Friday, August 08, 2008

Top Turn-Ons and Turn-Offs

I've actually been working on this post for close to a month due to its sensitive nature. I consulted with Isaac Kaplan and other male characters to determine what the top turn-ons and turn-offs are on the guys' side on shidduch dates.

I consulted with my friends for the girls' aspect as well; I have included their submissions within the girls' lists. (Thus, do not assume I completely agree with everything that follows)

It's obviously really important to keep in mind that personal preference makes a plays a large role in these situations; when I was consulting with different people about these lists, sometimes people suggested polar opposites of one another. Some people mentioned things that I didn't really agree with, or fully understand, but I included them anyway; it isn't about me and my preferences. It's a collection of a bunch of people's preferences.

Turn offs:
GUYS (In no particular order)

  • Girls who don't talk at all/Talk too much - this is complicated since the whole date is based on talking, and how are people supposed to know what's too much and what's too little?
  • Girls who can't make a decision - "wherever you want...whatever you want...I don't care..."
  • Finicky - "Well, we can't go here, we can't go there..."
  • SuperJaps - self-explanatory
  • Bad table manners - slurping your soup is not advised
  • Arrogant/Showing off - they get it! You do chesed! You're frum! You're smart. Let them figure it out in context!
  • Perfectionist - "Ummm, there's too much foam on my grande nonfat half-caff vanilla latte"
  • Inappropriate dress - leave SOMETHING to the imagination, will ya?
  • Loud and whiny - think "The Nanny"
  • Lies - it'll all come out in the end anyway, one way or another
  • Very negative - "This stinks, this is terrible, I don't like this..."
  • Saying, "cool" or "like" too much - Do you, like, think you're, like, too cool or something?
  • Drama Queen - "OMG he didn't open the door for me, does that mean he doesn't like me?"
  • Girls who talk with a yeshivish accent - It's not quite geshmak
  • Trying to impress me with her knowledge of sports when in reality, she's clueless - give it up! - it's okay, we get it, you're a girl. You don't like sports. You don't have to.
  • Refusing phone calls before the first date - If you're not able to handle the call, I don't think you can handle the responsiblities of marriage - grow up.
  • Girls who dump you for not wearing a suit - It's not Shabbos.


  • The guy shows up late without calling/apologizing - you have my number, buddy, USE IT. Fashionably late need not apply
  • Keeps checking his cell phone, or you hear it vibrate - you wanna answer it already?! You think I can't hear it?!
  • Is rude/unfriendly to the cashier/waitress - I don't want to be ashamed to go places with you if you'll talk to people like that
  • Aggressive driver - Wouldn't you like my dinner to stay down? So would I.
  • Egotistical - Are you on a date with a girl, or yourself?
  • Shlumpy - Did your mother take a look at you before you walked out the door?
  • Lack of Eye Contact - Apparently this issue arises in the more yeshivish community - Just pretend we're your sister, or Hillary Clinton
  • Very Quiet - "Yes and no" are not adequate responses. I don't enjoy giving three-hour monologues.

Turn ons:

  • Attracted to her - on most planets, the guy is supposed to be attracted to the girl. Yes, he should know the difference. It's not his mother's job to decide whether he's attracted to the girl. (-- Note that I didn't say "pretty," because as cheesy as it sounds, I believe that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.)
  • Smiles - "I can't stand a girl who won't crack a smile on a date"
  • Contributes to Conversation - What did I tell you about the talking thing, eh?
  • Girl who knows what she wants - make suggestions, agree to what we present enthusiastically if that's what you want. Don't just agree to what we suggest to make us happy. We'll see right through it.
  • Girl who doesn't girl who doesn't blush when you mention a TV show, movie, etc. - Just keepin it real
  • Initiates topics of conversation other than "how many siblings do you have" or "where did you go to yeshiva in israel"? - a little depth never hurt anyone
  • Competitive when you go for pool, ping pong, etc and doesnt feel like she has no shot just because she's the girl - we can handle being beat by a girl. We think. We hope.
  • Good taste in music - Yeshiva Boys Choir fans need not apply
  • She offers you gum - rules are made to be broken. Well, that one, anyway


  • Friendly/Down-to-earth - Girls like smiles, too.
  • Shows that he's listening - We like when you ask questions about what you heard, and seem interested in what we have to say.
  • Nice to the cashier/waitress, etc. - The way you treat them reflects on how you might treat us in the future (if there is one)
  • Deep/Mature - Jewish geography won't get you to the chuppah; we like to see a thinking process behind all that magic
  • Not cheap - You don't have to order the most expensive thing on the menu, but don't make us feel guilty for ordering something other than dessert
  • Prepared - Mapquest or GPS always makes a good impression; have a destination in mind. Better yet, a reservation if necessary. Know the nature of the date beforehand, casual or formal - nobody enjoys Starbucks in their Shabbos suits.

What are yours?


At 8/10/2008 6:49 PM, Anonymous big bro #2 said...

Here's the problem with a list like this - say a guy reads it and decides to follow everything on it. So he puts on a big show and you think he's the greatest thing since sliced bagels.

Doesn't mean he'll make a good husband. So he says thank you to the waiter. Wow. He could still be a nutcase.

Point is, none of these are make-or-break issues, IMHO. These don't give you the essence of the person. Perhaps his talking about himself -- which you say is a big no-no -- will give you a better idea of what he's all about.

And if he messes up, so what. People are not perfect.

As our great-aunt says, "If you're looking for chisronim, you'll find them."

At 8/11/2008 10:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

big bro, I agree that anyone can "put on a show", but there are still some basic manners with which any guy or girl would like to be treated on a date. Of course I'm interested in seeing the traits that make someone a good husband, but I also expect to enjoy myself in a guy's company. If a guy treats the waitress/waiter badly, and, in turn, I feel like hiding under the table, I am NOT enjoying myself.

Also, you say "so he says thank you to the waiter. Wow. He could still be a nutcase" -- Maybe if you made your decision based on that - then, yes, you could be marrying a nutcase. But assuming you get to know someone for an extended period of time (and see him in other situations besides restaurants and talking to waiters), I think you can expect to see what he is really about.

At 8/11/2008 2:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

(I'm male)

-- Smiling is nice, laughing is even better

-- I also enjoy energetic (not overpowering and not arrogant and not full of herself), just sweetly bubbly

At 8/13/2008 6:12 PM, Blogger syr613 said...

note on big bro #2, If a girl likes the things you do it doesn't mean she is going to marry you. it just means she gets the feeling that your an all around nice guy. Your good manners and easy going style may guarantee another date. Rude behavior and being self centered will result in a dump.

At 8/17/2008 11:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Turn ons for what guys think of girls: non-comformity---don't just wear the same old black skirt with a white shirt like every single frum girl wears on a date, show some funk.

Lay off the makeup a little bit

At 8/18/2008 6:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Girls don't either like braggart guys.

At 8/18/2008 7:41 AM, Blogger G said...

Well done.

--reminds me of something a wise person once said about this in general..."the ladies need to take it a little less seriously, the guys need to take it a little more seriously"

At 8/18/2008 12:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon11:04 -- Have you EVER been on a date? Which girl in the world would wear a black skirt with a white shirt?! Yeesh... I've seen conformity, but that ain't it.

At 8/18/2008 2:03 PM, Blogger M said...

Big bro #2- That would be chisronos. ;)

Michelle- you really wana hear what *I* like? :)

Mindy's specific list: (we'll keep it short)

Takes life seriously
Works on his interpersonal relationships
Wants to make the best out of himself
Strong minded and independent

Hmm... Did I cover the basics without sounding picky? Check. For more details check email.

At 8/18/2008 2:42 PM, Anonymous big bro #2 said...


I know it's "chisronos." I was quoting Michelle's great-aunt exactly how she said it - chisronim. But of course, no one has the nerve to correct her.

At 8/18/2008 2:54 PM, Blogger M said...

Big bro- it was supposed to be ironic. Just in case you didn't notice.

At 8/23/2008 9:10 PM, Blogger lost and not yet found said...

While this list may be used as a guideline, I don't think people can use it a magic formula to make every date go perfect. People (and preferences) are just too different to list.

At 8/26/2008 10:47 AM, Anonymous need.opinion said...

What do you think of a guy who tells a girl to leave her pocketbook in his car during the date?

At 8/27/2008 6:59 AM, Blogger halfshared said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 8/27/2008 10:09 AM, Blogger Kaila said...

i think this is more of a question of proper dating etiquette. which the guys are never taught. so the rules shouldn't apply to the girls, either, cause the guys won't recognize it as proper anyway.

the big rule about dating is to be yourself. if you can't be yourself with the other person after a few dates, you should think seriously about whether there is the possibility for a relationship there. (obviously some take longer to be comfortable with a stranger.)

At 8/27/2008 7:07 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

need.opinion- why would you wanna do that?
I mean, I know some young women who follow some imaginary rule about not bringing a pocketbook along.
but why would you object to her bringing it in wherever you go?

If you'd just gently suggest it, I'd think you just don't want me shlepping my dainty handbag around, but if you insist, I'd think you're a little crazy.

At 9/27/2008 11:00 PM, Anonymous frumsatire said...

I think its awesome when the girl calls you to initiate conversation or even picks a place to go. I don't really like the whole chivalry thing.

I also think its super cool when the girl pays and the guy lets her- it shows confidence on both sides.

At 10/05/2008 3:39 PM, Blogger Mindy 2 said...


At 11/04/2008 5:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

guys who talk too much are annoying to.
we girls get annoyed when guys monopolize the conversation and talk way too much about themselves.

its also annoying when guys show up unprepared on dates.

At 11/06/2008 2:03 PM, Blogger EsPes said...

"Competitive when you go for pool, ping pong, etc and doesnt feel like she has no shot just because she's the girl - we can handle being beat by a girl. We think. We hope."

ive gone on a few dates where we shot pool, went bowling or played basketball at an arcade- and the guys SUCKED. i totally could have beat them every single time- but i faked it and let them win. but why would they CHOOSE to play games that theyre bad at? (and they werent just trying to let me win- it was pretty obvious)


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