20 Relationship Deal Breakers That Shouldn’t Be Up For Negotiation

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There are some things that can spell the end of any relationship.

So it’s important to decide what your ultimate relationship deal breakers are.

Are you wondering if something that has happened or is happening in your relationship should be a deal breaker?

Whilst we’re not here to make your decisions for you, if you find yourself nodding your head multiple times when reading the list below, it’s probably time to move on…

… however reluctant you might be to accept that.

1. They’re selfish.

If their priority is their own pleasure and happiness in all areas of life, that’s a huge warning sign.

When we love someone, we value them and see their needs as being just as important as our own.

If there’s no give and take, then there’s no respect, and if there’s no respect, then there’s no foundation for your relationship.

No one likes to feel like an option and not a priority to their partner.

2. They won’t introduce you to their friends or family.

No man or woman is an island, and our families and friends are a huge part of our lives. If we love someone, we should want our other loved ones to know about it.

You shouldn’t expect an invite to Sunday lunch with their parents straight after your first date, and you should try to be understanding if they’ve got a complicated family dynamic.

However, as the relationship develops, opportunities to meet important people in each other’s lives should start to come up naturally.

If they’re determined to keep you in a separate box to everyone else in their life, you should be wary of their motivations for doing so.

3. They aren’t there when you need them.

If you’ve been going through a tough time or simply need their help, and you’ve found that they haven’t been there for you, it’s unlikely that they’ll be there for you when you need them in future.

A good relationship relies on a healthy level of dependency in the sense that you need someone you can rely upon when you face challenges or when you suffer heartache and loss.

It’s okay to expect help and comfort from a partner, so if they are unable to provide either for you, you have to question whether this is the kind of relationship you want to be in.

4. They don’t value your opinion.

If they dismiss your comments out of hand and it’s clear they don’t have any respect for your point of view, then they don’t view you as their equal.

Perhaps they make all the decisions regarding your lives together. This might range from day-to-day things such as what you’re going to eat that night to huge decisions such as uprooting and moving to a new city.

Though your may share your life with this person, you are still an individual and are allowed to have a say in how your life goes. A partner should listen to you, hear you, take your views into consideration, and find ways to compromise with you so that you both feel happy.

If you find yourself being steamrollered into giving in, it might be time to break free. You simply won’t be able to enjoy your life when you have your sovereignty taken away from you.

5. They have anger issues.

If your partner has anger issues and isn’t prepared to work on them, and if you ever feel scared of them or of the way they might react to something, major alarm bells should be going off in your head.

True love doesn’t require you to accept fear or intimidation as normal in any way. Abuse, whether verbal or physical, is a red line that should not be crossed. If it is, and your safety or emotional well-being comes under threat, you ought to leave the relationship.

Even if the abuse is what you might consider “low level” and irregular, you have to seriously consider whether you are prepared to put up with it whilst they work on themselves or seek help for their anger issues.

6. They don’t take care of themselves.

No one should demand that their partner constantly plasters on layers of makeup or spends every available hour in the gym to maintain the ‘perfect’ body…

…but there are basic levels of cleanliness and presentation that it’s reasonable to expect from them.

If your partner neglects their personal hygiene and never makes any effort with their appearance, they’re showing a lack of self-respect and a lack of respect for you.

The slight caveat is that someone who is suffering from mental health problems may not always feel willing or able to attend to the way they look or to their personal hygiene. In these cases, you should be patient with them whilst they get help with their issues.

If they don’t make any attempt to get help in a reasonable amount of time, you don’t have to stay with them out of a sense of responsibility or for any other reason if you don’t want to.

7. They’re too high maintenance.

On the other hand, if they do nothing but worry about their tan and the state of their body hair, it’s a sign that they’re shallow. There’s more to life than fake nails and perfect hair.

Being with someone who places so much importance on their appearance will inevitably mean that your appearance becomes an area they focus on.

If you are ever made to feel ugly or told that you should “have some work done” to improve how you look, you should consider running for the hills.

A good relationship involves accepting one another whilst also encouraging growth in our partner. It doesn’t involve changing someone to your precise physical requirements when it isn’t what they want.

8. They’re okay with a prolonged long distance relationship.

Sometimes, circumstances beyond our control can bring an end to a relationship.

Sure, some people are totally fine with indefinite long distance relationships and find it works well for them.

But most people don’t plan on remaining in a long distance arrangement forever.

Some couples fall in love despite living far apart while others are suddenly separated from each other through circumstance.

Those couples who are committed to each other tend to have a plan for when they’ll be able to reunite and build a life together.

If your long distance partner refuses to discuss ways you could be together or keeps finding excuses to put it off, it’s time to think seriously about whether the relationship has a future.

9. You don’t connect on a physical level.

Whichever way you look at it, sex is an important part of most relationships. It binds us together in a way that few other things can.

Now, you shouldn’t necessarily expect every sexual encounter with your partner to be earth-shattering…

…but if the sex is consistently disappointing, the spark just isn’t there, or they don’t put the effort in to make sure you’re enjoying yourself, even in the early days, then you have to consider whether it’s a deal breaker for you.

You should also think about how your sex drive compares to that of the other person. If you like regular sex or if you’re happy with only having it once in a while, it’s not good for the general relationship to pair up with someone whose needs and desires are opposite to yours.

Having mismatched sex drives needn’t be a complete deal breaker, but it will require you to communicate honestly and find a compromise that works for you both.

10. You don’t feel the same way about children.

While your dreams for the future can change, if you’re pretty certain you don’t want kids then you probably shouldn’t be in a relationship with someone who’s certain they do want kids.

Both of you trying to change each other’s minds, or one person giving in and just going along with what the other wants is a recipe for disaster.

Strong opposing views on something as fundamental as bringing human beings into the world are never going to complement one another.

11. You don’t feel the same way about religion.

Not all couples with different religious views are doomed, but if one or both partners have strong religious views that don’t marry with those of the other, that could cause a lot of friction down the line, especially when it comes to marriage or having children.

If religion is important to you or it’s quickly apparent that it’s important to the other person, you must have lots of conversations quite early on in a relationship to establish whether your respective views can dovetail into a workable partnership.

It’s very possible to have complete respect for another person’s faith and still not wish to be in a relationship with them.

12. You find yourself sacrificing your professional goals.

Committed relationships are always going to involve compromise to some extent.

For example, one partner may agree to relocate when the other is offered an incredible job.

But if that incredible job is in a place where the other partner is going to end up twiddling their thumbs and neglecting their own professional goals, resentment might creep in.

You should both be equally supportive of each other’s career paths and be willing to compromise in the knowledge that, in future, your partner will return the favor.

13. They’re terrible with money.

Much as it would be wonderful if money wasn’t a big deal, there’s no escaping its importance.

If your partner is persistently bad with managing money and refuses to change their habits or learn to be more prudent, that’s going to lead to untold problems.

If your vision of the future with your partner involves debt and money worries, then do yourself a favor and get out while you still can.

On the flip side, whilst being budget-minded has its place, being too cheap and miserly can set alarm bells off too.

14. They’re impolite.

They might be nice to you, but are they polite to others?

If you find that they treat waiting staff badly, never introduce you to people, don’t say please and thank you, and don’t generally act like a functioning member of the human race, then that’s a sign they don’t value the people around them.

You shouldn’t ever have to worry about introducing your other half to someone, convinced they’ll embarrass you.

You should be proud to stand side by side with your partner, knowing that they’ll do their best never to let you down and will show common decency to all the people they cross paths with.

15. They don’t have a job.

We all fall on hard times now and again, so your partner currently being unemployed but actively looking or working on a project, with a game plan laid out, isn’t necessarily something to worry about.

But if it seems that they can’t hold down a job or struggle to find someone to employ them, you might want to ask whether this is a deal breaker for you.

If you’re serious about someone, you need to know that he or she will always be able to support his or herself financially. That is, unless you are happy with them being a housewife or househusband whom you support through your work and income.

Plus, let’s face it, ambition is a very attractive quality.

16. They’re obsessed with their job.

On the other hand, whilst being excited about what you do to earn a living is a wonderful thing, there is a definite line.

Whilst someone with a shining professional future ahead of them can be very appealing, if they’re incapable of leaving their job at the office and constantly check their work phone whilst you’re on a date, you should question what your place is on their priority list.

There are some people for whom advancement in their career is so important that they neglect everything and everyone else in their life. You don’t have to frown upon this dedication to their work, but nor do you have to accept it in a partner if you don’t want to.

17. They’re negative.

We’re all entitled to a good moan now and again, but if someone is persistently negative, they’re not a healthy person for you to be around.

If we aren’t able to look on the bright side or see the silver lining, or whatever your cliché of choice is, then life is going to look very gray.

And no matter how naturally cheerful and positive you are, being in the presence of someone who is judgmental or cynical or generally miserable about everything will rub off on you and wear you down.

Misery loves company, so let the negative people form their own relationships and stick to someone who shares you upbeat outlook.

18. They don’t take an interest in your life.

Their world revolves around them. They’re happy to talk your ear off about what’s going on in their life, but they don’t ask you questions about yourself.

You’re the one keeping your conversations going, constantly asking about their day or wanting to get to know them better, and they don’t return the favor.

This is a sign that their priority is in fact themselves, and that, hard as it may be to accept, they just don’t find you or your life all that interesting.

You may enjoy listening to their stories and learning all about them, but there will come a time when you’ll wish that they’d listen to you and give you and your life or problems their full attention.

Nobody wants to be ignored or overlooked by their partner.

19. They cheat, or have cheated.

Every couple sets their own boundaries. It’s important for you to discuss what would constitute cheating in your relationship, and what counts as acceptable behavior for you might be betrayal for others.

But if someone crosses the line you’ve agreed upon, it can be hard for you to rebuild trust and be sure it will never happen again.

If you find out that someone has betrayed trust in a previous relationship, that might also be grounds for you to doubt whether they wouldn’t do the same to you.

20. They lack a sense of humor.

If you don’t make each other laugh, then you might not be right for each other.

If they can’t see the funny side of things or have a sense of humor that gets on your nerves, you’re looking at a fairly boring or irritating future with them.

This isn’t so much about a person being good or nice; it’s about finding compatibility amongst the subjective nature of humor and comedy.

Listen To Your Gut

What might be a huge deal breaker for you might not be a big deal to another person…

…so whilst it’s always great to talk these things over with a good friend whose judgement you trust, at the end of the day you’re the only one who can make these decisions.

Love isn’t always enough to keep a relationship afloat, so if deep down you have nagging doubts about your relationship, you need to be honest with yourself and face the issues head on.

It’s not going to be easy, but one day you’ll thank yourself for it.

Still not sure how to approach the difficulties you’re having in your relationship? Chat online to a relationship expert from Relationship Hero who can help you figure things out. Simply click here to chat.

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About Author

Katie is a writer and translator with a focus on travel, self-care and sustainability. She's based between a cave house in Granada, Spain, and the coast of beautiful Cornwall, England. She spends her free time hiking, exploring, eating vegan tapas and volunteering for a local dog shelter.