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5 Things Girls Do That Turn Guys Off in a Relationship

Updated on October 7, 2010

In another article, I already discussed what creeps guys out when girls are courting a possible romantic connection. But what happens when you're already done with the initial getting-to-know-you stage? What happens when you've already snagged the guy and are in a relationship with him? What could possibly send him running the other way?

I attempt to answer these questions here, whittling down to the main things that will turn a guy off when you're already in a relationship.

(Yet another entry into my unintentional series of "5 Things" about relationships. I like the number 5 for some reason. Sue me.)

(Disclaimer: Once again, though many other guys may agree, these are ultimately based on my own personal experiences. Don't listen to me; I'm weird.)

(Now that we have that out of the way...)

Things that can potentially turn a guy off in a relationship:

1 - Talking incessantly about past relationships

The past is past. Unless it's a small--a VERY small--thing that you might mention when telling a story about something totally different, he doesn't want to hear it. He doesn't want an endless monologue where you detail all your experiences with all of your exes, while you count off each of them on your fingers.

Do not tell him about sex with your ex-boyfriends (or ex-girlfriends, for that matter). If it was up to him, your boyfriend would probably just kind of like to pretend that you have never done anything sexual in your life before you met him. He knows that's probably not true, but the main thing is that he doesn't want to be reminded of it, especially by you.

2 - Venting all your emotional baggage all at once

Slowly, in their good time, the confidences come trickling in. How long it takes for your secrets to come out depends on the kind of relationship. Sometimes it happens over the course of one or two days, one by one they pop out during conversation because you really feel you trust this person. Sometimes it takes longer, months or years. Whichever flows most naturally, and whichever seems most comfortable for you AND your partner.

The one thing you shouldn't do, however, is have a one-way monologue of a venting session. Ever. Do not stand there and talk about your most painful secrets, one after another, unloading your burden onto him as soon as possible. This is a side of you that a guy should be willing to see, yes, but do not give him the impression that this is all there is to you. It's depressing.

This may sound harsh, but it is true: Your boyfriend is not your therapist. Your boyfriend is probably not built and trained to deal with people venting and unloading all their baggage onto him, and even if it just so happens that he is trained in this and is some kind of mental health professional, you are not his client.

Carrying someone's emotional burdens is a lot of work. Most guys don't mind doing it to a degree, because they kind of fancy themselves the hero and like to take care of their women. But, seriously, cut him some slack. He has feelings; he's not superman; he can only take so much at once.

3 - Making him into your priest

Similar to turning him into your therapist, do not make him into your priest.

This is more likely when you feel that your boyfriend is, for whatever reason, more morally evolved than you and less likely to be weak morally. Do not use him as your moral standard in a literal way. Do not confess to him every bad thing you think you've ever done (or worse, the things you do while in the relationship) and then sit there silently waiting to see his reaction.

Do not do something that you are ashamed of and then ask him if he is disappointed in you.

No, no, no. If you are disappointed in yourself, then allow yourself to be, but do not drag him into a battle that is strictly between you and yourself. This is not his place and he does not want to be there unless he is some kind of narcissist that gets off on forgiving your sins.

And maybe if he makes it a habit to wear black with a white collar, and likes to sit in a little booth and listen to people whisper their sins in his ear from the stall next to him. In which case, if he actually has a girlfriend, he has some explaining to do to his higher-ups.

4 - Competing with him

A relationship is a special kind of co-operation. Your partner is assumed to be "on your team" in a way few other people in your life are. Any win for him is supposed to be a win for you and vice versa.

When you turn the relationship into serious competition--where you are truly trying to prove you are better than him for some reason--you are seriously damaging his ability to see you as a comrade, as something other than an opponent or enemy. It would be the same if he was doing that to you, if he was constantly trying to one-up you. When someone is constantly preoccupied with trying to prove herself to be better than other people, including and especially her partner of all people, it shows an extreme lack of self-confidence and security of the ego.

Needless to say, it will annoy him to no end--(usually) not because he's intimidated or actually sees you as competition, but because of exactly the opposite. He signed up for a relationship to be supported (and to support you!), not to be pushed down (or to be forced to push you down to prove himself).

5 - Using him for experimentation (and admitting it)

Let's say you're not sure you like Asian guys, but you're dating him just to see if you might. NO. No guy (I hope) wants to be just "an Asian [or insert other group] guy." He wants to be YOUR guy. Someone you like and maybe love for who he is.

Sure, life is often about amassing experiences of different kinds, but if you are pre-planning those experiences on the basis of wide stereotypes in which you categorize people, then you are selling yourself (and him) short.

Don't date him just because you have this hypothesis that you "might like this kind of guy," but aren't sure. Only date people if you like them. Yes, even if they're assholes and not the "nice guy" your friends try to set you up with, so you can experience what dating a "nice guy" is like. If you're not attracted, get to know him and wait until you are attracted (if ever) to accept a date from him.

Actually, on a similar note, don't date him for any reason other than that you are attracted to him and to who he is as a person. So, in other words, don't date him because he's Hispanic and your parents wanted you to marry within your race; don't date him because he's Catholic and you thought that it was important to find a nice young man that shared your faith; don't date him because he has a secure, well-paying job and you think it's about time to settle down. All of those reasons have NOTHING to do with him, and, deep down, it is unlikely he would ever be thrilled to find out you dated him or, worse, agreed to marry him for these reasons.

So seriously, ladies, if you do this stuff, then stop it. And I commend those of you who don't. In fact, I think (I hope) it's safe to say that the type of women who do all of these things to an extreme are not in the majority, and for that I am thankful.


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    • Mistressoflove profile image


      5 years ago from Rhode Island

      I think your hub is very well writen although in my opinion guys can assume a woman is doing something like trying to one up him and she really is just trying to get her life together and wants his support. With that being said every woman knows her man isn't exactly trained to listen to her but woman are emotional people period. We need that support and vent session from our man because it shows us that he actually cares enough to listen. I do agree each one of what you said can be over done and gets annoying. So really good hub I voted it up.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      And one more thing, look at all the comments and then see how you made this all about what women do wrong, doesn't it take two....just saying...

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Sorry, you have grasped what happens in most circumstances, but you do not get that guys can blurt and go on about women in relationships as much as or more than women, I have found in my experience, and as I'm what most women call extroverted, (lol) I can pull the punches as much as a guy. Sadly, men think that all women are emotional wrecks that just want to trap any man that comes into their personal space and me, well I have always played it down , never gone on about past relationships or wanted too, but the guys I have dated have loved to compare me to their x's which I find insulting and sad, I have been a big fan of men but, have stopped looking for a while as I have kids and as a single mum, nothing turns a man off more, but you saying that women go on about the past, sorry, have to disagree...

    • profile image

      Neill Johnston 

      6 years ago

      Her, still carrying around ANY emotional baggage from her past, even past relationships. Is one of the top, major turnoffs to most HEALTHY men, that ANY woman STILL carries around with her.

      Good gawd, DROP IT, woman, put it far, FAR behind you, and MOVE ON from it, for crap sakes.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I have did number one but the other ones i have never did!!!

    • profile image

      Oppsie ha ha Idc 

      6 years ago

      Lol I've done all of the above

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      oh god !i would have def done the priest thing ! you saved me !

    • sweetguide profile image


      6 years ago from River side

      Good info. thanks

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      made me laugh

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I so much agree with the fourth is the more reason why relationships is falling apart these days.needless to compete with him in order to keep him for yourself.

    • llsink profile image


      7 years ago

      Pretty funny. I definitely know a lot of women who do one, if not all, of these things to their poor men. Good advice!

    • Bronson_Hub profile image


      7 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      Awesome list! Very true characteristics. They seem to work both ways, too. Bravo!

    • Nurse. Love profile image

      Nurse. Love 

      8 years ago from Australia

      I agree so much with your hub, although, isn't it a turn off to us ladies, when guys talk about there ex's or who they've done the dirty with or even worse, your out on a date and he stares at the women sitting near your table not necessarily her face either! think about it!

    • myoutlet profile image


      8 years ago from Philippines

      I do #2. =/

      Btw, great list!

    • profile image

      Fallen Angel 

      8 years ago

      Definitely on number 1. I had a date do this while we we're on our date and that is the exact reason I didn't end it with a kiss. Think about it ladies do you want me to mention my ex girlfriends to you?!

    • profile image

      L a d y f a c e 

      8 years ago

      Great hub! I particularly like 1 and 5. The more someone talks about their past relationships the more I begin to wonder if they're still there rather than here with me. It's such a turn-off. I know a girl who dates guys based on their profile. She dated a nerd to see if she would like a nerd, forgetting that regardless of what you're into, everyone is different. It's messed.

      Love it. Voted up!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Love the hub...voted up!

    • thehands profile imageAUTHOR

      Jorge Vamos 

      8 years ago


      Then you have. But I doubt it's really that bad, telling him doesn't have to be the kiss of death or anything. It's just distasteful usually for a guy who already "has" you to hear such things.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      what if i've already told a crush about my past relationships

    • geofawunyo profile image


      8 years ago from London

      I think this hub is relationship useful. thanks

    • MSal2185 profile image


      8 years ago from PA

      The first point you made is ironic for me...talking about past relationships. One of my best guy friends constantly talks about his ex-girlfriend. He says he's over her, but I swear I feel like I was in the relationship with them! I've even noticed him mention things that they've done together...that we've done together (things that he suggested). It's really frustrating. And what's worse is he sometimes mistakes her name for mine...his family does this too. It's a weird situation...

    • @MagicBoy profile image


      8 years ago from Qatar

      Hey TH, this is a very informative article and I believe that every girl in a relationship should take notes of the was great to know that the points mentioned above are possible events which can take place in a relationship for which I shall now take guard...thank you…

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Good advice for women..very eloquent and like the beautiful works of art too.

    • thehands profile imageAUTHOR

      Jorge Vamos 

      8 years ago

      @K9keystrokes Haha, yes those two were the more important ones to me as well. Thank you for continuing to read my hubs.

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 

      8 years ago from Northern, California

      The number 5 is an excellent choice! It has been lucky for me in life and love...I won't elaborate. I love your advice regarding the competing and confessing to him as if he were your priest. These two of the five are the most important to me. Well done, and by the way, I think you are on to something here with the series of '5' hubs! Keep up the great work my friend!

      Up and awesome!


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