30 Dating Deal Breakers for Men
Men shy away for all sorts of reasons—some ridiculous, some justifiable, some absolutely mysterious. Here’s what can turn a guy off when it comes to dating.
One of the top traits men (and women) are looking for when they’re dating is kindness. And the number one they avoid like the plague? Dishonesty. It’s a broad term, but any kind of dishonesty should be an immediate deal breaker, according to New York psychotherapist, Melissa Divaris Thompson. That includes lying, failing to disclose, or concealing anything else on this list of deal breakers. Both men and women seem particularly sensitive to lies about age and marital status. Single model, actor, and entrepreneur Devon Ryan says that he’s speaking on behalf of himself and all his single friends when he says that “men seek a woman they can trust since they will be investing their time, energy, and money into them. If a woman tells even a small lie it signals to a man that they are capable of lying to them which increases the woman’s risk profile.” Here are the worst possible relationship lies you can tell.
All that shallow stuff
Age? Shape? Hair? You betcha—they’re all on the list of male deal breakers. While few men will cop to the truth, matchmakers had a different story to tell, listing the following three deal breakers for men:
- Too old: Men want younger women—even if in their past they had relationships with women their age or older, says a Chicago matchmaker, Stefanie Safran.
- Not fit enough: Isabel, a matchmaker who founded Elite Dating Managers, told Reader’s Digest that 90 percent of her male clients call this a deal breaker. “They just want a woman in good physical shape who is not overweight.” Safran concurred: “Men want women that work out, eat healthily, and generally take care of themselves.”
- Short hair: “More often than not, men want women with longer hair,” Safran says, “especially since most of the women on TV have long (and some with very long hair extensions) hair these days.”
At the same time, Safran also notes that men consider “being high maintenance” to be a dating deal breaker. “They want someone who spends some time getting ready, not hours and hours.”
Yeah, this one crosses genders: “I want to be able to hug, kiss, and hold hands without wondering how much bleach I’ll have to use on my next laundry cycle,” jokes single photographer and model Michael Freeby. But the sentiment is no laughing matter. Nick Fresolone, a divorced dad in New Jersey, confirms that hygiene is crucial: “Good teeth are important,” he says, “as are clean fingernails. In fact, I consider those non-negotiable.”
Dating and life coach Jonathan Bennett says that “if a woman can’t stay off her phone while on the date, that’s it. It’s a non-starter.” Ryan, the single model, actor, and entrepreneur, got quite frank with us about bad manners in the bathroom. While admitting that men should always put the toilet seat down, he also said that it’s a deal breaker if a woman can’t be bothered to wrap up her used tampon in tissue paper. Are you guilty of any of these common behaviors that are sabotaging your relationship?
It’s true, says dating and relationship expert Lisa Concepcion. “There’s nothing more unappealing than empty water bottles, wrappers, papers, pens, and other unnecessary junk cluttering up the seats and floors,” she says. “Whether it’s a Mercedes or a Kia, clean it up and take pride in your ride.”
“In my coaching practice, I’ve noticed that quite a few men won’t date vegans,” says dating coach Damona Hoffman. “Aside from being unable to take you to their favorite steakhouse, saying you’re vegan sometimes gives the impression that you are too rigid to date.” These are the foods you might want to think twice about ordering on a first date.
Being a teetotaler
While not always true, many men do prefer a woman who is willing to imbibe. “I like to have a drink every once in a while,” says single man Gene Caballero, co-founder of GreenPal, which has been described as the “Uber” for lawn care. “Although I’ve tried dating women that don’t drink, I find it makes me feel uncomfortable if they are not having as good a time as I am.”
As most non-smokers will tell you, this is a filthy and dangerous habit that is a deal-breaker. “With all that we know about smoking’s harmful effects, there’s no reason a woman needs to light up,” says Wayne Rodgers, a writer for Info Group Media who specializes in relationships and other issues that affect men. “It’s amazing to see how many people agree to date a smoker with the hopes of getting them to quit,” notes Concepcion. “They tolerate bad breath and second-hand smoke just to be in a relationship. It’s a waste of time, bad for your health, and starts the relationship off with the need for someone to break a habit. Make it a deal breaker and move on!” If you argue about these 15 things with your partner, your relationship might be in trouble.
Excessive drug use or partying
Party girls need not apply, say the single men and the dating experts we spoke with. “I’ve learned that no matter how open-minded you are, if you let people who have toxic addictions into your life, you’re inviting a lot of other issues as well,” says Freeby. According to licensed New York mental health counselor, Tom Kearns, LMSW, “a woman who still wants to party and not spend time at home, clubbing every night, and worrying only about the next party can be too much. If a movie night at home is a deal breaker for her, then that’s a deal breaker.”
Men don’t want a woman with substance abuse issues, but they do want a woman with substance. And there’s a different kind of addiction that can make a man run in the other direction: selfie-addiction. “When a woman takes selfies compulsively, it diminishes my view of her intelligence and maturity (especially the duck face),” says Ryan. Similarly, “it can be off-putting if a woman spends inordinate amounts of time on social media,” says single dad, Michael (not his real name), “particularly if it involves posting numerous selfies and frequently changing her profile pic.” The problem with this sort of behavior is that it spells “attention-seeking,” as well as, potentially, narcissism. And that definitely spells “deal breaker.” These are the clues that can help you spot a narcissist.