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The 5 Most Unattractive Traits in Men and Women

by Dr. Seth Meyers - August 2, 2016

At first, you may think that the list of traits that make a man or woman unattractive is endless, like a scroll that goes on forever. The truth, though, is that many unattractive traits can be boiled down to more fundamental traits. Take a look at the ones identified below and you will quickly see how these traits are broad and yet define the essence of what turns you off.


If you are a messy or disorganized person, perhaps you don’t find disorganization in another person to be an unattractive trait. But the reality is that two disorganized people cannot manage a happy and effective long-term relationship. If both partners are disorganized, home life severely suffers. The house is unsanitary, people can never find things, bills may be overlooked, and weekly chores are ignored. If you start dating someone and find that their car or home is a major mess, seriously think about what this means. The degree of clutter in your environment matches the degree of clutter in your mind, so people who are disorganized are usually mentally scattered. Disorganization may sound like a little issue – especially if you’re in your 20s when you spend much of your time outside of the house – but disorganization in long-term relationships ultimately causes major frustration.


In the beginning, an arrogant individual can look attractive and confident. He acts like he has it all figured out, or she acts supremely confident and never shows signs of insecurity or vulnerability. If you have ever dated someone who is arrogant, you know how quickly this trait morphs from attractive to downright ugly. Arrogance is such an unattractive trait because it means that the individual focuses mostly on himself and doesn’t have a lot of time or empathy for others.

See also: 3 Types of Shame That Hurt Your Dating Life


Self-disclosure alert: Few things turn me off as much as someone who is unreliable. The unreliable individual is often late; she makes plans but changes them frequently or cancels them at the last minute; he is disorganized; and she commits to things but later backs out. Let me be clear: There is no way to have a healthy, long-term relationship with someone who is unreliable. These individuals haven’t yet grown up and reached a level of maturity where they value basic social conventions: acting like an adult who commits, follows through, and cares about how they affect other people. Besides outright abuse, could there be a less attractive trait in someone you date?

Inability or disinterest in listening when you talk about yourself or your life

Most men and women who don’t listen well to their dates do so because of their own narcissism, an extreme focus on themselves. (A handful of men and women may seem like bad listeners but it’s not because of narcissism; it’s because of social awkwardness or anxiety). When you’re on a date, each person should be asking the other questions about their life and listening fully to the answers. As soon as you sniff out that he or she may not be as interested in what you have to say when you talk about yourself, play it safe and look for someone else. Trust me: If you get serious with someone, there are going to be tough times down the road when you are going to need someone to listen, comfort, and take care of you.

Being jealous and controlling

If a person is jealous, he or she will also be controlling. A jealous person gets jealous out of a fear that you will leave him, so they use controlling behaviors to make sure that you stay. Being jealous and controlling is not only unattractive – it can also be dangerous if the controlling behaviors become emotionally or physically abusive. The safest way to handle someone you meet who seems jealous early on is to walk away altogether as soon as possible. You can’t rescue someone who is stuck in such primitive, jealous fantasies. That individual needs therapy or a friend to help them heal before they have even the slightest chance of having a happy relationship.

The ultimate message

If you start dating someone who presents any of these extremely unattractive traits, your smartest move is to stop dating him or her immediately. If you are unsure about whether you are being too impulsive in ending it, ask two or three people whose judgment you trust and share your concerns. Above all, protect yourself from unnecessary drama so that you have the emotional energy to give to someone who is better for you right from the start!


About the Author:

Dr. Seth is a licensed clinical psychologist, author, Psychology Today blogger, and TV guest expert. He practices in Los Angeles and treats a wide range of issues and disorders and specializes in relationships, parenting, and addiction. He has had extensive training in conducting couples therapy and is the author of Dr. Seth’s Love Prescription: Overcome Relationship Repetition Syndrome and Find the Love You Deserve