9 Dating Turn-Offs From A Guy’s Perspective

In Love by Kristen Dalton Wolfe15 Comments



I have had several comments on my Husband List article expressing the importance of holding ourselves to the same standard to which we do in a man. If we want a great guy, then we need to be the kind of girl who will attract that guy.

I am always writing on the defense of my fellow sisters because I want you to understand the fullness of your self-worth. I want you to be treated like the fearfully beautiful woman that you are and to experience a heavenly constructed love story. But, it wasn’t until this weekend when I was talking with some of my husband’s friends that I learned we might not be so innocent in the brutalities of this dating/relationship game. We might actually have something to do with the jaded bad boys we so often complain about to our girlfriends. The way people treat people, even in dating situations, is typically rooted in a behavior that is formed based on experience. It is true that hurting people hurt people.

Someone has to break the cycle. As women, we hold a feminine power that can either be used to empower men or break them down. Let’s use this gift to build up the men that come into our lives, whether or not they become your boyfriend or husband. This way, the guy you went on a date with will feel appreciated and respected for his efforts and be affirmed in treating the next girl well.

That being said, I interviewed a group of single and married men this weekend about their dating experiences. As I spoke with them, they expressed the major things that turn them off in the dating phase. Here are 9 “turn-off’s”:

1. Constant Complaining or Negativity.
A girl who is constantly seeing the negative in everything or complaining about little things is a red flag to a guy. He wants to spend his time with someone who is refreshing and positive to the soul. This goes for people in general too. No one likes to be around someone who brings them down.
Start paying attention to comments you make about service at restaurants, waiting in long lines, etc. If you notice a pattern or have been told that you project negativity, start to be intentional with the words you speak. They carry a lot of weight, and impact not only the people around you, but also how you feel too. The thoughts you think become the words you say, which influences the way you feel and ultimately becomes the way you behave.

2. Irresponsible
All the men said it is important for them to see a woman who is responsible. Of course, everyone is on a journey and they don’t expect perfection. But everyone can ask themselves: Do you live within your means? Do you pay your bills on time? Are you on time for appointments and meetings, do you honor commitments? Do you have a reputation as a woman who follows-through or flakes? Do you consistently get in trouble for the same thing?
If you haven’t, it might be a good idea to start getting your life organized. Not only will it be helpful in attracting a responsible man and in the overall happiness of a relationship, it will make you happier too!

3. Poor Listening Skills
One guy said, “It’s a turn off for me when a girl asks me a question but then doesn’t listen. She basically is waiting for her turn to talk.” Listening skills are very important for all areas of life, not just dating. When you don’t show a genuine interest and ask follow-up questions, it makes a person feel invisible and irrelevant to the conversation.
The best way to make someone feel good is to ask questions about them and to show an interest in what they are actually saying. If you get nervous or don’t consider yourself a conversationalist, here are 3 easy take-aways:
Ask a sincere question
Listen to their answer while taking mental notes of hi-lights
Ask follow up questions about what they just said.

4. Lack of Ambition
It is attractive to another person to see that you have your owns goals, interests and hobbies. It doesn’t matter what it is to them, as long as it’s something. Otherwise, they feel like a woman is just looking for a handout.
If you are feeling lost or unworthy of having dreams, it’s time to change that. I suggest reading the book, The Artist Way by Julia Cameron. Start doing things that you loved to do as a child and surround yourself with people and resources that encourage you. You will not be a joyful person if you don’t have your own identity. Expecting a man to take all your problems away is not realistic. A fulfilling relationship includes two whole people joining their personalities, goals and ambitions together for a greater purpose.

5. Entitlement
When a man pays for your meal, movie or whatever it is…always say thank you and show appreciation. Yes, as a lady you have a right to be courted, but men still need to be respected and appreciated, not taken for granted. It is the same as when we are happier and more willing to do something when our boyfriend acknowledges our sweet notes or good cooking.
Be gracious. Start looking at your life with a grateful attitude. Take time to appreciate the people in service positions who rarely get thanked. Count your blessings when you are sitting at a stoplight or waiting in line. It is much easier being generous to a grateful person.

6. Attached to Phone
I actually couldn’t believe this happens when I heard it. It is disrespectful to anyone to have your face buried in your phone throughout a conversation. I don’t care how bad the date is, it is important that we represent good women and at least respect the man for his time and effort. Show that you know how to carry on a great conversation, are considerate of others and have good manners.
Keep your phone in your bag throughout dinner/date night. You can check it periodically, use your best judgement.

7. Pursuing Guy or Being Too Available
A man respects what he has to earn. Being too available looks like spending nights just hanging out at his house while he hasn’t taken you on a date yet. There is a difference between a casual hookup buddy and a lady he takes the time to court.
If you really like a guy, allow him the chance to put his best foot forward and to pursue you. You are worth it.

8. Being Too Available For Sex
One guy said, “I like sex as much as the next guy, but when a girl gives in too soon, I lose interest instantly. If it were so easy to do it with me, how many other guys has she been with?”It was kind of amazing hearing this from men, on their own without being prompted. All four agreed that even though they like it and probably wouldn’t refuse it, they wouldn’t respect a girl or pursue her for a relationship.
I know our culture sends confusing messages about this causing a lot of women to believe that sex is the way to get love, but that is false. It is the other way around. Real love is ultimately consummated in sex. This may be a double standard, but I have read multiple books concluding the same sentiment as a wide-spread truth.
As a christian, my view may sound extreme to some of you. But based on experience and women’s anatomy, http://wp.me/s3LX6g-456 I believe a good rule of thumb would be to save your body for a man who loves you so much that he gives you his last name.

9. Lack of Confidence
Aside from dating, people feel comfortable around confident people. Confidence is carried in your posture, your walk and the way you conduct yourself. As women, we hear time and time again that, “the most beautiful thing about a woman is her confidence.”
If you don’t feel confident, then there’s a term that says, “fake it ’til you make it!” It has worked for me in countless situations. Perception is reality in social situations. From my experience, if you are acting confident, people will believe you and respond accordingly. In turn, you will more than likely actually start feeling confident.

This list isn’t really about turn-offs. Ultimately, when you are a gracious person who treats people well and carries yourself with respect because you know you’re worth, the concern of turn-offs won’t be an issue.


  1. While i do agree that women shouldn’t necessarily have sex with a man on the first date, I honestly don’t think that waiting for a marriage proposal is a good “rule of thumb” either. A more realistic rule of thumb would be “wait for at least 4 dates” or even “until you both agree to a relationship instead of just casual dating.”

    1. I don’t know what kind of life experience you’ve had, or where you are at in your walk with God. But I do know (from personal experience) that premarital sex is literally the most harmful thing you can do – not just to your body, but to your mind as well… I am disgusted by the way in which our society promotes sex and how acceptable it is nowadays. A big reason why I’m so disgusted is because I’ve been around the block. You probably don’t care, but I’ve done most drugs that are out there, and I slept with plenty of women. Unfortunately, most of my encounters were unprotected but by the grace of God I did not end up with a disease. All that being said, the beginning of this year I found my way back to God and the one thing I regret over all others (laziness, drugs, arrests, etc.) was my promiscuity… It has been a constant and painful battle to rid my mind of the images and habits I developed from that one area of sin.

      So I urge you, take the advice of this blog. Whether you’re a man or woman, save yourself for marriage. Fight the tide of society and what it says is acceptable. Trust God and His wisdom… Sex is supposed to be for true love, and true love is found in the choice and covenant of marriage…

      Good luck and God bless. P.S. No judgement here, I just want the best for everybody – and since I’ve experienced the worst, I have a pretty good idea of what the best is. (:

      1. true…sexual bonds are hard to break and it can be really diversifying but God is faithful with time people heal.

    2. Anon,
      Speaking from personal experience, I had to learn the hard way that Kristen’s suggestion is preferable over the prevailing popular opinions and practices on premarital sex. In my situation, premarital sex practically derailed the relationship because even though I felt ready for a loving, committed relationship, the truth of the matter is that as a guy, I was also buying into the “I have to keep my options open” mentality. So, my commitment level wasn’t really where it was supposed to be. I also discovered that breakups in a relationship where there was premarital sex were absolutely crushing. After recovering, I had to ask myself, “If this way isn’t working for me, should I try the ‘old fashioned’ way?”

      I’m speaking as a Christian who believes that God gives grace for forgiveness and grace to overcome, but I am walking proof that even after a crushing heartache over a failed relationship where there was premarital sex, for a period of years, God gave me the strength to date WITHOUT pre-marital sex or “crossing the physical sexual line” at all. And 3 years ago, he finally brought me a beautiful Christian woman whom I married and with whom I am enjoying a great sexual relationship within the bounds of a lifelong committed relationship in marriage. Now I really understand that God’s way truly is the best way! 🙂

  2. This is great Kristen! Very well written! Talking with you and Chris actually inspired me quite a bit and forced me to think about things & renew certain positive commitments in my own life again. – thanks 🙂

  3. I found this, to say the least provocative from a woman’s perspective. I am a single father of 3 who has had a very difficult time dating since my morals and beliefs hold me to a certain standard that some women find hard to fathom. I enjoy the company of an intelligent, beautiful woman, as any man would but because of my my belief to NEVER settle for mediocrity, I have had many FIRST dates !!! Thanks for assuring me that my thought process and standards are not just my own and that I am not alone in these convictions.

  4. Thank you for this. I had just lost my boyfriend in an accident and I’m beginning to realise many things about myself. I feel like I’m difficult for somebody to love and having hope that someone would graciously love me again is hard. He was my confidence and was the only one reassuring me of who I was. Since God took him home, it’s been a challenge finding myself in all of this. I know for now that God intends that I rediscover and regain my confidence in Christ and who God has made me to be. This article has revealed to me a bit of how women, or in fact, any child of God should be. For once, I’m making an effort to know what a woman of God is and this SheIsMore has been sucha blessing eventhough I’m just beginning to read this website!Thank you so much, Kristen. God bless.

    1. I am so sorry for your loss, I cannot even imagine that pain and experience. I hope you are healing and things will be ok.

  5. I recently have been conflicted about premarital sex. I literally gave my virginity away when I started college, and had 1-2 times of sex only, then stopped completely after that for a few years until I met a great older guy and began a relationship with him. I can justify that I can’t do anything to change the fact that he is very experienced and been around the block, but i think because I have the perspective of someone with less experience, I torture myself everyday thinking of his sexual past and even the fact that he watches porn and whatnot. If I didn’t like him as much, these things wouldn’t bother me so strongly, but when an emotional and sexual intimacy forms, it’s so hard to be rational. I waited after i think 4 or 7 dates before having sex with him, but even now when I enjoy it and want it with him, I still have my doubts that all men have it in their nature to hurt women or want other women. I’m not sure what to do, as I can’t just stop having sex with him, because as much as he understands, he thinks I have an unhealthy fear of sex. I know that is point of view and it could be wrong, can someone preferably a guy who has been around the block but is a good guy in relationships give me advice? He genuinely tries and seems to care about me, and is very trust worthy but I feel so insecure, I feel like I have to catch up first and have more relationships and guys under my belt, before being with this guy, but he likes the fact that I haven’t been around. that’s nice for him though he is also the kind of guy who doesn’t care if a girl has been with lots of guys, he thinks its normal. but for me, it kind of sucks that he wasn’t as chaste as me, and our relationship is a first for me and very unique to me, but i can’t help but feel he’s had special relations or physical intimacy with lots of other girls and that just loses its value to me. i’m so upset and have tried to break things off cause i’m not mature enough to handle it but he is patient and i like him so much. i don’t wanna end up feeling like a dumb girl. i am sexually inexperienced though one time when we were drunk and having a wild night, he did say i blew all the other past girls out of the water. but i’m not sure, guys what do you think, is that a sincere thing to say or do you guys just get carried away when you’re drunk and in the moment?

    1. I know you wanted advice from a guy however I would like to offer my advice and I pray you deeply consider it. As I read your story it reminds me so much of the beginning of my own relationship with my now husband that I have been married to for a Lil over 7 years and if I could speak to myself back then I would say run away as fast as you can so instead I’m telling you. My guy also was much older then me and very experienced in fact he was married 2 times prior to meeting me, he was one of my 1st boyfriends and the first guy I had sex with, I was only 20 at the time and had been trying to wait for marriage (which is why I hardly dated) he did all the things you said, including telling me he was ok with waiting all though his actions spoke differently. He said all the “right and wrong” things and eventually I asked him to have sex with me, looking back I now know all the things he did was very manipulative even down to the point of somehow getting me to be the one who wanted the sex. Truthfully I didn’t really want to have sex I just felt so insecure with him I convinced myself having sex would fix that but it didn’t and I continued on feeling just like you described very conflicted. Eventually I went on to marry this man and I have spent most of my married life wishing I could turn back time and never have met him. The truth is if this guy were really a good guy and had your best interests at heart he would tell you to wait and he wouldn’t allow you guys to have sex until he married you. With a guy like this you are settling and that will probably lead to heartache. I truly hope you hear my heart and learn from my experience and run away from this guy and run to Jesus and fall in love with Him and allow God to guard your heart until he brings you a man worthy of it. You are more dear to God then you will ever know and only He can love you perfectly. Be blessed 🙂

  6. About number 8 turn-off: I agree that being too available for sex is big turn-off. But I don’t respect those four interviewed men. Saying that you wouldn’t refuse available girls, but you wouldn’t pursue them for a relationship is wrong. Sleeping with somebody already knowing that you will leave them next day is wrong. If you don’t like too available girls (or boys), reject them. It’s that simple.

  7. I believe in the importance of waiting. God is good to those who wait. Thank you Kristen for supporting woman and for encouraging them to feel safe in their own skin. Btw- It’s also lovely to know, there’s still a couple of gentlemen out there.Take care and keep writing!

  8. This is great and all, but I have to say, I’m having a difficult time finding men that are okay with my virginity. I’m 33 years old and I’m waiting for marriage. The problem is, men continue to tell me time and time again that they cannot get close to me without sex and that while this may have been somewhat acceptable or even desirable in a woman in her early twenties, it comes off as odd to men bc of my age. They immediately think I just must not be that sexual of a person, I must not be interested at all, or sometimes my sexual preference is questioned. I’ve been told by a really close male friend that I’m confusing to men. I’m progressive and outgoing and very comfortable in my skin. I’m the founder of a football fan club filled with men and work in a male dominated field. Yet, I’m a virgin. Men flock to me, but sadly they usually assume bc I’m so easy going and fun that I must be like one of the guys when it comes to potential promiscuity. The problem is, I don’t fit into their mold of what they think a virgin should act like or look like. I’m not a prude, I’m not shy about sex, and I’m not insecure. If you knew me, you would never believe this about me. I try to have faith and believe that there is a plan in store for me and there will be a wonderful man who will become my husband and be honored that I waited my whole life for the hope that he existed. But I can’t help but be worried with each year that passes and wonder about all those seemingly otherwise great men I dated that just couldn’t get past this one thing, that maybe if I had been with them, who knows where it could have lead. But I try to hold true to my beliefs and trust that this was not an accident that I made this decision as a very young child. (As I learned about sex at way too young of an age, 5 years old, I have always been quite levelheaded about it and never felt the need to rebel with sex in my teens as a result.) I believe that there is a reason I feel this way and I chose this path, despite even my father’s urging to just “enjoy being a woman, don’t be a whore, but enjoy love.” Haha I know he’s just worried, bc everyone around me (and younger than me) has had more luck in this department and it seems that the virginity and the decision to wait is often times at the root of the problem. I know I’ve written a lot, but I have never had a forum or an outlet to express these feelings to people that may be more receptive. All of my friends just encourage me to just “be normal”, as they put it, and have sex like everyone else. I get it. There’s usually honor attached to it, but it seems to wane (in others’ eyes) the older I get. Basically, it’s no longer sweet or admirable, people think it’s weird or even possibly, sad. I have only met one man in my entire life that upon me telling him why we couldn’t have sex, he responded in the most adoring way and told me he loved that about me and wished he’d done the same and regrets that he broke his promise to wait. He told me that even if I begged him another time, now that he knows, he would insist that I continue to save myself. This man, whom I adore and cherish, is a man of great character and honor, but so far I fear I may be stuck in the friend zone. And as another article’s title stated, I’d marry him tomorrow and spend the rest of my life getting to know him better. But I digress…. One man out of countless that I’ve dated. I might also add that I don’t advertise this fact about myself, as I said before, so only men that need to know will find out. I truly just don’t know how to do this right or if there is a right way. Why should I fit in a box in order to meet others’ preconceived expectations on what they think virgins should be like? Again, my apologies for being so wordy, but I truly do not live in a city that is known for it’s appreciation of holding back in any way, nor am I surrounded by people with any understanding of this decision. They cannot empathize, bc they cannot comprehend it’s existence. I am the only virgin I know.

    1. Hi! I don’t know if you will see this reply butt I pray that you do, our stories/situations are remarkably similar and I’d love to connect with you …. I’m a few years older (36) and am a virgin as well, which tends to come as a big shock to everyone 🙂 Anyway, please reach out if you see this!

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