The paper, published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, considered the results of six different studies and used them to 'identify and examine 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,' the authors explained.
Unattractiveness came out top of the list, closely followed by an unhealthy lifestyle. Differences centred on religious beliefs or relationship goals also proved significant.
The seven top traits that can end a relationship.1. Unattractiveness
2. Unhealthy lifestyle
3. Undesirable personality traits
4. Differing religious beliefs
5. Limited social status
6. Differing mating strategies
7. Differing relationship goals
Bad sex was just one of the deal-breaking traits picked out by participants
The research also showed that even though most singles look for positive traits when evaluating a partner, they tend to subconsciously look out for less desirable ones because of the potential impact on the future relationship.
One of the studies that was used to develop the list, conducted by the Western Sydney University, used a pool of around 5,500 participants and asked them to consider a list of 17 possible deal breakers to see if they would stop them entering a relationship.
Interestingly, although women chose more of the options as deal breakers, both sexes had similar ideas when it came to the worst qualities, each ranking having a 'dishevelled or unclean appearance' and 'being too needly' particularly highly.
The full list of traits, and the percentages of participants who voted them deal breakers, was as follows:
- Dishevelled/unclean appearance 67% (63% of men, 71% of women)
- Lazy 66% (60% of men 72% of women)
- Too needy 63% (57% men, 69% women)
- Lacks sense of humour 54% (50% of men, 58% of women)
- Lives more than three hours away 49% (51% of men, 47% of women)
- Bad sex 47% (44% of men, 50% of women)
- Lacks self-confidence 40% (33% of men, 47% of women)
- Too much TV/video games 33% overall (25% of men, 41% of women)
- Low sex-drive 33% (39% of men, 27% of women)
- Stubborn 33% (32% of men, 34% of women)
- Talks too much 23% (26% of men, 20% of women)
- Too quiet 14% (11% of men, 17% of women)
- Blunt 14% (11% of men, 17% of women)
- Does not want children 14% (13% of men, 15% of women)
- Has kids 13% (14% of men, 12% of women)
- Too athletic 9% (7% of men, 10% of women)
- Not athletic 6% (7% of men, 6% of women)
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Do you agree with the list of deal-breaking traits? Or do you think you could work through them for the right person? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.