I’m going to tell you something you may not want to hear: you are missing men who could make you damn happy by acting unfairly or inaccurately judging. There are 6 Dumb Deal Breakers blinding you to true love.
Look, I would never tell you to be with a man who crosses your physical boundaries, or bad mouths other women, or focuses on himself 24/7. In fact, as your coach, I work hard to help you spot these guys and get rid of them ASAP.
And though I want you to give all men a fair chance, I wouldn’t even tell you to keep seeing a guy who, after a couple dates, you couldn’t imagine touching…no matter how nice he is.
There are things, though, that make you run for the hills, that are simply about Men Acting Like Men. As Alison Armstrong says so brilliantly: Men are not hairy women.
The more you understand men, the more you will start seeing the good men all around you. That means the more likely you are to find Your One!
Here are the 6 dumb deal breakers blinding you to true love – the things you may be harshly judging about men that are making you miss the good ones:
1. He talks too much on your date.
He spent most of the time talking about himself and asked you next to nothing. Deal breaker? Not necessarily. There are various scenarios here:
- When men get nervous and/or want to impress you they can talk too much. He meets you, he’s attracted and spends the next hour talking himself up. He wants you to know he knows stuff (he’s smart) and can do stuff (he’s accomplished). He wants you to know that he can be a good potential suitor.
- Men rarely get to talk about themselves with any depth. They can’t do it at work. They don’t hop on the phone after a hard day or a bad date and share with a buddy. When they are with you, they can get taken in by your lovely femininity. You are pretty, kind and a good listener, right? That can be hard for him to resist.
- By nature and physiology, women are better conversationalists. Unless your guy’s profession involves some kind of consulting, he probably never learned how to be good at asking questions and having a give-and-take conversation.
Since you are naturally better at this, I want you to take some responsibility to manage the conversation. When he’s dominating, redirect the topic. Step in and help him get to know you. For many men, this will be all they need to recalibrate. I have literally had men thank women for interrupting them and shutting them up.
For more on this read Why Some Men Talk Too Much on Dates.
PS: When you try to manage the conversation and he insists on continuing about himself, that’s the guy that is just into himself. Date. Over.
2. He asks you what you want to do on your date.
You want an alpha man to take charge and make the plans, right? I get it. But get this:
One of the top complaints made by men about women is this that we expect them to read our minds. When a man asks you to tell him what you like and what you want, it usually means he’s putting effort into making you happy. That’s especially true of early dates when he doesn’t know you yet!
It’s no secret that men aren’t usually good in the ask-for-directions category. This can be hard for some men to do. So when he does, it means that he wants to get it right. Isn’t that exactly what you’re looking for? A man who’s willing to work at making you happy?
So, when a man asks what you want to do on your date, don’t assume he’s being lazy or inattentive. He’s probably simply trying to take you somewhere that you’ll enjoy and feel safe.
Take it as a compliment and give him some hints about what you’d like to do. You can be specific, like “I’d love to see the new exhibit at the museum and maybe grab coffee after.” Or just give him a little direction, “Sushi is my favorite” and let him take it from there.
And, yes, if he’s still asking after a couple dates, maybe he is one of the lazy ones. Let him know how happy it would make you if he made the plans. When he does, give him credit for trying, ok? If he doesn’t, consider that a red flag. Next!
3. He tries to go in for the kiss or touch you too early.
Yes, it’s awkward and icky, even if you liked him up to that point. It’s easier to jump back and decide to never go out with him again. Besides, you’re thinking, he acted like a childish perv.
Please don’t hold it against him…yet.
Look, he’s a man. He’s attracted to you. So, he goes in for the kiss or starts to rub your shoulder. Trust me, many women are okay with having sex on the first date. He doesn’t know what your timeline is for such things.
The nice thing about being grownups is that you can TALK about these things. If he puts his hand on your knee and you like him but you’re not ready, just tell him! Look him in the eyes, smile and say “I like you Joe and I’m attracted to you. But I’m not ready for that yet. I’d like to get to know you more. I hope that works for you.” [Smile]
You’ve clearly set your boundary and done it without humiliating him. A jerk will keep trying, in which case it’s time to end the date. A nice man will follow your lead and be happy you gave him direction on what you want and need. And by being honest and direct, you may have opened an opportunity to make an even deeper connection.
When a man digs you, he will wait. I’ve seen this time and time again. But you have to let him know what you’re thinking and feeling.
For more, read How Long Should I Wait to Have Sex.
4. His online profile has spelling errors or poor grammar.
I know that you want to spend your life with a smart man. You should! But are you like the hundreds of women I’ve talked to who say they won’t answer emails from men who have grammar or spelling errors on their profile?
My brother is a very brilliant, successful attorney. Since he was a kid couldn’t spell for sh*t. Some of the smartest, sexiest, most creative men in the world happen to have learning disorders and couldn’t have written an error-free profile to save their life. That includes Richard Branson, Steven Spielberg, Steve Jobs, Orlando Bloom and Robin Williams, just to name a few.
Most sites don’t offer spellcheck. So, when he uses the improper pronoun, ‘their’ instead of ‘there’ or has a small proportion of misspelled words…remember that. Read the content of the profile. See if you like what he’s saying, not necessarily how he’s spelling it. When you do, you’re far less likely to miss Your Special Person.
5. His profile photos are bad or stupid.
Men go on a site, pay their money, answer some questions and throw up some selfies. Boom! They’ve accomplished their task.
These are the same people who take 20 minutes to get ready to go out. They shower, grab a clean shirt and pants, slip on shoes, maybe slap on a little aftershave and they are good to go.
What do we do? We do our hair, our make-up, put together our outfit, change our purse, slather on hand cream, perfume, choose our jewelry and THEN we are good to go. Women are simply more accustomed to gussying up and, frankly, it’s more important to us.
Is that good or fair? Probably not. Is it how it IS? Yep, it is. Accept it or stay single.
Remember that most people are not photogenic. Hey, I was less than impressed with my husband’s pictures when I saw his profile. But he said some good stuff that was important to me. I’m so happy I was open to meeting him!
So, please, when judging men online, be that open and kind woman you are with everyone else in your life. Here is the profile review process I recommend:
- First, read his profile to get a sense of his personality, lifestyle and learn what he’s looking for.
- Assuming you like what he SAYS, then look at his pictures.
- As you look, ‘assign him’ the qualities you saw in his profile. Assume he’s a nice, interesting, fun man. He’s going to look better to you.
One more thing about men’s’ pics: unless they are in certain professions, very few men have pictures of themselves. You don’t see a couple of (straight) men asking the waitress to take their picture while they dine out together. Because they don’t dine out together! A man won’t ask his buddy to meet him by the flower mart to take some nice pics for his online profile. Dudes just don’t do this! That means we see a lot of selfies, mirror pics or guy-with-cut-off-woman pics.
(As a note, I give you a pass on those shirtless guys or ones posing by their awesome car. Ugh! This is how some men think they can impress a woman. Your smart, grownup man knows better.)
6. You expect him to chase you.
I know that you want to be impressed and courted. And you should be. But grownup men aren’t the same as the 30-year-olds that pursued you relentlessly. That means you might need to shift your expectations and your participation. That’s right: you now have some responsibility to get things rolling!
First, let’s talk about emailing when using online dating. Do you expect men to show clear interest and take the lead from the very first email? Do you want him to send you attentive texts or emails, and show you how excited he is to meet you right away?
It’s nice when that happens, and it does. But generally, know that he’s probably busy (with work and, yes, other women) PLUS he hasn’t even met you yet! Men feel connected after they meet you…very rarely before. (While we can fall in love with a profile.)
Next, here’s what you need to know about the men you’re meeting: most grownup men — especially the confident, accomplished men you want to date — no longer enjoy the chase as a hobby. Why? First, the woman-to-man ratio is now in their favor and they don’t have to compete like they did in their 20s. Also, their hormones have mellowed and they have broadened their vision of themselves; reducing the need (and sometimes ability) to rack up sexual conquests.
Grownup men who have achieved success in life know how to how to get what they want. If they think you are uninterested or unattainable they will move on. They won’t waste their time on something (or someone) they can’t win. Would you?
So, when you’re communicating with, or you meet a man who interests you, let him know, sister! It’s not about being aggressive and asking him out. No, I still think it’s best to let the man make the first big move. It’s simply about giving him a clear signal that, if he asks, you will say Yes. It’s giving him a “come hither.”
Email him that you’re enjoying your online conversation and that it would be great to see his blue eyes in person or talk about xyz in person.
When you meet him at a grocery store, look him in the eyes and tell him that it would be nice to talk with him again sometime. [Smile.]
After a date, tell him that you had a very nice time and would love to do it again. Look him in the eye and smile.
“The Rules” is out, sister. Making him chase you without giving anything in return doesn’t fly with grownup dating. It turns off the smart, commitment-minded men you are trying to meet. These men are not into playing games or climbing your walls. They just want to meet a nice woman, have an easy time getting to know her and eventually meet a partner to share the rest of a wonderful, love-filled life. (Just like you, right?)
And, btw, when he decides that you are the woman he wants to get to know and be with, it is true that he will move freaking mountains for you. It’s glorious, and I can’t wait for you to have this experience. You’re on your way!
By taking the time to understand men and kindly overlooking things that are not necessarily deal breakers…just men being grownup men…you will vastly increase your opportunity for love. You will begin to discover men who could be “diamonds in the rough.” These could be the guys other women overlook in their quest to be “wowed” or harshly judge because they don’t understand them.
There are so many grownup, single men out there who are decent and wonderful and interesting and fun and sexy…and they blossom when they are with a kind, compassionate, smart woman like YOU.