The Top 10 Turnoffs For Women

Katie Young
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Wednesday - February 11, 2009

“Women are so complicated,” many of my male friends lament. “It’s so hard to know what they want.”

Of course, I have to disagree. I think it’s fairly simple if men are open to accepting the differences between what women want and what men want. Just as there are turnoffs for men, there are turnoffs for women when it comes to dating someone new.

Know what will send a woman running for the hills, and you’re likely to avoid making these mistakes in your own dating escapades.

Here are the top 10 turnoffs for women, according to Marie Terry-Bivens, Psy.D., a psychologist in private practice and member of the Hawaii Psychological Association.


10) Aman who either commits too fast or will never commit to anything. Men make a mistake by making a big deal out of the first date, says Terry-Bivens. Making the date a heavy thing just puts pressure on the woman and on the whole situation and breeds discomfort. On the other hand, a man who can’t get anything started can be really frustrating. Here’s a great ask-out for the first date: “Let’s go grab some coffee!”

9) Men who say they will call and then don’t. Women love follow-through and reliability in a man, says Terry-Bivens. A desirable man is going to be a rock of reliability and trustworthiness. Not doing what you say you’re going to do is a huge turnoff.

8) Men who call only after dark. Men have a reputation for only wanting one thing to begin with, says Terry-Bivens. A desirable man is going to be interested in a woman’s daily life as well as what promise the night might hold.

7) Sexist jokes or sexist anything. This may seem like a nobrainer, but I see Playboy bunny decals on the back window of pickup trucks all the time, says Terry-Bivens. My husband has a friend who tells dumb blonde jokes and wears T-shirts with animated women posing in bikinis. No wonder he can’t get a date! This sort of thing is a huge turnoff for women.

6) Jealousy or asking about a woman’s ex-boyfriends.This is a tricky one because a little bit of jealousy can be flattering. But asking about old relationships is a real dead-end move on a date, says Terry-Bivens. Obsessive jealousy is a turnoff, and I would also worry about the kind of woman who would be attracted to a display of that much jealousy.

5) Men who make generalized statements about what women like. Women hate being told what women like by men, says Terry-Bivens. Men: If you really knew what women liked, you wouldn’t need to be dating. You would be my husband!

4) Men who try to “fix” rather than just listening. Men need to learn that succeeding in a relationship with a woman is a lot easier than they may realize, explains Terry-Bivens. Men automatically want to fix problems, and they put a great deal of pressure on themselves to provide a solution. Then they get frustrated when, no matter what they do, the woman never seems satisfied. Men need to realize that most women are emotional beings - we just want to be listened to. Practice listening to what your woman is saying and repeat back to her how she is feeling. Any concrete solution is very secondary to this.

3) Men who talk about money too much, make self-aggrandizing statements or only self-deprecating comments. Men are often in a rush to impress right away, says Terry-Bivens. This can lead to way too much egotism and easily become a turnoff. Men would do better to view dating as a process of mutual discovery - don’t tell her everything good about yourself on the first date! Let her discover what is good about you and listen to what she says she likes. Then give her more of that part of you.

Too much self-deprecation can also be a turnoff. Few women want to get involved with a man out of sympathy. It’s just not exciting!

2) A man who is a smooth, womanizer-type or a man who has no self-esteem. The sexiest guys never try too hard to look smooth, explains Terry-Bivens. Romance is a good thing, but a man shouldn’t try to be so suave that the woman is completely overwhelmed. Dating and relating should be casual and fun, not too cheesy or corny. On the other hand, having no self-esteem also is a big turnoff. If a man doesn’t think he has anything going for himself, why should he expect a woman to feel differently?

1) A man who dominates the conversation and talks only about himself. The single most important thing a man can do on a date is to ask questions and listen and learn about the woman he is with, says Terry-Bivens. It’s a lot easier than putting on a show, and it will almost certainly get him further into a woman’s graces. Doing some of this intentionally will help men create the conditions of mutual discovery that make for the best dates and the most enjoyable relationships!

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