Are These Dating Deal Breakers?

In Dating by Debra Fileta23 Comments

What makes something significant enough to be a deal breaker when you’re dating someone? I compiled a list of 10 Dating Deal-Breakers that I highly suggest you listen to, from my perspective as a professional counselor.

But like I talk about in True Love Dates, there are Red, Green, and Yellow traits in every relationship, and sometimes it’s not so cut-and-dry categorizing whether or not something is a deal breaker for you!

So I’m taking a poll of some of the categories that people have asked me about over the past couple of years, and I’m wondering whether or not these are dating deal breakers for you? Fill out the survey below answering YES or NO regarding your dating deal-breakers, and then check out the results of what people in this culture think. Then comment below, do you agree or disagree with the consensus? Why or why not?

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
Start date 10:19:14
End date 10:19:14
Poll Results:
Drinking Alcohol
Using Profane Language
Pushing Physical Boundaries
Always Late
Someone you are not physically attracted to
Someone you are somewhat physically attracted to
Someone currently jobless
Someone who lives with their parents
New Christian
Christian from a different denomination than you
Totally different career path than you
Long Distance
Someone your family doesn't like
Someone your friends don't like
Someone who doesn't attend church

tld-3d-book cover

Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, speaker, and author of True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life21 Days to Jump Start Your Love Life, and 21 Days to Pray For Your Love Life – where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love. You may also recognize her voice from her 150+ articles at Relevant Magazine or! She’s also the creator of this True Love Dates Blog!  Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter or book a session with her today!

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23 Comments on "Are These Dating Deal Breakers?"

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WOW….I’m a little surprised at some of numbers regarding drinking, always late, jobless and lives with parents. I’m not sure I would put up with any of those things no matter what my age. I am a bit older (52) and I would not put up with someone always being late…’s disrespectful and tells me that whatever is keeping him from being on time is more important than me. Drinking…..I would not have an issue if this is maybe a glass of wine with dinner, but beyond that no. JOBLESS….you’ve got to be kidding…..this would be a big NO. I… Read more »
I am so with you on the lateness thing; it’s a respect issue! You made an important distinction with the drinking question – there’s enjoying a glass of wine, getting drunk on weekends, full on alcoholism, so determining what “drinks alcohol” means is important in defining deal breakers. I was part of a Southern Baptist church that associated ANY consumption of alcoholic beverages with binge drinking and were very open in their disapproval of drinkers. For me, “DOESN’T drink alcohol” is a dealbreaker; I don’t want to be with someone who views taking a sip of wine and/or ordering a… Read more »
Dee, I am 25, and I completely agree with what you said. I guess I would have liked clarification (in the question) regarding drinking alcohol. I’m more “OK” with the living with parents thing, because just because a person lives with his or her parents doesn’t necessarily mean they are living there freely. The job market has been especially bad, and I personally have only been able to obtain part-time positions upon graduation. I’ve been working my butt off at the different jobs in my field of study (teaching/education), but I contribute to household expenses. At first the goal was… Read more »
I was a bit surprised by the consensus for “New Christian” and long distance. Not exactly sure what is defined as a “new Christian?” Is that born again Christian, someone that just recently accepted Jesus Christ and started going to church?” And how long exactly constitutes as “new?” There are people whose were born into a totally different religion, or whose parents were not religious so they didn’t grow up in the church. They can’t control their childhood. My cousin married a man who was born into a muslim family. His dad was muslim, and required his family to be… Read more »
I also think the one question that people are the least likely to be completely 100% honest about is choosing to date someone that they’re not physically attracted to at all, and only attracted to their personality, heart, and their character, and how they treat them. Based on what I’ve seen and heard in my lifetime, men (even “Christian” men are just highly unlikely to even approach women they aren’t attracted to, much less seriously date them. Of course their are exceptions to this that I have seen, however most all men are visual, and driven by their flesh. Even… Read more »

I think these answers can be very influenced by age – jobless, lives with parents, etc. is much less of a deal-breaker at 22 than 42.

Brenda R
I am up towards 60 and I am finding that I am much less tolerant in the dating world than I was in early life. I don’t want a smoker around my kids and grand daughter who have asthma and allergies. I wouldn’t mind someone who has a glass of wine, but not the entire bottle as long as they don’t mind that I have iced tea. My family is scattered all over the country so they really wouldn’t get a vote. I don’t want to listen to any one’s foul mouth or using my Savior’s name in any way… Read more »
Anison Eric J.P.

First, l think l must accept the fact that l didn’t get home with today’s post. But from the background, l will not ( as a man ) accept any woman who smokes , drinks alcohol,is messy, and worst still uses profane language. But, l can. Be drawn by character, pulled by grace . And attraction is normal, who says good thing is not good. But without that character, everything falls.

Anison Eric J.P.

I hope this is not a trap. And secondly, Please let’s respect the person of Jesus.

Renee Scallions

I agree with life circumstances being quite different from 22 to 42 by comparison so it would skew results in the poll based on who was answering. However, something to think about is if a young man at 22 is in school and working or on his own and working a good job or jobs it’s a great indication of his motivation, drive and who he will be in providing for his family at 42.
(Hint: always marry a hard worker who loves Jesus… you will never go hungry physically or spiritually)

A lot of these depend upon the back story as well. Is the jobless guy in between jobs and actively looking for a new job? Or is he just hanging around being a slacker? What is the reason the guy is living at home? Is it because his family needs assistance? Is it because rent is so stupidly high that he’d rather contribute to his family’s income than a random landlord? Is it because he’s trying to work his way out of debt? I said no to those as deal breakers because there are situations that so many of us… Read more »
Marriage is difficult enough with 2 very different people getting used to each other’s differences, adding joblessness to that list would make it even more difficult. One of the number one reason a marriage does not survive is due to money. Strife in a marriage over money is caused by several things, who is earning more/less, how you each spend and how you each save. If someone is jobless….he/she is not ready for marriage. Second, if he is still living with parents…..again….not ready for marriage unless you are willing to live with them after you are married and trust me…..THAT… Read more »

The living at home thing also depends on culture. Americans think it’s wrong to live at home after graduation, but go outside of the US and it’s expected in many places, regardless of income. Even within the US, you’ll find a number of ethnic groups who still expect their grown son or daughter to live at home – married or not.

Maybe living at home (as an adult) single would be more tolerable for me than a ‘married’ couple living at home. I’m sorry but I am of a different generation and if I had a young daughter getting married, he would need to be able to support them in their own home. That is why the Bible clearly says “a man shall LEAVE his mother and father and join his wife”. As a newly married couple I would think you would not want to live with your parents as I’m sure they would have some ‘rules’ as they should, after… Read more »

Hej Dee,
I just wanted to say, some people are often late without the intention of being disrespectful.
Like me, I have ADD and I have problems with time.
I wish I didn’t, but it’s really not that easy for me to change.
Next to that, I think I’m a really sweet person 🙂

Another deal breaker is if my date is liked and respected by strangers, homeless, and service people. I want someone who is generous, kind, and respectful to people he doesn’t know, especially restaurant staff. Church isn’t a deal breaker because I can’t stand going to church 90% of the time. I want someone who participates as a member of the body of Christ in every facet of life. Health is huge, which goes with smoking, alcohol, and finances. I want someone who takes care of his body and appearance, wanting to live well and take care of his family. Pushing… Read more »
I appreciated this survey. I basically knew my answers, but it was a nice exercise. As some have indicated above, my answers have changed as I’ve aged. Some things used to be deal breakers but aren’t now and others that weren’t years ago are now. If my friends and family didn’t like him, it would depend on why. Do they think he’s of bad character, do they find him annoying or do they have a different set of deal breakers for me than I do for myself? On a different subject, I’m curious to know more about how age and… Read more »

I’m just curious about what everyone thinks about a man who is 32 and lives with his parents? My boyfriend’s parents are poor and lost their home to foreclosure a few years ago and he has been supporting them financially since his early 20s. He has contributed a lot of money towards rent all of these years, which he could have put towards a down payment on a house. He no longer supports them financially so that he can save money for our future.


Reading this, I removed myself from all dating websites and most social interaction with singles until I get a reliable job and get my life together. It was a difficult decision, but it’s reality: a woman will generally only accept a man who is ready for marriage, even for dating. Proof, not potential, is what is required, for a man to date, and eventually, marry…