7 Harsh-But-True Reasons You Scare Men Away

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Don't get discouraged — online dating can lead to finding true love, but there are certain self-sabotaging behaviors that only make the search for love even harder.

During my 12 years as a relationship expert, I've noticed a trend repeating itself over and over and over again.

What might that trend be, exactly?

Bright, beautiful, and professional women are succeeding at everything except one thing: dating. 

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And, sadly, despite all the dating advice available now, a great majority of women who go out on a first date rarely get called back for a second date.

Research tells us that 30 percent of people (20,000 people surveyed) met their significant others online. Notably, out of that 30 percent, 10 percent ended up in long-term, committed relationships.

Furthermore, this research from the University of Chicago's Department of Psychology: Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience, confirms that couples who meet online have better relationship outcomes than those who met by other means.

So, if online dating is capable of yielding such fantastic results, why are so many women failing at it?

The answer lies in common self-sabotaging behaviors.

Here are 7 harsh but honest ways you scare men away:

1. Having unrealistic expectations

Whether online or otherwise, dating is not a platform for conjuring up a "mail-ordered" ideal man.

Many women have the false assumption that if you write in your journal about the fantasy man you dream of (or pin pictures of him on Pinterest), you'll magically "manifest" that Prince Charming out on the dating scene.

Stop it! You're making yourself look like a desperate, delusional fool. Nothing turns a man off faster than a woman with her head in the clouds.

Dating should partly be rooted in fun and curiosity, not a maniacal fantasy.

A first date (and even a second) is an opportunity to simply meet and engage with someone, for no purpose other than a good getting-to-know-you conversation and (if all goes well) a laugh or two.

If those dates go somewhere, great! If not, you still enjoyed yourself because you weren't prematurely concerned about a future with the man you just met.

2. Having standards that are too high

You want Prince Charming, but are you his equal in all regards? Do you want handsome looks, a person of character, and a partner with a great personality? Well so does he!

And since men are mostly visual (at least, initially) before you start dating, get yourself together and be the best version of you possible — physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially — prior to dating anyone.

If you don't value fitness and health in the aforementioned forms, how can you honestly expect to attract the Boris Kodjoe or Channing Tatum types?

If you meet the perfect guy, but don't have your ducks in a row. It won't work! You must truly and fully be that which you seek.

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3. Messaging back and forth endlessly

Unless you're looking for a pen pal, stop writing so many messages back and forth before you meet (or decide you're not interested).

Again, men are visual. The alternative? Suggest video chatting on Skype. This allows a face-to-face conversation from a safe distance. Thus, he receives the "visual" while you remain in the safe comfort of your home.

The more messages you send back and forth without satisfying his visual curiosity, the greater the likelihood of him losing interest.

Does that mean you need to send him naked or suggestive pictures? No, not at all. But it does mean (if you're interested) letting him see your face.

If you're not interested, stop wasting his and your time.

4. Thinking that every man wants you

Successful men have their pick of women. Having your guard up and thinking (or acting) like being with you is every man's quest makes you come across as a pompous, egotistical queen bee.

Check your ego at the door and, instead, try being down-to-earth, authentic, and transparent.

The man you want, more than likely, is in high demand — and knows it. Be the opposite of most women. Be you.

Let him know you're looking for the right guy to share true intimacy with.

5. Waiting on him to call you

This is the 21st century, so act like it. Successful men are busy. Just because he didn't call you doesn't mean he's not interested.

Moreover, some men want to see if you're really interested in them, as well. Don't play the waiting game. If you like the guy, show him. Actions speak louder than words.

Don't pester him if he doesn't reply, but a confident woman can make the first move.

6. Posting group photos instead of selfies on your online dating profile

Liken this to you going out to the club with a bunch of your girlfriends. The odds of a man approaching you under those conditions are slim to none.

The same is true for internet dating. So lose pictures that show you in the company of groups of women, with children, or that don't show you at all.

They send the wrong message about you.

To a man, such images suggest that you, either, aren't capable of giving him your undivided attention or that you live your life by committee.

As for the images of landscapes and pets, it sends the message that you're hiding something — something, like your figure! Let a man see as many sides of you as possible. That says you're confident, diverse, and definitely capable of keeping his attention.

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7. Making demands

One of the worst mistakes you can make in a conversation (or put on your profile) is a statement that makes you look desperate or freakishly controlling.

Saying things like, "I'm only looking for a serious relationship. If you're not ready for commitment then don't waste my time."

This makes you look clingy, and defensive and infers that from day one, dating you will be a burdensome suffocating experience.

Demanding things from someone, especially someone whom you've never met, is a sign that you have unresolved issues!

Not being permeable or flexible is a very unattractive quality. If you want to run a man off, just pressure him or be antagonistic — I have no doubt you'll succeed.

Obviously, this list could be much longer, but these are the main reasons why men won't go past exchanging a few messages, let alone commit to a first date with you.

Why does this vicious cycle continue to live on? 

The problem lies somewhere in between saying and doing all the wrong things, at the wrong time — while simultaneously being unreasonably paranoid about men.

I understand that there's a very legitimate reason why women are struggling with dating, especially online dating.

You're cautious, ladies, and rightfully so given that there are a lot of emotionally unavailable men parading about — men that you definitely need to avoid at all costs. I totally get it.

But, though caution is entirely reasonable, it's also not OK to hide behind your computer screen and toy with people and string them along. And yes, that is definitely what a lot of you do!

How to make online dating work

Remember, dating is just that — dating. It's supposed to genuinely be fun.

Looking for love doesn't have to be painful. Having no expectations doesn't mean you lack standards. Staying open-minded works to your advantage.

One of the most important online dating tips you need to know is to make it your business to simply meet people, enjoy their company, and make friends with them.

The Universe works in mysterious ways. For all you know, the man you're looking for might very well be a friend, a relative, or the colleague of the man you went out on a date with or met online.

Lastly, the moment you make up your mind to enjoy dating — to stop saying and doing the wrong things at the wrong time while being unreasonably paranoid and overly suspicious — I promise you will never feel lonely or be alone again.

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Dr. D. Ivan Young is an ICF Credentialed Master Certified Coach, Certified Professional Diversity Coach, National Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach, and a Certified Master MBTI Practitioner.