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12 Typical Turn-Offs That Make Men and Women Stay Away

by eharmony Editorial Team - March 21, 2021

You thought the date was going great… but apparently the other person didn’t think so. You know you’re a great catch – you’re good-looking, you have a great job and interesting hobbies – and yet you’re perennially single. Sometimes (even if your ex insists it’s not the case) it might actually be you, not them. So, what are some turn offs for men and women that might cause someone to pass on you? People have different dealbreakers, but here’s a short list:

6 Things That Turn Women Off

1. When You Run Down Other Women

How often do you bring up your ‘crazy’ ex? Or do you have a habit of telling potential dates they’re ‘not like the others’? There are few bigger turn offs for women than those right there. Nobody wants to be reminded and especially not compared to the people before them – so our advice is stay away from that topic as best you can.  

Tip: Find ways to compliment her that don’t involve comparing her to other women, especially your exes.

2. When You Act Like A Know-It-All

Yes, we know, you’re eager to impress her (and everyone else) with how much of an expert you are in all topics. But consider, she might know even more than you do in some areas, and even if she doesn’t, she’s looking for an equal partner, not a someone to belittle her intelligence.

Tip: Listen more than you talk. And check before you accidentally wind up explaining something that she knows way more about than you.

3. When You Keep Pushing

Remember: anything but an enthusiastic yes is a no. When it comes to turn offs for women, someone who doesn’t respect boundaries, in the bedroom or out, is at the top of the list.

Tip: Read up on consent and talk. Isn’t the goal to make sure you both are comfortable with what you’re doing on a date?  

4. When You’re Jealous

Another huge dating dealbreaker is jealously. Seriously, a jealous partner will soon become a jealous ex. Respect that your date has a life of her own and trust her when it comes to her other relationships. Jealousy is only attractive in the movies, not in real life.

Tip: Give your date space and make sure she knows you trust her. If you don’t feel able to, therapy is a good option.

5. When You’re Lazy

For all that’s written about what women want, the answer is actually pretty simple: it’s to be appreciated. There are few turn offs for women worse than people who’re too lazy to put in any effort in the relationship, whether in terms of planning or simply dressing up.

Tip: Make an effort! Dress up, suggest a date that’s totally centered on something she likes, surprise her with a present or even a ‘thinking of you’ message.

6. When You’re A Player

Do we really even have to mention this? Nobody likes dating a player, truthfully, not even players themselves. Sure, being caught up in the initial whirlwind of attraction feels amazing, but the fall after is just not worth it.

Tip: Be upfront and tell her you’re looking for something non-exclusive right now and let her make the choice whether to continue the relationship.

Things That Turn Men Off

1. If You Have A Foul Mouth

And we don’t mean the kind that’s too fond of four-letter words. There are few bigger turn offs for men than an overly negative, toxic person with nothing nice to say about anyone.

Tip: The best way to impress a guy is to be enthusiastic, whether about the things he likes or that you do. Save the venting sessions for your friends.

2. If You Play Hard To GeT

Not falling all over yourself to show your interest is one thing, but it’s possible to go too far in the other direction, too. Playing hard to get can be an online and offline dating red flag, especially if you let it go on too long.

Tip: Lay your cards on the table and make sure to communicate openly rather than playing games.

3. If You’re Always On Your Phone

Nobody likes playing second fiddle, especially not to a piece of technology. The temptation to always be on your phone is strong – what if you miss an email, or an important news update? – but it’s also one of the biggest turn-offs for men there is.

Tip: Put your phone away and focus on him for the night.

4. If You Act Like a Paranoid You-Know-What

Another typical turn-off for men? Jealous, possessive, paranoid. You’re both adults, that behavior wasn’t even attractive in high school. Healthy relationships are built on trust, which means not snooping or cross-questioning his every move.

Tip: Take him at his word; after all, you’d want him to do the same to you.

5. If You Don’t Understand That He’s Got Friends, Too

Just because he’s dating you now doesn’t mean he doesn’t have friends anymore and expecting him to forget they exist is one of the biggest turn offs for men in existence. A night out with his friends isn’t going to make him forget all about you – it might make him miss you!

Tip: Send him off for a night with his friends and use your newly free evening for some me time.

6. If You Send Mixed Messages

What do men want? For you to send them a clear signal of whether you’re interested or not. Whether intentional or not, mixed messages are hugely frustrating and one of the major turn offs for men whatever stage your relationship is in.

Tip: Don’t leave him hanging. Be clear, even if it means having difficult conversations.

Avoid These Turn Offs And Up Your Dating Game

The dating scene is filled with rules, the vast majority of which are never mentioned out loud. With this handy list of the most common turn offs for men and women, it’s just become that much easier for you to find that special someone, especially on eharmony, where you can get to know any potential matches in depth before actually meeting them in person. So, sign up for eharmony and get started on your road to happily ever after today.

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