Cupid's Pulse Article: 5 Things That Drive Men AwayCupid's Pulse Article: 5 Things That Drive Men Away

By Christopher Brya

So you’re in a relationship. Congratulations! Now how do you keep that relationship? That’s one of the questions we got from 1,000 women, who wanted to know why men think the way they do, and what drives them away.

So we took those questions and got answers from 250,000 men about what turns them off of a relationship. The results, collected in our book WTF Are Men Thinking, bring you closer to understanding why he behaves in certain ways, and what could spell disaster for a relationship:

Related Link: How to Master Being In a Relationship


Most men told us that women that nag them drive them crazy.  Now let’s be honest: Sometimes men deserve a little nagging, but the difference between the helpful kind and the hurtful kind is all in the approach. Men said that if women would approach the situation at the right time (in the early evening is preferred) and with the right attitudes (to-the-point and light-hearted) that they would respond in a much more positive way.  This is good news:  Women really can get what they want and better results.  Most men don’t respond well to nagging now because they worry it will continue being the method that women will use.  And nobody likes that outcome.

Keep your past exploits to yourself

It might be tempting to talk about past flings with a new guy — how else are you supposed to get the dirt on him? But men really don’t want to hear about your ex, let alone what you did with that ex of yours.  They especially don’t want to play the comparison game.  As one man said to us, “This is don’t ask don’t tell.  If I don’t ask, don’t tell me.  But if I do, tread carefully.”  This is especially true of any physical conquests you may have had.  Men just don’t want to know and it’s in your best interest to keep it that way.

Related Link: 5 Ways to Stop Sabotaging Your Relationship

Being too clingy

Men told us that they adore women that are affectionate and really engage with them.  However, there is a fine line between being “into” the man you’re with and suddenly being everywhere with him.  The clingy factor is another major reason men cite for exiting a relationship.  Men want an independent and confident woman.  They like when you call and text, but sending 10 text messages and day or multiple e-mails or phone calls is a big signal to men that you aren’t comfortable being yourself.  As one man put it, “Don’t try to make a man love you but let him love you.  If he wants to, he will.  There is no way to make a person fall for you.”

Bringing your baggage into the relationship

Another element that drive men away also relates to exes: what baggage you bring to the relationship, and what you do with it.  Men know that you have a past and it doesn’t end with your previous relationship.  But the key is learning from previous significant others, and not assuming that every man is going to behave like your ex.

Controlling your man

Men were very clear in that they liked aggressive, confident women — women that were not afraid to ask men out or for their number.  But one thing that was mentioned over and over was that men did not appreciate in any way the feeling that you were trying to change them.  Men said to us that you need to accept them for who they are rather than who you WANT them to be.  They don’t want to be your project.  As one man told us, “Women are always looking to change you.  It’s like they’re saying, ‘We like you just the way you’re going to be when we’re done with you.’”

Christopher Brya is the co-author (with Miguel Almaraz) of WTF Are Men Thinking: 250,000 Reveal What Women REALLY Want to Know. He is founder of Solavista Research and has worked for 20 years in marketing research and user experience research for brands like Revlon and Motorola. He lives in Phoenix with his wife and two toddlers, and is one of those guys who buy wine based solely on the design of the label.