Biggest relationship deal-breakers for men and women revealed by US scientists

Men care more about the quantity of sex, while women were more concerned about the quality

Jess Staufenberg
Friday 06 November 2015 12:53 GMT
"Bad sex" was a concern for women, while "low libido" was what men rated poorly
"Bad sex" was a concern for women, while "low libido" was what men rated poorly

The relationship "deal-breakers" that cause men and women to rule themselves out of romance have been revealed.

Top characteristics that kill the chemistry for both sexes are "dishevelled", "lazy" or "needy", above all other considerations.

But these change depending on whether a person is looking for a short-term fling or a long-term commitment, according to a study by social scientists at Western Sydney University.

The research compiled six studies covering 6,500 people. Responses showed that for a quick sexual encounter, only "smells bad" and "has poor hygiene" were deal-breakers for making people think twice.

“Basically, for short-term partners, if they have a toothbrush, they’re good to go,” said Gregory Webster, associate professor of social psychology at the University of Florida, to the Wall Street Journal.

But considerations increased in the long-term with women weighing up more of them than men, said author of the study Dr Peter Jonason, a senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Western Sydney.

"No sense of humour", "bad sex" and "lacks confidence" were ranked especially highly by women over their male counterparts as reasons for ending a relationship.

Men, meanwhile, were only more concerned than women about "low libido" and "talks too much" over every other tickbox on the checklist, showing that the quantity mattered more than the quality of sex and that they are generally less verbal.

Yet both genders agreed on the three worst "deal-breakers" - being "dishevelled", "lazy" or "needy".

The unimpressed other party would only exit the relationship, however, if they saw themselves as a romantic catch.

If they saw themselves as a high "market value", they would have a lot of deal-breakers and move on if standards were not met. This also means arrogant people could have unrealistic expectations in a relationship.

Dr Jonason said: "Deal-breakers are probably unreasonable when one has a seriously misguided impression of their own value on the market."

In order of significance, the deal-breakers for relationships are apparently:

1. "Dishevelled or unclean appearance": 71 per cent of women, 63 per cent of men

2. "Lazy": 72 per cent of women, 60 per cent of men

3. "Too needy": 69 per cent of women, 57 per cent of men

4. "No sense of humour": 58 per cent of women, 50 per cent of men

5. "Lives far away": 47 per cent of women, 51 per cent of men

6. "Bad sex": 50 per cent of women, 44 per cent of men

7. "Lacking self-confidence": 47 per cent of women, 33 per cent of men

8. "Too much TV or video games": 41 per cent of women, 25 per cent of men

9. "Low sex drive": 27 per cent of women, 39 per cent of men

10. "Stubborn": 34 per cent of women, 32 per cent of men

11. "Talks too much": 20 per cent of women, 26 per cent of men

12. "Too quiet": 17 per cent of women, 11 per cent of men

13. "Blunt": 17 per cent of women, 11 per cent of men

14. "Does not want children": 15 per cent of women, 13 per cent of men

15. "Has kids": 12 per cent of women, 14 per cent of men

16. "Too athletic": 10 per cent of women, 7 per cent of men

17. "Not athletic": 6 per cent of women, 7 per cent of men

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in