I think we can all agree that there are certain behaviors in both men and women that really attract us to them—things like thoughtfulness, feeling respected, honesty, treating other people well and letting us know in subtle ways that they’re interested.
And then there’s the flip side, those behaviors that turn us off so much that we’d say they are total deal-breakers when it comes to dating them.
Maybe I should have listened more to my brother growing up since he was never shy about expressing his displeasure over some girl’s behavior, but I have to admit I didn’t start fine tuning my listening skills until I spent a great deal of time around my male friends. They’ve learned from me what women want, and I’ve learned from them what men don’t want.
I think all of these behaviors are universal to both men and women and as a woman, a lot of the things that men shared with me resonated as things that would turn me off as well. But there were definitely some gender differences that were fascinating and some that made me laugh out loud as people got more detailed.
“My biggest turn off in a woman is a bad attitude. Someone who is rude to waiters and other service-people, or if she is close minded.” ~ Patrick
“Drama,” said Colin. “Nobody wants to deal with a woman who is constantly creating drama whether it be with you or the people in her life. It’s exhausting.”
“A guy who can’t express himself or communicate. I’ve dated guys where it’s like pulling teeth to get them to say what’s on their mind or what they’re feeling. It just makes me check out.” ~ Caryn
“Bitchy-ness, cattiness and gossiping about other women. It shows a lot about her character when she never has anything nice to say about anyone.” ~ Jordan
“For sure the guy that acts like he’s interested one minute, and then when you put yourself out there a little, he starts playing too cool for school. If you’re interested in me, let me know. There’s nothing that turns me off more than having to guess.” ~ Adrianna
Terry: “Women who never make an effort to pay on a date. I will always insist on paying, but I appreciate a woman who will at least make an attempt to treat me. Making no effort just seems kind of entitled and can be a turn off.”
“Biggest turn off is a man who is self-centered and self-focused,” said Bernie. “The kind of guy who only talks about himself and never asks questions about what’s going on with me. I want to be someone’s life partner, not sounding board.”
“Overtly playing it cool. I’m not a big fan of games. If I’m interested, I don’t want to chase someone who is too cool for school. I don’t need someone to throw themselves at me but I have to know there is real interest there.” ~ Jim
“I hate when a man acts as if he’s listening to you during a conversation, but when you bring the subject up again later, he can’t recall it at all and has no recollection of having ever discussed it with you. It feels really unsupportive and selfish.” ~ Shannon
“A woman who is overly concerned with how she looks,” said James. “Of course as men we appreciate that you want to look good for us, but when it gets to the point where we can’t run our fingers through your hair or kiss you because we might mess up your lipstick, it’s kinda a turnoff. Most guys love the more natural look anyway.”
“A guy who farts in front of me. Enough said!” ~ April
“I get really turned off when a woman nags,” said Sean. “Nobody wants to be constantly told what to do, how to do it or that we aren’t doing something right. Doesn’t really make me want to spend time with her.”
“A guy who is all about the chase and then when you finally show that you’re interested in him too, he pulls back and acts like he can’t be bothered. He’ll stop returning texts or all the sudden be unavailable. It seems a little immature.” ~ Marie
“Lack of self-confidence. When I’m with a girl who is constantly putting herself down and pointing out her flaws to me, it makes me focus on them too. I don’t want to be with a woman who I constantly have to reassure that’s she’s beautiful just the way she is. It can get old fast…” ~ Joe
“A guy that feels the need to tell you about all the other women he’s been with. It’s almost as if he’s trying to prove to you that he’s desirable. I don’t need to hear about it unless it’s somehow relevant to our relationship or I ask.” ~ Kimberly
“Honestly…a woman who talks too much, especially in bed. There’s time for conversation and that’s just not the time to be super chatty. Save it for after!” ~ Matt
“My biggest turn off is not making me a priority. And I have a lot of experience with that!” ~ Molly
“Over-sharing” in any respect… whether it be about her period, her intestinal issues or going to the bathroom with the door open. There are just some things we don’t need to hear about or see.” ~ George
“I overheard a friends’ girlfriend putting him on blast, saying some very rude comments about him and it just made me sad that my friend was dating this girl. Every guy wants to feel respected.” ~ JP
For every turn off men had, most women agreed that these aren’t gender specific and they would have the same reaction if the roles were reversed. And men did too. I think at the end of the day, what most of us are looking for is someone who is open and expressive with their feelings, real, kind to to other people including themselves, and respectful towards both us and other people.
Author: Dina Strada
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: Robin Green/Flickr