You may not realize it, but your behavior on a single date could be what’s keeping you from landing another.
Women are often frustrated by men who have no idea how to treat them properly, and once they’ve dealt with one or two of these guys, they often make mental notes to avoid similar ones in the future.
Even if you’re not the worst of the worst, exhibiting pretty unpleasant traits will get you written off from the get-go. Want to boost your chances in the dating game? Here are eight types of guy you should try not to be (and how to fix things if the description sounds a little too familiar).
Why? Talking to them is an exhausting chore
Under the right circumstances, arguing can be fun for everyone involved. That’s the premise of debate clubs, more or less, but it can happen outside of a structured scenario, too. A good conversation with intense back-and-forth and logical pirouettes can leave both parties impressed with the other’s intellect, even if they never reach an agreement.
However, arguing is only fun if both people are on the same page, and there are tons of guys out there who missed the memo. If your preferred mode of flirtation is correcting women about stuff, challenging them to debates and asking them to prove you wrong, you’re just pissing them off.
How to Fix It: Don’t argue with a woman unless you know her well enough to know she’s up for the debate. That also means refraining from making your entire social media personality “guy who picks fights with women in the comments.” Nobody likes that guy, and he’s definitely single.
Why? They’re too self-obsessed to treat anyone else with respect
Want to guarantee you’ll never get a second date? Spend the whole first date bragging about yourself. That might sound like a silly proposition, but it’s something that guys manage to pull off all too often. Men are often taught that the way to woo women is to impress them, leaving them to talk about how awesome they think they are.
Problem is, sitting there while someone shouts about their list of accomplishments really boring. Women can often spot these guys a mile away, but if they mistakenly end up on a date with one, it won’t lead to a second one (and it might even get cancelled mid-date).
How to Fix It: So you’ve got lots to be proud of — that’s awesome! But even more impressive than that is asking them questions, too. A guy with not much going on who makes his date feel special will have better luck nine times out of ten than a super-successful guy who makes his date feel invisible.
Why? They’re too focused on their own problems to help you with yours
Lots of shy guys tell themselves that they’re better than the braggarts, only to go and make the exact same mistake — dominating the conversation. Just because you’re not football-captain material doesn’t mean you can’t still end up making the other person feel invisible. Yes, it gets boring listening to a guy who can’t stop being self-deprecating.
Women might initially fall for mopers thinking that they’re more sensitive than their macho peers, only to discover that having to listen to a sad-sack complain all the time isn’t any better than listening to a bodybuilder brag about his personal bests all the time. If every conversation comes back to your feelings, that’s going to get old real soon.
How to Fix It: Having feelings, and being able to express them, is a great thing. But you need to leave room in the conversation for moments of levity, too — and if you don’t feel up for supplying them, maybe you should let her do it.
Why? They’re too obsessed with sex to see her as a full person
Sex talk too early on on a date is almost certainly going to creep a woman out. Even women with high sex drives are usually on high alert for guys who can’t pretend to be a gentleman for even one date, let alone a few minutes of conversation on a dating app.
The reality of the situation is, the majority of women have a host of bad experiences with being sexually objectified (or worse) by gross and pervy guys by their 20s, and if you do something to remind them of those creeps, you’re quickly going to get classified as one, too.
How to Fix It: So you’re horny — big whoop. Hold your tongue in the early going until your crush shows you how she wants to talk about sex. And if she doesn’t? Well, maybe that’s a sign that she doesn’t want to talk about sex with you, pal.
Why? If they’ll lie about small things, what won’t they lie about?
Lying is pretty common practice in human communication, but if you don’t know how to differentiate between little white lies done in the name of politeness and more dangerous lies done to cover up unpleasant realities, you’re going to start burning bridges pretty quickly.
It might be tempting to lie to make yourself seem more impressive, or to make certain interactions simpler, but starting a pattern of lies in a dating context is likely to lead to a bad outcome sooner or later once your untruths start to come to light.
How to Fix It: Come to terms with what you’re lying about. Are you ashamed? Are you afraid? Are you jealous? Being honest might feel scary in the short term, but if you can get over the hurdle of admitting something you’re a little bit ashamed of, you’ll feel a lot stronger in the long run.
Why? It’s only a matter of time before the cruelty comes out
Lots of guys think they’re alpha males, when they’re actually just bullies. If your stock in trade is throwing your weight around, making sure other people know how big and bad you are, you’re going to earn a reputation as a jerk among people of all genders. As a result, women might be especially unwilling to give you the time of day.
Sure, it can be freeing to dispense with social niceties and “tell it like it is,” but if you get in a pattern of being cruel to other people, women will start avoiding you, guaranteed.
How to Fix It: You need to recognize that being aggressive isn’t the desirable trait that you were taught it was. It might feel strange to be polite, deferential and let other people take the spotlight, but the emotional maturity that comes with being flexible, willing to compromise and comfortable in your skin is dead sexy, and women will see that.
Why? Guys who can’t take no for an answer are terrifying
Lots of guys grow up thinking that persistence is a sexy quality, or at least a valuable and desirable one. And yes, refusing to settle for failure can be great in lots of ways — persistent guys might be more likely to get a job, a promotion or to make significant gains in areas of personal growth or success.
But persistence in a romantic context is rarely likely to lead to success. If she says she’s not interested but you still keep on messaging her, it’s more likely to lead to you being labeled creepy, dangerous or worse.
Ignoring signals that a woman isn’t interested in you and pursuing her nonetheless isn’t romantic, it’s stalking. And if you can’t take “no” for an answer, that’s a really bad sign. How can any woman trust a guy who’s going to ignore her desires and decide what he wants is more important?
How to Fix It: Learning to back off and accept that you can’t always get what you want might mean you lose out on someone you’re crazy about right now, but that maturity will mean you’ll have a much better shot with your future crushes.
Why? Would you date someone who thought of you as sub-human?
Some guys don’t realize that they hate women. They spend their lives talking to other men, watching movies about men made by men, reading books and articles by men, and only find women interesting when they need a date or a hookup.
If you don’t respect women, women will be able to tell. They’ll hear the jokes you tell, they’ll see the company you keep, they’ll read your comments. And they’ll avoid you like the plague.
How to Fix It: It’s not easy to stop being a sexist necessarily, but it is possible. Start by doing some soul-searching — try to recognize why you don’t respect women as much as men. Consider therapy. Talk to the women in your life about this. Once you start down that path, you’ll realize that fewer and fewer of them want to avoid you.
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