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Common Dating Deal Breakers for Women

She considers dating deal breakers while sitting in a restaurant

Hi, this is Kate talking today about dating deal breakers. Many women now choose a single life over staying with the wrong partner. While past generations considered marriage the ultimate goal for a young woman, many women today find personal satisfaction outside of romantic relationships in their careers and social lives. Women fully understand that every moment they spend with the wrong partner means losing precious time that could be spent on other pursuits.

Relationships do require compromise, true. But overlooking certain huge red flags can lead to staying with the wrong person for far too long. While everyone possesses little quirks, certain behaviors indicate trouble with the long-term potential of any relationship. All women should establish their own dating deal breakers list to avoid wasting valuable time and emotional energy on the wrong people. Consider the following behaviors when making your personal deal breakers list.

Treating the Server Terribly

Treating wait staff with disrespect shows that a potential partner possesses a holier-than-thou attitude about other people. Who wants to stay with someone who thinks their poo doesn’t stink?

Treating servers like slaves or failing to leave a proper tip demonstrates an insensitivity toward the feelings and needs of others and proves your date holds the arrogant assumption that they are superior to everyone else, so head for the hills with quickness!

Dating Deal Breaker: Bad Hygiene

Physical attraction may matter less in a long-term relationship than your partner’s personality. But not paying attention to hygiene means your partner cares so little about you that they can’t even take a shower. Sure, you don’t expect your mate to come out of the gym smelling like a rose, but constant neglect of personal hygiene can indicate possible sluggishness in other areas of one’s life, including the relationship sector.

Racism, Xenophobia, and Misogyny

This one should go without saying. Kick anyone who says racial epithets or demonstrates disrespect toward women to the curb, stat.

Disagreeing on the need for a wall on the southern border is one thing (although personally, I’d consider political viewpoints an additional dating deal breaker), but spouting hateful speech about others based on factors beyond their control demonstrates intellectual laziness, a lack of empathy or both. Likewise, if a guy rants about Gillette expecting men to behave, oh, like civilized human beings, exit stage left with no explanation necessary.


While psychologists recognize addiction as a mental health disorder, dating someone with an addiction to alcohol or drugs can unfortunately often end in disappointment and heartbreak.

Try as you might to prevent it, relationships with addicts often result in codependency, making it more difficult to separate yourself from your partner if they refuse to seek help. By all means, those battling addictions need your friendship and your support. But that shouldn’t damage your mental health. So you have to decide if this is one of your dating deal breakers or not.

Many of us know that alcohol and drugs can truly destroy families, relationships, and lives, but what about cigarettes? While arguably less harmful to the daily activities of a relationship, nicotine addiction is still a red flag. An addiction to nicotine can prove tough to beat, yes. But continuing to use tobacco products despite all the evidence of the negative health consequences indicates that the person cares more for immediate satisfaction than for long-term health.

Narcissistic Tendencies

I speak from personal experience when it comes to avoiding relationships with narcissists. Women often fall for these kinds of toxic men because they initially appear charming and sweep a lady off her feet. But when problems develop in the relationship, narcissists won’t accept any blame for their behavior. Instead, they project their own less-than-perfect traits onto their partner.

Over time, narcissists can even force you to question reality. They gaslight you into believing your version of events never occurred. Instead, narcissists retroactively put words in your mouth, insisting that you said or did wildly inappropriate things in an attempt to shift blame to you. If you find yourself constantly questioning your memory of last nights’ fight, consider heading for the hills. It could be a dating deal breaker.

Expecting Maid Service

Nothing puts out a relationship’s spark like picking up your partner’s underwear and sweaty gym socks up off the floor for the 1,584,285th time. Even in progressive nations like Canada, women still perform 50 percent more unpaid household labor than men. Also, women often have the burden of emotional labor by managing everything in the home to make sure all essential duties get done.

To balance out the load, couples who live together can create a chore list. On this list, both of you take full responsibility for certain tasks, such as cleaning the bathroom. Those who still live separately might discuss how they feel about dividing household labor. Men who balk at doing their fair share don’t deserve any more of your time.

Kids or No Kids? Dating Deal Breaker

Finally, next to financial matters, nothing causes more division in personal relationships than arguing over how many kids to have or even whether to have children at all. If you dream of sharing a country home with five or more kids, while your partner prefers to party downtown without finding a sitter, it’s usually best to part ways. All children deserve a loving home where they feel wanted by both parents.

As women increasingly achieve equality, they no longer need to rely on men to meet their financial or emotional needs. This greater freedom means that we as women no longer need to settle for less than what we deserve in our romantic relationships. Decide what deal breakers you simply cannot stand for when hitting the dating scene. Doing so can help you avoid falling for Mr. Wrong and missing out on other healthier opportunities and ways to spend your time.

About Today’s Writer

Kate is a lifestyle and wellness journalist from Pennsylvania. She particularly enjoys writing about topics related to women’s health and well-being. If you like her work, you can subscribe to her blog, So Well, So Woman.

15 thoughts on “Common Dating Deal Breakers for Women”

  1. Hah, yes to all of them. I think being rude or ignorant is very off-putting and tells you a lot about what they’re like on a day to day basis. Racism and prejudice in general would just be a big ‘no’. If they can’t even pretend they’re not a-holes, then that tells you something, but at least you know not to waste your time there. x

  2. Jeri Walker (@JeriWB)

    Addictions can be hard to pinpoint, especially ones that don’t involve substances. I’d like to think after all I’ve been through, I definitely know how to keep my peepers peeled ;) The learning curve was steep…

  3. I completely agree, but there are so much more. I don’t believe chivalry is dead. Respect is two ways (men and women), being able to carry a conversation on a date without scrolling through social media or playing on your phone (unless it’s an emergency or they have children I will make an exception) is a no go for me. And they have to be kind and honest. And a secure man who for me (honors God). Well there’s a lot and everyone is different. Great post!

  4. Fantastic post! I had experiences with two narcissists in my life, and now I know the signs. I realize it’s different for everyone, but there are several hallmarks that I now recognize, and avoid like the plague. And I try to help others who find themselves in abusive relationships, too.

    1. Your experiences can now help others. That is a testimony. I’m glad you got out of it and you have found a way to support others through it.

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