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These Turn-Offs Can Bring Your Courtship To A Screeching Halt

You finally land a date with that good-looking someone from the office (or Tinder), but sparks don’t fly once you actually go out. Sound familiar? Turn-offs for both men and women can range from a lackluster personality to an unhygienic appearance, or even a bad attitude. If you’re trying to impress a potential mate, you want to put your best foot forward and make an excellent first-date impression.

Everyone has their own unique set of turn-offs – after all, people are allowed to have their preferences – but there are some qualities that show up on a whole lot of people’s checklists. If someone is totally infatuated with you, some of these may go unnoticed, but odds are they might find these habits more annoying than endearing. Here are some common turn-offs for you to consider during your courtship…

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Not Paying For The First Date

Usually, if you’re asking someone out on a date – be it dinner and a movie, or just ice cream – it’s in good taste to offer to pay. When you ask someone out but expect them to pay for the date, that can leave a bad taste in their mouth and be a big turn-off. Make sure you have cash on hand and don’t try to be stingy.

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Being Too Scared To Ask Them Out

Perhaps you and a potential partner have been communicating frequently, whether via text, Facebook, or Snapchat, but you still haven’t asked them out on a date. There’s no hard-and-fast rule for who should do the asking, but don’t wait so long that the other party decides to cut you loose. Why is this behavior a turn-off? Because if you’re too shy to ask them out, maybe you have reservations about more than the date.

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Being Too Submissive

It’s okay to be submissive, but if you’re too passive, it can be a turn-off. Your partner will want you to take the lead sometimes and make decisions for yourself and for you two together as a couple. Plan a weekend getaway or just decide on a movie or place for dinner every once in a while.

Not Opening Any Doors

This one is a bit more outdated, but hey, chivalry isn’t dead yet, is it? Although this advice is usually geared towards men or the more-masculine spouse, all parties can open the door for each other. Also, be conscientious of who you’re courting, because some people really like this old school touch. When you don’t do it, your behavior can be seen as impolite and become a major turn-off.

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Opening The Door, But Only For Yourself

To the previous point, opening the door for just yourself is a big turn-off to most people. Again, it’s just impolite. You don’t need to be a doorman, but at least hold the door open for your partner and those immediately around you when you’re going into a store.

Being Inappropriate In Friend Circles

If you bring your partner along to a party with some of your friends, don’t drink more than everyone else and abandon your partner. Not being able to read the room right and misbehaving can be embarrassing not only for them but for you as well. If you’re known for doing this or it’s a typical aspect of the parties you attend, consider giving your partner a heads-up of what to expect.

Being A Cheapskate

There’s nothing wrong with being frugal and knowing where your money is going. On the other hand, if you’re acting like an Extreme Couponer and spend your time checking out sales or bragging about the deal you just found… Well, you might be putting yourself back on the market soon enough.

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Lacking Ambition

When you have no drive to better yourself or your situation, unfortunately, you’ll probably be stuck in that rut you’re in all by yourself. Get up early every morning, look at better jobs, or start a workout routine. Work towards bettering your life for yourself and in turn, you’ll be a better person for your partner.

Being Rude To People

If you’re rude to anyone in the service industry, your family, or strangers on the street for no apparent reason, that’s a major turn-off for most partners. No one wants to be on the arm of someone who’s rude to most of the people that they interact with.

Bragging About Finances

It’s okay to appreciate what you’ve worked hard for, whether that’s a fancy car or some nice tech. However, bragging about your finances or items you’ve purchased can come off as pretty arrogant. Don’t focus on showing off what you have; show off what you can give.

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More Interested In Partying

If you haven’t grown out of your party phase yet, you might be spending every weekend (or weekday) drinking or using recreational drugs. Although you have every right to enjoy yourself, partying can be a sign of immaturity once you leave your early 20s. Most people search for partners of the same maturity level. If you’re hoping to date someone out of college, consider ditching your party habit.

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Being Homophobic or Racist

This one should go without saying, but if you’re not inclusive or you spread hate to other groups around you, be prepared for your partner to walk. Hatred and prejudice is a major turn-off and raises some huge red flags. If a partner or date confronts you for your negative views, it may be time to look more introspectively.

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Talking Negatively About Their Friends and Family

Everyone needs to vent, and sometimes your friends and family do things that you’re not fond of. The same will be true for your partner. However, when you start talking about your partner’s friends and family negatively, this can be an early sign of controlling behavior. Initiating conversation just to talk badly about your partner’s relationship is a huge turn-off. Remember that listening to your partner vent is not an invitation to jump in and do the same.

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Being Needy

It’s exhausting and unsettling to have a partner who’s obsessive about who their partner is with, where they’re going, or when they’ll be home. You need to trust your partner and give them space. A simple, “How’s your night going? I hope you’re having a great time!” should be the only message you send, if any. Any more than that and you’ll come across as needy and overbearing.

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Refusing To Take No For An Answer

This can be a sign of controlling behavior. It’s not just a turn-off – it’s a red flag.  If your partner is telling you no and they mean it, there shouldn’t be any further questions. If you are confused and need clarity, you can certainly ask why, but remember that they don’t owe you for an explanation. When in doubt, always assume your partner is being serious and isn’t kidding around.

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Being Unable To Do Things For Yourself

Whether it’s getting chores done around the house or relying on someone else to make big life decisions for you, the inability to think and do things for yourself is a major turn-off. It can show that you’re not ready to make adult decisions. At the very least, it makes you seem lazy.

Living In The Past

If you’re still telling the same jokes that you did ten years ago, from the same B-rated movies, to the same friends, you could turn off a potential partner. Maturity is a significant relationship factor to a lot of people; they don’t want to feel like more of a babysitter than a partner. If you still think high school was the high point in your life, it’s time to move and take life a little more seriously.

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Calling Someone A Bad Pet Name

Some men might not like to be called Pookie, and some women might not like to be called Dude. It’s all personal preference, but the rules are simple: don’t call someone you’re dating a terrible pet name that you made up (unless they’ve voiced their approval). Odds are you might stunt a growing relationship next time you whip out a phrase like, “Hey there, Babycakes.”

Not Having Any Phone Etiquette

Do you have lousy phone etiquette? Using tons of emojis, not taking the hint that it’s time to hang up, and even texting without regard for grammar can be a big turn-off to your date. A lack of conversational etiquette or missing out on cues could indicate immaturity to a potential partner.

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Baby Talk

Baby talk can be cutesy when use sparingly and you’re both just having fun. When it’s constant, it can seriously hamper a budding relationship. Most people expect their partner to be, well, adult and overusing baby talk can signal anything but maturity.

Dating More Than One Person

If you’re dating more than one person, that can be a huge turn-off. It shows that you’re not ready for commitment and that you still want to “play the field.” Obviously, no one wants to be cheated on either. If you do want to date multiple people, make sure you’re open and honest with everyone involved. Just don’t be surprised if someone stops dating you in search of a more committed partner.

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Using Bad Grammar

Haven’t figured out the difference between your and you’re; too, two, and to; or their, there, and they’re? If you don’t know the difference, or don’t bother to use the proper spelling when texting, this could be a major turn-off for your partner. It may come down to a sign of low intelligence. It might also just be annoying to them.

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Asking “What’s Wrong?” Over And Over Again

Similar to being needy, asking “What’s wrong?” over and over again will just annoy your partner and be a turn-off. Eventually, what will be wrong is the fact that you keep asking them “What’s wrong?” so often! It may come off as a sign of insecurity.


Using Derogatory Language

Some people are sensitive to the type of language you might use to describe people or things. If you’re particularly insulting or vulgar, then that’ll be a massive turn-off to them. Sometimes you might be making a joke or being sarcastic, but once you make your partner or date uncomfortable, you’ve gone too far.

Talking About Yourself Too Much

If you talk about yourself constantly without asking anything about your date, you’ll probably come off as conceited and self-centered. Your date doesn’t want to just hear you sing your own praises or tell your life story; they want a chance to talk, too. Share the spotlight and listen to what they have to say.

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Having Bad Dental Hygiene

One of the first things that people notice about their date or a new partner is their smile. Usually, when you’re still in your honeymoon phase, there is a lot of laughter, conversations, and kissing. If you have poor dental hygiene, your partner is going to notice, and that will be a turn-off. Make sure you’re taking care of your teeth and getting to the dentist regularly, and never underestimate the power of a post-coffee breath mint in the morning.

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Allowing Your Mom To Still Buy Your Clothes And Do Your Laundry

Being a mama’s boy or girl will be a massive turn-off to some partners, as they may think that you should be more independent. Letting your mother pick out clothes for you (not counting a birthday or Christmas present) will be probably be seen as one step too far. People look for independence and confidence in a partner.

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Failing At Personal Grooming

Keeping up in general with your personal grooming is important to a potential partner. It can be a sign of cleanliness for some or pride and confidence for others. If you show signs of not caring about these things, what does it say about other areas of your life?

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Having Too Much Screen Time

Staying glued to your cellphone, laptop, or video games can be a huge turn-off. If you ignore your partner in favor of a screen, they’re likely to get annoyed. Make sure you’re present when you’re with your date. Display interest in them and tuck your tech away, otherwise, your first date might also be your last.


Not Communicating At All

If you don’t talk with your partner about anything significant or express what you want, then you might start to feel like more of a friend to them. Most people search for a partner to learn and grow with. Don’t be someone who sticks to the sidelines and keeps quiet all the time.