The #1 Dating Deal Breaker of 2016

In Uncategorized by Debra Fileta27 Comments

What would you guess is the #1 Dating Deal Breaker?

Last week at, I took a poll called “Are These Dating Deal Breakers” asking singles to respond “yes” or “no” as to whether something was a dating deal breaker. I had some really important traits on the list, mixed in with a few qualities that some might say aren’t as important in a relationship.

We had over 20,000 responses from approximately 1,500 different singles across the country.

And the number one deal breaker reported was……..(drumroll please)………


A whopping 85% of singles said that they would definitely NOT date a smoker. It’s a major deal breaker. 

I don’t know about you, but I was actually surprised by the overwhelming response to this question, especially considering that 15% of Americans 18 and over currently smoke. Percentage wise, it was a bigger deal breaker than EVERY other item on the list.

Why do you think there was such a collective NO to smoking?

Would you consider smoking a deal breaker? Why or why not?

Do you think smoking is reflective of deeper issues, or is the smoking in and of itself the deal-breaker (the scent, cost, etc.)? 

What is it about smoking that makes it so controversial in a dating relationship? I want to hear what you all think about this. Were you as surprised as me, or is this a common deal breaker these days?

I’d love to dig a little deeper into this subject, so leave your comment below! And stay tuned to find out how the rest of the dating deal breakers panned out with our audience. 

“Your love life needs this book!”

– Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, NYTimes Bestselling Authors and Psychologists

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Download this audio lesson where I talk you through the top 10 dating deal breakers from a professional counselor’s perspective!

10 Dating deal breakers

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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27 Comments on "The #1 Dating Deal Breaker of 2016"

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I’m not surprise that smoking came up the number one deal breaker! I just broke up with someone after 2 years because of his smoking. I didn’t see a good future in our lives together if he continued to smoke. With all the research about the health hazards why would I want to take care of someone as they age if they don’t have enough sense to quit smoking. It was a major issue that kept coming up. It’s an addiction and the addict, obviously, love his addiction more than his mate.

To me this is a deal breaker bc of health issues. In my mind, you’re consciously not taking care of your health. Same as if you didn’t eat healthy or try to be active somehow. And if he smokes in front of me and/or the children (let’s say it goes that far), now we’re all being exposed to the chemicals through secondhand smoking. I just done feel comfortable with someone else making that choice for me, or my children. Plus, if you don’t quit it, it means you’re addicted. And being addicted to cigarettes is as bad to being addicted… Read more »

It’s pretty simple to me —

Horrific stench.
Terrible breath (making kissing unbearable).
Submission to an addiction.
Lack of wisdom in stewardship.

Definitely a no way Jose!


I was a smoker for 28 years and God took it from me when He knew in my heart that I wanted to quit! Now I don’t want to date a woman who smokes and tempt myself! Besides, it’s unhealthy and it smells!

I need to say one thing, I wasn’t addicted to smoking when I started smoking as most seem to think. I started because in basic training if you smoked, you got to take a break! The tobacco company’s have made cigarettes addictive through their manufacturing process and it hooks people and brings them in! It is very difficult to quit, I know I tried numerous times before I was saved by Jesus. Then my preacher preached a message of Godly and unGodly desires on July 24, 2013 and God knew in my heart I wanted to lay down cigarettes and… Read more »

God bless you Raymond. I’m so glad that God delivered you from smoking.

Along with the medical issues discussed above and the psychological and physiological consequences of addictive behavior like smoking (and its harming our temple), it is a huge financial issue. I have heard of individuals spending thousands of dollars per year on cigarettes that are just going up in smoke. To set aside that same amount of money (even for one year) and invest it would likely help to pay for retirement, children’s college, or just make day-to-day finances much easier. As a result of these consideration, I consider smoking a deal-breaker; but I was still surprised that it was the… Read more »
Jennifer H

I was one of the voters and smoking was one of my deal breakers, but MY #1 deal breaker is the guy being a non Christian(not saved..unequally yoked) scripture asks for what does light have to do with darkness? There can be commonalities, but no spiritual fellowship! And THAT SHOULD be at the core of any romantic relationship because it could lead to marriage.

I am surprised no smoking is the #1 reason but then it is highly important to me to date a non-smoker. If they say they smoke, I move on. My Ex-husband used to smoke. I used to smoke. I quit when I was pregnant with my 1st child after my doctor embarrassed me to. It was that important to me at the time. My Ex-husband chose not to quit. Our son experienced one ear infection after another which I was told the 2nd hand smoke could contribute to his infections. I asked my Ex to smoke outside of the house… Read more »

Why waste yours and others time looking further into a smoking issue. It is what it is, a disgusting vile habit, horrible health consequences, stinks up eveything, expensive,offensive and harmful to others. Its a common sense response., good on everyone acknowledging it. Move onto issues that should be further researched


I’m surprised smoking ended up at the top but it is a huge deal breaker. It’s not the act of smoking itself that’s unattractive, it’s the health problems that go with it; lung disease, yellow teeth, damaged airways, damaged vocal chords, not to mention the bad breath and the danger of second-hand smoke. Smoking is a health hazard, making it a pretty big deal-breaker in my book


Smoking is a broad term. I’m a cigar smoker. Not inhaled, they don’t cause cancer as some loons claim and don’t have an aweful smell like cigs. Not all smoking is bad unless you are narrow minded

Leighann Blackwood
I think it’s biological. Kind of like when people decide they won’t date or marry someone who is overweight. While for some, it’s a heart issue that really needs working on – that person’s way of life might just not align with the other person’s lifestyle choices. Like, if they smoke, it might suggest that they don’t take care of themselves or respect their bodies. Regardless of whether that is true or not, at least for me it indicates that they don’t live a lifestyle that is conducive to having a healthy family and spouse. Again, this is my personal… Read more »

I totally agree with Leighann and all of the other commenters.
I wonder why drinking wasn’t a close second. Debra, I’m curious,
what did you think would be the # 1 Dealbreaker?


Smoking stinks! It leaves a greasy residue on everything that you cant remove. It ruins everything. And its DEADLY! I cant bear being in the vicinity of a smoker, let alone invite that into my home so there is no chance of getting to know someone enough to even consider dating him.

Nicole M

I do believe smoking is an indicator of a deeper issue such as addiction and maybe codependency. Couple that with the health consequences and the smell 😷 its an all around lose lose situation. 😕 So all in all its just UNATTRACTIVE 😉

I was actually a bit on the line as to whether this was a deal breaker for me. The top of the list would definitely be if they were not a Christian. I do have friends also that smoke pipe tobacco or a cigar a few times a year and I am okay with that. That is not an addiction, they do it as a communal thing to build relationships and it is not something that negatively affects their relationships in any way. The main reason sn addiction to smoking remained a deal breaker for me is my job. I… Read more »

I’m allergic to smoke…
In contrast to all these super long comments, it’s really just that simple for me. 🙂
If a guy had a dog and I was allergic to dogs, it would be the same answer.

pastor terryzane

Any one who refuses to walk with Jesus Christ every second does not know satan will walk by their side and not know it. he is a home wrecker and he is looking for the lost. No one walks alone on earth. there is always a third person close by. Jeremiah 33:3 says…….
your vote counts…use it wisely…


I am both surprised and not surprised that smoking garnered the most votes for a deal breaker. I had a number of other deal beakers from that list. For me, smoking is a very visible manifestation of someone knowing a behavior is unhealthy and engaging in it anyway. It would make me wonder if the person engages in other behaviors that lead to physical or emotional deterioration, either consciously or unconsciously.


I think smoking is a gross habit. I also have asthma and allergies, so I can’t be around smoke. I grew up in a household that was held hostage by smoking. I know people who quit doing meth that said (for them) quitting smoking was harder. But my number one reason for not dating/marrying someone who smokes is not wanting to raise children alone if they die slowly of emphysema or lung cancer.

It was a deal breaker for me, but not put ahead of being unequally yoked. At this point in my life (wiser now) and having dated smokers in the past, I am not willing to compromise my health. I’ve also become allergic to it and don’t appreciate the illness that it brings. Growing up with almost all of my relatives being smokers, I have seen the damage it does to their health and those around them. I empathize with the smoker as I have seen family members struggle with one of the most addicting habits that has such a stronghold… Read more »
Anison Eric J.P.

I hate smoking with passion! I cannot stand the smoke, the smell and not to talk of having a partner that smokes , that will be Hell!


I know we all have our things that we go back to…. but wwhen someone is addicted to smoking it tells me that they are allowing sonething to be first before God to supply needs and peace. Not only will smoking be before God, it will be before me. I know many people who smoke and they all say they could quit. But they all tend to worry about the wrong thing. And as a nurse I know all too well that smoking is dangrrous for the smoker and for everyone around them.


I take care of myself and I want to be with someone who cares about their health and well being. I love running ,camping, hiking etc. I know lots of people who smoke and that’s their choice. I don’t judge. I have friends and family members who smoke. I just want a partner who shares the same core values as I do. .


My reason for not wanting to date a smoker is pretty similar to others: I am nauseated by the stench, I don’t want to commit to someone who won’t get treatment for an addiction, and I want to live a long and healthy life with the person I marry (not a shortened one because of bad health decisions that are preventable).