Surprising things guys find unattractive

While you may be doing everything in your power to attract the opposite sex, it may surprise you to learn that some of your actions and behaviors can actually have the opposite effect. In fact, you may not even realize that you're acting in a way that drives men away when all you're really trying to do is draw them toward you. In order to take control of the situation and truly attract the right guys, we've dug up some research on what to avoid doing and what to do instead to avoid being labeled as unattractive to men.

Wearing a ton of makeup could turn men off

You may think that loading up on foundation, concealer, eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, lipstick, and blush (to name a few) makes you look your most attractive, but it may surprise you to learn that piling on the makeup is not appealing to guys. In fact, a study in The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology revealed that women tend to overestimate the amount of makeup that men find attractive, and, as a result, many women end up applying way too much. In other words, you may choose to wear a lot of makeup because you think it draws men toward you, but, in reality, it's actually warding them off. With this in mind, it's time to face the fact (so to speak) that less is truly more when it comes to makeup's role in attraction, and it's in your best interest to opt for a natural look as opposed to caking it on for the guy you're sweet on. Too much makeup is apparently just unattractive to many guys.

Extreme makeovers could make you look unattractive

If a guy likes you for the right reasons, he's not going to want you to suddenly undergo an extreme makeover. He knew who you were when you met, and he won't want you to reinvent yourself in an attempt to win him over. Take Billy Joel's advice when he says, "Don't go changing, to try to please me... I love you just the way you are."

As matchmaker and dating coach Joann Cohen explains, guys value confidence in a woman. Therefore, they likely will find it unattractive if you seem obsessed with your perceived imperfections. Talking about plastic surgery, cycling through different styles, and crash dieting in an attempt to lose weight can make you seem insecure, which is a real turn-off. Be yourself! Trying to drastically change your appearance could make you appear unattractive to some men.

Being a gossip is unattractive

It might seem fun to share the latest rumors, scandals, and stories involving the lives of your friends, family, and coworkers with a guy, but it might surprise you to learn that being a gossip is a major turn off. While your intentions may be to try to open the lines of communication with him and keep him in the loop, it's important to recognize that giving him the lowdown on other people's sordid deeds actually makes you come across as having low self-esteem. In fact, many people with a poor self-image rely on gossip as a way to make themselves feel better about their own lives, and they choose to talk about the latest failures and scandalous behaviors of others as a way to give themselves a boost. 

If you're looking to attract men, you should keep in mind that guys are drawn to women who are confident, who value themselves, and who don't put others down as a way to lift themselves up. So the next time you're dying to dish to him about all of your friend's dirty laundry, you should choose to clean up your act instead. Otherwise, it's just unattractive to most guys.

Having no life can make guys think you're unattractive

Even if you're in a happy and mutually supportive relationship, sometimes you might need a little alone time. This can be more true for some people than others, but, as a general rule, guys will want some space to breathe from time to time. Wanting time apart is not, necessarily, a reflection on how he feels about you. 

We all love feeling wanted but it can be exhausting when your partner is excessively needy. A guy will likely find it unattractive if you demand that he's by your side 24/7 and can't find any way to occupy yourself when he's not around.

As relationship expert Sean Horan PhD explains, "I like to think of it this way: I love eating cake, but I can't eat it 24/7.... As humans, there's a tug between being autonomous and bonding with others." What's the compromise? Plan regular outings with friends, take a fitness class, or binge-watch that show that you love (and he hates), while he does his own thing. Then, chill together and share your experiences!

Being excessively confident can be unattractive to some

While having high self-esteem is a quality that men find highly attractive in women, it's important to understand that there's a fine line between being confident and being conceited. And while you should definitely believe in yourself, be proud of your accomplishments, and be happy about what you have to offer, you should also keep in mind that showing off is a major turn off. Specifically, research has shown that people who boast about themselves don't even recognize the full extent of the negative response they receive from others. 

Although you may assume that your self-proclaimed awesomeness is attracting men, having a huge ego and acting like a narcissist are actually huge mistakes. Alternatively, you should opt for humility and be secure enough in yourself that you don't have to rely on arrogance to get a gent, as the right man won't need you to constantly reinforce just how amazing you truly are — he'll see it on his own.

Having no purpose or ambition seems unattractive

You don't have to have your whole life figured out, but guys don't want to be with someone who is lacking any sort of purpose or direction. It's unattractive to listen to someone explain how lost they are if they don't have a plan to get on track. Plus, if it seems like you don't know what you want to do with your life, it can make you come across as unstable.

While a man might enjoy feeling needed from time to time, he doesn't want to feel like he's got to rescue you if you are constantly quitting jobs and changing majors in school — or if you have no drive. This might be especially true if he's got a clear vision for his future. It will be hard to picture you by his side if you don't know what you're doing with your life.

Bad-mouthing your ex is not a good look

You may think that bad-mouthing your ex around a new guy is a good decision, but this kind of negative behavior actually makes you look bad instead. While your intentions may be to show a guy how much you're over your last beau and that he has nothing to worry about when it comes to living up to the men you've been with previously, constantly criticizing your ex isn't attractive. After all, not only does your need to put down your ex make you come across as spiteful and juvenile, but your unrelenting fixation on your ex makes it seem as though you're still harboring feelings for him

Furthermore, bad-mouthing your ex also shows any potential love interest that he could be next when it comes to being the subject of your hateful words. So rather than talking smack about your ex and venting about all the ways he wronged you, leave the past in the past so you can attract Mr. Right in the future.

Being a Negative Nelly is seriously unattractive

Throughout each day, we all go through a range of emotions. And that's perfectly normal — it's just part of being human. Still, while we have to be authentic in how we react to situations, of course, we should also make a concerted effort to maintain a positive outlook. Not only is it healthy for our own mental sanity, but it can also have an affect on our relationship.

One study showed that men found women less physically attractive if their personalities seemed negative. That's right — a woman's attitude can be a real turn-off even if she, otherwise, looks good. That's a big deal.

So, instead of worrying about clothes and makeup, make it a bigger priority to commit to being less pessimistic and more optimistic if you want to be most attractive!

No one like to see women being catty to other girls

It's important that you speak your mind and that you stand up for yourself if you are ever in a situation that makes you feel marginalized. That being said, it can be really unattractive if you seem addicted to drama and go out of your way to be mean to others.

You might think you're showing off by engaging in a catfight, but you run the risk of looking petty and immature. There's a big difference between acting like a juvenile girl and an emotionally secure woman in charge of a situation — and your man will definitely take notice. If you want to impress him by beating out the competition, train for a marathon, get that promotion at work, or commit to being your best self. Put your best assets on display without needing to put anyone down.

Men don't always like a high-pitched voice

For whatever reason, so many women seem to think that a shrill, high-pitched voice is somehow attractive to men. Maybe it's how female characters are portrayed on television. Maybe they think it's how we think Barbie would sound in real life, but, in reality, researchers have discovered that men don't really like it.

According to the study, guys found "a female voice sounded attractive when it was breathy" and "moderately high-pitched." You don't have to go as deep as Scarlett Johansson's voice, but her voice might be more attractive to most men than, say, Kim Kardashian's voice.

Of course, don't try to change yourself to make anyone happy. If your voice squeaks naturally, you should love it and embrace it. The right guy will love it and anything else that comes out of your mouth!

There's such a thing as being too needy

When it comes to attracting men, it's important to recognize that men want to feel as though they're needed. Specifically, men want to know that they add value to your life and that they're not superfluous, expendable, or disposable. However, many women mistakenly interpret a man's desire to feel needed by becoming overly needy, jealous, and desperate to spend every waking moment with him — all of which are anything but appealing behaviors to guys. So, if you're someone who tends to become clingy and emotionally dependent on a man because you think it'll bring him closer and inspire him to stick around, know that you're actually just pushing him away. 

Moreover, men want to know that they complement your life as opposed to being the center of your universe on which your entire happiness level and sense of self-worth depend. Fortunately, there are steps you can take right now to break your cycle of neediness when it comes to men, such as putting an end to negative self-talk, getting out of your comfort zone, and learning how to resolve issues on your own.

Taking unnecessary risks can seem unattractive

While it's true that some studies suggest that guys like a girl who is spontaneous, is interested in playing sports, and values a more adventurous existence, there is a limit to what sort of "wild" traits are considered attractive and desirable in a partner.

Researchers found that people who engaged in "modern risks," such as smoking, binge-drinking, driving without a seatbelt, mountain climbing, and skateboarding, were less attractive than those who did not participate in these types of activities.

Interestingly, respondents explained that these types of risks were "rated as unattractive because they are culturally viewed as negative" (e.g. "uncool" or "stupid"). Remember that next time you choose not to buckle up!

People consider playing hard to get to be unattractive

While it's true that men are drawn to women who are outgoing and assertive individuals, it's important to recognize that there's a fine line between being independent and being unavailable. You may think that playing hard to get and acting in a distant and disengaged way can help you attract a guy, but you're making a mistake by not making time for him. In fact, playing games can make you seem highly immature and can give off the impression that you're not yet ready, willing, and/or interested in getting to know him on a deeper and more meaningful level. And while you may assume that acting detached and aloof increases your allure, you're actually coming across as uninterested, flaky, and just plain annoying. Playing hard to get is an easy way to strike out with a guy and appear unattractive.

Being a damsel in distress isn't too attractive

Many childhood fairy tales would have you believe that men are attracted to overly dramatic women who are in need of rescuing, but it's time to turn the page on this outdated way of thinking. In reality, men aren't interested in drama, and, if you take the "woe is me" approach in the hopes of attracting a guy, you may be sad to see that seeking his attention by playing the victim will only make you appear desperate, immature, and overdramatic. Rather than trying to catch his eye by catastrophizing certain situations and hoping it'll entice him to come and save you, you should save yourself the trouble by engaging in exercises that can help to boost your self-esteem, as well as learning effective problem-solving strategies that can help you to become more self-sufficient. If you want to attract your very own Prince Charming, acting like a drama queen is the wrong approach.

Don't wear too much perfume if you want to seem attractive

A lot of marketing goes into making women feel like they need to buy a certain perfume in order to be sexy and desirable. Now that celebrities have entered the industry, the push has become even stronger — but does dabbing from a bottle really give us a boost?

Not according to science. Researchers have determined that a woman's natural scent can be a powerful aphrodisiac on its own, but there's a catch — she's most desirable when she's ovulating. During the study, men were given t-shirts worn by women who were ovulating and those who were not. The results showed that "men who sniffed t-shirts from ovulating women had higher testosterone levels than the men who sniffed T-shirts that didn't indicate fertility; either worn by non-ovulating women or unworn."

So, instead of masking your body's natural come-hither scents, let nature do all the talking.

Having overly styled hair isn't always a good thing

While you may spend a lot of time (and money) trying to perfect the intricate updos and complicated styles that you see in magazines and on television, it turns out men aren't attracted to overly done and processed hair. In fact, a survey by Pantene revealed that 78 percent of men are drawn to women with shiny, full, healthy-looking hair, as opposed to hair that's been overly styled and manipulated. Specifically, loose curls and wavy hair are considered more appealing to men than excessively flat-ironed slick-straight hair and complex updos. But if you're still not convinced that you should opt for a more natural and effortless look when it comes to your locks, keep in mind that the survey found that 80 percent of men believe that having unhealthy hair is a total turn-off. And what's even more telling? Approximately 75 percent of men reported that a woman's hair is the first thing that they notice about the woman herself. In a word, opting for low-maintenance hair will yield high results when it comes to attracting members of the opposite sex.

Predictable hobbies can be boring

Do you love to cook, read books, and take long walks on the beach? That's great and you absolutely have to make yourself happy, but if you are wondering about what guys find attractive, you might want to think a little more outside the box (while still being true to yourself, of course).

According to a study published by the Journal of Creative Behavior, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania polled 815 male undergraduates to determine which forms of creative outlet were the most sexually appealing. Things that were considered "hot" included playing sports, taking spontaneous road trips, performing in a band, and taking artistic photographs.

Essentially though, the underlying message here is that seeing people follow their passions and instincts is sexy, so trust your gut and let your heart lead the way!

Being a party girl can be unattractive

You may think that being the kind of gal who's down for whatever, goes out non-stop, and is always looking for a good time is the way to attract a man, but being an out-of-control party animal can come back to bite you. In fact, most men try to stay away from party girls because these women have a tendency to act recklessly, make poor decisions (possibly under the influence), and put themselves and others in uncomfortable and potentially harmful situations. Men are certainly interested in women who are confident, outgoing, and who like to have fun, but guys will draw the line when it comes to women who throw caution to the wind and are always looking to party hard no matter the circumstances. Rather than coming off as careless, immature, and unattractive, you should opt to party responsibly and enjoy the positive responses you'll see from the guys around you.

No one wants you to starve yourself

When going out on a first date, many women put a lot of thought into what they pick from the menu. Inside, she might be craving a big, juicy burger, but, instead of ordering what she'd like to eat, she opts for a salad during a date. Maybe she wants to look like she takes good care of herself or she is genuinely is trying to lose weight. Maybe she's budget-conscious and doesn't want to pick the big-ticket item.

It's one thing if this is how you regularly eat and you are satisfied with your meal. It's another if you start picking fries from his plate or if you refuse to eat anything at all. Firstly, it doesn't seem like you're being authentic. Secondly, guys don't want you to order something you don't even want, only to end up eating half their meal! Plus, who wants to chow down alone? This is especially true since studies show that men tend to eat a little more when women are around!

Always agreeing with him isn't attractive

Believe it or not, always agreeing with a man can be a major turn-off. If you're afraid to state your own opinions, are unwilling to disagree with him, and/or want to avoid any conflict because you believe it'll drive him away, it's actually your lack of openness, honesty, and authenticity that'll do just that. After all, being able to express your true thoughts and feelings is what helps to strengthen your connection and enables you to get to know each other on a deeper, more intimate level. The key is to be your true self — that way you can attract the right man who appreciates the person you really are and not the person you think he wants you to be. Remember, a guy isn't looking for a clone, so you should stop playing a part if you want to be part of his life.

Being "high maintenance" could make you appear unattractive to guys

In When Harry Met Sally, Harry tells Sally she is "the worst kind" of high maintenance. "You're high maintenance but you think you're low maintenance," he explains. When Sally says she doesn't see it, Harry recalls the particular way she orders at restaurants, telling her that getting items "on the side is a very big thing" for her. What Harry labels high maintenance, Sally (rightfully) says she just wants things the way she wants them. And what Harry means by a "high maintenance" woman matches up with Urban Dictionary's definition: A person who "has higher than normal expectations; has a greater requirement for affection or attention; has more needs and/or demands and therefore more difficult or challenging."

Elite Daily writer Robert Anthony wrote that a woman is high maintenance when she "is expensive," and he advised readers to avoid those women, As HuffPost highlighted, the catch-all term high maintenance has been "vilified by society." Is it really any wonder that men have become convinced that "high maintenance" equals unattractiveness? But that doesn't mean you should change. Armele Philpotts, a member of the British Association for Counseling and Psychotherapy, told the publication that some men use the label to shift responsibilities and "label you as the problem." Spoiler: you're not the problem.

A less-than-"ideal" face could apparently mark you as unattractive to men

When it comes to overall attractiveness, Markus Rantala, an evolutionary biologist at Turku University in Finland, told Science Nordic that "facial attractiveness is one of the most important factors — more important than ... body shape." But just what makes for an attractive face? A study conducted by Rantala and his team found that it actually has a lot to do with fat percentage. The men who participated in the study perceived female faces with a certain amount of facial fat to be attractive. Faces that had either too little or too much fat were considered unattractive.

It may sound strange that men prefer a middle-of-the-road weighted face, but researchers think this could be related to how men perceive health. Women with faces that are either too thin or too thick may be perceived as unhealthy or even not as fertile. From a biological standpoint, men seem to be attracted to features that point to a woman's good health and ability to bear children. The more you know, right? 

Men (and women) often find facial piercings unattractive

As evolutionary biologist Markus Rantala's explained to Science Nordic, facial attractiveness has a significant impact on overall attractiveness. So could a nose ring or a lip piercing play a role in impacting your attractiveness? As it turns out, yes. And the impact isn't exactly positive.

One study found that both women and men with piercings were rated as less physically attractive than those who did not have any piercings. Faces with multiple piercings were rated as even less attractive. While men are not fans of facial piercings on women, women actually dislike them on men even more. The study revealed that "men with piercings were rated more negatively than women with piercings." Despite neither men nor women being all that into facial piercings, the study revealed that participants who considered themselves open to experience- and sensation-seeking were at least more favorable toward facial piercings. If you're rocking some facial studs, you may have an easier time wooing an adventure-seeker, it seems.

Being smart may seem unattractive because of "ingrained gender roles"

Men like smart women — or do they? Three studies conducted by Lora Park, a professor at the University of Buffalo, and psychology professors Ariana Young and Paul Eastwick at California Lutheran University and the University of Texas, respectively, revealed a shocking truth. According to their research, men appeared to be attracted to smart women from a distance. However, upon becoming both emotionally and physically closer to the women, men actually found them less attractive.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Jenna Birch, author of The Love Gap: A Radical Plan to Win in Life and Love, explained this phenomenon known as "psychological distance." She said, "...there are a lot of pros to smart, independent career women. They have that second paycheck; they're intellectually in the same plane and they are similarly educated." These are all good things, of course, and Birch said they make for great partners. "But when it came time to close that distance and men had to interact with these women face-to-face," she revealed, "they started to lose interest." Birch added that a lot of this is subconscious and stems from "ingrained gender roles." 

Being stressed out can make others think you're unattractive

We all know that being stressed out isn't good for us, but apparently it also makes us unattractive. Sigh. Even though you may think guys would have a hard time deciphering when you're feeling stressed, one comprehensive study proved otherwise. According to the research, the higher a woman's stress hormones, the lower attractiveness rating male participants gave her.

On the surface, it may not appear to make much sense. However, the study's lead author, evolutionary biologist Markus Rantala told Science Nordic, "This is actually quite logical, because we know that stress hormones inhibit the female sex hormone, and if the stress level is very high, it can make the woman infertile." As was the case with facial weight, it appears men consider a woman attractive based on her perceived fertility and health. What's a girl to do? "Our study shows that if a women wishes to look attractive," Rantala told the publication, "she should try to keep her stress levels down." Hmph