August McLaughlin offers tips for men on what makes women run the other way.
Editor’s Note: August McLaughlin is our weekly relationships advice columnist. She’s here to answer questions and offer guidance on the tough challenges we face in our intimate relationships. Readers can submit questions to [email protected]. Not all questions will be published. The opinions expressed in this column do not constitute professional advice. The Good Men Project assumes no responsibility or liability whatsoever for any actions taken by, or reactions that ensue from, anyone following the recommendations in the answers.
A few buddies and I are newly single and have been reentering the dating realm. We were talking about turn-offs of our own, and this question came up: What about men turns women off? Anything we should avoid if we want to meet the women of our dreams?
Run a web-search of women’s turn-offs and you’re likely to find lists of fashion faux pax. In reality, it takes more than the “wrong” style beard or pants to turn us off. We may be just as visual as men when it comes to attraction—but also like guys, we’re far more concerned with the total package. Take it from me and a few girlfriends.
5 Turn-Offs to Avoid While Seeking Ms. Right
1. A bad attitude. You could walk straight off the pages of GQ and appear zero percent attractive if you’re perpetually grumpy or pessimistic. “I want a guy who’s passionate and had a positive outlook on life,” said Kelly. “We need to have physical chemistry, sure, but if he’s constantly complaining, I’ll never feel like making love.”
2. Poor hygiene. Taking time to groom yourself well shows that you care about your wellness, how you appear to the world and how others perceive you. Research shows that how a man smells can powerfully influence female attraction. That doesn’t mean you should bathe in cologne, of course. Aim for clean and fresh. Wash and moisturize your skin. Keep your teeth clean and your breath fresh.
3. Fixation with your looks. While basic grooming is important, obsessing over your looks is a major turn off. “I dated a guy who spent over an hour getting ready before we went out, and was constantly checking himself in mirrors,” said Keisha. “I was all, remember me? Your date?” Fixating on your appearance shows you overvalue aesthetics and leaves little time and energy to invest in what matters most.
4. Disrespectfulness. “I was instantly attracted to my guy when I saw how he treats others,” said El. “He’s genuinely kind to everyone: strangers on the street, restaurant servers, his relatives.” There’s little hotter than a thoughtful, caring guy who isn’t afraid to show it. And if you’re kind to others, you’ll practice kindness with us—in all facets of the relationship. Considerate guys make the best lovers.
5. Low self-esteem. While no one wants to pair up with an egomaniac, low-self esteem can be nearly as damaging to a relationship. It’s also a major buzz kill. Most women desire guys who have a healthy level of self-confidence—who accept themselves enough to cultivate brilliant lives and relationships.
The best women recognize that no one’s perfect, and that we’re all (hopefully) humans in process—on journeys to becoming our fullest, most authentic selves. If you want to turn us on, be genuine. Work on yourself. Prioritize self-care, passion and kind living. Don’t be afraid to show us your hearts and emotions. In doing so, you’ll attract a woman who cherishes the same. Better yet, your paired flame will thrive.
Cheering for you,