No matter how enlightened we’ve become in our approach to dating, an outdated set of rules for women that took root in earlier generations still exists in our DNA today. Whether we gleaned them from fairy tales and Disney movies or female relatives and close friends, these mantras have become so culturally ingrained that these outdated instincts may sometimes lead us down the wrong path.
Not only are the dating rules of yesteryear no longer applicable, but many are actually decided turn-offs for the modern man and ultimately counterproductive to landing you a healthy relationship, much less a second date. The ladies at All Women Stalk outlined 17 common behaviors that women engage in that are unattractive to the opposite sex. To further spare you the heartache of this experience, I’ve expanded on five of them here.
1. Wearing your heart on your sleeve
Instead: Express your feelings in a measured manner
There’s a difference between open communication and desperation. It’s common at the beginning of any promising new relationship to want to spend virtually all your time together and openly express the intense feelings that begin percolating, but doing so without moderation can make you appear clingy, desperate or overly dependent. Wait until the dust settles a bit to start expressing your growing feelings full force, and allow him the chance to reciprocate them.
2. Downplaying your intelligence
Instead: Embrace your personality
For decades women were advised to maintain a demure disposition, as opinions and intelligence were considered unfeminine characteristics that would drive away potential suitors. Though women’s rights have evolved tremendously since then, present-day daters continue to mute their personalities in order to appear cute or even submissive. Most quality men, however, will seek a more long-term connection with a woman with opinions and a good head on her shoulders, so don’t be afraid to let your real personality shine through!
3. Making him jealous
Instead: Focus your energy on him
Inciting jealousy by openly flirting with other guys or talking about an ex is usually intended to make you more desirable to the object of your affection, even though doing so actually has the exact opposite effect. Besides coming across as immature, jealousy is risky; rather than piquing his interest, you’re more likely hurting his feelings. Remember, quality men don’t really want to play games. When you find yourself tempted to bring up an ex needlessly or dart to another man with the sole intention of making your current one jealous, redirect that energy toward figuring out what caused that instinct to kick in in the first place.
4. Babying him
Instead: Treat him as an equal
Sure, everyone wants a partner who takes care of them, but you’re not trying to replace his mother here. While daters of generations past may have viewed their roles as girlfriends and wives in a more functional light, men today find this dynamic oppressive and overbearing. Give him space to make his own decisions like a big boy. And when those maternal instincts kick in, find ways to express them in a loving manner while addressing him as an equal.
5. Playing hard to get
Instead: Interact with him naturally
Game-playing and mixed signals are things of the past. While a slight challenge can be exhilarating for men, giving them too much guesswork will appear juvenile and silly rather than alluring and possibly have him throwing in the towel. Keep him on his toes by maintaining a busy but flexible schedule, but otherwise align your words and actions with your feelings.