Dating Deal Breakers, You Know You’ve Got Them

The more you date, the more you start determining your own personal laundry list of what you want and what you don’t want in a potential partner. What you don’t want quickly becomes your “dating deal breakers.” We’ve all got dating deal breakers, those things we can’t stand in a potential partner and make us run for the hills.

From unemployment to body type to lying to cheating, we all have a hidden list of dating don’ts that help us keep our eyes on the prize and away from those less than perfect potential partners. They’re the stop signs in romance that prevent us from going any further. When you’re looking for “the one,” you can’t just settle for anyone, right? Even though dating sometimes feels like we’re scraping the bottom of the bargain bin, we all know that those small annoyances could become something much bigger down the line. So what are the most common dating deal breakers? Keep reading to find out!

Breaking Down the Dating Deal Breakers

Everyone has certain things that annoy them or make them squirm. When asked for their non-negotiable dating pet peeves that make them run for the hills, daters responded with the following deal breakers:

Someone who

  • cant hold down a job or is not financially independent
  • is all talk, no action
  • is painfully frugal
  • is flirtatious
  • is abusive verbally, physically or emotionally
  • treats you negatively in public
  • constantly lies to you
  • continuously criticizes you
  • doesnt have your back
  • pulls a disappearing act without communicating with you
  • has problems with substance abuse
  • has a problem with infidelity
  • has unpacked baggage and bitterness from previous relationships
  • has bad hygiene
  • is rude to service staff
  • doesnt have good relationships with others such as friends and family
  • is clingy
  • lacks ambition

And the list can go on and on. Those are all awful qualities that no woman or man wants to encounter in a potential partner. But at the end of the day, we care less about petty nuisances and more about having someone who’s real at every moment and, in all things, has their life in order. Essentially, dating deal breakers are about or should be about, someone not meeting your fundamental values and needs. We can all agree that respect, honesty, good communication, and trust are what is most important in a relationship. If the person you’re dating doesn’t have those qualities, it’s fair to say your relationship may be doomed.

Not sure what your own dating deal breakers are or if you’re being unreasonable? Consider what sort of traits or habits you absolutely cannot tolerate in a potential partner. Think of personal pet peeves you can’t even imagine having in your romantic life. Whatever drives you insane is a deal breaker. Establishing those unacceptable trademarks will help you weed out the bad apples from the delicious dates that could lead to great relationships. If you can’t stand someone because something they do, why waste your time on them? Your ultimate goal is to live a life that is full of happiness and romantic bliss. Never settle for anything less!

Have a dating dilemma? You can always Ask Single Dating Diva a confidential dating question on

Your Sister in Dating Bliss,

Single Dating Diva

Originally appeared on eHarmony Canada.


  1. My two main deal breakers that aren’t on their are I don’t date dads and guys who don’t like animals. You’d think the animal one would be common but met a few guys who treated animals like nothing and expected me to give up my cat and dog if we got serious. Instead I dumped him.

    I copied the list to comment.

    can’t hold down a job or is not financially independent
    Common sense actually.

    is all talk, no action
    Unfortunately seen this one a lot.

    is painfully frugal
    Part of the reason I don’t date dads is because they tend to be cheap towards women they date. I’m no gold digger but not fun to go to McDonalds for a date.

    is flirtatious
    If he is to me, no problem.

    is abusive verbally, physically or emotionally
    Dated an emotionally abusive man. Horrible and never again.

    treats you negatively in public
    Same as above. He was mean in public and private.

    constantly lies to you
    Hate this.

    continuously criticizes you
    Same with being emotionally abusive.

    doesn’t have your back
    This is important.

    pulls a disappearing act without communicating with you
    This is common with many guys I met.

    has problems with substance abuse
    The abusive man I dated was an alcoholic. The guy I like now is a recovering one, which is partly why we aren’t together.

    has a problem with infidelity
    Dated a guy like this and dumped him.

    has unpacked baggage and bitterness from previous relationships
    Common unfortunately.

    has bad hygiene
    Yuck, I once met a guy like this and didn’t meet again.

    is rude to service staff
    As a former waitress this is unacceptable.

    doesn’t have good relationships with others such as friends and family
    This one may depend. I have relatives who drive me nuts.

    is clingy
    When I did online found a lot of these men. I never met them because of this.

    lacks ambition
    This goes with the first one about being financially secure.


  2. A point about dating deal-breakers;

    Yes, write them down, and stick to them no matter what…

    But when writing this list, ask yourself WHY each deal-breaker is on there.

    WHY does he have to be 6’0″+? WHY does he have to be under 30? WHY does he have his own car?

    If you can’t answer, remove it from your list. Be open-minded. A lot of daters could be discounting fantastic partners by not doing this.

    Off to read your e-harmony post right now Suzie 😉


    • Great point iamthelondondater. Some deal breakers really aren’t good to have, while others have a reason. For me, I’ve had so many issues with single dads that it’s something I can’t bend on. On the other hand, while I prefer Hispanic men, it’s just preference and I would date any race mostly (except guys who weren’t Christian).


      • Dawn I understand about being cheap on a date. I’m a newly singled dad and I’m the exact opposite. I won’t even ask a woman out if I can’t treat her to a good time. It’s just bad form to ask her to go dutch unless that was discussed before hand or if she insists on splitting the check.


        • To b e fair, I’ve had this issue with both childless and dads so it’s not just a single dad issue. However, in general I’ve noticed dads have less disposable money. That’s not even the main reason I don’t date dads but money can be a problem with dating, doesn’t matter if someone is childless or not. You sound like a dad who gets it, which will help you (assuming you’re not bitter like many are). Dad issue aside, I’ll never understand someone asking someone out then expecting them to pay without discussing it. I’ve actually had men (childless ironically)ask me out then expect me to pay for THEM. I kid you not, they asked me out then when we got to the restaurant handed me the bill. An other guy took me to a club then expected me to pay for him at the door (I declined). This is why when I go on a date I bring money to pay for myself and if he expects me to pay for him or even myself I never see him again. That is of course unless we make it clear we are splitting the bill.


  3. The thing about dealbreakers is that I usually run women through my date, no date filter before hand.
    I’m heavy into online dating because as a single dad and an online student I don’t get out much and being older I don’t have a lot of single friends to go out with.
    Anyway from their online profile I can see characteristics that I know I won’t like.
    If it clear she’s wearing a wig, I pass. I like to touch a woman’s hair and if there is a wig there it’s a turn off and then I think “what are you hiding under there?”

    If someone says they are a “homebody” I’m out. Who wants to stay at home all the time. The world is out there Live it!

    If there are kids in her profile pics, either block or crop them out. I’m dating you not your kids. Putting your kids in your profile pics says that you are trying to bring someone in as a new daddy for your kids.

    If the profile itself is blank or worse has “Ask Me” on it, this means you are too lazy to even complete the profile where you are trying to meet someone. This is the kind of woman that has nothing to offer in terms of conversation or has nothing more to offer than looks.

    Along the same lines are those that list interests as:cooking and going out to eat. We all can cook SOMETHING and who doesn’t like to go out to eat? The profile is your chance to show what people don’t normally see. It’s your 15 min of fame don’t waste it by saying the same thing everyone else does.

    Another dealbreaker for me is too young. Don’t get me wrong I find 20 something women very attractive, but I know that a relationship with them will need to go somewhere. A woman that young at some point will want to get married and have babies. I personally am done with all that, so dating me is a deadend so I don’t waste there time, normally. I will have conversations and go out with someone that young if I see that they are just looking to go out for a good time and nothing more, but alas that has yet to happen.

    and my last dealbreaker is smiling. if the person is not smiling in ANY of their pictures there is a problem here. Either she has a Bitchy Resting Face, which I sometimes have, or she is not that happy to begin with and who wants to be with a debbie downer?


  4. My only deal breaker is that the person I go out with just simply doesn’t insult me. If she is nice to me and a kind person, really nothing else has made that much of a difference to me from past experiences.


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