drive". In long-term partner choices, both genders found anger issues, not being trustworthy, health issues and not being exclusive as deal breakers.

In the studies, here's how the rankings of turn offs broke down by gender:

Disheveled: A deal breaker for 63% of the men and 72% of the women

Lazy: A deal breaker for 60% of men and 72% of women

Too Needy: A deal breaker for 57% of men and 69% of women

No Sense of Humor: A deal breaker for 50% of men and 58% of women

Lives far away (more than 3 hours): A deal breaker for 52% of men and 48% of women

Lacks Confidence: A deal breaker for 33% of men and 47% of women

Too Much TV/Videogames: A deal breaker for 25% of men and 41% of women

Stubborn: A deal breaker for 32% of men and 34% of women

Talks Too Much: A deal breaker for 26% of men and 20% of women

Too Quiet: A deal breaker for 11% of men and 17% of women

It's important to identify and think through your own relationship deal breakers. You want to be reasonable, and not overly rigid. (Perhaps your wonderful partner will come with a cat or dog you hadn't planned on.) It is perfectly okay and valid to know yourself well enough to know what you just can't compromise on. Dating enough before settling down to do your due diligence and learn about yourself and what you can and can't bend on is key.

Even once you find the right partner, this might be a useful list for taking inventory of yourself in your primary relationship from time to time. Being the right partner is just as important as finding the right partner. Exercising self awareness and taking responsibility for being an interesting, confident, flexible, motivated, well groomed and relational partner is always a plus.

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