The #2 Dating Deal Breaker of 2016 (But Why It’s Actually #1)

In Dating, Single by Debra Fileta15 Comments

Earlier this week I published a post revealing the #1 Dating Deal Breaker of 2016, based on well over 20,000 responses from 1,500 single voters across the nation. If you are curious what that deal breaker is, than give this post a read.

Interestingly enough, after that post was published, there was a rush of hundreds of new voters who decided to go and cast their vote and ended up actually changing my data, bumping this #2 deal breaker up by 4% and making it the #1 Deal Breaker on the list! (By the way, for those of you who are curious, the poll is OFFICIALLY CLOSED TO VOTERS).

I tell you that, because no matter how we look at the numbers, it’s important to note that this #2 Dating Deal Breaker, is actually right up there with number one! And in my personal and professional opinion – it surpasses #1 because it is hands down the MOST IMPORTANT THING a couple can share in their dating relationship.

This one aspect informs and influences every other item on the list:

88% of voters agreed with me that for a Christian, dating a Non-Christian is a deal breaker!

I’m thankful that there was such a high response rate to this specific question, because we live in a society in which singles are under a TON of pressure to settle for less. Singles are bombarded with lies that make them rethink whether or not it’s even worth it – much less – even POSSIBLE to marry a believer these days.

But dating a Christian, specifically, a believer in Christ, is such a crucial component to the health of your relationship because out of the overflow of your relationship with God comes your ability to love and be loved.

Our spiritual life is such a significant part of who we are, and to enter a life long relationship with someone who doesn’t identify with that part of your life is doing yourself and your relationship a grave injustice.

I’ve shared a lot of my personal thoughts on this concept, and I go as far as to explain that just because someone is “Christian” doesn’t mean they are healthy – so yes, there’s a lot more to this question that needs to be unpacked. Being a Christian is not simply a label that a person puts on themselves, it’s so much deeper than that. So if you’re interested in reading more about the importance of dating a believer (and I highly recommend you do) you can check out these articles:

Why W.W.J.D. Doesn’t Work In Dating

Marry Someone Who Loves God More Than They Love You

Marrying a Believer is NOT Optional

And then check out this guest post by my friend, pastor and author Gary Thomas:

Does It Matter If I’m Dating An Unbeliever?

For those who may or may not be on the fence as to whether or not this is something worth waiting for, I’d love to start a discussion in the comments below:

Why (or why not) is this such an important factor in a dating relationship?

If you are a Christian, what has your personal experience been dating and/or marrying someone who was not a Christian?

“Your love life needs this book!”

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

tld-3d-book cover

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!

Leave a Reply

15 Comments on "The #2 Dating Deal Breaker of 2016 (But Why It’s Actually #1)"

Notify of
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Sarah Y
Before I got into a relationship with my current boyfriend, I dated two guys: one who was an atheist and one who was a devout Catholic. First, let me say that Christianity vs. Catholicism has its huge differences, and in dating, it doesn’t always work. When I dated the ex-boyfriend who was a devout Catholic, that also was a hindrance because his beliefs were in God but on a level and way that didn’t align with my Christian beliefs. So I’ve found that for me, it was a dealbreaker. But for the ex-boyfriend who was an atheist, it was harder… Read more »
I am very happy this has made (the new) # one. While I agree that smoking is an undesirable trait that is definitely a deal breaker for me…the smell/cost and what it does to your health are but a few reasons why. If you are truly walking with God, than getting into a relationship with a nonbeliever would not be a good decision. The one thing I have learned….you cannot change someone! I know there are times when being with ‘someone’ is better than being alone. Be careful before taking that plunge, remember even if they agree to attend church… Read more »
I am not trying to be the bearer of bad news, but it doesn’t seem to me through my experience that women want a Christian man or one who is equally yoked as it says in 2 Cor 6:14!!! Let me explain, I am a man who found Jesus and a relationship with Him almost 4 years ago. Before that I was lost and lived for the world. I claimed to be a Christian, but didn’t go to church or honor God in and through my life. Today I am continuously striving to serve God in any way that I… Read more »

Hey Raymond,
If you don’t mind me asking, what sites are you on?? Where are you meeting women?
I believe that with Gods guidance, you can and will find the right “Godly” woman for you.
Don’t give up hope.

God bless.

One thing I’ve learned is that the person you’re dating or have married becomes a part of your family and impacts them for good or bad. My family has suffered because a sibling chose to marry someone who not only is not a believer but frequently expresses her dislike and anger towards our family. It draws my sibling away from the rest of our family and makes it painful and difficult to be together. The cost of dating/marrying an unbeliever goes far beyond the relationship and can bring destruction and pain into the rest of your family, including your family… Read more »
I’ve been in a relationship with a non-christian, and in the first couple of days I could see that the relationship wasn’t going to go far. I disliked the fact that I had to compromise some of my values for this relationship because to him it wasn’t a big deal. I also didn’t like the fact that we couldn’t go to church together – that’s when I realised that this is not the type of relationship that I had prayed for. I want to have conversations about God with my partner, I want him to understand what I’m talking about… Read more »
I do believe that dating an unbeliever is a dealbreaker. But it is interesting that Paul says in 1 Corinthians that if a Christian gets saved while being married to an unbeliever they should not seek a divorce. Why would Paul encourage someone to stay married to an unbeliever? Isn’t being “unequally yoked” the kiss of death for a Chiristian? While I do agree that dating a non Christian is a bad idea, Paul is implying that it is possible to be in the deepest covenant relationship with someone and still have a successful walk with God. He is also… Read more »
This is so true Matthew . This bible verse goes with your comments also, “To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If a brother has an unbelieving wife and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has an unbelieving husband and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his believing wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy” 1 Corinthians 7:13. The… Read more »
Anison Eric. J.P.

Mmmh, here (on this topic) we (Nigerians Christians) need prayers! For there is a diversion! Here Brothers are marrying unbelievers! Because the sisters who claims to be Christians go for the Jerks! And majority go in with pregnancy. Please keep praying for us not to go to the world to search for partners.


I have been wondering how much of the view that it’s only permissible to date/marry a Christian comes from complementarian views on marriage. If your husband is supposed to be your spiritual leader and is at least somewhat responsible for your spiritual health, then yeah it would be pretty bad for him to not be a Christian.

Jennifer H

Yay for the new #1!!! It’s as it SHOULD BE!!!


I just broke up with a nonbeliever, we where together almost six years and have a kid together. As I went back to God more and more, she hated Him more and more. She actually left me over a fight we had that opened my eyes to who she really was. She let her mom claim our daughter on her taxes. I disagreed with this and she left me. I could fight for the relationship, but dating a nonbeliever is making me sick. I couldn’t be myself anymore. I had to act like the person she wanted me to be.