Already have an account?Sign In

7 Turnoffs That May Be Costing You a Date

Last modified: September 13, 2019 mmBy Erin Miller
7 Turnoffs That May Be Costing You a Date

When I first started online dating, I had no luck and no hope. My expectations were somewhat low and my attitude was poor. I found myself adrift in a sea of turnoffs and tedious conversation.

Once I got a better outlook and actually started looking on the right kind of online dating sites (which meant avoiding hook-up apps), the experience got way better.

But not surprisingly, the relationship turnoffs stayed the same. Despite how great you may think you’re coming across online, it’s important to remember that in online dating you’re in a stack of candidates.

So put your best foot forward. Here are seven of my turnoffs when I met a guy online, or alternatively, here are the top seven ways to guarantee that you’re not getting past that first message.

1. Have no pictures, or bad pictures


In case no one has said it in a while, you’re handsome. The internet, and media in general, have a way of making us forget that just because we all look different doesn’t mean we don’t look great! You were created on purpose, exactly how God wanted you to look! So flaunt it.

But not all of it. Be modest.

One deal breaker is posting group shots where we can’t tell which one you are. Also, steer clear of posting pics that have another woman in them—even if it’s your sister or your cousin. We don’t know she is, so it raises a red flag. First impressions can make or break a match.

Your online dating profile should have more than one picture, and try to get at least one that isn’t a selfie.

Here are my suggestion for a home run album of pictures for your online dating profile:

  • One of you smiling, taken by friends. We want to see what you look like from our point of view.
  • One of you smiling, taken by yourself. We see what you like about yourself, your sense of humor, and what makes you confident.
  • One of you doing something you love. Volunteering? Fishing? Entertaining? Whatever it is that will give us an idea of you—let that picture say a good thousand words!

2. Write a job posting

man talking with someone else over the phone

Talking about yourself can be challenging, but try to keep it informative about who you are, not just about what you’re looking for or (most especially!) what you’re not looking for in a relationship.

Think about it this way: if someone asked you to describe your favorite movie, you would tell them about the story line, plot, and characters. You wouldn’t say, “You’ll like this movie if you’re in your twenties, like dogs, and enjoy adventure.” That wouldn’t be a very good description of the movie.

Yet I have seen a lot of online dating profiles written this way. If you’re looking for a long-term relationship, you want a woman to feel like you’re introducing yourself to her, not listing off her qualifications for application to the part of Your Girlfriend™.

3. Answer with only one word

woman talking with someone else over the phone

Ironically, social media can make communication challenging. Having an online conversation can be taxing. There’s no facial expressions or tone to read, and with someone you’ve never met that can be even more confusing.

But remember that the basic rules to good conversation still apply.

It’s impossible to build a conversation based off of answers like:

  • LOL
  • Haha
  • Yep
  • Nope
  • True

Use your match’s answer to continue expanding. If the topic has reached a natural end, use it to start a new one. If you’ve said all that can be said about your shared favorite sports team, move on to what sport you would play professionally if you could. You get the idea.

4. Give us canned replies

online dating

Show us that you’ve read our profile and chosen to start a conversation with us for a reason. Generic openers or conversation topics are the easy way to make a lot of matches, but not the way to get great matches. Great matches come from quality over quantity.

For a conversation to be quality, it needs to be intentional. There was something you read in a profile that turned your head and made you want to talk to them, and something in your profile grabbed their attention. If you set the bar by opening with something specific to them, it makes a great first impression and will make them more likely to reference your profile too.

There are two guaranteed topics of conversation to keep your discussion afloat and beyond the aforementioned “Yeah, LOL” traps.

5. Talk about your ex

talking to your ex

Here’s the conversation topic to always avoid: your ex. Whether it’s your ex girlfriend or your latest flame, or a woman you professed your love to who didn’t feel the same way—none of it is truly relevant to getting to know us.

“But it may help them know where I’m coming from and why I’m here,” you may argue. Technically, yes, but since the only point of online dating is to . . . well, find a date online . . . we can reasonably assume that you haven’t found what you’re looking for yet.

It can turn a woman away if you overwhelm her with what you didn’t like about your ex. You’ll miss an opportunity to find what you do like about your new match right now.

6. Reply too little

replying too little

If you don’t answer us for days at a time, it gets confusing if we’re being ghosted or have found the one man in 2019 who doesn’t always have his phone at his side.

There’s something so admirable about a man who isn’t constantly texting and looking at his phone.

But we also understand as a society that it’s pretty unlikely you wouldn’t even check it for multiple days in a row. If growing a relationship is important to you, give it attention that reflects that.

7. Show no sign of moving offline any time soon

not meeting each other personally

Online dating has changed a lot of the game when it comes to relationships, especially in the early stages. The “who makes the first move” question gets hairy, but more often than not, there are many women who will still expect the man to ask them on a date.

Beware of not getting caught in a place where you’re having such great conversations online that you don’t even see the need to meet.

I once went on two dates with a guy who I met online. But by the time we went on them we’d been talking online for so long, he was already using pet names in conversation. When we met in real life, it was weird!

Finding the right timing can be a debacle, but don’t forget that meeting people is why you’re online dating in the first place.

This is not meant to be a list of things you may (or may not) be doing wrong. I can’t speak for all women, but by and large, turnoffs include anything that make us feel like you’re not interested in talking to us. If we’ve connected, we’re interested in talking to you! So don’t doubt how truly awesome you are.

Show off your best self and the rest will fall into place.


Erin is a Catholic writer living on the windy plains of Kansas. She loves reading, dark chocolate, sunflowers, and learning to cook.

    19 Sep 2019

    Erin is so helpful

      Erin Miller
      24 Sep 2019

      Thanks, Annlucy! That means so much to me. It’s the Holy Spirit that does that talking . . . I just type the words 😉 And I’m glad those words are speaking to you.

    29 Sep 2019

    You give great advise that makes you thinks of your choice in life

    6 Oct 2019

    Good post!

    People should also post current pictures.

    In my experience, women posted old pictures. When I met them in person, they looked nothing like what had been posted. The movie “Shallow Hal” came to mind.

    Ladies and Gents. Please post current pictures.


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *