5 Deal-breakers to Consider Before Starting {or Continuing with} That Relationship


One time in Uni, a friend invited me and two other girls to a close door meeting in one of the offices where we used to read. I remember it very clearly. It was in the faculty of Education and the meeting had been planned as a sleepover – very casual and intimate. One of the things we did that night was to answer a bunch of different questions my friend had written down in these small, folded pieces of paper. We would take turns, pick, read out our questions out loud and answer. Amazingly, the only question I remember picking from that night was the one that asked about what my deal-breaker was when it comes to determining a guy I could not date. You wouldn’t believe what my answer was. Before I tell you though, let me first explain what I mean by ‘deal-breaker’.

A deal-breaker is a characteristic or attribute that is a total turn-off for you. In this context, it means an attribute of somebody else that makes them ineligible for you to date.

Okay, back to that night. So, when asked this question, of all the answers in the world I could pick from, I said ‘the one thing that might probably turn me off from dating a guy should he ask me out would be his …’ drumroll ‘… height …’ I said height. I remember this particularly because the look my friend gave me afterwards said something like ‘Ermn, Seun really? Of all the things in the world?!’ And honestly, this has sounded ridiculous to me for every time I have thought about it since then because there really are more life-threatening criteria that could have come first before height. So today, I’m going to be sharing 5 of those with you.


1. Abuse:

Guys, irrespective of whatever feelings you might have for another person, if he or she abuses you sexually, physically or verbally, don’t go into or continue with that relationship. It’s a plea. People die, get hurt, lose their self esteem, their voices, among many other things, just by virtue of going into and enduring an abusive relationship.

I’m going to do some research after now on why people stay in abusive relationships, but the stories I’ve heard so far all point to the fact that it’s harder to get out when you are already in. But if you are, you can leave. You can still leave.

On the other hand, if you are just about to go into it and you can see that the indices are pointing towards it being abusive, don’t. You need to put your feelings, the status and caliber of the person, or whatever other factors might be influencing your choice aside, and ask yourself ‘Is this relationship worth my life?’  Then look out at other people’s stories and experiences and you’ll find that no matter what, an abusive relationship is not worth it.

2. Conflict of Faith:

When I dated my first boyfriend, he was of a different religion. I remember how we used to have all these conversations about whether or not he would one day switch and every time, he would say that he would, but he needed more time. He needed more time because as the only male child in his family (expected to carry on with his father’s legacy), that decision wasn’t just his to make. And the more time I spent in the relationship, the more I knew that he wasn’t going to switch, at least not because of me.

That was in my first year. As I grew more in my relationship with God, I realized how very important this relationship is to me. God is my everything and one of the worst mistakes I could possibly make is to go into a relationship with somebody who does not know God, believe in Jesus and in His precepts, as I do.

Before entering into that relationship with someone who is of a different faith as you, expecting that you can make them change later on, I need to pay this forward to you. Religion is just a title. The real thing is the relationship that we personally have with God. This relationship starts from a genuine belief in His existence, and is strengthened by personal encounters that we have with Him and the insights that we get from His word. I say this because we most times think that we can change the other person, but we can’t … not unless they get it themselves. So, if you have this relationship, and the other person does not, you might want to consider it seriously before you begin dating them.

3. Conflict of Purpose:

Purpose here refers to your life’s work. It’s that thing you are going to be doing all your life or for the most significant part of it. As a result, everything that you do from now, every choice that you make, all contributes to the fulfillment of this purpose.

The person you are in or considering going into a relationship with has to be someone who is on board with the thing(s) you would like to do and supports these things. For example, if you are someone on whose heart it is impressed to adopt and give a child a home someday, you wouldn’t want to go into a relationship with somebody who doesn’t want this. Because ultimately, what happens is you having to give up on your vision or dream or ambition, simply to please this other person. And that, in the long run, is not worth it.

4. Conflict in Sexual Stances:

Do you want to abstain from sex before marriage? That’s a sexual stance, amongst others and whoever you are in or considering going into a relationship with has to be on board with them.

5. Conflict of Values:

Your values are your beliefs – things that you stand for and which often influence your behavior/attitude in situations. I once did a post on it, remember, where I shared the 5 values I would proudly make into charms, if I were to put them on a bracelet.

One of those things remains that I believe ‘no one should be treated as lesser simply because of their (i) gender, (ii) color, or (iii) social status.’ Throwback to a few years ago then, when a particular friend was asking me out in Uni. This guy was sweet – one of those guys who actually kept a journal where he wrote confessions and notes to his future wife and kids.

One day, I read one of his notes and saw that he had pretty much determined what gender of kids he wanted and what their names were going to be. So, as a joke, I asked him that what happens if somewhere, his future wife too keeps journals and what happens if she too has determined what gender of kids she would like to have. He looked at me, smiled and said “It doesn’t matter whether she has. I am the man, the head of the family and when the time comes, she’d have to take what I say.” That answer broke the deal for me and for many days after that, I couldn’t help but wonder how many more of his future wife’s plans she would have throw under the bus, simply because she isn’t ‘the man’.

Fast forward to a few weeks later and I brought up the same question with another friend. ‘What would you do if your wife wants a boy first and you want a girl?’  This time he said, “Well, my wife and I could just take a bet. She’ll keep her gender and I’ll keep mine but we’ll both put a significant amount of money on the table. We’ll refuse to know the sex until the day our baby is born and when that happens, whoever loses takes all the money as consolation.”

That was flat-out one of the most hilarious things I had heard in my life. It was also one of the best answers. You see, that question started as a stupid joke. Stupid because since you can’t create a child, there was no way you could possibly determine the sex. Still, their answers gave me an inkling into how each of them would see and treat his partner. Where one showed dominance, the other showed respect for his, irrespective of her ‘gender’. Few years later, amongst other things, this made up for one of the reasons I ended up dating this my other friend.

The point of all this story is, if you are someone with values you know and uphold, it is really important that whoever you are in or considering going into a relationship with shares them just as much as you share theirs.

These are the 5 deal-breakers I’d be sharing with you today. Do I now think height is not important? 🙂 Heck no, it is but it’s really not a big deal. Besides, as with anything physical appearance, it is relative and what I consider a ‘no’ for me, just might not matter to you. These 5 however, they matter and I hope you learnt something from today’s post.

If you did, share it with me in the comments. Also, do you have a few deal-breakers of your own? What are those things that would totally make another person ineligible for you to date? It doesn’t matter how ridiculous you think they might sound, please share it in the comments. Let’s have some fun.

That will be all for now guys.

pS: Big thank you to everyone who checked up on me following my accident. I’m doing much better now and just so you can be sure, I’ll put a picture down there for your hearts.

With love  💛,


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Author: Seun Olagunju

I'm just a simple 23-year-old girl who loves to teach and tell stories. This is what I do as a blogger. I'm also a social entrepreneur. I love to give back to the society and one of the ways I do this is through the initiative, Beyond the Surface, where I reach out to teenagers by educating, empowering and giving to them, with an aim to curb the increasing number of teenage pregnancies and school drop-out among teens in Nigeria. Other social causes I'm involved in are majorly focused on Education, Gender Equality and Self-Esteem Development. When I'm not writing or involved in a social project, I work as a Product Manager with a tech firm in Lagos, Nigeria.

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  • Lovely one put together Seun.

    The deal breakers you rolled out are in sync with mine. Being domineering replaced abuse in my checklist.

    I would want to encourage anyone starting up a relationship to consider the listed deal breakers as well as other personal ones to be considered. It’s important.

    • Something actually replaced abuse on your checklist? No o. I think abuse should be on everybody’s checklist. Then others.

      Thank you Segun. Feels good to see you here everytime.

      • Oh yes Seun. Abusive symptoms should be checked, it’s very important. I agree with you. I meant Then” being domineering and other minor factors not to be considered major now made up my list. Just as you mentioned height was for you, am sure it’s a minor deal breaker now if you are to make decisions.

        Cool to be here as well

  • Great read Seun, I learnt a lot.

    Interested in the research on why people stay in abusive relationships. Kindly holla if I can help out.