College Guys’ 9 Biggest Turnoffs

For collegiettes, there’s nothing worse than feeling like you’ve really hit it off with a guy… only to have him pull away or stop speaking to you for what seems like no reason. Or perhaps you have trouble getting guys to even approach you in the first place. We talked to 10 college guys to find out what their biggest turnoffs are when it comes to girls. Check out our guide below to see if you’re turning off possible boyfriends without even realizing it.

1. “Girls that are overly emotional. If they’re clingy, have mood swings often, or [get] upset easily, I can’t handle it.” ––Adam, Davidson College ‘13

Public freak-outs, blowing issues out of proportion, and crying often aren’t only red flags for guys, but they should be for you as well.

“When a girl is dissatisfied with a relationship, she's more moody. So, moodiness becomes a red flag, warning the guy that she's angry at him for something but is holding it in for now,” says Carol Lieberman, M.D., psychiatrist and author of Bad Girls: Why Men Love Them & How Good Girls Can Learn Their Secrets. “In other words, moodiness tells him to run for his life.”

If you find yourself feeling moody or emotional often in a relationship, you’re probably not that happy with it to begin with. Remember, your happiness should be your priority, and it’s important to look at your relationship in the “big picture” context, paying close attention to how it’s making you feel on a regular basis.

2. “If I don’t get the vibe that the girl is someone I could trust, I usually won’t pursue her. Trust and honesty are very important to me.” ––Lawrence, Georgetown University ‘14

This one may seem obvious, but you could be giving subtle hints that you’re not trustworthy without meaning to. Do you text other guys while out on dates? Or do you have a tendency to be flirtatious with other people while you’re out, even when you’re with someone you’re interested in? While there’s nothing wrong with a little mystery and playing the field, if a relationship is what you’re after, keep in mind the overall impression a guy is getting from you during your first interactions. “A girl can inadvertently show that she’s untrustworthy by hanging too closely around exes or by how much she cares about and respects her friends and family,” says Lieberman. Although it’s boys who tend to have a bad rap when it comes to trustworthiness, collegiettes can also be just as guilty of coming off as sketchy or dishonest, even if that’s not their intention.

3. “Girls who get way too drunk on a regular basis. When I see a beautiful girl acting sloppy and ridiculous, it’s a huge turnoff and, honestly, a disappointment.” ––Alex, Salisbury University ‘13

We’ve all known that one girl who can’t seem to control her alcohol consumption. While she’s great sober, once she reaches the point of no return, her “fun night out” turns into a drunken mess that often results in bad decisions and blackouts. Not only is this behavior dangerous for a number of reasons, but getting super sloppy certainly doesn’t help one’s chances with the opposite sex. Instead of having great conversations with quality guys, collegiettes who are too drunk too often just end up hanging off them and speaking incoherently—definitely not a charming way to become acquainted with someone.

Perhaps Dr. Lieberman sums up best why drinking heavily and attracting a good guy don’t mesh well: “Girls who binge drink around guys do so because they feel awkward and undesirable, but they are ultimately asking for trouble,” she says. “Guys who are attracted to girls who are drinking a lot are only out for one thing––and it's not a relationship!”

4. “I hate it when girls dumb themselves down. Smart really is sexy; that’s not just a saying.” ––Ryan, University of Maryland ‘13

We know you collegiettes have beauty and brains, so make sure you’re showing the intellectual side of you off to the gentlemen in your life! Being able to carry on an intelligent conversation with someone is a lot more appealing than you may realize, and it helps show potential partners just how much you have to offer.

“When a woman ‘serves’ a man by trying to downplay her intelligence, it's a turnoff,” explains Alison Chace, creator of relationship advice site Pink Wisdom. “However, when a woman expresses her desires clearly and allows the man to serve her pleasure, it's a turn-on for a guy.”

While some gals want to avoid coming off as too serious or intimidating, we have a feeling that more guys than just Ryan are attracted to girls who prove they’re more than just a pretty face. And if a guy isn’t into your intelligence? Odds are he’s not worth being into in the first place.

5. “[The] biggest turnoff for me has to be smoking cigarettes. Maybe if it's at a party or something that's fine, can't say I haven't done that, but if you're one of those girls going out for a smoke between classes—yuck.” ––Andy, San Francisco State University ’13

We hate to break it to you, collegiettes, but this is kind of a no-brainer. Not only is smoking harmful to your lungs and overall health, but it’s pretty much regarded as disgusting by the majority of the male population. Do your health (and your dating life) a favor and just don’t smoke. If you use smoking to relieve stress, try hitting the gym instead! A study completed by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America found that “aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem.” Not to mention it’s actually beneficial to your health, unlike smoking.

6. “Appearance is important. A big turnoff is girls who wear too much makeup or don't take care of themselves.” ––Matthew, University of the Sunshine Coast ‘16

Alright, collegiettes, we know when you hit the town on Fridays and Saturdays you look amazing, but what about the rest of the week? Unfortunately, the guys you meet at the bars are also the guys on campus Monday through Friday, and sweatpants four out of five days of the week are just not a good look. We know when you’re hungover or tired from studying it’s hard to find the time to worry about your appearance, but dressing nicely on campus can give you a valuable self-esteem boost as well!

Conversely, if you find yourself going heavy on the eyeliner even before the gym or reapplying your foundation every hour on the hour, it may be time for a makeup intervention. Not only do you want to avoid coming off like you’re trying too hard, you could be wearing too much makeup because you’re not comfortable enough in your own beautiful skin, and you should be! Don’t hide behind loads of makeup; let your natural beauty show through. That said, if you love wearing makeup for YOU, then don't stop just for a guy! The RIGHT guy will love you however you present yourself.  Looking your best starts with feeling your best, and there’s no denying that confidence has and will always be a gal’s best accessory.

7. “A girl’s gotta have class. No class, no shot.” ––Stephen, Salisbury University ‘13

There’s a reason women like Audrey Hepburn, Jackie O, and Grace Kelly are still such prevalent icons today (and we bet Ke$ha won’t be in 50 years). When a girl acts with poise and dignity, she can’t help but attract quality guys! However, in today’s world it’s difficult for classy collegiettes to hold to their standards without coming off as prudish or disinterested.

We talked to Kim Olver, author of the award-winning book Secrets of Happy Couples: Loving Yourself, Your Partner and Your Life. “The way a person dresses, the makeup she wears, table manners, and how she communicates all contribute to first impressions,” she says. “Guys will rarely turn down something easily accessible—but they may not want to be seen with you out in public afterwards.”

In other words, becoming mindful of the way you’re presenting yourself when you’re out at bars and social functions (yes, even after drinking) will help prevent potential partners from getting the wrong idea about you. Nothing wrong with a little flirting, though! “A guy has to know that there is at least a possibility of getting intimate in the future,” Olver adds.

8. “My biggest pet peeve is when a girl can’t hold her own around my friends. If she’s clinging to me the entire time or annoyed that all of my attention isn’t on her, that’s a huge red flag.” ––Paul, Montgomery College ‘14

Remember that no matter how much your guy likes you, he’s probably also very invested in his relationships with his roommates, teammates, and fraternity brothers. It’s important to be independent and show him that you can have a good time while letting him do his own thing when you’re in the same social situation.

“Becoming clingy may indicate your own level of security,” Olver says. “I would recommend that when in large groups you leave your guy to talk to other people and check back in from time to time.” Along with this, she also warns against taking this too far and talking to other guys with the intention of making your man jealous. “That’s never healthy for relationships,” she says

9. “If I can’t see myself being friends with her then I definitely can’t see myself wanting to date her. I like a girl that can be herself around me and isn’t afraid to show her sense of humor.” ––Chris, University of Pittsburgh ‘13

With what seems to be thousands of rules, tips, and tricks when it comes to approaching and conversing with guys, its no surprise a lot of girls freeze up for fear of doing something “wrong.” However, being yourself around guys not only keeps you from coming off as aloof or stand-offish, but shows them your true, brilliant, interesting, and hilarious self, and who would want to miss out on that? If your goal is to find a boyfriend, making sure you two are compatible in friendly conversation is the first step towards ensuring a healthy relationship.