I asked Dr. Seth Meyers to write about common complaints from his male clients. Here, he reveals their biggest turnoffs in dating and relationships.
As a relationship expert who counsels men and women of every age and ethnicity, I hear more than my fair share of complaints about the opposite sex. When it comes to men, I can share with you some of their most profound turnoffs and what women can do to turn on – and not turn off — men they’re interested in. The good news for women is that the vast majority of men are looking for love and companionship from a woman, so the key is understanding the opposite sex better so that men and women can have happy and productive relationships with each other.
Turnoff # 1: Expecting him to pay for everything.
Before we go further, ask yourself the following questions: Do you expect that a man will foot the bill on your first date? How would you feel if he offered to split the bill with you?
Well, I can tell you that some men are happy to pay, expect to pay, and want to pay for their dates with a woman. There are a lot of other men, however, who think it’s confusing why a woman who works would expect a man to pay for her when she’s perfectly capable of paying for herself. Some men end up feeling resentful that women turn them into an automatic financial provider, even though they may not even know each other’s last names!
How to handle the issue: Always offer to pay for yourself on a date. Many men prefer to pay for a woman on a date, but appreciate it when she offers to pay for herself. Even though many men won’t let her pay, the fact that she offered shows the man that she isn’t automatically expecting it. It’s the expecting it that turns many men off.
Turnoff # 2: Playing hard to get.
Conventional wisdom tells us that men want sex much more than women, though that isn’t always the case. During the dating process, men often feel frustrated, feeling as if women put the breaks on having sex – not because the women don’t want to have sex, but because the women enjoy playing hard to get and making men “work for it,” as a male client of mine put it. Sometimes women will joke with men early in the dating process, saying things like, “You’re going to have to wait a little longer.” Men get turned off when they feel that women are using sex as a sort of power move, and they’ll often lose interest if the games continue for too long.
How to handle this issue: Men don’t get turned off if a woman explains in an understandable manner why she wants to wait. If you don’t want to become intimate early on with a man, that’s fine – and even a good thing! But if you want to wait to have sex, tell him in a matter-of-fact way why it’s important to you to wait and be careful not to tease him. Teasing or joking about it makes him think you’re getting a rush out of making him wait, and he will lose interest if he feels that you’re not being authentic with him.
Turnoff # 3: Talking about love, marriage, and children too soon.
As a therapist, I understand the urge to tell a man you just started dating what you want: a marriage, children, and whatever else floats your boat. But the key is to not overwhelm him too soon about the plans you are mentally making in your head for the two of you. Men get turned off if you seem too anxious to get married and have children. Men know that, early on, you don’t really know them, and they need to trust that you like them for them before you get carried away designing the rest of your life.
How to handle the issue: It’s fine on a first date to tell someone that you’re looking for a relationship, but wait a few weeks to share other wishes you have about your future lifestyle. After a few weeks – or even a month or two – tell him what your interests are in terms of getting married or having children (including whether you want that conventional lifestyle or not). In the case that you want to get married and have children, make sure to tell him that you’re not in a rush and feel happy to take things slowly so the two of you can get to know each other and determine if the two of you are truly a good fit.
Overall, men are looking for love and companionship, and they’re looking for someone who cares about their thoughts and feelings – even if they sometimes pretend they don’t have them! Keep in mind the turnoffs above and you will avoid walking into some common traps that have derailed many romantic relationships in the past.
Learn more about Dr. Seth and his book, Dr. Seth’s Love Prescription: Find the Love You Deserve .