Insight Is 20/20

Exploring the pervasive, and unperceived, patterns that govern our lives

What Turns Off Men in Dating & Love: Tips

Ladies, don't make the slip that will send your date headed for the hills.

In an earlier blog post, I talked about the major complaint I hear from women reporting back from the dating trenches. But what annoys the guys? I can assure you that there are a few behaviors that undoubtedly annoy men in the early stages of dating. So, be mindful when you're dating to not push those particular buttons that will send him running, never to be seen again!

There are a few questions women often ask in the early stages of dating that leave a bad taste in the mouths of men. One of these questions involves asking questions about what he does for a living in such a way that makes it clear she's not interested in getting to know him better, but in - you guessed it - finding out how much money he makes. Watch out for this one, because men often interpret this question as your attempt to figure out a) how much he's willing to pay for, and b) how comfortable he is being the financial provider in the relationship. I always tell my clients that they must walk into a relationship with the expectation that they will be an equal financial provider, though this may change, of course, over time.

Another question that often annoys men on dates involves broaching the subject of having children. Come on, this really shouldn't be discussed until you know the guy well enough that you have the feeling that you might be interested in one day having children with him! Bringing up this subject too early means that you may as well introduce yourself by saying, "Hi, I'm Sally, and you look like one hell of a sperm donor. Maybe later you could meet my eggs?" Early in the dating process, don't ask questions about marriage and children - it's just too much, and it's doomed to backfire.

The other behavior that I need to highlight in discussing what annoys men in dating involves women looking to guys to make them feel pretty. Hey, there's nothing wrong with wanting to feel like a sexpot: everybody secretly wants to be swaddled in compliments. But my male clients often report that they feel like the women they date are fishing for compliments or, worse, need constant validation that they look okay or aren't too fat. This kind of behavior puts men off because men, just like women, are basically looking for a simple thing: a confident, strong person who is already happy on their own!

Next time you're out on a date, think about how you are coming across, and remember to focus on making a friend first, rather than interviewing a candidate for a relationship. And, if you absolutely must conduct an interview, please remember to do it subtly and to avoid the common missteps mentioned above!

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PLUS: In Dr. Seth's new book, Dr. Seth's Love Prescription (available at Amazon.com or in bookstores like Borders and Barnes & Noble), he shows you how to stop repeating bad patterns in your romantic relationships. If you or someone you know keeps going for the wrong type of partner and seems stuck on this heinous hamster wheel, pick up a copy of Dr. Seth's Love Prescription.

 

Seth Meyers, Psy.D., is a clinical psychologist with the L.A. County Department of Mental Health.

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