The Wall Street Journal recently reported that new research suggests people give more weight to deal breakers, the traits that fall on their lists of cons, than deal makers, the traits they consider positive ones, when it comes to their search for a relationship. “Think of it as the relationship version of the economic loss-aversion theory, which holds that people prioritize avoiding risk over acquiring gains. In mating, people pay more attention to what’s wrong with a would-be partner than what is right.” In a series of six recent studies, researchers learned that women have more deal-breakers than men, people who consider themselves big catches have more deal breakers than average, and everyone who is searching for a long-term relationship has more deal breakers than people just looking for short term companionship.
The biggest deal breaker for both groups was “disheveled or unclean,” followed closely by “lazy” and “too needy.” More women than men found “lacks a sense of humor” to be a deal breaker, while men found “low sex drive” and “talks too much” to be their biggest deal breakers (though more women rated “bad sex” as a deal breaker, suggesting that for women quality is more important than frequency and for men frequency trumps all. It also suggests that more women than men have suffered bad sex!).
So, what about you? What are your top deal breakers? Poll below (you can check more than one!).