5 Obnoxious Dating Habits That Immediately Turn Men Off


What bugs you most when you’re first dating someone?

This simple, concrete question usually yields vastly different answers when men and women each reveal what bugs them most about their date’s behavior. Women are usually more analytical (read: critical) when it comes to dating behavior that irks them — choice of dress, mannerisms, choice of entrees, quality of good night kiss, etc. The list goes on.

This is because women are more emotional and expressive, so nuances like body language and mannerisms form their first impressions. Very often, an otherwise good date will end (with no chance for a second) because she did not like the way he kissed her goodnight or held her hand.

Men, on the other hand, being less demonstrative, are usually less forthcoming when asked what turned them off about their dates.  

It’s not good or bad — it just is. After all, men and women are not the same. They’re different enough to complement each other. And isn’t it that very difference that excites heterosexual adults?

When my male clients debrief me about what they liked and did not like about their first dates, their first impressions typically seem pithy, abrupt, and superficial — her hair, her legs, her attire. It takes a lot of detective work on my part to get the true picture out of these guys. After all, women NEED to have this inside intel to tackle this whole dating thing, right?

Once I dug in and got real answers out of the men, these were the five dating behaviors they hated most (in order from bad to worst). And ladies, for the record, I agree with them on these points:  

1. Lateness.

Yes, ladies, the guys understand your need to arrive fashionably late. After all, you do want him to see you enter in all your glory — new shoes, hair blow-out, and all. Most men I interviewed admit they expect a woman to arrive about 10 to 15 minutes late for a date. They’re perfectly fine with it.

However, there is late and there is “shoot me! I am falling asleep, starving, and I don’t understand why I’m still here” late. Anything over 15 minutes is just rude.

2. Rudeness.

A client once described his date as Dr. Jekyll and Miss Hyde. She was perfectly pleasant during their conversation. She smiled and nodded her head in all the right places.

However, every time a waiter came to the table, she would bark out another order, accusing him of not being attentive and even insulting him when he tried to apologize for whatever it was she thought he was guilty of. “I wondered,” said my client, “which of the two personalities was real? Furthermore, I wondered what life would be like with either of those personalities.” Neither “the actress” nor “the shrew” appealed to him; he never called her again.  

3. Too much talking, not enough listening.

Unfortunately, everyone is guilty of this, but it is a subject that came up with many men, so it’s my job to report it.

At certain points in the conversation, ladies, you may find it useful to take a breath and gauge the situation. Is your date still with you? Did you keep his attention with the last 40-minute monologue on how difficult it was for you to organize a charity event at your son’s school?

Yes, we all have a lot to say. However, it is when we listen to our dates that we can figure out if there is a future there. So ladies, more conversation, fewer monologues, please.

4. Texting.

Seriously, ladies … why is this even a conversation? What is so urgent that you can’t put your phone away for dinner, lunch, coffee, or whatever it is you do on a date?

Unless you’re a surgeon on call, put the phone away on dates! It’s perfectly acceptable to excuse yourself for a minute to check your messages and ensure there is no emergency from the babysitter, dog walker, or your boss. (Nevertheless, if you must do it, make sure you tell your date the truth.)

However, it’s not acceptable to type away while sitting two feet away from a potential love of your life. It is plain rude and inconsiderate. End of discussion.

5. Playing coy.

Yes, I was just as surprised to hear so many men complain that women show up on a date and THEN decide to play hard to get. From an air of indifference to downright coldness, women insist that men win them over by playing “knight in shining armor” to her persona of an ice queen.  

As one woman tried to explain to me: “I don’t want to put my cards on the table right away. Let him work for my attention.”

There is a big difference between jumping into bed in the middle of your first coffee together and simply being friendly and open to a new relationship. If you’re already on that date, what is the point of taking 10 steps back by being withdrawn? How much would you want to “win” a man who meets your every joke with a stone-cold stare and your every touch with abrupt detachment?

The bottom line is ladies… when dating, it’s not just his job to make a great first impression. It’s your job as well. So show him a little interest, kindness, and respect — the same you’d want him to show you. 

Originally written by Marina Margulis on YourTango

Feature Image by cottonbro studio on Pexels


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