A deal breaker is a factor to consider when deciding whether to follow through with something or not. It’s that little something that makes you say “I’m done!” even when you really love someone or you’ve been together forever.
It may sound harsh — after all, no relationship is perfect, right? — but having a list of relationship deal breakers is actually a healthy way to protect yourself from toxic situations.
Don’t get caught up in controlling, hurtful, and potentially dangerous relationships. Here are 12 relationship deal breakers that you should seriously consider when deciding whether your sweetheart is actually worth your time.
1. There Is Abuse in the Relationship
A healthy relationship is about respect, putting your spouse first, and treating them how you want to be treated.
On the other hand, a partner who lays a hand on you or emotionally abuses you is a major relationship deal-breaker((Marriage: Definite Relationship Deal Breakers to Look out For)).
Many people convince themselves that just because it happens once doesn’t mean it will happen again. Remember, you deserve a healthy relationship, and someone who abuses you physically or emotionally even once isn’t worth your time.
2. You’re a Secret
If you find out that your spouse hasn’t told their friends or family about you, run for your life! Because being a secret means one of three things.
- They are already in a relationship and you are the side piece.
- They can’t commit.
- They are embarrassed by you.
Your time is valuable and shouldn’t be wasted being with someone who would rather keep you as their dirty little secret.
3. Plans Are Constantly Cancelled
Does your partner always seem to be ditching out on plans with you last minute?
Sure, there are legitimate reasons that your partner may be doing this, such as being called into work unexpectedly, but feeling like the person you’re crazy about is bailing on your company in favor of partying with their friends is definitely shady.
If you find that your long-term partner starts doing this, it may be signs of a deeper problem in the relationship that needs to be discussed.
4. Substance Abuse Problems
Sitting down with a drink is a great way to relax — and let’s be honest, having a buzz on is fun! But if your spouse needs some sort of substance to have a good time, or if their personality drastically changes when they are under the influence, it can really throw you for a loop.
Substance abuse is one of the biggest relationship deal breakers on this list. It can cause your partner to mistreat you, be untrustworthy, waste money, and make poor decisions that will hurt you.
Why would you want to be around someone who is high or drunk 24/7, anyway?
5. Your Partner Isn’t Faithful
When it comes to cheating, put your foot down immediately. Don’t forgive and wait for the next round of heartbreak. If you have both agreed to a monogamous relationship, both parties should be respecting that decision.
Even if you put breaking your trust and your heart aside, your partner’s cheating on you puts you at risk for depression, sexually transmitted infections, and major embarrassment.
If your partner doesn’t love and respect you enough to stay faithful, dump them. They aren’t worth your time.
6. They Fight Dirty
There are times when we’ve all said stupid things in the heat of an argument, but there’s a difference between getting caught up and using a disagreement as an excuse to be a complete jerk.
If, during an argument, your partner or spouse:
- Brings up past experiences with the intention of hurting your feelings
- Calls you rude or degrading names
- Gaslights you to make you feel crazy
- Attacks you instead of the issue
- Uses the silent treatment
Then you should consider walking away.
Healthy relationships are about open communication and fair conflict resolutions((TIME: This Is the Best Way To Fight With Your Partner, According to Psychologists)) — not about seeing who can hurt the other more.
7. You Don’t Feel Good About the Relationship
Do you feel good about being around your partner, or do you get knots when you think about hanging out together?
Do you get anxiety when you think about your relationship?
Does your partner make you question your self-worth?
If so, something inside you is probably screaming: “This relationship isn’t right!” There is definitely something to be said for gut instinct when it comes to deciding whether or not to stay with someone.
If your gut is telling you something is off in your relationship, there probably is.
8. You Want Different Things
Sometimes, even if you really love each other, your relationship game just isn’t meant to work out.
He wants East Coast, you want West.
She wants to save money, you want to spend.
He wants kids, you’re fine riding as a duo.
Even if you get along well, these fundamental differences in your goals and where you see your lives going are going to cause serious resentment problems if you don’t address them soon.
9. They’re Unbelievably Selfish
We’re all selfish from time to time, but some people take it too far.
If you feel like you’re giving your all to your spouse, and all they’re doing is taking, focusing on themselves, and taking advantage of your kindness, it may be time to re-evaluate your relationship.
Don’t spend a second longer with a selfish narcissist. Trust me, it isn’t worth the headache.
10. They’re Always Jealous
Healthy jealousy is totally cool when it inspires couples to treat each other better and not take one another for granted.
However, controlling, hack-your-Facebook-and-demand-your-phone-password jealousy((Psych Central: The Poisonous Effect of Jealousy on Your Relationship)) should never be tolerated. This is a sign of insecurity and can quickly develop into dangerous or abusive behavior. It’s better to get out before it reaches that point.
11. You Don’t Share Values
You may think that opposites attract — and that’s true! — but that doesn’t always mean they make the best partners.
If you are passionate about your politics or your faith and your spouse has opposing beliefs that upset or anger you, it could mean that your relationship wasn’t meant to be.
If you’re going to be in a relationship with someone with opposing values, be aware that it will take a great deal of time to work through how you talk about and handle those things. If you simply don’t have the patience or desire to do so, it’s time to walk away.
12. You’re Always Fighting
Do you feel like you and your spouse are always arguing?
Sure, even happy couples argue, but constantly arguing with a partner is one of our relationship deal breakers because it shows that you have poor communication skills.
Communication is everything when it comes to a healthy, happy relationship. Couples need to be able to talk to each other in order to build empathy, resolve problems, and get closer. This means addressing problems as the arise, not letting them sit and turn into huge fights down the line.
The Bottom Line
Life is far too short to spend it with someone who isn’t worth your time. If your spouse is controlling, annoying, or won’t seem to give you the time of day, it’s time to call it quits! This is obviously a difficult decision to make, but your future self will thank you when they’ve found someone who is better for them.