Portland Couples Counselor on Relationship Deal Breakers

February 3, 2011 by

As a Portland Couples Counselor I sometimes ask couples what qualities must they have in a relationship and what are the behaviors that they simply can’t stand? I came across an article in the New York Times that cites a study done by eharmony.com on those same questions. eHarmony has analyzed the “must have” and “can’t stand” responses of nearly 720,000 members, identifying the top 10 relationship deal breakers for men and women. Men and women agree on many of the “must haves” as well as several significant differences.

Portland Couples Counselor Lists Must Haves in Relationships

Both men and women want a sense of humor, affection and kindness, chemistry, good communication and loyalty. In addition, both sexes want someone who is emotionally healthy, and who is honest and has strong character.

The article states, “Men said they must have a woman who is patient, meaning she can handle life’s frustrations or momentary setbacks with a patient and steady demeanor.” Men rated a partner who is “passionate” as their seventh most important quality. However, passion didn’t make the top 10 list for women. I imagine many women would be surprised to know that passion wasn’t men’s number one quality. Instead, women wanted someone who is financially responsible and committed to family life. Neither of these qualities was listed as important by men

Portland Couples Counselor Cites the Deal Breakers

Research found that men and women agreed about many they dislike in a relationship. Although there were differences in how they ranked various behaviors, men and women expressed the same concerns about lying, cheating, rude behavior and drug use.

A common deal breaker for women and men was infidelity. Men were more concerned with poor hygiene, which they ranked fourth; whereas it was the seventh most common concern for women. Mean-spirited behavior was more important to men than to women and they ranked it as the fifth most common concern, while women ranked it in eighth place. Women poorly managed anger, including bottling it up, as their fifth biggest concern, but for men, anger management dropped to eighth place. Laziness ranked ninth for women and 10th for men in terms of undesirable qualities.

As a 30 year professional in the field, this Portland couples counselor knows that all relationships based on romantic attraction need tools to maintain the connection, regardless of how many winning qualities partners may have. In order to insure your relationship’s success you need tools to help you stay close and resolve problems. When your relationship is challenged, don’t give up. Get help instead. Call Portland Relationship Center or visit our website for free resources and a variety of services.