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The Six Worst Dealbreakers In Relationships, According To New Study

It's best to avoid being "gross", apparently.

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Jack Dunhill

author

Jack Dunhill

Social Media Coordinator and Staff Writer

Jack is a Social Media Coordinator and Staff Writer for IFLScience, with a degree in Medical Genetics specializing in Immunology.

Social Media Coordinator and Staff Writer

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Science does state the obvious sometimes. Image Credit: fizkes/Shutterstock.com

A new study has delivered some harsh truths about what men and women consider “dealbreakers” in relationships, and it does not mince its words. The research looked at previous cohorts involved in other studies but from another angle, and concluded there are six main dealbreakers across both long-term and short-term relationships: “Gross”, “Addicted”, “Clingy”, “Promiscuous”, “Apathetic”, and “Unmotivated”. We told you they didn’t hold back. 

The researchers state that most relationship research focuses on what is most important to people in their relationships, or “dealmakers”, but rarely on dealbreakers. However, such dealbreakers are just as (if not more) important than attractive features, as they are directly involved in initial culling when finding a partner. 

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To identify the worst offenders, the researchers took previous data from other studies with a sample size of 285 (115 of whom were men) and performed analysis on them to identify ratings of 49 tested dealbreakers. The people ranged in age from 18–55, were all undergraduates at a Southwestern United States university, were 95 percent heterosexual, and 50 percent were in committed relationships. 

Each person rated the set of dealbreakers to form a ranking, and a top six soon emerged. Dubbed as such by the researchers, “Gross”, “Addicted”, “Clingy”, “Promiscuous”, “Apathetic”, and “Unmotivated” ranked the worst dealbreakers, with those in long-term relationships hating people being apathetic and gross the most, while short-term relationships ranked gross and clingy as the worst. 

Women were more repelled by these dealbreakers, which the researchers suggest could be because they perceive themselves as having more options and thus being able to reject partners based on such. 

The researchers argue that the results show that negative mate preferences should be included in research just as much as positive preferences, as they are equally as important in relationships.

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So, if you’re looking to have the most appeal on the singles market, it seems the best approach is to not be “gross” (somehow). Sometimes science is just stating the obvious, sorry.

The research was published in Personality and Individual Differences


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