Okay fellas, the ladies have to hand it to you– you do a lot of things to make our hearts swoon. You surprise us by taking the initiative to invite us out to dinner– where we will undoubtedly enjoy a romantic meal by candlelight, talk for hours, spoon feed each other creme brulee– wait a minute, are those your friends from college about to sit with us? And you wonder why we’re mad later. Needless to say, sometimes guys trip up their own game with the ladies without even realizing it. Here’s a list of the most common dating mistakes guys make– so you can keep your game in check.
1. Overly possessive
Stop. Just, stop. If the girl is dating you, she obviously wants to be with you doofus– there’s no need to call her every hour, resort to extreme PDA to show the world she’s yours, or be on her back all the time about her guy friends. It’s not sweet, it’s stifling, and nobody wants to date a guy like that. Except that chick from Twilight— we guess there are a few here and there that are into that whole creepily possessive, smothering, super jealous deal.
2. Gross living space
Dorm room, apartment, house, condo, parent’s basement– wherever you live, there’s no excuse for it to be dirty. No, it doesn’t have to be “Suzy Homemaker” clean, but she’ll notice the Doritos crumbs from last night’s March Madness party, the empty beer cans, and the dreaded dirty socks littering the floor. While your lady friend shouldn’t be dating you solely based on your living space, a decently clean room shows her that you not only take care of yourself, but also put in the effort to make her feel comfortable in your home.
3. Acting like a tough guy
Oh, you have muscles and testosterone? We never noticed. No, really c’mon guys– girls know it, you know it, and other guys know it. You’re a man, grrrrrr. So why do some guys start stupid, unnecessary scuffles (“Come at my bro”)? News flash– fights just make us scared, not impressed. So just play it cool and save everyone the stress.
4. Acting differently around your friends
The merging of the two worlds of friends and GF is a delicate task (one that most guys seem to bomb). Just as your main squeeze wouldn’t want the 411 about the hot chick your ex-frat buddy hooked up with last weekend, the same goes for your bros not wanting to hear about your latest antiquing excursion. Play it cool, keep the conversations neutral, and your friends will like your new girl as much as you do (well hopefully not as much).
5. Saying they’ll do XYZ with no follow through
Everyone has a cell phone these days. Seriously, if you haven’t jumped on the 21st century bandwagon yet then you probably aren’t reading this and are more likely holed up in the mountains catching fish with your bare hands and wrestling bears. Case in point– we’re betting you have access to a telephone. So stop making excuses and just call a girl when you say you will.
6. Flirting with/checking out other women
Most women have a slight case of the “green eyed monster,” but it’s relatively easy to keep the beast at bay– unless given just cause. That quick glance at the waitress’ cha-chas? Being overly friendly with your knockout coworker? Talking a little too much about Megan Fox? Yep, she’ll notice. We get that you have hormones– trust us we do, too (especially when it comes to anyone whose last name is Badgley, Pitt, or Damon)– but do yourself a favor and keep them under control around us, or jealousy will rear its head. And yes, it will get ugly.
7. Baby talk in bed
Urban dictionary defines baby talk as “the cutesy gibberish spoken by 1. Babies and 2. Adults speaking to animals and babies.” It’s a bizarre phenomenon really, when grown adults turn into babbling idiots in the cute faces of their pets. That said, while it’s endearing with puppies and bunnies, girls don’t want to be spoken to like that– particularly in the bedroom.
8. Expecting her to act like your mother
Newsflash– women are nurturing creatures. Sometimes men try to abuse their goodwill and start treating them more like mothers than girlfriends– especially in a cohabitation scenario. After all, she’s not there to be a mommy replacement– to clean up after you, take in your dry cleaning, or “make you a sandwich” (thanks teenage boys everywhere for perpetuating this sexist comment). In short, man up mamma’s boy and get your act together.
9. Letting your friends dictate your life
Ladies get it– your bros, brahs, wingmen, fellas, buddies, etc. are really important to you. What women find really aggravating, however, is when you let your friends dictate your life. Ever taken a friend’s advice like “make her jealous to win her back?” Wow, good one man– she just broke up with you. See, while their intentions may be good, they’re not experts, and girls would prefer that you discuss your relationship issues with them instead.
10. Threatened by her job
Sometimes it seems as though the best way to test a man’s commitment isn’t to gauge his reaction when his significant other is down in the dumps– after all, anybody can deliver ice cream and rented movies– but rather gauge his reaction in the face of success. If the BF is overjoyed for his GF, he is definitely a keeper. However, far too often, men are threatened by a woman’s success– two words guys– not cool.
11. Hypocritical standards
Nobody likes a hypocrite. That annoying “do as I say, not what I do” mentality loses its merit fast– especially when it translates to your relationship. Either adhere to the standards you go by for her, or run the risk of coming off as controlling.
12. Not having your own life away from her
Scientifically speaking, in the first six months of dating, dopamine and serotonin levels peak, creating a form of obsession with your significant other. Once you transition out of this phase, you feel attached to your partner deeply, but often begin pursuing interests that have fallen by the wayside. Just don’t forget the step where you start persuing those other interests. Nobody likes a needy guy.
13. Bringing up previous relationships
Talking about an ex a lot– whether in a positive light, as in “I’m totally at peace with the situation,” or in a negative light– i.e. “I can’t believe I dated that whore,” sends one very clear, unnerving message– he’s not over his ex. Bringing up past girlfriends to use as ammo in a fight is a terrible idea– lest you want to start WWIII. You don’t have to ignore her existence, but you also don’t need to bring up her name in every convo, either.
14. Treating others poorly
When men are first dating someone casually and trying to impress them, one major red flag is when they treat people poorly. While we sincerely hope he won’t go as far as to put a fumbling waiter in a headlock, just being rude to a taxi driver or making a scene with the cashier worries ladies that they may be dating a narcissistic psycho.
15. Inflated ego
When it comes to dating, big ego = big turn-off. No one likes a know-it-all with an inflated sense of self. When guys talk a big game or boast about past conquests, it makes girls wonder what they’re over-compensating for– and chances are that they won’t stay in the relationship long enough to find out.