Dating Turnoffs

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By Amy Schoen, February, 2011

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What could you be doing that would be a big dating turnoff?  Sometimes you may be turning off your date and not really be aware of what you are doing that’s so unpleasant to another person.  Here are some dating tips for men and women of the major turnoffs.

1.     Lack of consideration and follow through.
For men, this is saying that you will call and not call.  If you truly are not interested in asking the woman out again, it is best to say, “It was nice to make your acquaintance” and leave it at that.  For woman, not getting back to the men who have either called or emailed you is just bad manners.  Most people would rather you be honest with them about your interest than be dragged along.  When you say you are going to do something, it is important in relationship building to be reliable and accountable.

Another big pet peeve for many is people who are inconsiderate with their time.  These rude people may wait until the day of the date to finalize your date plans.  Or he or she could keep you waiting for an hour or two with no ph.one call to tell you he or she will be late and offers no good reason for keeping you waiting.  This is a huge turnoff for time conscious individuals.

2.     Getting way too physical way too fast!
I remember being on a first date and I was interested in getting to know the man who was sitting across the table.  Then the hand comes out to hold my hand.  I barely knew this guy or how I felt about him.  His desire for physical contact was coming much too soon.  I’m not sure it seemed a little too needy or his intentions were not that honorable.  I felt my safety barrier was being breached.  Although he seemed like a nice enough fellow, I was reluctant to go out with him again.
Be careful to respect the other person’s personal space.  It may seem corny, but it is best to ask permission first before attempting any physical contact. (“I’d like to kiss you, is that okay?”)

3.     No (Physical) Connection!
So you have emailed back and forth, seen his or her picture, talked on the phone and now for the moment of truth! Is there chemistry or any physical attraction?  Zippo! Nada!  What a disappointment.  This is something that you either got it or you don’t.  “There is no chemistry for me” is the verbiage to use.  Everyone know that means, “I just don’t feel it with you”!  At this point it’s not something that you can force.  I recommend moving on or deciding to be friends.

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4.     Poor grooming and hygiene
This is a big area for dating turnoffs here.  The list is: bad breadth, poor face shaving for men and underarms and other areas for women, sloppy dressing with stains on clothing and poorly applied makeup by women.  Make sure you take a close look in the mirror (and use a magnifying mirror if you have to).  Now, how is your car kept?  Is it dirty or have lots of stuff thrown around the back seat?  This is another major turnoff for those who are neat and tidy!

5.     Just plain unpleasant to be around!
This person is a sour puss and complains about everything.   He or she knows better than you and everyone else and is an expert on everything, as well.  You may even say he or she is arrogant and pushy. He takes himself much too seriously and is not able to laugh at himself either.  This person may also talk about their ex all evening long. You wished you stayed home and read a good book instead!

6.     Poor social skills and a poor conversationalist:
You know the person, the one who can’t hold a conversation.  You are doing all the work.  It feels like pulling teeth.  How about the person who does all the talking and holds a one-way conversation with herself!  Then, there is the poor individual who is shy, nervous and appears anxious.  You feel sorry for him or her, but you don’t want to date them.  Last, there is the person who interrogates you like he or she is a reporter interviewing you for 60 Minutes!

7.     Inflexible:
Sometimes you have to roll with the punches.  I have a thing for great tables in restaurants.  My poor husband moves with me when I say I prefer to be at another table.  He is very patient.  I know this very desire to have a better table drove some guys away (also changing rooms in hotels!).  Or what if plans change because of a babysitter who got sick?  Are you able to be happy with plan B?  And what about when you have an hour to kill before the movie and your date asks to run a quick errand – will you go along with the flow? Sometimes you have to be willing to try new stuff and push yourself outside your comfort zone.

8.     Being cheap:
According to my sources, there is nothing worse than a cheap man.  I saw one story via email that after a date that didn’t go well, the guy emailed the woman and asked her to pay him back for half of the dinner!  That doesn’t mean that a guy needs be taken to the cleaners either.  You can find reasonable romantic dates that doesn’t cost you your shirt.  On one of my first dates with my husband, he picked up a picnic dinner and we went to a free outdoor concert. And women, you should offer to pay for something, like the tip or for the sodas at the movies.  Generosity is a very sought after trait in partners.   So don’t be penny foolish and lose the chance for another date!

9.     Not being proactive or being too reactive- passive:
The best strategy for a guy is to come up with two or three places to go to meet for a date or restaurants for dinner (beyond the initial date) and let the woman pick her choice.  Women- don’t be wishy washy and say, “whatever you want”!  Most guys would like some help and not have to make all the decisions themselves.   Not having any opinions or preferences can be just as infuriating as being overly opinionated!

10.    Insensitivity and rudeness:
How you treat others comes across very early in dating.   How do you treat the wait staff and service people?   Saying judgmental comments about other people shows you that your date is not tolerant.  Then, what would he or she say about you behind your back?   Perhaps your date just said something about loud kids at the next table and you just happen to have kids yourself!   Or how about the date that insists you order the fish when you really don’t like fish?  Moreover, what about the person who asks you “You are over 40 and never have been married, what’s wrong with you”?  It can make you want to inflict bodily harm on that person.  The best thing you can do is cut the date short and move on!