Eat, Pray, Ugh... and Other Things Men Hate.

You may be surprised at the biggest dating dealbreakers for men. Photo: Cheng Way

You may be surprised at the biggest dating dealbreakers for men. Photo: Cheng Way

The other day, I asked my man what his dealbreakers were back when he was dating online. Among the usual things, there was a surprise. 

"Oh, that Eat and Pray book! Why is that every woman's favorite book?" 

I was mystified. Eat, Pray, Love? I really enjoyed that book and (shh) own a copy. Being a world traveller myself, I identified with Liz Gilbert's story. And also with her laying on the floor of the bathroom crying. I think every woman has done that...right?

"Why did it bother you so much??" I asked.

"Because it was just trendy. It was like faux spirituality," he replied, "and also because it seemed like EVERY girl had it as her favorite."

LIGHTNING BOLT. That was it. The fact that every woman had it on her profile made it generic. Boring. And meaningless. It didn't feel authentic anymore. 

Turns out, it's not the only thing that makes guys swipe left or click away. I asked my guy friends on Facebook to tell me their biggest turnoffs. The results were enlightening. 

1. DON'T, DON'T, DON'T:

Ok, so I know that it's tempting to feel like you can just put in your order for your perfect man and hopefully some magical algorithm will match you with him. But this is the internet, not a restaurant. And if you're like Meg Ryan from When Harry Met Sally, you're in for a rough ride. 

If you list a lot of things that your man "should" or "should not" be - whether it's physical, income, or personality traits - be prepared to be single for a looooooong time. Think about it - why would you want to take a chance on someone who comes off as demanding and critical? So tear up the list and focus on presenting yourself as someone worth taking a chance on. 

2. MACCHU PICHU, FAKE 'STACHES AND BABY TIGERS:

Almost every guy who piped up mentioned this. Apparently, it seems too many women online has at least one of these pictures in her profile. It's the equivalent of the male car selfie (why?) or bathroom mirror shirtless selfie (WHY GOD WHY?!?). If everyone is posting it, then be the exception. You're an original and your photos should reflect that. By the way, those tiger cub pictures may seem cute, but their treatment isn't. 

3. TOO MANY GROUP PHOTOS:

As my friend David put it, "Pictures with more than 3 people and every single photo that makes me guess who the heck am I trying to contact." If he can't tell who you are, he's moving on. Ain't nobody got time for that! Besides, it's your profile - so you should have the starring role in the photos. 

4. MY EYES ARE UP HERE:

Sex may sell, but it's not going to help you find a relationship. So think twice about posting pics in cleavage baring dresses or tiny bikinis. Don't get me wrong, you WILL get attention but not necessarily the kind you want. So many men told me it was a turnoff to see these pictures in profiles, especially if they're looking for a long term relationship.  Also, keep it real. Glam is fun once in a while but if it's all you have on your profile, lots of really good dudes may pass you up. Like my friend Chris says, "natural, dressed down is a huge plus." It shows you can have fun no matter the setting or circumstances. And that you're confident in your own skin. 

5. LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE:

Online dating brings its share of bad experiences but it's best to shake them off, learn the lesson and then keep going. What you don't want to do is come off bitter or angry in your profile. Several of my guy friends said one huge red flag is when the woman says things like, "Prove to me that there are some good guys out there," or "No drama please." That's waaaaay too heavy for a dating profile. Instead, keep it light, positive and focus on what you like about yourself and the hopes you have for sharing those things with someone special.