Some deal breakers are immediate and obvious. They're the kind of deal breakers that send you scrambling to come up with an excuse to cut the date short; you throw some cash (way too much cash) on the bar and literally sprint for the door. Maybe they're rude to the wait staff, or their B.O. is eye-wateringly bad. Maybe they hit your one "no-way-in-hell" pet peeve, or chew too loud, or say "like" too much, or whatever it is that causes you to irrationally lose your mind.
But there are plenty of things that, at first, seem like little problems you can ignore. There might be little things you notice that you dislike, but you think, Well, that's not too bad. And that's a healthy attitude: No one is perfect. But maybe, just maybe, there was an addendum to that initial thought—a modifier you pushed to the back of your mind: "...for now."
Of course, these aren't deal breakers for everyone. Some people couldn't care less about what's on this list. These are the things that could bother you deeply but that can also get easily dismissed. And, really, none of these have to be deal breakers as long as you really talk through them and try to reach a compromise here. If neither one of you wants to budge (and you shouldn't feel like you have to compromise), they could spell the end of your relationship.
1. Their attitude toward kids
This one is really easy to ignore, but, rest assured, it's a ticking time bomb that weighs 7 pounds, 8 ounces and is swaddled in a cute, fuzzy blanket. The idea of kids can come up pretty early in a relationship, and it's easy to decide to revisit that conversation years later, when it doesn't seem so hypothetical. But, chances are, if you didn't agree on whether or not to have kids then, you never will. Don't act so surprised when your partner doubles down on wanting or not wanting kids once you're ready to seriously talk about it. Of course, people can change their minds, but they won't necessarily hit a certain age and decide, "Well, my life is basically halfway over, let's pop out a kid."
2. Their career goals
Some people place a huge emphasis on furthering their career, and others just see it as a means to an end. There's no right or wrong answer here, but if your partner's work ethic bothers you somewhat now, it'll be a major problem years from now. If you hate how much they work, you'll be having lots of dinners by yourself when you move in together. And don't expect someone who is happy and content to keep their head down at work to suddenly become CEO of their company.
3. That hard-partying lifestyle
Opposites attract. Your partner might love going out to clubs, stumbling home in time for breakfast, while you're more of a homebody. It's easy for you to have the attitude they'll "just grow out of it" initially. Maybe they're a lot of fun, and you occasionally even enjoy going out with them. But you can't go into a relationship thinking, Well, this would be perfect if only they changed this one aspect of themselves. Maybe it is just a phase, or maybe things are going to go downhill hard for them, and they're really going to hit rock bottom. It's something you need to take seriously at the top of the relationship: Is this something you're OK living with?
4. Drastically different sex drives
Stop me if you've heard this one before; it's the premise of basically every rom-com out right now: "She loves fucking 24/7. He sometimes forgets he even has a dick. Will they ever solve their problems and fall in love?" All right, so it might not be that common of a problem, but people have wildly different sexual expectations and appetites. And sex isn't the sole pillar of a relationship, but a healthy sex life is important for lots of people. You don't necessarily need a partner that lines up exactly with you, but you do want a partner that's open and honest and talkative about sex. If you're butting heads about how much sex is expected or how little sex you're having, it can cause real problems. But differing sex drives might not come into play for weeks or months, especially when things are hot and new at the beginning.
5. Past relationships (or total lack thereof)
It's easy to start dating someone and decide their past doesn't matter; all that's important is how you are together, now. And that's true, to some extent. But if your partner has a history of cheating, or jumping from relationship to relationship, it's possible there's a deeply rooted pattern there. Things might be going great for you now, but if there's a pattern that shows they're commitment-phobic or serial cheaters... odds are you're going to wind up the same way.
6. Religious views
You can tiptoe around this one for a while. But what about when it's time to get married? Will you just be re-igniting old fights about whether or not to get married in a church? How will you raise your kids? If you both feel very strongly about your religious views, you can avoid the conversation for a long time, but at a certain point, it can really turn the screws and cause a lot of stress for you. Make sure it's something you discuss early on, and keep in mind you probably can't change your partner's mind.
Follow Frank on Twitter.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.