Can’t figure out why you’re still single? You may be a catch, but if you’re committing one of these fatal mistakes—often caused by being a bachelor for too long—then you’ll drive women away in droves before they even get to know you. Read on to find out why you’re turning her off, and how you can turn her oninstead.
1. You won’t shut up
When you’re with a beautiful woman, it’s game on and time to sell yourself. So you spout off about the fascinating saga of your life, your impressive job, and your hilarious antics with your buddies.
No matter how great your stories are, that tactic will often backfire, says Christie Hartman, Ph.D., behavioral scientist and author of Changing Your Game: A Man’s Guide to Success with Women. “The biggest complaint I hear from women on first dates is that men talk too much,” Hartman says. “It makes you look self absorbed, and she’ll want nothing to do with you.”
YOUR FIX: Instead of trying to come off as Captain Awesome, encourage her to talk about herself. Women love to be asked questions, says Terri Orbuch, Ph.D., a relationships expert and author of Finding Love Again: 6 Simple Steps to a New and Happy Relationship.
Some good ways to get her to open up: Ask her about her career, her hobbies, and her pets. Finding out what she’s passionate about is a great way to get to know her. She might give you a generic answer at first, Hartman says, but once you delve deeper, she’ll light up.
2. You delve into the ex files
You might feel the urge to tell her why your last relationship didn’t work out, or you might gripe about your ex in the form of a compliment: “Ugh, my ex had the worst taste in music! I’m so glad you won’t make me suffer through One Direction.” Big mistake.
You think you’re being mature and honest, but all she’ll see are red flags. “Talking about your ex is like saying she’s still important,” Hartman says. “Your date will think she’s going to have to compete.”
YOUR FIX: We get that it’s been a while since you’ve had any relationship go long-term, but avoid mentioning your last lady altogether, Hartman says. If your date asks about it, give her the executive-summary version of the story—she doesn’t want details. You can’t go wrong with saying you just weren’t right for each other. Wait until after the third date to delve deeper into your romantic past if it comes up again.
3. You scoff at her favorite show
A little witty back-and-forth over what you thought of this year’s Emmy winners can get you a long way, but beware of criticizing her picks too harshly. Sure, you’ve been binge watching Breaking Bad, but saying that Game of Thrones is a stupid show about dragons will virtually guarantee you’re going home alone if it’s her fave.
Same goes for anything she’s really into, whether it’s astrology or Taylor Swift. “If you criticize something she likes early on, you’re really criticizing her,” Hartman says. Even if it’s just your misguided attempt at banter, she’ll be left with the impression that you put her down.
YOUR FIX: So how do you deal with differences in taste? It’s okay to politely admit that you’re not a fan of something, Hartman says, but wait until you’ve really built a rapport to playfully jab her for it.
4. You get too personal, too soon
Everyone has his or her issues. Maybe you have a complicated relationship with your dad or had a rough childhood. You might think it’s noble to lay all your cards on the table—or maybe she just makes you feel comfortable—but she doesn’t need to know about your baggage yet.
“When you’re just getting to know each other, your relationship doesn’t have the framework to support that stuff yet,” Hartman says. “If you tell her your deepest, darkest problems too early on, it can scare her. She’ll think, ‘This guy has issues.'”
YOUR FIX: The sweet spot for sharing personal stuff is after the third date, Hartman says. That lets her get to know you before she gets to know your troubled past. If it’s something she needs to know to move forward in the relationship, like if you have an STD or are a recovering alcoholic, try to work it in between dates three and six, Hartman says.
5. You whip out your black card
This is your opportunity to let her know what a catch you are, so you make sure to drop a few details about your weekends in Saint-Tropez, your corner office, and your brand-new S-Class. How could she resist?
Showboating your material success is a surefire way to snag a woman who is only interested in your money, says Rachel DeAlto, communications and relationship expert and author ofFlirt Fearlessly. To other women, you’ll just come off like a shallow jerk. “The wrong women use you for it,” she says, “and the right one will run.”
YOUR FIX: Instead of bragging, talk about your goals and how you’re working toward them. That will show her you have ambition, depth, and drive. “Make it meaningful, not material,” DeAlto says.
Read more at Men’s Health: 5 Annoying Habits Keeping You Single