Study reveals the top six deal breakers

A study has revealed the three most common ‘deal-breakers’ for both long- and short-term relationships, including poor hygiene and untrustworthiness. 

The 2015 study, published in Personalty and Social Psychology Bulletin, consisted of several stages. The first stage as to identify the factors that people might view as a ‘deal breaker’.

Ninety-two undergraduate students between the ages of 18 and 53 were asked to list deal breakers in both long- and short-term relationships.

Researchers found that there was no significant difference between the number of deal breakers listed by women compared to those listed by men, but found that both genders provided a longer list when it came to long-term relationships compared to short-term ones. 

Next, 285 undergraduate students were asked to rate the list of 49 deal breakers that had been compiled in the first stage according to how likely each factor would be to cause them to lose interest in their significant other. 

The three most common deal breakers listed for short term relationships were:

  1. Person has health issues such a STDs
  2. Person smells bad
  3. Person has bad hygiene

The most common for long term relationships were:

  1. Person has anger issues or is abusive
  2. Person is currently seeing multiple partners
  3. Person is untrustworthy 

Researchers also found that participants were more likely to be affected by negative traits than positive ones. In other words, a prospective partner could not redeem themselves for their undesirable traits by having an equal number of good ones.

This is called ‘prospect theory’ which is, simply put, the theory that we weigh negative information more heavily than positive information.