What Turns a Man Off

Have you ever lost a guy you really fancied because you said or did the wrong thing? Contrary to what the media might have you believe, we men do have feelings and we can get put off when a girl puts her hoof firmly in the mire. There is a certain expectation in some girls – usually young and inexperienced ones – that blokes should be grateful for their attention, even if it is dismissive or inconsiderate.

Well, if you want to catch a decent man, that’s the wrong bait.

Perhaps the reason why you are putting men off is quite ‘simple’: because you are acting as if you are still single. Remember, as soon as you pair off with someone, the ‘I’ becomes a ‘We’ and the ‘mine’ becomes ‘ours’. You cannot act and behave as you used to (any more than he can) – that’s the payoff for having a relationship.

Of course there are any number of ways in which you can turn a man off but here are some of the favourite ones. Check and see if you are guilty of any of them.

“What’s your name again?”

Dating is very like interviewing in this respect. Your date knows that he is one of many other guys that you have met (and possibly will go on to meet) but there is no need to rub his nose in it. Men like to fool themselves that they are the ‘one and only’ and, as long as this does not have any sinister undertones (it’s just a bit of harmless self-deception for 99% of us), go along with it. Your date has turned up in good faith and, no matter what you feel about him, don’t mix him up with other men – it’s very insulting.

“Looking for some company, luv?”

Yes, this is sexist but if you don’t want him to see you as an easy target then don’t dress up like one. Please do look attractive and alluring but keep it reasonably modest. If you put all the goods on show there is no incentive to go in the store, is there? If your date is looking for a serious relationship, part of what you need to communicate to him is that you are the faithful sort and can be trusted – look the part or lose him.


“My ex used to like doing that, too”

Your date does not want to be compared to other men either explicitly or implicitly and, least of all, against your ex-boyfriend. Go on like this and he will soon be your ex-date. You should (guardedly) discuss your life but don’t make comparisons. If you must bring in your ex, keep it very matter-of-fact and don’t mention your current date in the same breath.

“Something came up and I had to …”

Don’t stand your date up. Hanging around not knowing whether something terrible has happened to your girl or whether she just couldn’t be bothered to show is an unnecessarily horrible experience. If you really must cancel, have the guts to do it at least 24 hours beforehand and don’t leave it open-ended. Self-esteem is a big issue for men and being made to look a patsy can be a crushing experience for us.

“You can give me a call on Monday”

Dating is about meeting your Mr Right, and not about showing off to a whole load of Mr Could-be’s. Don’t expect the guy to do all the running, make all the phone calls, always come and collect you, choose and organise where you go and so on. If that is your idea of how a man should behave then it sounds like you don’t need a date, you need a Personal Assistant! Show the guy that you want him, too. Demonstrate that, if he picks you, then you are the sort of lady who can and will ‘get things done’. That’s a very attractive attribute.

“Sorry, I forgot my purse”

No amount of pussy cat purring, cutie-pie looks and coy gestures with your hands and hair will persuade a real man that you are anything less than a parasitic sponger if you expect him to pay for everything. Worse than that, if you have landed yourself a date with the ‘wrong sort’ of man, you are heading into very deep water when he convinces himself he has paid for your time and you ‘owe him something’ at the end of the evening. The answer is to ‘Go Dutch’ and, if your date won’t accept that, at least insist on paying for the wine, for example.

“Chased but always chaste”

If you keep playing hard to get, your date will only conclude that you are impossible to get and then give up. This does not mean jumping straight into bed, it means being moderately mysterious and a bit flirtatious with him, especially at the outset. We all like to think that we’ve landed first prize so make him do a bit of work in order to win you but ensure he realises that you are hoping he will go off into the sunset with the girl (you).

“It’s up to you.”

There is an urban myth that says if you play it really cool, men will adore you for it. No doubt this rumour was started by a single girl and was propagated by even more single girls. Notice a pattern here? They’re all single and there is a very good and simple reason why they are single – men don’t want them. If you are cool or lukewarm then don’t be surprised when your bloke gets the hint and dumps you for someone with a smiling face and open arms.

“Maybe next month”

Either you want to go with someone or you don’t – it shouldn’t be a time-related matter. If you know enough about the other person such that you are prepared to cement your relationship by including intercourse, then get on with it. If not, then what are you doing with your guy in the first place? Keeping someone dangling is pointless, cruel and risky. If he seems a bit hesitant, take the lead and see how he behaves. It could be that he’s just a bit shy and afraid of rejection but you need to find out.

“This is John – he adores me, don’t you Johnny?”

Don’t show your date off to others (note the use of the insulting diminutive, too) – it will irritate and, in all probability, cost you any future relationship with your bloke. While it is a good thing to have a friend on hand in case your first date with someone turns out to be a walk on the weird side, there is no need to involve this other party unless you have to. Tonight is just about the two of you – even if there is to be no second date.

Those are the main ways of turning a man off but there are plenty of others. As a rule of thumb, just stop and think about his feelings if you are expecting him to think about yours.

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