6 Signs 6 Signs You're Scaring Boys Away Shannon Robb

Dating is awkward as hell, gals. I’m pretty sure if Dante was still around, he’d add a new circle just to include all the awkwardness we face day to day when it comes to the opposite sex. We’ve all been there: we get our flirt on and we think we’ve got a thing going until a switch somewhere flips and we’ve either been friend-zoned or we never hear from the dude again. Ugh, it’s terrible! It’s especially terrible once you realize boy troubles that start in middle school never really go away- even when you’re 26 and mature and ready to find the one. It’s always the same old story.

So, I got to thinking about things we do that might be the reason these guys seem to just disappear. Or decide they like you but then show up with a new girl the next time you see them. Or just plain old can’t man up.

Oh, and I totally don’t want to scare some of you younger readers who may just be jumping into the ocean of boys and romance, but take notes!

  1. You know a lot about sports: How can this be a problem you ask? Don’t boys love a girl who watches sports? You’d think that but this has been a pickle for me ever since I can remember. I know a lot about sports, I love sports, I watch sports, I can hold an intelligent conversation with a guy about sports. You’d think I’d have my pick of the litter, right? Wrong. For some reason, my knowledge of sports tends to scare dudes away, or gets me immediately friend zoned because they know they can talk shop with me and I’ll understand it and contribute to it while knocking back a beer. HOW ANNOYING! I grew up liking and playing sports so why isn’t this advantageous? I know a lot of girls who have this same problem. Don’t boys understand that if they find a girl who likes sports then they will be able to watch more sports without repercussion? I’m going to be shouting right along with you! I know my teams and I know my players and I love that about myself, waiting for the guy to show up that loves that about me, too! And, sporty girls, I think there is hope out there for us all!
  2.  You’re up front about what you want: I’m getting to that age now where I don’t want to mess around anymore. Let’s get serious. I’m not going to date you unless I see some potential for a future, I’m 26. No, I’m not looking to get married tomorrow, or even in the next couple of years. No, I’m not planning my wedding on Pinterest (I don’t even pin anything). No, I’m not looking at your breeding stock. But I am looking for someone who has that potential. And, ladies, we know how much this scares guys away! Why? It’s so hard to be honest about what we want without sounding crazy. I’m not saying I spring the marriage idea on a guy anytime soon, but I will be upfront about not wanting anything casual. I know so many girls who fall into this trap, too. It’s really hard being upfront about what you want with yourself and a potential BF, but once you do you’ll find the ones worth fighting for.
  3.  You’re smart: I always thought being smart would be a turn on. I guess to the right guy it is because I have plenty of brilliant friends who are married or well on their way. Similarly, I find smart guys a turn on. I want to know you have an opinion about the world that is well formed. I want to have discussions with you about important topics. I don’t want to have to pretend I have no idea what’s going on so you can ‘man-splain’ things to me. I hate that. This is a dangerous middle ground though, because smart girls can be a turn on, but we don’t want to come off as pretentious, or better than the men we’re looking at.  On the flip side, we shouldn’t have to hide our impressive brains. But, that’s not to say we can’t be flirty and fun! Live it up! Flirt around and don’t be so serious all the time. Ain’t nobody got time for dat! Just remember there’s more to you than your looks or your flirting capabilities! Maybe guys just don’t want to work that hard to impress us, but they totally should because we’re amazing!
  4.  Flirting is hard: Not everyone is a natural flirt, and flirting doesn’t come easy to many people even with practice. I find that I can flirt with just about everybody except the object of my affection- then it is totally foot in mouth city for me. I’m sarcastic and quippy and I think it throws a lot of guys off, which sucks because my humor is sarcastic and quippy and I’m just trying to be funny, you know!? Sometimes we come on too strong and don’t leave enough room for the chase, sometimes we act too aloof and dudes think we’re not interested. It’s all about finding a balance, and it is a hard recipe to perfect. When the right one comes along, all of our bad flirting won’t matter because he’ll be too spellbound to even care or find it completely endearing, right? Right!? RIGHT?
  5.  You’re confident: Confidence is an attribute we all need to develop and for some it comes earlier than others. Again, though, it’s all about balance. I think I have a major problem with this, too, because I seem confident in my shyness but I’m really not. I’m really just shy, guys!!! We can’t seem too aloof and too sure otherwise a guy might not know what he’s working for. How many of us have heard dudes say they love a confident woman? I know I have from, like, every guy I’ve ever known. But, sometimes it seems like guys get really scared by confident women, they almost seem to not know what to do with us.  Finding the right balance between being confident and showing a little insecurity is important- men like to feel needed and wanted and we should be able to show them that they are. We may be confident, yes, but we also love it when you tell us just how much you like us because it just makes those little thoughts that creep into our heads go away. Confidence can be a good thing, it can be sexy, don’t shy away from it!
  6.  You’re the right girl at the wrong time: A lot of romance issues stem from the fact that guys just aren’t ready to settle or get serious. And, that’s okay because it’s not on us, even if we think it is. Sometimes it is, but usually it’s more about how together a guy wants to be before he really wants to move on to the next stage of his life. It may be the girl he starts dating after you, and that’s simply heartbreaking. But, there will be a guy who’s ready for you somewhere out there. I think a lot about what Mindy Kaling said in her book about the difference between boys and men. Boys still have furniture from college and drink a lot and might not iron their shirts or clean their bathrooms regularly. Men take pride in their living spaces, maybe even own houses, they have nice things, they have a nice wardrobe, they cook, and they’re ready for the future. It’s just a matter of timing, even if you’re the right girl it might not be the right time for him. And it might hurt for a while, but it’ll hurt less now that it would have if things had gone farther.

Even though dating sucks and we don’t want to do it, we have to because how else are we gonna meet people and explore the world and settle down (if we want to). We all suffer through the slog every day! Just remember, we are all out there looking for our fish in the sea. I have to remind myself that no one really likes dating. If you do, more power to you! But, sometimes it just seems like a constant pile of rejection and crap. If only we lived in Jane Austen times when as soon as you had a companionable conversation with someone on three or more occasions you got engaged. But you know what, being single is pretty okay, too!

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  1. This is pretty much written about me.
    Thank you <3

  2. I can identify with most of your points, and sometimes empathize with the frustration you seem to feel. However, an important aspect for (both) men and women is the physical appeal of the opposite (potential) partner. Any person who says, “looks don’t matter” is at the least exaggerating, and at the most a self-deluded imbecile. Different people definitely apply different weights to the attractiveness wedge of their personal preference pie charts, but every person in a relationship that I’ve ever met has found some aspect of their partners attractive.

    My point to all of that wordy foreplay is this: Even if you are an intelligent, funny, honest woman (OR MAN) – this doesn’t really matter if you are otherwise unattractive to the person you’re trying to entice. PLEASE NOTE – I am not specifically speaking to the author when I say “you”; I’m more addressing all of the women/men out there who are getting ‘friend-zoned’, etc. And I’m not even speaking specifically of intense physical appeal/non-appeal. Sometimes confidence can come off as arrogance (& I know, having personally been labeled an elitist by most of my friends). Sometimes sharp banter can come off as bitter harping. Sometimes honesty can present itself to less direct people as rudeness. These are all things that have been said both about, and to, me. These are all qualities that some find attractive, and (most) others find unattractive. It’s completely irregardless of my physical appeal, just as any physical appeal I might have is separate from my personal qualities. It’s just important to realize that how you think you’re portraying yourself doesn’t always align in others’ eyes with how you perceive yourself to actually be. It’s also important to understand that a person’s overall viability as a partner is not completely tied to just their personal qualities.

    Attraction, chemistry, between two people is really rare in my social sphere. Most of my close friends are single, highly intelligent, and fairly attractive men. They’re mostly single because they are extremely picky. I’m single because I’m picky, sexually fairly conservative, and can sometimes come off as an abrasive, overly confident person. I’m also not looking to date casually, but (well aware of the fact that I’m rapidly approaching 25) am looking for something in the soul-mate territory. The fact that many of my friends and I are single – the fact that you yourself are single – probably stem from an enormous array of uncontrollable factors.

    That you know yourself to be intelligent, confident, honest, etc. – not all of the men you’re trying to date may think so, and even if they do they may not find you attractive as a partner anyway. Unfortunate, but true.

  3. whoa… a lot of you have your panties in a twist. chill out! No where in the article does she say to dumb down and change to get a boyfriend. She’s sharing her experiences and the issues with finding a guy, which many of us might be able to relate to…. o_O

  4. I understand that some men maybe scared off by some of these attributes, but who would want a guy that isn’t completely into who you are entirely? I am all 6 of these things, and my boyfriend loves each and every one of them. I’m 26 and I too am at the point of wanting to move forward together with him and luckily he’s in the same place too. I think if you do/are some of these things listed you should embrace them, don’t think of them as scaring off boys, but as a system that weeds out all of the duds. :)

  5. I love the positive message behind this to continue to be as awesome as you were meant to be! There is no need to change myself, and I’ve scared a lot of guys off in my 22 years. I don’t understand the negativity below. Thanks for the excellent read!

  6. I can see that these are legit issues and concerns. However, a girl should not play dumb in order to get a date. If the boys you are dating cannot handle a smart, confident, educated woman, then you need to start looking into the type of guy you are pursuing.

  7. It sounds like the aggressiveness of the approach is not working for the author and wants to blame it on her male counterparts.

  8. I liked it. Some of you guys are looking wayyyy to into things. It was a good article.

  9. The whole “I’m 26 and I haven’t got a guy, what am I doing wrong?” bit really disturbs me. If your biggest goal in life is to get married then seriously, you have a problem! If I have to change who I am to get a partner then I’m getting off that train right now! Ugh! :-(

    • I don’t see a problem with people (men or women) whose biggest goal is to find love. Maybe academia isn’t there thing and they find work boring. If that isn’t your goal then that’s fine, but if that’s what other people want then that should be fine too

    • I don’t see where it says it’s her biggest goal..

  10. I think most of the people here didn’t get the message of this article.
    She is writing about her personal experience on dating and she never said, that you shouldn’t do these things to get a boyfriend. I think she is criticizing society for not being ready for women like us. (I can totally relate to this article. It’s like she pulled the thoughts directly out of my head). She never said anything about pretending to be someone else. She said be yourself and you’ll find someone who is worth it.
    I totally love the article and I really don’t understand how anyone could think about a non-feminist message here…

  11. I have to agree with many of the previous comments. I hope that this is supposed to be more of an observation of the F*ed up situation single/non-married females in their mid to late 20s are in these days and not encouragement to shed all the wonderful qualities that we should aspire to attain and hold dear.

    However, I would like to also share my own personal observation: Finding a guy ready to settle down in their mid to late 20s is like finding a needle in a haystack. All of the emotionally mature and available ones already tied the knot with their college sweethearts and the rest of the lot are either back on mom and dad’s couch and/or trying to squeeze every last drop out of their college glory days or just ramping up into career mode and loving the selfishness of blowing their newly inflated paychecks on toys and trivialities. So in response, I say to my fellow not-so-young-anymore ladies, live it up and enjoy your freedom as well and have faith that the everything will come full circle again. Those career-driven playboys will find their roots eventually and you’ll be right there when they set their sights on something more serious. So enjoy girls’ nights out while you have the chance and most importantly, do not ever sacrifice who you are.. because what is love if it isn’t real?

  12. Jeez, this site is for empowering women? Then stop knocking her down for sharing her opinions. She clearly says that being who you are will help you find the right man, and that being single is totally OK too. You can’t just pick and choose what you read just to ruin your day. Cut a woman some slack and re-read it with a different perspective.

    • “It’s really hard being upfront about what you want with yourself and a potential BF, but once you do you’ll find the ones worth fighting for.” I believe that applies to being honest with yourself and who you are as well.

      • I agree that these comments could definitely handle being a little less judgmental toward Shannon Robb, because an important part of empowering women is helping to empower and support other women in their journeys as well- everybody is figuring things out. I just think that her intention/conclusive message could have been a little clearer.

  13. This article is sickening. Really?! I cannot believe my eyes – yeah – hello giggles I guess is what a guy is looking for – this is what you said – don’t be yourself, change to suit a man and laugh at all his jokes? I thought this was a good site – but this article is the death of your site. You should be empowering women and not having to change who you are as a person to get a man – because that’s the most important thing! Hey! You’re 26 and you’re a spring chicken pal. By reading all of the comments – I think we’re all in agreement that you’ve left a bad mark on women and left a bad taste in our mouth – yes you’ve been sucked into the Seventeen magazine and I really hope you’re happy with yourself – because this article represents everything that is wrong with society. Ladies – YOU DO NOT HAVE TO CHANGE WHO YOU ARE or WHAT YOU LIKE to get a man! If anything – men should have to change to be more open minded and if they are afraid of you – that’s their problem, and nobody else’s. I’m sickened – literally sickened and I hope Zoey D is taking a real hard look at the content of this site because this was her idea. If this is what she represents, then I think I’ll stop watching New Girl at that. Ugh! I cannot believe this dreck – and however you managed to slip it into production at the last minute – good work – you’ve worked yourself right out of a job in giving advice ever again.

  14. I don’t think I like this. Maybe her intentions are good or she’s joking, I don’t know, but she’s essentially saying being “too confident” scares men away and that you need to “show a little insecurity” for men to feel needed and wanted. If you’re blessed with confidence in this day and age, my god girls, flaunt it. And although she does say we shouldn’t have to hide if we’re smart, she is saying we shouldn’t be TOO smart, and should act flirty and fun. Sorry, but so not into this article! What happened to your girl power, HG?

    • Huni – She’s not joking – if she were she’d giggle or write LOLZ at the end of every statement. This is her real opinion and such “sage” advice she’s giving for being all of 26 years old.

  15. Not really into this article. Especially the “take notes” deal

  16. Guys, I think she’s saying – all these things that SHOULD be attracting guys aren’t, but it doesn’t mean we should STOP being these things. It’ll work eventually. There’s hope. It’s just distressing at this point.

    • Yeah, definitely. Being very confident, smart, and up-front IS an issue for some guys, and the author is trying to say that it SUCKS and not to change for an idiot who doesn’t want to date a girl with those qualities. I don’t think this article is anti-feminist at all.

  17. This.

  18. I am really hoping this is supposed to be sarcastic! This is the second time Hello Giggles has put a bad taste in my mouth this week (the first being the judgmental article about the Mormon church earlier, under the guise of feminism). It’s disappointing because I have been a dedicated Hello Giggles follower for a few years now, and this just seems to contradict so much of what this site usually stands for.

    If this actually is sarcasm though- well done, you hit the sexist nail on the head.

    • Having re-read I can see how this could/should be interpreted in much less ridiculous ways. WAS AFRAID HELLO GIGGLES HAD GONE OFF THE DEEP FOR A SECOND THERE. (still not a fan of the Mormonism article… although that has nothing to do with this article..)

  19. congrats on being acquired by Seventeen magazine! lols. This article just seem out of place on this site. Obviously you mean well but I think you could be more blunt about how being smart, confident and liking sports does not scare guys away. It only scares the guys away that you shouldn’t be dating anyway.

    • Amen. Being yourself scares away the douchebags who are still little boys who have their mother’s dress them. A real man will dig who you are and understand how hard it is for a woman. He should empower you and support you in your choices – if not, he’s not the boy for you.

  20. I have to say, I am surprised to find an article with advice like this on a site that claims to empower women with its chosen pieces (and usually does). The advice you give– barring, of course, the already mentioned possibility that you were being ironic– is a bit worrisome especially if, as you mention in the article, younger girls are reading this. I’m old enough to take most of this with a grain of salt and realize that you’re aiming for more of a fun tone, but I really have to take issue with what you have to say about confidence. There is literally evidence all around us that women have lower self-confidence than ever; they certainly don’t need to be told that they must shed more of that in order to please a man.