While you may be doing everything in your power to attract the opposite sex, it may surprise you to learn that some of your actions and behaviors can actually have the opposite effect. In fact, you may not even realize that you’re acting in a way that drives men away when all you’re really trying to do is draw them toward you. In order to take control of the situation and truly attract the right guys, we’ve dug up some of research as well as had The List writer and psychology professor Jeanne Croteau weigh in on what to avoid doing, and what to do instead.
Wearing a ton of makeup
You may think that loading up on foundation, concealer, eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, lipstick, and blush (to name a few) makes you look your most attractive, but it may surprise you to learn that piling on the makeup is not appealing to guys. In fact, a study in The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology revealed that women tend to overestimate the amount of makeup that men find attractive, and as a result, many women end up applying way too much. In other words, you may choose to wear a lot of makeup because you think it draws men toward you, but in reality, it’s actually warding them off. With this in mind, it’s time to face the fact (so to speak) that less is truly more when it comes to makeup’s role in attraction, and it’s in your best interest to opt for a natural look as opposed to caking it on for the guy you’re sweet on.
If a guy likes you for the right reasons, he’s not going to want you to suddenly undergo an extreme makeover. He knew who you were when you met, and won’t want you to reinvent yourself in an attempt to win him over. Take Billy Joel’s advice when he says “don’t go changing, to try to please me… I love you just the way you are.”
As matchmaker and dating coach, Joann Cohen explains, guys value confidence in a woman. Therefore, they likely will find it unattractive if you seem obsessed with your perceived imperfections. Talking about plastic surgery, cycling through different styles, and crash dieting in an attempt to lose weight can make you seem insecure, which is a real turn-off. Be yourself!
Being a gossip
It might seem fun to share the latest rumors, scandals, and stories involving the lives of your friends, family, and coworkers with a guy, but it might surprise you to learn that being a gossip is a major turn off. While your intentions may be to try to open the lines of communication with him and keep him in the loop, it’s important to recognize that giving him the lowdown on other’s sordid deeds actually makes you come across as having low self-esteem. In fact, many people with a poor self-image rely on gossip as a way to make themselves feel better about their own lives, and they choose to talk about the latest failures and scandalous behaviors of others as a way to give themselves a boost. If you’re looking to attract men, you should keep in mind that guys are drawn to women who are confident, value themselves, and don’t put others down as a way to lift themselves up. So the next time you’re dying to dish to him about all of your friend’s dirty laundry, you should choose to clean up your act instead.
Having no life
Even if you’re in a happy and mutually supportive relationship, sometimes you might need a little alone time. This can be more true for some people than others but, as a rule, guys will want some space to breathe from time to time. Wanting time apart is not, necessarily, a reflection on how he feels about you.
We all love feeling wanted but it can be exhausting when your partner is excessively needy. A guy will likely find it unattractive if you demand that he’s by your side 24/7 and can’t find any way to occupy yourself when he’s not around.
As relationship expert, Sean Horan PhD explains, “I like to think of it this way: I love eating cake, but I can’t eat it 24/7…. As humans, there’s a tug between being autonomous and bonding with others.” What’s the compromise? Plan regular outings with friends, take a fitness class, or binge-watch that show that you love (and he hates), while he does his own thing. Then, chill together and share your experiences!
Being excessively confident
While having high self-esteem is a quality that men find highly attractive in women, it’s important to understand that there’s a fine line between being confident and being conceited. And while you should definitely believe in yourself, be proud of your accomplishments, and be happy about what you have to offer, you should also keep in mind that showing off is a major turn off. Specifically, research has shown that people who boast about themselves don’t even recognize the full extent of the negative response they receive from others, as discussed in Psychological Science. Although you may assume that your self-proclaimed awesomeness is attracting men, having a huge ego and acting like a narcissist are actually huge mistakes. Alternatively, you should opt for humility and be secure enough in yourself that you don’t have to rely on arrogance to get a gent, as the right man won’t need you to constantly reinforce just how amazing you truly are — he’ll see it on his own.
Having no purpose or ambition
You don’t have to have your whole life figured out, but guys don’t want to be with someone who is lacking any sort of purpose or direction. It’s unattractive to listen to someone explain how lost they are if they don’t have a plan to get on track. Plus, if it seems like you don’t know what you want to do with your life, it can make you come across as unstable.
While a man might enjoy feeling needed from time-to-time, he doesn’t want to feel like he’s got to rescue you if you are constantly quitting jobs, changing majors in school, and have no drive. This might be especially true if he’s got a clear vision for his future. It will be hard to picture you by his side if you don’t know what you’re doing with your life.
Bad-mouthing your ex
You may think that bad-mouthing your ex around a new guy is a good decision, but this kind of negative behavior actually makes you look bad instead. While your intentions may be to show a guy how much you’re over your last beau and that he has nothing to worry about when it comes to living up to the men you’ve been with previously, constantly criticizing your ex isn’t attractive. After all, not only does your need to put down your ex make you come across as spiteful and juvenile, but your unrelenting fixation on your ex makes it seem as though you’re still harboring feelings for him. Further, bad-mouthing your ex also shows any potential love interest that he could be next when it comes to being the subject of your hateful words. So rather than talking smack about your ex and venting about all the ways he wronged you, leave the past in the past so you can attract Mr. Right in the future.
Being a Negative Nelly
Throughout our day, we all go through a range of emotions. That’s normal. We have to be authentic in how we react to situations, of course, but we should also make a concerted effort to maintain a positive outlook. Not only is it healthy for our own mental sanity, but it can also have an affect on our relationship.
One study showed that men found women less physically attractive if their personalities seemed negative. That’s right — a woman’s attitude can be a real turn off even if she, otherwise, looks good. That’s a big deal.
So, instead of worrying about clothes and makeup, make it a bigger priority to commit to being less pessimistic and more optimistic if you want to be most attractive!
Being catty to other girls
It’s important that you speak your mind and that you stand up for yourself if you are ever in a situation that makes you feel marginalized. That being said, it can be really unattractive if you seem addicted to drama and go out of your way to be mean to others.
You might think you’re showing off by engaging in a catfight, but you run the risk of looking petty and immature. There’s a big difference between acting like a juvenile girl and an emotionally secure woman in charge of a situation — and your man will definitely take notice. If you want to impress him by beating out the competition, train for a marathon, get that promotion at work, or commit to being your best self. Put your best assets on display without needing to put anyone down.
A high-pitched voice
For whatever reason, so many women seem to think that a shrill, high-pitched voice is somehow attractive to men. Maybe it’s how female characters are portrayed on television. Maybe they think it’s how we think Barbie would sound in real life but, in reality, researchers have discovered that men don’t really like it.
According to the study, guys found “a female voice sounded attractive when it was breathy” and “moderately high-pitched.” You don’t have to go as deep as Scarlett Johansson, but her voice might be more attractive to most men than, say, Kim Kardashian.
Of course, don’t try to change yourself to make anyone happy. If your voice squeaks naturally, you should love it and embrace it. The right guy will love it and anything else that comes out of your mouth!
When it comes to attracting men, it’s important to recognize that men want to feel as though they’re needed. Specifically, men want to know that they add value to your life and that they’re not superfluous, expendable, or disposable. However, many women mistakenly interpret a man’s desire to feel needed by becoming overly needy, jealous, and desperate to spend every waking moment with him — all of which are anything but appealing behaviors to guys. So if you’re someone who tends to become clingy and emotionally dependent on a man because you think it’ll bring him closer and inspire him to stick around, know that you’re actually just pushing him away. Moreover, men want to know that they complement your life as opposed to being the center of your universe on which your entire happiness level and sense of self-worth depend. Fortunately, there are steps you can take right now to break your cycle of neediness when it comes to men, such as putting an end to negative self-talk, getting out of your comfort zone, and learning how to resolve issues on your own.
Taking unnecessary risks
While it’s true that some studies suggest that guys like a girl who is spontaneous, interested in playing sports, and values a more adventurous existence, there is a limit on what sort of “wild” traits are considered attractive and desirable in a partner.
Researchers found that people who engaged in “modern risks,” such as smoking, binge-drinking, driving without a seatbelt, mountain climbing, and skateboarding, were less attractive than those who did not participate in these types of activities.
Interestingly, respondents explained that these types of risks were “rated as unattractive because they are culturally viewed as negative (e.g. “uncool” or “stupid”). Remember that next time you choose not to buckle up!
Playing hard to get
While it’s true that men are drawn to women who are outgoing and assertive individuals, it’s important to recognize that there’s a fine line between being independent and being unavailable. You may think that playing hard to get and acting in a distant and disengaged way can help you attract a guy, but you’re making a mistake by not making time for him. In fact, playing games can make you seem highly immature and can give off the impression that you’re not yet ready, willing, and/or interested in getting to know him on a deeper and more meaningful level. And while you may assume that acting detached and aloof increases your allure, you’re actually coming across as uninterested, flaky, and just plain annoying. Playing hard to get is an easy way to strike out with a guy.
Hiding your sexuality
It’s terrible that we live in a culture that makes women feel dirty or ashamed of their sexuality. It’s even worse when abuse or violence is condoned because she was dressed, acting, or talking a certain way. As a result, many women shy away from embracing their inner bedroom goddess for fear of being negatively labelled.
The right kind of guy won’t want you to do that. In fact, they might find it downright unattractive if you never make the first move and force them to initiate intimacy every single time. Men like a woman who is comfortable in her own skin, whether she’s wearing clothes or not.
Interestingly, studies have shown that men who are in powerful positions socially are actually turned on by being dominated by women in the bedroom. This suggests the exact opposite of what we’ve seen from Fifty Shades of Grey. At the end of the day, if you are feeling sexually empowered as a woman, go with it!
Being a damsel in distress
Many childhood fairy tales would have you believe that men are attracted to overly dramatic women who are in need of rescuing, but it’s time to turn the page on this outdated way of thinking. In reality, men aren’t interested in drama, and if you take the “woe is me” approach in the hopes of attracting a guy, you may be sad to see that seeking his attention by playing the victim will only make you appear desperate, immature, and overdramatic. Rather than trying to catch his eye by catastrophizing certain situations and hoping it’ll entice him to come and save you, you should save yourself the trouble by engaging in exercises that can help to boost your self-esteem, as well as learning effective problem-solving strategies that can help you to become more self-sufficient. If you want to attract your very own Prince Charming, acting like a drama queen is the wrong approach.
Too much perfume
A lot of marketing goes into making women feel like they need to buy a certain perfume in order to be sexy and desirable. Now that celebrities have entered the industry, the push has become even stronger — but does dabbing from a bottle really give us a boost?
Not according to science. Researchers have determined that a woman’s natural scent can be a powerful aphrodisiac on its own, but there’s a catch — she’s most desirable when she’s ovulating. During the study, men were given t-shirts worn by women who were ovulating and those who were not. The results showed that “men who sniffed t-shirts from ovulating women had higher testosterone levels than the men who sniffed T-shirts that didn’t indicate fertility; either worn by non-ovulating women or unworn.”
So, instead of masking your body’s natural come-hither scents, let nature do all the talking.
Having overly styled hair
While you may spend a lot of time (and money) trying to perfect the intricate updos and complicated styles that you see in magazines and on television, it turns out men aren’t attracted to overly done and processed hair. In fact, a survey by Pantene revealed that 78 percent of men are drawn to women with shiny, full, healthy-looking hair, as opposed to hair that’s been overly styled and manipulated. Specifically, loose curls and wavy hair are considered more appealing to men than excessively flat-ironed slick-straight hair and complex updos. But if you’re still not convinced that you should opt for a more natural and effortless look when it comes to your locks, keep in mind that the survey found that 80 percent of men believe that having unhealthy hair is a total turn off. And what’s even more telling? Approximately 75 percent of men reported that a woman’s hair is the first thing that they notice about the woman herself. In a word, opting for low-maintenance hair will yield high results when it comes to attracting members of the opposite sex.
Do you love to cook, read books, and take long walks on the beach? That’s great and you absolutely have to make yourself happy, but if you are wondering about what guys find attractive, you might want to think a little more outside the box (while still being true to yourself, of course).
According to a study published by the Journal of Creative Behavior, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania polled 815 male undergraduates to determine which forms of creative outlet were the most sexually appealing. Things that were considered “hot” included playing sports, spontaneous road trips, performing in a band, and taking artistic photographs.
Essentially, though, the underlying message here is that seeing people follow their passions and instincts is sexy so, trust your gut and let your heart lead the way!
Being a party girl
You may think that being the kind of gal who’s down for whatever, goes out non-stop, and is always looking for a good time is the way to attract a man, but being an out-of-control party animal can come back to bite you. In fact, most men try to stay away from party girls because these women have a tendency to act recklessly, make poor decisions (possibly under the influence), and put themselves and others in uncomfortable and potentially harmful situations. Men are certainly interested in women who are confident, outgoing, and who like to have fun, but guys will draw the line when it comes to women who throw caution to the wind and are always looking to party hard no matter the circumstances. Rather than coming off as careless and immature, you should opt to party responsibly and enjoy the positive responses you’ll see from the guys around you.
When going out on a first date, many women put a lot of thought into what they pick from the menu. Inside, she might be craving a big, juicy burger but, instead, opts for a salad. Maybe she wants to look like she takes good care of herself or genuinely is trying to lose weight. Maybe she’s budget-conscious and doesn’t want to pick the big ticket item.
It’s one thing if this is how you regularly eat and you are satisfied with your meal. It’s another if you start picking fries from his plate or refuse to eat anything at all. Firstly, it doesn’t seem like you’re being authentic. Secondly, guys don’t want you to order something you don’t even want, only to end up eating half his meal! Plus, who wants to chow down alone? This is especially true since studies show that men tend to eat a little more when women are around!
Always agreeing with him
Believe it or not, always agreeing with a man can be a major turn off. If you’re afraid to state your own opinions, are unwilling to disagree with him, and/or want to avoid any conflict because you believe it’ll drive him away, it’s actually your lack of openness, honesty, and authenticity that’ll do just that. After all, being able to express your true thoughts and feelings is what helps to strengthen your connection and enables you to get to know each other on a deeper, more intimate level. The key is to be your true self — that way you can attract the right man who appreciates the person you really are and not the person you think he wants you to be. Remember, a guy isn’t looking for a clone, so you should stop playing a part if you want to be part of his life.