50 Things That Should Be Relationship Dealbreakers

1. They won’t or can’t say I love you, even after years and years of being together, or can’t show you how they feel, even in non-verbal ways.

2. They won’t introduce you to their friends or family members and you haven’t been to a single family get-together. However, the latter is understandable if their family genuinely sucks and they don’t go to those either.

3. They won’t kiss you or look at you during sex.

4. They absolutely refuse to go down on you ever, because they can’t see that giving you pleasure is pleasure for them, or rebuff your requests for reciprocation.

5. They call you names, like “stupid,” “idiot,” “bitch,” “whore” and “slut.”

6. They don’t understand what consent is or that sex is not an obligation.

7. They don’t know what your middle name or your favorite color is or key facts about you that you would expect every single person who knows you well to know.

8. They don’t let you speak during conversations, consistently talk over you and interrupt you or just won’t shut up ever. Find someone who knows when to be silent or can sit and enjoy the silence.

9. They won’t marry you, even though they know that you really, really want to get married and you’ve been together for seven years.

10. They won’t pick up after themselves, ever, and always make you do it.

11. They refuse to participate in things they know you really like and are meaningful to you, even though you’ve explained how much these things mean to you and have repeatedly asked them.

12. They won’t let you like the things you like, because even if they don’t like your favorite band, they should see why that band is important to you and respect that.

13. They yell at you a lot for no reason. Or they yell at you a lot for any reason. Someone who wants to be with you will communicate with you in a respectful, low-decibel manner.

14. They refuse to communicate what is wrong, any time that something is wrong, until whatever was wrong blows up five months later into something that is much worse than the argument that might have ensued had they just accepted your invitation to talk about it in the first place.

15. They still act like a child — not in a cute, fun, let’s-play-Hopscotch! way but in a still-throws-temper-tantrums-in-public way.

16. They never listen to you when you are speaking or when you are talking about your day.

17. They don’t value or respect your opinions or take you seriously.

18. They won’t let you win in arguments or let you be right, ever, because everything is always about them.

19. They don’t know what your needs are, because they haven’t asked and didn’t listen when you told them what they were, or aren’t willing to evolve as those needs evolve.

20. They won’t make simple compromises with you and try to find common ground or will ask that you make sacrifices that they won’t return the favor on.

21. They can’t see the value in your career or life goals and do things like insist that, were you to have children, you would have to be the one who stays home with them all day.

22. They always insinuate that their career or job (read: life) is somehow more important than whatever you are doing. (Even being a stay-home parent is a lot of work.)

23. They aren’t willing to adapt to the little quirks and eccentricities that make you so wonderfully yourself.

24. They repeatedly body shame you and make you feel bad about the way you look.

25. They don’t know the difference between being cute jealous and being Othello.

26. They spend money outrageously irresponsibly, like using the money you had saved up to buy new lenses to go on a shopping spree, and won’t do the work to become more fiscally mature, because they won’t do the work to become more mature.

27. They are out of work and won’t look for a job; it’s not that they can’t find one, but that they won’t get off the damn couch.

28. They are cheating on you or in love with someone else when the two of you are monogamous, or they are already in a monogamous relationship with someone else.

29. They spend more time playing with video games or Twitter than they do playing with you.

30. They make fun of you for being who you are or try to change you into someone you don’t want to be — when that change has nothing to do with your wellbeing or safety.

31. They don’t care for themselves or about themselves, particularly in the universally agreed upon areas of personal hygiene.

32. They won’t look up from their phone at the dinner table, during sex or while ordering from their barista.

33. They are nice to you, but only you — while being a tool to your friends, your family, their friends, their family, your dog, their dog, the mailman, the busboy, their secretary, the cab driver, the barista and almost every other person you see every day. Or they are not nice to you.

34. They lie to you consistently about everything or hide major things from you — like that they have a secret family.

35. They won’t be a part of your chosen family.

36. They continually shame you about your past or the person you were before you met them and refuse to let go of that thing you’ve repeatedly asked them to let go of. You have to accept someone else’s baggage.

37. They can’t respect your privacy and have a habit of going through your email, Facebook, phone, diary, underwear drawer, planner or pager (if anyone still has one of those) to look for “evidence” or check to see who you are talking to, because if you have to check up on someone to feel comfortable in a relationship, that is probably not the relationship for you. You can’t have a relationship if you don’t trust each other.

38. They can’t find any joy or pleasure in life and have no passion or drive for anything, not even small things.

39. They will let you go to bed mad, because they don’t really care if you get mad, because they’re okay with just giving you the silent treatment and that’s it, because they aren’t mature enough to resolve conflict or they don’t really care about your feelings.

40. They speak fluent passive-aggression.

41. They don’t let you be with other people, like your friends and family, and don’t understand that you have a life that exists outside of them. Space is important.

42. They won’t ask for help, because they don’t really think they need help, won’t allow themselves to be helped, refuse to change for the better or can’t allow anyone to be a part of facilitating that change.

43. They won’t kick back and relax or be silly with you, like those times you just really just want to have a Buffy marathon, stay in bed all morning for no reason or sit and just enjoy each other’s presence.

44. They can’t take criticism, like if you gently bring up that they chew with their mouth open and they lash out at you for it, as if you are supposed to be the one who chews their food for them. People like that won’t take any fault in the relationship, which is a problem when attempting to build a life with someone.

45. They don’t understand the difference between being helpful and proactive and a little type-A and being incredibly controlling and manipulative.

46. They hurt or injure you as a joke, because setting someone on fire is “soo funny.”

47. They have a secret Twitter account to complain about your relationship, rather than just voicing their concerns and complaints to you.

48. They won’t learn, grow, or try new things, ever, even new things that you really want to try and promise them sex in return for trying, and won’t experiment in the bedroom.

49. They threaten you or hit you. Even if they say they are sorry. Even if it’s just one time. Forgiveness is your choice, and I won’t shame you for forgiveness, but in my opinion, you can forgive someone without ever being in a relationship with them ever again. You can move on by moving on.

50. They just aren’t in love with you anymore, and you aren’t in love with them anymore. There’s no sense in spending all that time on someone you don’t really want to be with. TC mark

image – Shutterstock


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  • JL

    i wanna send this to my ex

    • JL

      and also my past self

      • ree

        Truth. I know I’ve done some of these things when I’ve felt trapped in a relationship.

    • BJ

      ME TOO!!! I wish I would have read this years ago instead of hoping he would change in the 9 years we were married. I am glad I am away from his toxicity now!

  • http://gravatar.com/hiskrytonite Samantha

    47. They have a secret Twitter account to complain about your relationship, rather than just voicing their concerns and complaints to you.

    My ex had a secret blog where he complained about our r/s (only a few of his NEW coworkers knew) and when I found out, I cried while reading it. And obviously I experienced more than half in this list in my r/s with him. :/

    • http://twitter.com/rob_t_firefly Rob Vincent (@rob_t_firefly)

      What’s r/s?

      • MN

        probably “RelationShip”

  • Alex

    #32 “they won’t look up from their phone during sex”??


  • http://www.itmakesmestronger.com/2012/06/50-things-that-should-be-relationship-dealbreakers-2/ Only L<3Ve @ ItMakesMeStronger.com

    […] Thought Catalog » Love & Sex Add a comment […]

  • Shannon

    9. They won’t marry you, even though they know that you really, really want to get married and you’ve been together for seven years.

    Yikes, no.

  • Vicky

    #43 – yes

  • Christine Xu

    Is this all one person?

  • 9 is stupid

    #9? Or, how about YOU don’t try to force someone into a legal construct just to assuage your insecurities. If things are otherwise great between the two of you, but you are adamant about needing a piece of paper to validate your partner’s “commitment” then you should really dig deep and explore why it is so important for you. Is seven years of loving you, and helping you grow, and having your back not enough evidence that he/she wants to be there tomorrow morning too?

    Marriage doesn’t stop people from breaking up, it just makes things messy and complicated and needlessly prolonged should the end of the relationship occur. Is it commitment you want, or the power to inflict as much pain as possible on your ex if the two of you decide that it is over?

    I can’t imagine letting a woman (my preference for a gender pairing) talk me into that. Especially now that even the best pre-nups routinely get tossed by the judges during the divorce proceedings.

    • Kate

      Yes, yes and more yes. Couldn’t agree more.

    • http://twitter.com/_aguja ari (@_aguja)

      I disagree. #9 is not stupid, it’s just incomplete. Opposing life plans/world views are probably one of the hardest things to deal with as a couple, and are a dealbreaker more often than not. And that’s ok, there’s no right or wrong in these cases.

      Your not wanting to get legally married is just as valid as your partner’s wish to sign the paper. Your partner’s stance on the matter is something that should be perfectly clear the second the relationship becomes serious, or shortly thereafter, and it should be taken seriously, not as an “oh, I’m surre s/he will change their mind later, let’s not worry about that now”. Problem is, people rarely do that when they’re still all moony-eyed.

      IF you know from the start that your partner eventually wants to get married, that it is important to them, and you don’t want to ever sign the paper, it’s selfish and unfair to lead them on knowing you will never change your mind. And if you let them know that from the start, and they keep on hoping, then it’s silly and selfish of them to keep pestering you IF you’ve been honest about that from the start. And the same holds true in the opposite situation. And BOTH sides are right in wanting what they want (be married/never wanting to get married), and BOTH world views/life plans/whatever are valid.


      • http://www.facebook.com/sarasuebeedoo Sara Suzanne

        totally agree with this response. I was married and am now getting divorced. I have no desire to get married again, but if I were to meet someone who I loved and they really wanted to get married, or if we had kids, and they really wanted us to get married, I can’t say that I’d never do it again.
        every situation is different, and the more I live, the more I let go of absolute statements, they always cream pie me eventually…

      • 9 is stupid

        I think there is a lot of sense to what you wrote. Unfortunately, it seems like bringing something like that up *very* early in the relationship usually isn’t rewarded.

        Friend: “So, are you gonna see that chick again?”
        Me: “What? No, that bitch was crazy! On our third date she was already talking about getting married.”


        Friend: “What ever happened to that boy that came out with us that one night?”
        Me: “That loser? I went to that prick’s pig sty last week and almost bolted as soon as I saw the place. I tried to be a good sport by complimenting some ridiculous light-saber replica he had leaning against the wall, and he told me the best thing about it was that since he was never getting married he would never need find a place to keep all his toys.”

        Later on it doesn’t get any easier because nobody wants to be the one to jeapordize a good thing by rocking the boat. I really wish these conversations did happen earlier.

        For my own part, my OkC profile clearly states that I don’t want kids or to get married. I’ve even added colorful commentary to my answers regarding those topics, all unmistakable variations of “No Fucking Way.” Any woman that has read my profile knows exactly what she is getting if she contacts me–which probably explains the large difference between profile visits and messages in my inbox.

    • Lady

      If one person wants to get married and the other does not, then regardless of who’s right about it, you may need to break up. You have different wants. But I think people who oppose getting married always seem to assume that getting married is just about “assuaging insecurities” or proving that “he/she wants to be there tomorrow morning.” When I think about marriage, I think about the fact that I’m going to be old one day. And my health will fail me, just like it fails everyone. And that my parents won’t live forever to make the tough calls. And that if you’re with someone for that long (say a seven year relationship), you may start to think, “You know, if I’m ever in a position where I can’t make my own decisions about my life and death, I would like this person to have a legal right to make those decisions. And I feel like I can be trusted to do the same for them if it comes to it.” In other words, it’s legally making someone your family. That has nothing to do with forcing someone to stick around. That has to do with knowing they will and giving them the rights that should come with that.

      • 9 is stupid

        I’m no lawyer, but I would imagine that it is possible to create a legal contract granting the power to make those types of medical decisions to your partner if a need for them ever arose. Even if such a thing were not possible, the risk you are asking of your partner is just too great (“trust me now that I won’t screw you over in the event we become bitter enemies, because I’m worried about what happens once I go senile”). If how you are dealt with in a possible DNR scenario is a concern, then you should be having estate-planning-type conversations with your lawyer now.

        It’s very much a shame that this is what it has come to, but we wouldn’t feel the need to protect ourselves unless the threat was real. Hate on the MRA positions all you like (although I’m not saying you do), but they provide a wealth of horror stories that should give serious pause to anyone considering getting married.

  • Aelya

    Yeah, i dont agree with the marriage thing entirely because I don’t think it’s so black and white. A lot of people who are averse to marriage are actually averse to weddings and the marriage industry and don’t feel the need to showcase their love by spending thousands of dollars.

    But i think what the author is trying to say is that if someone isn’t willing to be committed in a way that denotes finality, then you have the right to feel uncomfortable with that.

    There are better ways of saying what she wanted to say, other than using marriage as an example.

    • 9 is stupid

      Marriage doesn’t denote finality either. If my partner needs to know that I am in it for the long haul, and the previous seven years of loving commitment aren’t enough evidence for her, then she can discuss it with me. I don’t care if she is a Jennifer Love Hewitt clone with a wardrobe 100% designed to give me boners, who shares my exact taste in music/movies, we are still going to have had a few serious disagreements over the years. The fact that I worked through them, stuck around, and perhaps even made (what seemed to me like) grossly lopsided compromises, should really be enough.

      In my opinion, getting married is the equivalent of saying: I believe that MY magic 8-ball is better than everyone elses, and if time should prove me wrong then I want to get screwed over as mercilessly as possible for my lack of forsight.

      If you really have to wonder if your partner is gobbling up the “best” years of your life with no intention of sticking around later then perhaps you need to pick a better mate. Even if both parties entered into the relationship in good faith, if the time ever comes where one or both of them doesn’t want it anymore, then a legally binding “fuck you, pay me” contract shouldn’t complicate the break up.

  • kaylee

    this describes my ex to a tee.

  • EyeIzKindSmartImpohtant

    Maybe I’m in denial, but how many of these things do they have to have before I dump them?

    • http://twitter.com/_aguja ari (@_aguja)

      The second you realise that the relationship you’re in isn’t fullfiling your needs, isn’t making you happy, and that things aren’t likely to change. You can’t base your life decisions on somebody else’s “wishlist”.

      • Bea

        And likewise the relationship shouldn’t be based around your own wants/needs/whatever. Compromise is essential otherwise no-one would ever be together, no 2 people will always want or need exactly the same things as each other.

  • http://www.facebook.com/reeves.tash Natasha Reeves

    23, 36, 44, 50.

  • Lee Andrews

    Things that should be dealbreakers? Am I missing something? i thought these were already pretty obvious dealbreakers.

    • seeareuh

      I concur wholeheartedly. Things That Should Be Required Before Getting Into A Relationship: 1. Self-respect 2. A backbone

      • Mildred Bonk

        Not everyone is as strong as you two.
        Sometimes you grow a backbone from being in on of these situations.
        And sure these things are dealbreakers, but don’t you recognize the fear of being alone?
        It’s not so simple.

      • Kate

        That’s exactly what they’re both pointing out. That people can be so pathetic and naive because they’re too scared to be alone. So many people would rather be treated like shit than just be single. It’s embarrassing.

  • Sam

    39. They will let you go to bed mad, because they don’t really care if you get mad, because they’re okay with just giving you the silent treatment and that’s it, because they aren’t mature enough to resolve conflict or they don’t really care about your feelings.

    This one describes the person that I’m currently seeing perfectly. This should be a deal breaker for me, but I’m too weak to actually leave and scared because I know that if I did leave he wouldn’t chase me and that sucks.

    • M

      Why do you even want to be chased by someone who treats you that way? Wouldn’t you want to be chased by someone who treats you better? Perhaps it’s a blessing in disguise that he won’t chase you.

      • Sam

        You’re 100% correct. I ended things today actually which I’m proud of myself for and as I assumed, he didn’t chase me, so I’m better off without him of course.

  • BG

    Why would you even spend a day with this person, let alone 7 years?

  • Mojo

    Lol so many of these aren’t dealbreakers, even if they suck (10, 39, 42). A few of these are just being a flawed human (25, 36, 38). And many more are dealbreakers if true, but usually turn out to be one’s own unreasonable flaws/desires rationalized in peoples’ heads (7, 9, 12, 23, 23, ****23****).

    1-50 are pointless to bring up when people who commit any of them blame it on their partner’s 23, this article should just be about 23 lol…

  • Alice

    Wish I could send this to my sister considering she could do so much better than the guy she’s currently seeing and can tick off quite a few of the points on this list… unfortunately, that would be an extremely told-you-so asshole move on my part… -_-

  • http://leydicu.wordpress.com leydicu

    Reblogged this on leydicu.

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