How much do people’s dating deal breakers effect whether or not they date someone? A recent study says – a lot! Often times, we focus a lot on our deal makers (what we’re looking for in a partner), rather than our deal breakers (what we don’t want in a partner). Show of hands, who has a laundry list of what they want in a partner? Well, I recently challenged my readers to ditch the laundry list!! Just let it go!! Instead, focus on what mutual values are important plus identify your deal breakers. Don’t believe me? Read on to see what science has to say about it!
The Effect of Deal Breakers in Dating
So what was this study all about? Well …
Across six studies, they identified and examined relationship dealbreakers, and how they function across relationship contexts. Dealbreakers were associated with undesirable personality traits; unhealthy lifestyles in sexual, romantic, and friendship contexts; and divergent mating strategies in sexual and romantic contexts. Dealbreakers were stronger in long-term relationship contexts, and stronger in women (vs. men) in short-term contexts. People with higher mate value reported more dealbreakers; people with less-restricted mating strategies reported fewer dealbreakers. Consistent with prospect and error management theories, people weighed dealbreakers more negatively than they weighed dealmakers positively; this effect was stronger for women (vs. men) and people in committed relationships.
So according to the study, people placed more weight on their deal breakers than their deal makers when looking for a long-term partner. Some of the common deal breakers identified :
- physical unattractiveness (this includes looks, image, clothes, etc)
- unhealthy lifestyle (this includes not taking care of themselves, etc)
- undesirable personality traits (this includes arrogance, being impolite, telling bad jokes, socially inept, inability to read social cues, etc)
- different religious beliefs (especially if someone is practicing / devout)
- limited social status (this includes having limited social circles)
- differing mating strategies (this includes their views on sexuality)
- differing relationship goals (this includes what type of relationship they are looking for)
So when someone meets you, whether consciously or subconsciously, they are rating you based on these factors, and it even could be just one factor that turns them off completely. So you’re socially inept? Turn off! You don’t dress nice? Turn off! You don’t take care of yourself? Turn off! You are over confident? Turn off! You have a sense of entitlement? Turn off! Well, you get the idea! The person you are speaking to is giving more importance to these deal breakers rather that the positive traits you have to offer. For example, you could be a smart, sexy and accomplished person but you are socially inept, well that might factor into their deal breakers rather than their deal makers and you will be rejected by that person. I think that’s pretty fair actually because if someone really knows and focuses on what they don’t want rather than their laundry list of wants they actually will have more luck in finding love. No, really, it’s true. It’s been my experience as well as the experience of my clients.
But what if you’re on the receiving end of the rejection? Well, I challenge you to take a good look at yourself and your dating life. Do you get rejected over and over again? Look back at each time and try and figure out why that is. It may be something that you can adjust in your life. For example, you may think you have great social skills but maybe you give off a creepy vibe to people or your conversation skills leave much to be desired.
But all is not lost! One person’s deal breaker is another person’s deal maker! So perhaps this person isn’t a mutually compatible BUT someone else will be. While I encourage people to ditch their laundry list of wants, they should be very clear about what their deal breakers are as well as what compatible values they are looking for. Remember, not everyone is going to like you (just like you’re not going to like everyone) and THAT is OK!! Keep at it and you will find your happily ever after!
Answer this poll & let’s see what your deal breakers are compared to others!
READERS: How much weight do you place on your deal breakers versus your deal makers? What do you think of this study? I would love to hear about it in the comments below!
Your Sister in Dating Bliss,
Single Dating Diva
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