You can be the best-looking guy in the room and have a fancy degree from a prestigous school, but a new study suggests your negative traits—even if they pale in comparison to your positive ones!—may be what stand out most to women. (To be fair, the same applies to you when meeting women.)
In the study, published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, researchers from the University of Florida, Western Sydney University, Indiana University, Singapore Management University, and Rutgers University examined the effect of relationship deal breakers on budding romantic or sexual relationships to gauge the value people place on them, in comparison to deal makers.
Ninety-two undergraduate students aged 18-53 were asked to complete an online survey for extra credit. Participants were asked: “What would make you reject someone as a potential short-term, casual sex partner?” and “What would make you reject someone as a potential long-term, committed partner?” They were also tasked with listing all the dealbreakers they regarded essential to both scenarios.
Researchers found men and women weigh not-so-favorable qualities more heavily than favorable ones—though the effect is stronger for women. A few chinks in your armor can be enough for her to move on to the next guy, they say.
"We have a general tendency to attend more closely to negative information—things that can harm are generally more important than things that can help you—than we do to positive information," study author Gregory Webster said in a press release.
So, think of rejection as a sort of survival mechanism.
Not all is lost, though; deal breakers for one woman might be deal makers for another. For example, the researchers say if a person is impulsive, a potential partner might be attracted to that quality, while another might prefer someone who's predictable.
And since we know you're curious, here are the top deal breakers for women (and men) deciding on potential partners—in no particular order: