Everyone has a deal-breaker. Some are rather minute details, like he won't eat spicy foods, while others are larger parts of a person's character, like, you know, she's an outright racist.
Regardless of what it is, it's important that you have those standards — because, according to a new study spotted by Tech Insider, picking a bad partner can be worse than letting a good one get away.
The study, published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin this month, noted that humans are punished more harshly for choosing the wrong partner (i.e. "death, disease, infertility") than they are rewarded for selecting a quality mate (i.e. "living incrementally longer, having incrementally healthier offspring").
In one of the study's surveys, 5,541 participants, ranging in age from 21 to 76, were asked: "When considering a committed relationship with someone, which of the following would be deal-breakers to you?"
The researchers found that, since women have more at stake (i.e. the potential to bear children) than men do, they're more selective. They don't want to get pregnant then left alone, or worse, with a dud.
Here are the top five deal-breakers for both men and women:
Percent who said they wouldn't date a person who ...
... has a disheveled or unclean appearance.
- Overall: 67%
- Men: 63%
- Women: 71%
... is lazy.
- Overall: 66%
- Men: 60%
- Women: 72%
... is too needy.
- Overall: 63%
- Men: 57%
- Women: 69%
... lacks a sense of humor.
- Overall: 54%
- Men: 50%
- Women: 58%
... lives more than three hours away.
- Overall: 49%
- Men: 51%
- Women: 47%
Among the characteristics that were least likely to considered to be deal-breakers, they found, were "had kids," "too athletic, and "athletic."
So, next time your friends tell you you're too picky, tell them you're just using "efficient, cost-sensitive cognitive mechanisms designed to cull inappropriate potential partners, allowing mating preferences to operate within a reduced target of desirable mates."
That'll shut 'em up.
(h/t Tech Insider)
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