The 40 Biggest Turn Offs In A Relationship You Should Avoid (2024)

This list of common turn-offs in a relationship will help keep yours strong.

If you’re inexperienced in a relationship, you might not realize that certain behaviors are likely to turn your partner off. 

In my role as a life coach, I am often giving people advice to strengthen their romantic relationships. 

That’s why I’m keen to share this guide with you.

So, let’s dive in. 

What Are Some Turn-Offs In A Relationship? 

This is a list of turn-offs, which generally happen once a guy and a girl have got together in a monogamous relationship. It’s a list of actions and personality traits which tend to develop after the first date, usually once a couple has been together for a long time. These are the actions which wear men and women down and ultimately can turn one person off enough for them to end the relationship. 

Turn Offs In A Relationship
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Turn-Offs List

This is a list of common turn-offs, but all men and women are unique. Some selections in this list might not matter to you. There’s every chance I’ve neglected to mention your biggest turn-off. Even so, I imagine this list will prove helpful to all guys and girls in a relationship.  

Turn-Offs In A Person

This first category of turn-off is based on actions that convey an unattractive personality. 

1. Neediness 

When we become too dependent on our partner’s affection, it communicates a lack of self-love and independence. It may also indicate that we don’t believe we deserve our partner, nor that we could attract anyone of a similar standard. That might sound romantic, but it’s typically a huge turn-off for most men and women. 

2. Rudeness 

A lack of manners towards your partner shows a lack of respect. But if you’re rude to other people, especially those close to your partner, this can be enough of a turn-off for someone to want to call it quits. 

3. Selfishness 

The point of being in a relationship is to work as a team to make each other’s lives better. If you’re only taking actions to improve your own life without considering your partner, that’s likely to be a huge point of contention in your relationship. 

4. Pessimism 

Vibes are infectious. So, if the person you’re dating is always looking on the dark side of life, that’s likely to have a negative impact on your mood. Optimism is a turn-on. Pessimism is a huge turn-off. 

5. Put-downs

If you’re the type of person to make your partner feel small, that’s an extreme form of pessimism, which could arguably extend into your emotional abuse. Men and women should both be looking for a partner who boosts their confidence, not making them feel worse about themselves. 

6. Poor Communication

It’s often said communication is one of the most important aspects of a relationship between a guy and girl. Poor communication could be defined as not explaining what you want out of the relationship. It might be not explaining it in an empathetic way. It could be an unwillingness to talk about how you’re feeling. Either way, it’s likely to annoy or turn off your partner over time. 

Related: Why Do Guys Stop Putting In Effort? 21 Reasons

7. A Short Temper

A short temper is a sign of emotional instability. If you have one, your partner is less likely to feel safe around you. Most likely, it has caused conflicts in the past and it will continue to do so until you address it.

8. Dishonesty

Trust is the bedrock of any relationship. If you’re caught lying to your partner about anything, it’s going to make it harder for them to trust you in future. 

9. Talking Trash About Exes

Talking trash about anyone behind their back will never make you look like an admirable person.

Talking trash about your ex is definitely going to make you look petty in front of your current partner. 

For starters, they’re going to wonder why you chose such a trash person to date. On top of that, they’ll get the impression you’ll be talking trash about them if you ever break up. Plus, if you’re constantly talking about your ex, that’s a clear sign you’re not truly over them. 

10. Not Making An Effort With Their Friends And Family 

Most guys and girls in a relationship want their partner to integrate well with their friends and family. If you’re not making an effort to do that, it communicates you’re not serious about a long-term future with this person.

11. Poor Social Acuity

If you’re the type of person always annoying or embarrassing your partner due to social blunders, it can become a huge turn-off over time. This communicates you have no emotional  intelligence, which could be a detriment to both of you in future.

12. Laziness

Laziness is a frustrating personality trait to deal with, particularly in a romantic relationship. If a guy or a girl has a lazy partner, that suggests they’ll be the ones doing most of the chores in family life. It also suggests that this partner has no desire to level up in life. 

13. Disrespect For Privacy

If your partner tells you a private story, you better keep it to yourself. If you’re caught telling private stories to a friend, that’s a great way to destroy all trust in that relationship.

Related: How Soon Is Too Soon To Move In – 21 Clear Signs

14. Jealousy

Jealousy is a pain in the butt to deal with. Nobody wants to waste time defending themselves when they did nothing wrong. Worse yet, the jealous person comes across as insecure and unable to control their feelings.  

15. Putting Other People First

Most guys and girls want to date someone who puts them first. If you always put yourself first, that’s one thing. If you spend more time helping out a guy or girl who isn’t your partner, that’s a different story. It’s a new level of disrespect that’ll often inspire your partner to pull out of your relationship. 

16. A Lack Of Authenticity 

Intimacy is about showing your partner the real you, without any masks or filters. If you’re not brave enough to do that, it communicates a lack of self-confidence, which can be a big turn-off to both sexes.

17. Immaturity

A bit of fun immaturity can be a relief for your partner in this stressful world. If you’re acting immature all the time – especially when the moment calls for seriousness – that can be a massive turn-off.

18. Mismatched Sex Drives

Sex is a big part of most relationships. Of course, guys and girls want to feel sexually desired by their partner. So, when a couple has mismatched sex drive, the one with a higher sex drive can often feel rejected and unfulfilled. That can be a big turn-off – and is certainly an issue to talk about in your relationship.

19. A Mismatched Thirst For Adventure

If one half of the couple wants to enjoy new experiences all the time, they are likely to be turned off by a partner who always wants to stay home and do nothing. 

20. Cheating 

Cheating is the ultimate act of disrespect in a relationship. If your partner discovers you slept with other men or other women, there’s every chance they’re going to be sickened by your presence. That’s presuming they have an ounce of self-respect. There’s never a valid excuse for cheating. 

Turn-Offs For Men

This next category is populated with actions that specifically turn off most men. Sure, there are some women that may be turned off by these actions, but they’re most well known for putting off men.

21. Nagging

Most men strive for peace in their relationship. Few are interested in dating women who make their lives more stressful.

Yes, it’s important for women to talk about things that bother them about their partner’s behavior. But there’s a right and wrong way to go about it. So, if you’re a woman who wants to enjoy a long and harmonious relationship, it’s worth learning how to make your feelings known in a pleasant way. 

You may also want to learn how to forget about the little things that don’t actually matter.  

22. Clinginess

Clinginess is always wanting to be in someone’s presence, giving them barely any alone time. It shows neediness and it’s particularly annoying for guys. Most men like to spend some quality time away from their partner. Few are interested in a woman who makes this difficult for them.   

23. Promiscuous Behavior

Yes, it’s a double standard. Men are often championed for having sex with lots of people, while women are shamed. But the fact remains that most men don’t want to hear that their woman has a high body count. 

It’s also true that men feel disrespected when their woman decides to behave like a hussie, whether that’s on their Instagram stories or in the club. Men prefer you hide your sexual side until behind closed doors with them. 

Honestly, if you’re a woman who’s been promiscuous in the past, it’s best not to admit it, especially if you suspect your boyfriend hasn’t been with a lot of other women. A lot of guys can grow to feel insecure about having less sexual experience than their partner. 

24. Talking Too Much

As previously mentioned, men value peace. A lot of guys can’t stand a woman who’s unable to sit in silence for more than a minute or two.  

25. A Lack Of Effort In Bed

Men want to feel sexually desired by their woman. They certainly don’t want to feel like it’s a favor she’s doing for them. But that is how you make them feel if you don’t show enough enthusiasm in the bedroom.

Turn-offs For Women

Now, let’s explore some of the turn-offs that are particularly annoying to most women.

26. A Lack Of Ambition 

Yes, we live in a world where plenty of women are building amazing careers and making tons of money. But, it’s still true that most women want their partner to play a breadwinner role in their relationship. At the very least, they’d like their guy to have the ambition to be doing better in life. Men who don’t have this ambition are looked down upon by their partners. 

27. Cowardice

It’s a huge turn-on for women to feel protected in the presence of their boyfriend or husband. In fact, most women expect this from their guy.  

As such, it can be a huge turn-off for their man to show any act of cowardice. This communicates that she’s probably going to have to fight for herself if serious danger ever presents itself. Even something as small as submissive body language can be enough to turn women off. 

28. Selfishness In Bed

Most women need more time and attention than a typical guy to achieve an orgasm. If a woman ends up with a guy who doesn’t give her this, she’s going to feel unfulfilled. Worse yet, it often makes them feel like sex objects, instead of a partner who is loved and treasured.

29. A Bad Listener

Most women want to talk things through with their man, if they’ve had a bad day or they’ve got stuff on their mind. If it feels like their man isn’t listening to their stories, this can hurt their feelings.

30. Putting Their Hobbies First 

It might annoy both genders if their partner puts a hobby ahead of them, but it’s more stereotypical for men to do this and for women to be annoyed.

Physical Turn-Offs

Let’s round off the list by focusing on physical turn-offs.

Physical Turn-Offs
Photo By wayhomestudio On freepik

31. Putting On Weight

Perhaps it’s politically incorrect to say, but most men and women don’t want their partner to be overweight. As well as being visually unappealing, it’s solid evidence that this person is lazy, has no self-respect and is undisciplined.

32. Bad Hygiene

If you smell bad or you’re dirty, that’s one of the most universal turn-offs.

33. Body Hair Maintenance

Most men are put off by female body hair. 

Women may have body hair preferences for their partners too. The difference is: some women are turned off by guys who trim their body hair, while others don’t like it too much.

A lot of women love a beard, as long as it’s not an unkept one with food stuck in it. Grooming is key. 

Honestly, it’s best having a conversation about your partner’s preferences.     

34. Bad Fashion

Great style can dramatically improve your appearance. Meanwhile, if someone dresses badly, it communicates a lack of social knowledge and a lack of self-respect.

35. Long Dirty Nails

A huge turn-off for hygiene reasons, among other things.

36. Bad Habits

Bad habits like biting your nails, cracking your knuckles or picking your nose can be turn-offs, either because people find them annoying or disgusting. 

37. Dirty Clothes

This is arguably even more of a turn-off than bad clothes, because it’s unhygienic as well as embarrassing.

38. Smoking

Smoking can be a turn-off, due to the smell. The taste too, if you’re planning on kissing a smoker. There’s also the fact that second-hand smoke is bad for the health of everyone who consumes it.

39. Tattoos

Tattoos are polarising. Some love them, others hate them, while many people are indifferent. As you’re probably aware, your choice of tattoo plays an important role as far as where your partner will fall on this spectrum.

Ultimately, it’s your body and your choice. But, it’s probably smart to have a conversation with your partner before getting an image inked onto your body forever.  

40. Poor Stamina

Poor stamina might not just harm your bedroom experiences. It could make your everyday life less exciting too. No-one is excited to date someone who is too tired to go on a fun adventure.

For sure, people are more excited about dating an athletic lover than a couch potato with no stamina.  

Frequently Asked Questions About The Biggest Turn-Offs In Relationships

I want to round off the article with the answers to some frequently asked questions about relationship turn-offs.

What Are Your Turn-Offs Examples?

As mentioned earlier, everyone will have different turn-offs in their romantic relationships. The best way to avoid inadvertently turning off your partner is to communicate openly about what they like and don’t like. 

Biggest Turn-Off In A Relationship

Everyone will have a different opinion about the biggest romantic turn-off of all time.

With that said, a lot of the major turn-offs listed above stem from (or at least inadvertly communicate) a lack of respect for your partner. 

If you truly respected your partner, I imagine you’d put more effort into remaining pleasant, nagging less and staying in shape, for example. 

Maybe these aren’t malicious moves you’re making to consciously annoy your partner. Perhaps it’s a symptom of taking the relationship for granted. 

Either way, if pushed for an answer, I’d argue the biggest turn-off in a relationship is a lack of respect. 

Can A Relationship Really Last Forever?

It’s key to remember a romantic relationship will change as you both grow over time. 

Relationship Really Last Forever
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The butterflies of lust might disappear. That’s the reality of dating. But it’s no reason to panic, provided you stil have the deep love and respect that is crucial to a relationship.

These guides explore this idea further:

What Are The Stages Of A Healthy Relationship? 

Every relationship is different and will move at its own pace. With that said, I have written a guide detailing the key STAGES Of A Healthy Relationship that most couples should aim to experience. 

Any More Questions About The Biggest Turn-Offs In Relationships?

Thanks for reading my guide. I hope it helped you realize some mistakes you might be making in your relationship. 

If you have a question to ask, a turn-off to add to the list or a story to tell about your ex-partner, feel free to leave it in the comments.

It would be great to hear from you.

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About The Author

Bijan Kholghi is a certified life coach with the Milton Erickson Institute Heidelberg (Germany). He helps clients and couples reach breakthroughs in their lives by changing subconscious patterns. His solution-oriented approach is based on Systemic- and Hypnotherapy.