The biggest dating deal-breakers according to your age

From dress sense and hygiene to clashing political opinions

Finger of woman pushing heart icon on screen in mobile smartphone application.
(Image credit: Getty)
(Image credit: (Image credit: Getty))


There’s no doubt that what you look for in a partner is not at all what your parents were looking for. In a handful of decades, the things we look for in potential partners has completely flipped. In the same way, the deal breakers have also changed. In fact, what a lot of guys thought was totally acceptable in the past will now get a door shut firmly in their face.

But while some of the most common automatic deal breakers can be things like dress sense, hygiene and strong opinions (all of which you shouldn't feel guilty about, btw), others can be age specific. 

In this political climate, many are finding it a lot harder to date people that have opposing views on the big issues, be it Brexit, COVID-19 restrictions or the Prime Minister. 

In a past report, The Independent highlighted a study of 2,000 people that  looked at how deal breakers have changed through the generations.

Looking at deal breakers for age groups (male and female) and sexual preferences (male and female), the research by Sapio suggests that the number one deal breaker across the board was intolerance. 

The results showed that up to the age of 40, women’s biggest deal breaker is sexism and intolerance in general, and too right. That’s obviously a reactionary turn-off for any woman.

For women above this age bracket, sexism specifically takes a backseat to the general umbrella of intolerance. And then hygiene comes in as a problem.

Hygiene is interestingly a big problem for men across the board. Men who are over 30, bisexual men and gay men all have it as their number one deal breaker. Men under 30 have it as a close second since they consider intolerance worse than bad breath.

And, as the Independent pointed out, “Religious and racial differences aren’t top deal breakers in any section of the results, which, considering recent political developments, is rather encouraging indeed.”

Sagal Mohammed

Sagal is a journalist, specialising in lifestyle, pop culture, fashion and beauty.  She has written for a number of publications including Vogue, Glamour, Stylist, Evening Standard, Bustle, You Magazine, Dazed and Wonderland to name a few.