“Fatal attractions” are qualities that attract you in the beginning but turn sour over time. One day you take a look at the romance and find it’s your irritation, not a bunny on a stove, that’s boiling over. You end the relationship not long after. Knowing these “fatal attractions” can offer a guide to long-term success in a relationship.

Look for substantive qualities if you want more than a fling. Choosing a partner solely because they are exciting, different, and fun can spell doom for a long-term relationship if you aren’t focused on similar values and emotional connections as well.

Diane Felmlee surveyed three hundred college students and identified 10 “fatal attractions”. The students said their relationships significantly declined in time when partners were chosen for traits of excitement or difference. The students said partners who at first seemed exciting and exotic could wind up being too different and dissimilar for a lengthy romance.

Relationships also suffered eventually when partners were selected because they are fun, easy-going. The fun guy might also turn out to be undependable, silly, and immature. The appeal wore off when the partner ended up boring or undependable, too. Competent and physically attractive partners could turn out to be uncaring, selfish, and egotistical over time. The caring partners might end up being insecure, possessive, and jealous.

Relationships seemed to stay positive over the long term when partners were picked for characteristics such as physical attractiveness, caring, openness, and dependability.

The surveyed students said the qualities that turned out to be most unappealing and threatening to a relationship were partners who were uncaring, insecure, and undependable. Even in the context of the emotional connection, romantic relationships are still social exchanges.  A long-term relationship with a partner who behaves this way is likely to be less satisfying and too challenging. He’s probably less likely to meet your needs.

Here’s the list of 10 characteristics that can enhance your romance:

  • Physical: Attractive, sexy, nice eyes, smile.
  • Fun: Sociable and good sense of humor.
  • Caring: Nice and attentive.
  • Competent: Confident, intelligent, ambitious.
  • Similar: Shared interests and values.
  • Exciting: Spontaneous and adventurous.
  • Open: Friendly and receptive.
  • Dependable: Trustworthiness and honesty.
  • Easy-going: Patient and laid back.
  • Other: Vague attributes like nice personality.

The opposite and fatal characteristics that are unappealing and relationship-ending are:

  • Uncaring: Selfishness, insensitivity, and egotistical. Opposite: Caring.
  • Insecure: Possessive and unintelligent. Opposite: Competent.
  • Undependable: Dishonesty, immaturity, and irresponsibility. Opposite: Dependable.
  • Physical: Unattractive and unappealing physical features.
  • Differences. Dissimilar interests and values. Opposite: Similar.
  • Closed: Unreceptive and unfriendly. Opposite: Open.
  • Moody: Impatient and uptight. Opposite: Easy-going.
  • Boring: Habitual and predictable. Opposite: Exciting.
  • Serious: Humorless and unsocial. Opposite: Fun.
  • Other

Read More: Avoiding Fatal Attractions in Intimate Relationships