When considering a long-term relationship, most people have a wide range of dealbreakers. At top of that list are serious things like that the other person “has anger issues or is abusive,” “is currently dating multiple partners,” or “isn’t untrustworthy.”
When considering casual sex, most people have more superficial concerns at the top of their list. The top dealbreakers for this scenario are “has STDS,” “smells bad,” and “has poor hygiene.”
This insight comes from a survey of 285 undergraduates at a university in the southwest, published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. The list of 49 potential dealbreakers the participants were ranking came from an earlier, open-ended survey of just 92 undergrads. Because both groups were small and non-diverse, it’s important to note that specific dealbreakers may differ across the general population.
People also aren’t always honest about their answers when surveyed. But the general idea of different “dealbreakers” among people seeking committed relationships versus those looking for quick pairings is something that’s been observed before.
“These results are consistent with research showing that people elevate their standards when considering long-term (vs. short-term) partnerships,” the authors conclude.
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In case you’re wondering, men and women also have slightly different dealbreakers.
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