Dealbreakers, dealmakers Dealbreakers, Dealmakers FDating
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Dealbreakers, dealmakers
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 Dealbreakers or Dealmakers
Something caught my eye in a recent article by psychologist Alice Boyes at Business Insider. In 4 Signs a Relationship Has Long-Term Potential, Boyes’ #1 indicator is that you like each other’s “extreme traits.” Basically, it’s the dealbreaker concept turned upside down. We tend to choose partners very similar to ourselves. Opposites may attract, but they are unlikely to stay together. Boyes says that we make the best match when we choose someone who shares our kind of crazy. Dealbreakers serve an important purpose. According to Boyes, the greater the differences between two people, the more annoying they will find those differences in the future. “Where shared inclinations and values tend to be most important is if one or both partners is very extreme in a certain area.

For example, my spouse and I are both extremely frugal. We drive most other people nuts with our resistance to spending money. Most other potential partners would find either of us difficult to live with because we’re on the extreme end of the normal curve in this regard.” One of the happiest couples we know is extremely frugal. Ted and Nancy have been friends of my husband’s since college, and they’re truly wonderful people. They never eat out, and often invite us over for a home-cooked meal. We reciprocate in the same way, and have shared many great evenings over the years. A couple of years ago they suggested going out for sushi while their kitchen was being remodeled. They had a coupon for a nearby Japanese restaurant and we agreed to meet there.

As we prepared to order, I began to mark my usual favorites on the a la carte order pad: Spicy tuna roll, plus salmon, yellow tail and eel nigiri. This has been my go-to sushi order for decades. Ted stopped me, explaining this was not the plan. The coupon was for a large mixed sushi platter for us to share, and we would not be able to do any a la carte ordering. I was somewhat taken aback, and asked to see the offer.



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 Frequently exercised delabreakers
There were single pieces of my usual favorites, but the assortment heavily featured sushi varieties we don’t care for, like mackerel, razor clam and cold egg. We could hardly hog all the best pieces, so the deal was not something we were interested in. He was apoplectic. We offered to pay our share of his coupon as well as any a la carte pieces we ordered. Ted felt that we were wasting money, and he couldn’t enjoy his meal if we insisted on doing so.

It was an incredibly awkward meal. Things were fine after a time, but needless to say we’ve never been to a restaurant with them again, nor have we accepted their invitations to travel together. (What are they thinking?)

I cannot imagine how Nancy can tolerate this, but I suspect that secretly she’s as cheap as he is, and it works for them. They live very modestly. What would be a dealbreaker for me is a dealmaker for her.
Research on dealbreakers – or negative traits – has shown that they’re far more influential than positive traits in mating decisions. From Upworthy:

“When it comes to dating, “avoiding negative traits [in other words, dealbreakers] is probably more important than optimizing ideal traits,” University of Florida Professor Gregory Webster told Upworthy.

Webster recently published a study looking at the power of these dealbreakers. What they found was that people tend to give more weight to negative qualities than positive ones. Think of dating like a game: If each good quality is worth two points, each bad one is worth … more like a whopping negative 17 points.”

Dealbreakers most frequently have to do with undesirable personality traits and unhealthy lifestyles. In a previous post citing this research I identified the areas where dealbreakers are most frequently exercised:

Long-term relationships
By women (although men and women share the same kinds of dealbreakers)
By people with high social mate value
By people with restricted mating strategies


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 Evolutionarily justified
From a strategic standpoint, dealbreakers are evolutionarily justified. The cost of missing out on one good mate who happens to be cheap is low compared to the cost of a mate who won’t invest resources in offspring. There are lots of potential mates in the population, so you’re always better off passing on someone with an undesirable trait and staying in the market. But from a different point of view, the cost of getting with a spendthrift is far worse than a partner who saves for a rainy day.

No doubt Ted thinks it’s completely ridiculous that I prefer certain kinds of sushi – “It’s all raw fish with rice and wasabi” – and wonders how we can justify such careless spending. It’s about compatibility – finding another soul whose brand of crazy matches your own.



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Opgericht: 04-08-2022
Gewijzigd: 06-06-2024
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