Sex & Relationships

Matchmakers Reveal The 20 Incompatible Qualities That End Relationships

It's time to think big picture.

funky-data/E+/Getty Images
Originally Published: 

If you're looking for long-term relationship success, finding someone you're compatible with is key. Initially, that might mean bonding over a shared love for an obscure band, favorite restaurant, or cheesy 90s sitcom. But ultimately, you'll want to take a look at the bigger stuff — like your values, goals for the future, etc. — to determine if a relationship is truly in the cards.

This is exactly what professional matchmakers do, when pairing people up. Matchmakers consider what their clients have in common, but also keep an eye out for certain sets of incompatible qualities between partners, that usually mean a relationship won't work out.

"There are some obvious ones, like not wanting the same things in life, lifestyle choices in terms of travel or location, and relationship style (i.e., monogamous vs. polyamorous)," Melody Kiersz, a professional matchmaker with the digital matchmaking service Tawkify, tells Bustle. But there are lesser-known incompatibilities that often lead to breakups, too, like the ones addressed below.

Of course, not all of them are true dealbreakers. If a couple doesn't see eye-to-eye but addresses an issue right away, they might be able to overcome it — and their relationship very well may last long-term.

Sometimes, though, the differences are too great, or there simply isn't a way to compromise. And that's when going your separate ways may be best. With that in mind, here are 20 incompatible qualities matchmakers say aren't likely to lead to relationship success.


Different Ideas Surrounding Money

Numerous studies and surveys have found money is major source of relationship stress. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that an extreme saver and extreme spender would have a hard time staying together in the long run.

"While a balance of these elements can be good, if someone enjoys spending money [...] and the other aims to save money on everything, the relationship won't work because it comes down to incompatible values and incompatible sources of joy," Michela Hattabaugh, a Chicago-based matchmaker with Three Day Rule, tells Bustle.

You might be able to compromise, but chances are your vastly different views will be too difficult to overcome. As Hattabaugh says, "No matter how money is spent, one person is always going to feel that they didn't get what they wanted and be unhappy."


Different Senses Of Humor

A shared sense of humor is one of the top three most important qualities people look for in a partner, Natalie Smith, a Los Angeles-based matchmaker with Three Day Rule, tells Bustle. If a couple can't laugh about the same things, she says, they probably won't even make it past a first date.


Vastly Different Schedules

It's one thing if you like to go to bed at 10 p.m. while your partner likes to go to bed at midnight. But if you have wildly different schedules, Smith says, it can create major roadblocks in a relationship.

After all, you can't really expect to get to know each other, much less stay connected, if you aren't ever awake at the same time.

Dedicating times to see each other may make this problem less of an issue, but matchmakers say it usually leads to a breakup.


Mismatched Sex Drives

If you could happily have sex all day long, while your partner could take it or leave it, you might not be right for each other, Smith says. Simple as that.

The thing is, incompatible sex drives might not be something you notice right away, but as the relationship goes on, it will lead to a lot of frustration.


Different Needs During Sex

Trouble can also arise if yo u have different needs during sex. If you're someone who values experimenting, for instance, you probably won't feel compatible with a partner who likes to keep things "vanilla" in bed.

Of course, neither of you should ever expect the other to do something they're not comfortable with. But discussing mismatched expectations regarding sex can help you deal with them head on, or decide if it's a dealbreaker.


Different Definitions Of "Relaxation"

According to Caitlin Bergstein, a Boston-based matchmaker with Three Day Rule, how someone relaxes or re-energizes, especially during the weekend, means a lot more than you might think.

"Based on how someone likes to spend their weekend, I mentally put people into two different categories: 'activities person' or 'homebody,'" she tells Bustle. An “activities person” is someone who likes to spend their free time out and about, exploring or doing new things. The "homebody" prefers to spend their weekends in, watching movies or binging a new Netflix series.

If one person likes being out, while the other likes staying in, Bergstein says it's highly unlikely that a relationship will be successful. "While it can seem appealing at first, as the relationship goes on, the homebody will become frustrated that their partner always has to be on the go and can never just relax," she says. And vice versa.


Different Health Habits

A lifestyle incompatibility can extend to physical activity and other forms of self-care, as well. While you and your partner don't have to do yoga together every morning at 6 a.m., Bergstein says vastly different approaches to health and wellness could leave you feeling like you aren't on the same page.


Different Eating Habits

The same is true for your eating habits, Bergstein says, since different diets could tear you apart. Two vegetarians, for instance, might be a better match than a vegetarian and a person who loves BBQ.


Different Outlooks On Life

It can be really irritating and draining to date a pessimist if you're a total optimist, and vice versa. As Bergstein says, it all comes back to how you handle tough situations.

Think about your car breaking down. If you view it as a small hiccup, while your partner has a complete meltdown, the difference in your reactions and ability to cope wont' make for a very smooth relationship.


Different Types Of Intelligence

According to Bergstein, intelligence can be defined as anything from a general curiosity or interest in learning, to a desire to better oneself, to the level of education you plan to pursue. And it can all play into compatibility.

"From a general curiosity standpoint," she says, "if one partner is motivated by knowledge and actively seeks out opportunities to learn new skills, and their partner is perfectly content with where they are in life and what they know, it can be very hard to relate to each other."

You won't have much to talk about, you likely won't have many goals in common, and ultimately you may decide you'd be happier with someone else.


Different Levels Of Emotional Intelligence

Bergstein says your emotional intelligence also needs to line up, if you want to be truly happy. It plays into things like listening skills, how you handle arguments, etc. If you aren't on the same level, you'll struggle to understand each other, and life together will be tough.


Different Ways Of Expressing Yourselves

In a similar vein, it's also important to be compatabile in the way you express yourselves.

"The chance of a relationship enduring between an emotive person and an apathetic person is slim," Rémy Boyd, a matchmaker at Tawkify, tells Bustle. "The emotively-inclined person will eventually feel uncared for and the apathetically inclined partner will feel burdened by their partners’ need for emotional support.

Like other incompatibilities on this list, sooner or later resentment will creep in from both sides — and that can lead to a breakup.


Different Arguing Styles

Believe it or not, compatibility can show itself during arguments, too.

If one of you is the type to yell and blow up, while the other shuts down, it'll be impossible to get to the root of any problem, Inayah Vanessa, a matchmaker at Tawkify, tells Bustle.

Soon, arguments and hurt feelings will start to pile up, you might decide it's just easier to go your separate ways.


Different Politics Views

While it might be possible to "live and let live," matchmakers say different political views tend to be a dealbreaker for many couples they work with.

"I have seen singles that begin a relationship with plenty of chemistry, but once they start uncovering their political beliefs, the relationship tends to fizzle," Amie Leadingham, a master certified relationship coach, tells Bustle.

Not only does it lead to arguments, but it's also often a sign a couple doesn't share the same values or belief system.


Different "Alone Time" Requirements

Companionship is obviously a big part of relationships, Boyd says, and some people need to spend more time with a partner than others. So while it might not be annoying at first, it really does help if this need matches up.


Different Internal Clocks

Are you someone who needs to be five minutes early, while your partner is someone who can't help but be an hour late? "As a matchmaker, I hear about this ending numerous relationships," Susan Trombetti, a matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking, tells Bustle. "People tend to think the other person is self-centered."


Different Religious Views

It's totally possible to date someone who doesn't share your religion, but as Bergstein says, many of her clients won't even go on a first date with someone who doesn't practice their religion, as it would mean being with a person who doesn't share their values, who wouldn't want to raise kids in the same way — the list of problems goes on and on.


Different Family Goals

Speaking of kids, if you and your partner have different desires when it comes to starting a family, it's not something you'll be able to overcome. And it shouldn't necessarily be an area where you try to compromise, either.

"If you have a deep, ingrained desire to have a family of your own, it's a mistake to think this is something that will go away in your mind or heart," Sophy Singer, a matchmaker at Tawkify tells Bustle. "Do not assume you can change your partner's mind over time — especially if they clearly stated children are a no-go."

And the same is true if you've never really wanted kids, but your partner is all about it. It just isn't fair to try to make a relationship work when you want such vastly different lifestyles.


Different Texting Styles

Different texting habits might not be the undoing of an established couple, but they can make it impossible for a new relationship to get off the ground. After all, "how we communicate is so important to creating a great foundation in our partnerships," Mallory Love, a matchmaker & COO of Love And Matchmaking, tells Bustle. You may decide to be date someone who texts back quickly, and shows they're interested.


Identical Personalities

All of that said, it isn't just differences that drive a couple apart. Many times, having everything in common can be "too much of a good thing," Kimia Mansoor, a matchmaker at Tawkify, tells Bustle.

Many people think that having shared interests means you've found your soulmate, she says. But if you're exactly the same, you may have a hard time moving forward in life.

It's all about balance, and finding someone who makes up for your deficits, and vice versa.


Melody Kiersz, matchmaker

Michela Hattabaugh, matchmaker

Natalie Smith, matchmaker

Caitlin Bergstein, matchmaker

Rémy Boyd, matchmaker

Inayah Vanessa, matchmaker

Amie Leadingham, master certified relationship coach

Susan Trombetti, matchmaker

Sophy Singer, matchmaker

Mallory Love, matchmaker

Kimia Mansoor, matchmaker