10 Everyday Things Women Do That Are Major Turn-Offs For Men

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You're probably familiar with dating turn-offs for women, such as playing hard to get or being insecure. But what turns men off?

We all know women aren't the only ones with major red flags when it comes to relationships, so I asked several male friends over the age of 40 about the biggest turn-off for guys.

Though you've probably heard of some of these turn-offs for men, they still remain some of the most common dating mistakes women make.

Take this relationship advice to help navigate the world of love if it's something you wish to do.

So, what turns men off?

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1. Playing dumb.

If you are a woman who thinks men don’t want you to be smart, think again. This might be one of the biggest turn-offs for a guy because healthy men are attracted to confident, happy, and smart women.

The point of dating is to first find someone you would like to be with, not to find just any guy who likes you.

Do you want to spend your life with a man who doesn’t value your intelligence (or anything else about you)? If he doesn’t value who you are and appreciate your brilliance, the relationship you have isn’t a real relationship because you can’t be you.

The message is to follow your dream and be your brilliant self. If a man doesn’t find that attractive, move on.

2. Being arrogant.

One thing I’ve observed is that sometimes, a smart woman is arrogant and is demeaning to a man. When that happens, a man’s resistance is not to her intelligence but to her attitude and disrespect.

Arrogance is not confidence. You don’t want a man to talk down to you and a man doesn’t want you to talk down to him.

Most men want a partner with whom he can have conversations about life, work, family, politics, challenges, and everything — so he wants a woman who is intelligent.

3. Faking it.

No, I’m not talking about sex, but that applies here too.

Faking is a game that most men don’t like to play and it can turn off a man. One of the examples men spoke about is when a woman pretends to like something he said or did so that he will like her.

A man who is secure will be okay if you don’t think everything he says or does is funny or brilliant, as long as you aren’t rude about it. Acknowledge and appreciate him when it is authentic.

You do want a "real" relationship where you can be your authentic self and know he loves you for you, don’t you? So does he! Women clients often talk about how they feel betrayed when a man isn’t honest with them. This is a lesson that goes both ways. In the end, it won’t work if either of you can't be yourself.

Here are some examples of faking it: Being happy when you are depressed, acting like you are enjoying something when you don’t, being interested in his work when you are bored, and saying you love to do something when you don’t (like football, fishing, working out all the time, boating, or horror movies).

Pretending you are someone you are not doesn’t work in the long run. You could say another word for "faking it" or "pretending" is lying, and that is not a strong foundation for a true partnership.

And don’t fake it sexually. During sex, communicate what you like so he knows and hopefully he will do that, too, so you both learn about how to please the other. If you want a satisfying sexual relationship, don’t pretend you like something that doesn’t really turn you on.

4. Drama queens.

The definition of "melodrama" is "a creative performance or actions with lots of exaggerated emotion, tension or excitement." People who are melodramatic behave in overly emotional ways, such as causing scenes over every little problem.

Are you a "(Melo) Drama Queen"? Do you make a big deal about a little problem? Do you gossip about others to make yourself look better? Do you usually make yourself the heroine, victim, or villain of your story (or all three, depending on which will get you the most attention)?

In general, men do not like drama or when females are playing games with them.

Some men have admitted that when dating, they will tolerate drama if they are getting laid. The hotter a woman is, the more drama a man will put up with. On the other hand, if the drama supersedes her hotness, he will leave the relationship.

What about when you are in a long-term relationship? It depends on how long you’ve been together. Every man has a breaking point. One man said that when drama is brought into a relationship, at some point the man will start evaluating whether he loves the woman enough to stay and if the relationship is worth it.

If you are a "(Melo) Drama Queen", you may be addicted to the hormones released by being dramatic. You can get attention even if it's negative. The dramatic retelling of your story can be stressful for you as the storyteller, and it can also stress out the people listening to your story.

Your drama can give you a big burst of energy and make you feel good to be the center of attention; however, your body can still go into high-stress mode.

5. Constant nagging and complaining.

The reason you might not be getting what you want is that your communication skills are not working. Instead of complaining about what you don’t want, ask for what you do want.

First, focus on what you want not what you don't want. This is for your benefit (so you don't automatically go into complaint mode). It also is for the benefit of whomever you are with including your spouse or boyfriend, your date, a child, employee, or neighbor.

Second, notice I said "ask," not demand. We all have expectations of ourselves and others. When you have an expectation and it hasn’t been clearly communicated, you are likely to react negatively, such as being disappointed, frustrated, angry, or hurt.

By focusing on what you want, you will bring the best out in your man. Most men want to please us. It’s no fun for him when he is trying to please you and take care of you, but all you do is complain. (Of course, we want to be appreciated, too.)

Even on your best behavior on a date, you might find yourself complaining about the food or service at the restaurant, the traffic, work, friends, your family, whatever. If you don’t want a man with baggage (and especially if you post that on your dating profile), then do not complain about your exes!

Most men want a woman who is happy, and complaining and nagging indicate that you are not happy.

Women often assume that because a man doesn’t express his deep feelings that he doesn’t have any feelings, or that he does, but he is purposely holding back. Men feel emotions deeply, even if they don’t show them.

Nagging him to get him to talk has the opposite effect! If you want to know something, find a time to ask when he is not doing something else.

Let him know you have a question, ask it, then be quiet, don’t interrupt, and wait patiently for his answer. Men who don’t express their feelings regularly may take time to think about their answers.

If you are just starting to date someone and you ask personal questions, if he doesn’t answer the way you want, don’t interrogate (nag) him. If you want someone who is more open, and he doesn’t share openly after several dates, let him know that open communication is important to you and you wonder how he feels about that.

Maybe he isn’t comfortable sharing emotions with someone he doesn’t know or trust early in the relationship but as time progresses, if he's not forthcoming, then you need to decide if you can accept his communication style or not.

If you are in a committed relationship and your partner doesn’t do things that you ask, I’m sure you know that nagging doesn’t work even though we still do it!

Trust your partner is doing his best and if he isn’t doing what he promised, find out how what’s going on. Create a safe space to talk by sharing with him your commitment to creating a loving relationship and partnership. Share what's not working for you and ask him (and listen without defending yourself) what's not working for him.

Explore how you both can work together and support each other to make things work for both of you. You bathe the kids and he reads them a story. He pays the bills and you go grocery shopping.

What would it be like if you could make requests that could be heard by your man? A man who cares about you will want to please you so when you are gracious, asking not demanding, and appreciate him, he will want to help you.

If you've been nagging him in the past, you may have trained him to not listen to you, so when you change the way to speak and act, it may take him time to catch on and catch up with you!

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6. A woman who doesn't embrace her feminine energy.

In a couple, one person typically has more female energy and the other more masculine energy. Both types of energy are a part of all of us and different circumstances can bring one out more. The stereotypes of the past do not hold anymore.

If you are a woman bringing masculine energy to the relationship but you want a strong man, there’s no room for a man to be masculine without trying to dominate you. This is a common challenge for my female clients and something I've learned in my marriage.

Tony Robbins says it is polarity in relationships — "the spark that occurs between two opposing energies: masculine and feminine" — that drives and sustains passion. When you both have the same energy, you may have more in common but lack passion. Robbins also says when women are stressed or tired, they go into protection mode and become more masculine…leading to zero possibility of passion in the relationship.

Men often compete to be the "Alpha" or lead male. When a woman is bringing her masculine energy, she may be consciously or unconsciously competing to be the alpha male. Maybe this works if you are in a leadership role in your organization, especially if you are in a highly competitive male-dominated environment.

On the other hand, many women have feminine energy we deny or suppress, especially at work, and that creates stress for us because we are not being who we really are. You may not realize this because masculine energy — male and female — is all you've seen demonstrated in your workplace.

When you are being more forceful and not tapping into your feminine energy, you may not only be denying a part of who you are, you may be suppressing your gifts of feminine energy, including emotional IQ, collaboration, listening, appreciation, and connecting.

Feminine energy is powerful, but it is not dominating. One of the men responding said, "I want a strong woman who can allow me to have my authentic emotion." Men need us to hold the space for them to feel comfortable enough to express themselves and listen.

7. Poor hygiene.

This is just plain and simple. If a woman doesn't have good hygiene it is a big turn-off to men. A man wants someone who can take care of them.

If a woman can't even bother to take care of herself, how would she be able to care for him? 

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Taking care of yourself is a turn-on because it is a sign of self-love, which is super important.

To be fair it's no woman's job to take care of men. But when trying to find a significant other poor hygiene isn't going to help you do that.

Bad hygiene, in general, is a major turn-off to everybody, not just men.

No one is going to begin falling in love with yellow teeth and body odor anytime soon.

8. Anyone who's always looking at their phone. 

Men want attention. They thrive on holding a woman's attention.

So if women are too into their social media and constantly have their eyes glued to their phones, men don't see the point of hanging around.

They don't feel wanted and this hurt their pride, making this a huge turn-off.

Therefore, if women would rather update their status to hanging out with bae instead of actually spending time with him won't make "bae" stay.

9. Self-centered people.

If a woman is all me, me, me 24/7 no man is going to want to be around that.

A relationship is about give and take — couples take turns talking about their days, sharing stories, discussing their problems.

If a woman is constantly talking about herself or won't pay attention to her man, he will get annoyed. Being self-centered is something commonly correlated with being shallow, which men apparently turns off men. 

It becomes irritating when a man has to fight to get a single word in about what is going on with him. If the relationship is one-sided, there no point for the man to stay around.

10. Indecisiveness.

When a woman is indecisive it can become frustrating to the man. It makes a woman look like she doesn't know what she is doing or who she is which can be linked back up to being dumb.

Men want someone who knows what they are doing, can take charge, and take care of themselves.

They don't want to constantly sit there and hold a woman's hand every time she has to make a decision. They also don't want to make decisions for you.

Men want a woman to be their own person, they don't want to date a body with no brain or drive. These are actually turn-offs for men and women.

Do you see any of these patterns in your interactions with the men in your life?

Love is a two-way street and when you listen to what a man wants, you have a choice of providing that or not. If you withhold until he gives you what you want, your relationship won’t work.

Get to know your partner step-by-step, even when you think you already know him, and don’t take him for granted.

If you want a loving relationship, you have to be willing to be yourself and accept him for who he is. Meet him where he is and see if he meets you where you are.

When both people are committed to the relationship ("we") instead of their own concerns ("me") then you can work things out but relationships do not start there. It takes time.

If you know a man is not for you, don't pretend you care more than you do. If you are dating a man you don't really care about, you are less available to connect with a man who would be a great partner for you.

You deserve to be with a man who appreciates you and cares about you…and he deserves to be with a woman who appreciates and cares about him.

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Marilyn Sutherland is a Relationship Empowerment Coach at Your Journey to Lasting Love. If you are inspired about being yourself and being more aware of how you show up with men, whether you are single or in a committed relationship, reach out to her to request a Breakthrough Discovery Session