If you’re single and a veteran dater, you know how difficult it can be to find an ideal mate. And, chances are that you’ve had the uber-frustrating experience of sparking a great connection with someone, and then . . . the object of your affection abruptly breaks things off without any explanation. If you’ve struggled to uncover the reason(s) why some budding relationships went from “can’t get enough of each other” sizzle to “let’s just be friends” fizzle, consider taking an honest look at yourself.
Hear me out: Business Insider recently tapped a panel of dating and relationship experts to compile a list of the biggest dating turn-offs. If you’re a confused and frustrated dater, it’s worth checking out the list below to see if you’ve been guilty of any of these romance-busting behaviors. The good news: once you’re aware of these behaviors, changing them requires simply raising your standards and committing to new behaviors!
- Slacking on Self-Care
It’s very important to feel comfortable in your own skin, but experts warn that self-care is a common concern when it comes to dating prospects. “Bad hygiene habits turn people off because they seem simple to attend to or address,” explains Terri Orbuch, PhD, relationship expert and author of Finding Love Again. “And people infer that the bad self-care habits infer something about the person’s habits in a relationship. The potential partner can’t or doesn’t have the time/effort/inclination to take care of him/herself—why then would they have the care/effort/inclination to put forth with someone else?”
- Criticizing or Trying to Control the Other Person
“People don’t like being told what to do,” Orbuch said, “particularly at the beginning of a relationship — and to do that at the beginning seems too self-centered and ego-oriented.
“Also, negativity and criticizing you at the beginning isn’t what people are attracted to. In general, people are attracted to the opposite — positivity, optimism, and giving compliments!”
- Being All About Yourself
This seems obvious since dating involves two people, but self-absorption is a real and common red flag. As explained by Michael McNulty, master trainer and certified Gottman relationship therapist from The Chicago Relationship Center, “People who are always first and foremost centered on their owns needs to the exclusion of others are unable to be in healthy, growth-promoting relationships. The constant focus on themselves leaves their partners questioning the legitimacy of their own needs.”
- Extreme Negativity
It’s all about attitude, and fortunately it’s something you can control in your own favor. Joseph Burgo, psychotherapist and author of The Narcissist You Know, explains it best in terms of how to start a relationship, saying, “We need to share positive, mutually fulfilling experiences that promote connection and serve as a cushion for later difficulties. If one partner makes exclusive use of a relationship as a dumping ground for bad feelings, the other person has little reason to hold on.”
- Bad Teeth
“Men and women with bad teeth advertise a poor diet, maybe even poor health,” says Helen Fisher, biological anthropologist, author of “The Anatomy of Love,” and chief scientific advisor to Match. Fisher adds that, “we evolved to seek educated, mentally sound and healthy partners — individuals with good genes and a good upbringing who can help us pass our DNA into tomorrow. And potential partners who lack these traits are likely to be a poor reproductive bet. So we instinctively weed them out.”
This last one is HUGE in my book, so I must throw my two cents in here. Nobody wants to kiss a funky mouth, people. Brush and floss twice a day, use mouthwash, get your teeth professionally cleaned regularly (I go every three months, but that’s just me), and if you’ve got chipped/twisted/rotting teeth, get them fixed ASAP! I say this with love, my friends!
(Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox now).