Some partnerships are long-lasting, with one or both partners continuously accepting the characteristics of the other. In some instances, partnerships fail because one or both parties can no longer accept particular characteristics or behaviors.
The University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom conducted research on the disintegration of romantic relationships and friendships. According to the psychologists who conducted the new study, a wandering gaze and infidelity are not deal breakers in romantic partnerships.
The 2015 study, which was recently published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, examined 285 undergraduate students in the United States. The average age of the study participants was 22 years old.
According to the study, the majority of men and women saw six red flags as non-negotiable in a romantic partner. The study discovered that these warning signs varied for long-term and short-term relationships, as well as between men and women.
DEAL BREAKERS IN LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIPS: APATHY
When it comes to long-term partnerships, apathy — defined as inattention, indifference, mistrust, and disregard for others’ interests — was viewed as the strongest red sign by both men and women.
Second, a person was deemed “gross” if they had poor hygiene, were “unattractive,” reeked badly, or had specific health conditions, such as sexually transmitted infections.
The third-ranked trait, clinginess, was viewed by participants as encompassing controlling behavior and jealousy.
Other significant warning flags in long-term partnerships include addiction of any kind.
Next came a lack of desire and ambition, followed by weak financial prospects.
Having sex with or dating numerous other partners was determined to be the least desirable trait.
RED FLAGS IN SHORT-TERM RELATIONSHIPS: Men and women appear to have comparable attitudes regarding red flags in long-term relationships, however their perspectives diverge regarding red flags in short-term relationships. Overall, women received higher ratings for deal-breakers than males.
Women perceived an unmotivated spouse as more repulsive than a partner who was promiscuous in a short-term relationship, whereas males viewed promiscuity as more repulsive.
According to the New York Post, upon analyzing this study, psychiatrist Grant Hilary Brenner stated:
“Red flags should ideally be identified early on, before a significant bond is formed.”
Researchers emphasized that previous studies tended to focus on what people want in a potential spouse rather than what they do not want.
Brenner cautioned that while dating for the first time, looking just for desirable characteristics in a potential mate could result in the individual trying to check boxes rather than seeking true connection and attraction.
Regardless, it is necessary to approach relationships judiciously throughout the lifespan, considering desirable and unwanted variables, getting to know the other person before going all in, and maintaining self-awareness and compassion.