Doing Life Together

couple lovingMy daughter was talking to us about relationships the other night. We asked about one young man she knew and her instant response was, “Too needy!” For her, that was a deal breaker. As I thought about this, we all have those deal breakers that say,”No, you are not the one,” when it comes to looking for that lasting relationship.

And as you would guess, science has studied this! So let me share a bit of that research. Several researchers at various universities have concluded that women have more deal breakers than men. The thinking is that women are seriously considering the future–that guy could be the father of my children. Is this who I want?

Studies also tell is that we focus more on the deal breakers than on the positives we see. First, we decide, are their red flags here that simply tell me to stop and not consider before I look at the positives of this relationship? And the more you feel you are a good partner for someone, the more deal breakers you have. Self-esteem puts you in a more bargaining position!

So what are those common deal breakers? In a rather large study of 5,541 single U.S. adults, these were the traits noted as, “Thank you, but no!”

Being unkept, unclean, disheveled

Being lazy

Being too needy! 

Lacking humor (women rated this more than men)

Another study found deal breakers that I’ve often heard discussed  in therapy.

Anger issues

Dating multiple partners


So while these are interesting findings, you probably have your own list and it may be very personal. For example, a single guy once told me he looks at shoes first. If they are unkept, he’s done! Others won’t date someone who smokes, has bad teeth, owns a cat, etc.

Many Christians cite sharing their faith as one of the deal makers needed. I would agree, as this is one of the most important factors to consider in pursuing an intimate relationship. But even sharing your faith doesn’t guarantee a good match.

So think about it. What are your deal breakers? Evaluate whether these are superficial or important traits to consider. What constitutes healthy relationships? Consider that Scripture offers much in this arena. It speaks to the traits of a person who life is centered on Christ. And those traits are in-line with healthy relationships.


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