As a relationship coach, it’s my job to tell people the bad news, the “this is why you can’t find love” kind of news. The kind that smarts.
So I’m going to tell you a lot of bad news, heterosexual ladies. You won’t like it. You’ll want to complain that it’s sexist bullshit, and some of it is.
Our romantic and sexual desires are still more akin to the era of Betty Draper in Mad Men than the 21st century. Just think: it’s been 57 years since Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique, yet it’s still the norm (and, in studies, women’s preference) that men ask out women.
It’s not pretty, but it’s how it is. Things will continue changing, but it’ll likely still be slowly.
If a guy doesn’t want to see you again or go out with you in the first place, it’s likely due to one (or several) reasons. Here’s a list of the 25 most common:
1. The shallow
- too short.
- too tall.
- too thin.
- too overweight.
- too old (more common of a problem than its opposite).
- too young.
Your boobs or butt are too small or large, and/or your hair is too short (some men profess to only like women with long hair).
I know it sucks to be counted out because of these shallow things, but we all have them. Just think of all the short men out there. If a guy is under 6′, he’s going to struggle finding a date too.
Trim your nails. Get your teeth regularly cleaned, and get any dental work that you need. Make sure to have fresh breath. Wear clean clothes and deodorant. Please also wear less instead of more perfume.
This is true for guys too, and I get it, but it deserves to be said because . . . some women need to hear it. You never want your date to wonder if they should run bleach over their hands . . .
3. Having very specific dietary requirements
If your date loves steak and you’re vegan, it may be a huge turn-off. He may really want to take a woman to his favorite steakhouse, but you could only eat the rolls (and after you checked to make sure they weren’t made or slathered with any dairy).
Same goes if you’re gluten-free, paleo, keto, etc. You may come across as . . . not a lot of fun.
4. You’re dishonest.
Men want to be able to trust who they’re talking to. Even minor acts of dishonesty, in the beginning, will sour someone.
Are any of your photos full body or without filters (if not, why not?)? Do you still live with your parents or an ex? Are you separated, but not divorced? Do you have kids? Are you unemployed? Are you actually 40, but you’re saying you’re 32?
5. You’re rude.
Stay off your phone. Practice basic human courtesy to your date and anyone else you come in contact with. If you think other people are giving you nasty looks, it mightttt be because you’re being an asshole.
6. You don’t drink (or drug).
If a guy drinks (or drugs) and you don’t, he may not be totally into that. It may make him uncomfortable if he is and you’re not, and he may like it as something to kick back and do.
7. You party excessively.
If you drink (or drug) too much, it’s possible he’s not going to like that either. Guys who want relationships especially aren’t going to be into you if you’re intent on clubbing every night you can and can’t stand to spend the night in.
8. You smoke.
Non-smokers don’t love dating smokers. They may start dating you thinking that you’ll quit and if you don’t . . .
9. You’re vain.
If you love to take selfies all the time, stare in mirrors, or talk about how great you look, don’t expect someone to bow down at your feet. We all want to be celebrated. It sort of sucks when our person would prefer to celebrate themselves.
10. You’re too busy.
Everyone has 20 seconds in their day to send something like, “Been really busy, but I’ve been thinking of you!”
If you feel like you don’t or don’t want to with whomever you’re currently going on dates with, then it doesn’t sound like you’re ready to date or to date them.
11. You play hard to get.
Playing hard to get, however you do it (not responding back consistently, being hard to reach, saying you want something serious, but then not acting like it, etc.), is going to turn off some men.
Men like a challenge, but they aren’t going to like an impossible one.
12. You have sex too soon.
The virgin/slut complex is alive and well. We’re supposed to be allowed to be sexually empowered, but if we have sex too soon or too much or with too many partners? We’re sluts.
In the dating realm, men can judge you negatively if you have sex with them “too soon.”
13. You’re negative.
If you look for it, you can find something nice to say about anything, but some people would rather complain about everything.
No one wants to date those people.
There’s nothing more unattractive than someone who just wants to complain.
14. You expect mind-readers.
No man will ever be able to read your mind.
You can’t hint or make little passive-aggressive comments unless you want to push him away. If you’re unhappy about something or want to do something else, you have to speak up. If your date crosses a line or breaks a boundary, you have to speak up.
15. You assume too much.
Just because you know some things about men doesn’t mean you know things about all men. When you make assumptions, you’re guessing you know the motivations behind someone’s actions, and no one likes that.
16. You cling.
Relationships need to develop at their own pace. You can’t create something long-term or partner-y by glomming yourself on to a guy without letting him even breathe on his own.
Give him the space to grow, and give that to yourself too.
17. You criticize.
The not-so-great part of dating is you have to accept whomever you’re with as they are. They may want to change, and that’s great, but . . . they’re only going to change if he wants to, not because you want them to.
Belittling, nagging, repeating, etc. won’t work, and it’ll only make it more likely that the only thing he changes is you.
18. You have invasive people in your life.
You’re an actor in your own life, right? You make your own decisions, and don’t need to consult other people to make your own decisions, right? If not, then . . . it’s going to be hard for you to have a relationship.
You need to be able to stand on your own two feet, and that isn’t possible if you have friends or family members holding you up or constantly interjecting into your life.
19. You don’t agree on politics.
Politics is extremely divisive right now. If you just mention what your political party affiliation is, you may turn off a whole slew of potential dates (which you may or may not want).
Try to reserve your political debates for your friends and not a date. If your date’s belief on certain political topics is a dealbreaker, assess those early, and then focus on other things.
20. You have different life goals.
If your date has a kid, it’s not likely he’s going to be able to drop everything and travel the globe. Certain differences in beliefs or opinions are okay, but if you’re heading down two completely different life paths, then your date may not see any kind of future with you.
21. You’re not financially responsible.
If he’s responsible with money, but you have a ton of debt or struggle to pay your bills on time, it’s highly doubtful he’s going to stick around. Most of us want our equal, and it isn’t fair if he’s taken care of himself, but because you haven’t, he’d have to take up the slack.
22. You waffle on monogamy.
Monogamy isn’t for everyone, but if it’s what your date wants, then he likely won’t be okay if you’d rather not be exclusive, or you’d prefer polyamory/open relationships/ethical non-monogamy.
He also may not be okay if you seem like too much of a flirt or talk too much about an ex. It might seem like you’re not prepared to be in a relationship.
23. You do or don’t want kids.
If you never want kids but your date has two? That may be a problem. If you want kids, but your date’s had a vasectomy and never wants to change a diaper again? That’s another problem.
24. You love — or hate — pets too much.
You have 8 cats. Your dog has a diamond collar, and you carry her in a purse wherever you go. Or you can’t stand dogs or cats. Whenever they’re around, you hold your hands up and make weird noises as you try to get them to stop being interested in you.
If your date doesn’t love or hate pets in the same way you do, you may find yourself not having a date #2.
25. You’re always involved in drama.
If you reel from crisis to crisis, your date may not want to ride that roller coaster. Drama is exhausting, even if it’s just on your periphery, and no one has time for that if they have a life and responsibilities of their own.
Also, if you’re always involved in drama, you have some kind of part in that. You can’t be in anything without choosing to participate.
We all have our dealbreakers, and men aren’t any different. If you keep finding yourself striking out with guys you like, maybe this list of dealbreakers can help you figure out why. With that information, you can accept it for what it is and wait for someone who likes you for you, or you can see if it’s something you’d like to change.
This post was previously published on Medium.
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Photo credit: Luigi Estuye, LUCREATIVE® on Unsplash