Dating disaster prevention tips for men

Behaviours that turn women off; have things changed since you last went on a date? Manj Weerasekera identifies some common pitfalls.

Dating tips

So you’re ready to start dating again – and you might be feeling a little rusty. Maybe you’re already back on the dating scene and not being very successful. So have you ever thought about what might turn a woman off from seeing you again?

Here are four behaviours to avoid, especially on that all important first date.

Complaining about your Ex

Women really do not want to spend all evening listening to a man complaining about his ex-wife and yet so many women I have spoken with make this their number one complaint. Let’s face it, potentially coming across as bitter and unhappy doesn’t always put a guy in the best light now does it?

Clinical psychologist and author, Dr Seema Hingorrany, had this to say, “Relationships require hard work. When a couple invests emotionally in their relationship, there’s an obvious sense of loss and a sinking void when the relationship is over. This often causes emotional turbulence and thus anger and resentment simmer like lava. What people need to remember is that mud-slinging will only reflect badly on themselves. The best thing to do is put the negative feelings aside and start over.”

Our minds are filled with memories, both good and bad and we cannot erase the past. However it’s what we give our attention to that grows. And if we choose to give our focus and energy to memories that cause us to feel anger, hurt, bitterness etc, then that will manifest in the present moment accordingly. If you’re looking for a woman who finds this attractive in a man, then carry on. If not, you just may wish to refocus your inner attention a little.

If your date does ask you about your ex-wife, then try your best to mention a couple of good points about her or say that it simply didn’t work out and you would much rather talk about the person in front of you right now.

Too eager to please

I do not know a single woman who does not like to be complimented.  However how do you come across to a woman you’ve just met when you do it? Do they feel you are being genuine or just ‘going through the motions’?  An occasional compliment is usually seen as sincere, but too many and they begin to lose their impact on the person.  A woman can often see through compliments and knows if you are being sincere or not.

Giving too many compliments can make a man appear needy, insincere and possibly desperate. This can also be perceived as lacking in confidence and for many women, confidence has always been an attractive feature in a man.

When it comes to conversation, I suggest you keep it light and try not to agree with absolute everything she says. Women would like to know that you have a point of view, however they really are not looking for an all-out debate when dating. If you keep your attention on her and use some emotional intelligence, you will know whether you have gone far enough in a discussion. Again, the key is to keep the conversation light on the first few dates.


This one is another major turn off for women. Any man that brags and boasts about himself may come across as being arrogant or conceited. There are better ways to make a first impression and over-doing it when it comes to impressing a woman can suggest that a man is trying to compensate for something else. Low self-esteem due to a failed marriage for example. Whether that is fair or not, bragging or boasting is simply an unattractive quality in a person.

Although your date should also be interested in what you have to say, you need to take the lead and make her the focus of your attention and the focus of the evening. As a rule of thumb, go for a 60:40 split; sixty percent of the time you listen and forty per cent of the time you talk.

You don’t need to tell your date everything on the first evening and it’s important that you find out as much as you can about her.  If you like each other and continue to date, she will learn more about you, and your accomplishments will become known to her more naturally over this time.  It’s a more elegant way than hitting her with everything in one go!

Not looking to commit

The female brain is wired differently to ours and many women can tell when a man is not looking for a long term relationship. Women, including my own ex-wife, say that they can simply ‘tell’. One example is that women often know when a man is also seeing other women, despite it being their third or fourth date and it shows in the man’s attitude.  

Another example is when men do not pay the bill. This is always an interesting topic and many women equate it to a ‘loose’ attitude. Some people (men and women) say that the man should always pay and others say that this is the 21st century and the bill should be split. Clearly there is no right or wrong answer here, so let’s start with a question – as a man, what impression do you wish to make? Making the assumption that every woman expects to split the cost of the evening 50-50 is a very dangerous one indeed. The age of chivalry is most definitely not dead and offering to pay (with the intention of doing so) is what I recommend, especially if some women equate not doing so with not being able to commit. If she accepts your offer to pay the bill, that’s great. If she really insists on splitting it, then that’s great too.

If you are on a budget, you do not need to spend a fortune when taking a woman out on a date. If it’s a first date, meet her for a drink rather than taking her out to dinner. It’s less expensive and if you do not get on, you’re not stuck together for three courses! Remember, women will not necessarily remember you for how much money you spent on them. However, they will always remember how you made them feel.

Finally, if you are only interested in short term relationships and not looking to commit, then it is only fair to let women know before they decide to meet you, whether that’s on your dating profile or otherwise. 

Last modified: January 8, 2021

Written by 4:10 pm Dating, Relationships and dating