Dealbreakers, Heartbreakers

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are getting divorced. Cue jaw drop.

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For a couple that seems to have everything (if you discount the tabloid rumour mill), this just dumbfounds all expectations.

After all they’re Mr and Mrs Smith. Achilles and Tomb Raider. Winners of Academy Awards and big hearted philanthropists – he built homes after Hurricane Katrina, and she’s an UN advocate for refugees. Now rumours of child abuse and substance abuse are swirling online and the FBI is looking into Brad Pitt’s involvement – the situation is testy at best.

The end of Brangelina does remind us that relationship deal breakers can exist even in the midst of Hollywood levels of success, talent, and sexiness.

Luckily for us lesser mortals, science has weighed in on the question with the first “systematic and comprehensive” effort involving a series of US studies which has revealed specific traits that people steer clear of when it comes to relationships.

Here are the top dating no-nos:

  • 71% of women and 63% of men balked at: “Dishevelled / Unclean appearance”

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  • 72% of women and 60% of men choked on: “Lazy”

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  • 69% of women and 57% of men turned tail at: “Too Needy”

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  • 58% of women and 50% of men winced at: “Lacks a sense of humour”

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  • 51% of men and 47% of women crossed arms at: “Lived more than 3 hours away from me”

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  • And 50% of women and 44% of men really can’t stand: “Bad sex”

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So what turns off our fellow girl/ guy Singaporeans? A local report this year by Youth.sg offers some hints to chew on:

  • Being unchivalrous (No jerks please.)

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  • Not respecting family (yours and theirs)

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  • Needing too much time together/ not needing enough

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  • Dishonesty

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  • Self-centredness

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As far as pleasant relationships go, it’s not hard to see why.

At the same time, it’s also possible to take our standards too far, like one guy who detailed a list of more than 120 deal-breakers for his prospective dates, including such cardinal sins as “you use the term ‘foodie’”, and “you wear yoga clothes when not engaging in yoga”, a dealbreaker checklist that is a surefire way to turn your chances of this:

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Into this:

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What happened to just ‘being compatible’?

Brangelina has ended the Hollywood era power couple, and while heartbreak is not always avoidable, having reasonable deal breakers can (with luck) go a long way to reducing it for all concerned.

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