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Dating is difficult for everyone, but straight men face a unique challenge when it comes to finding the right person. They don’t want to ruin their chances before they even get them by coming across as “creepy” or off-putting. The fear of scaring off potential dates is paralyzing perfectly eligible single men.
Many men are worried about coming across as creepy, and they can let it impact how they interact with women. Sometimes the fear of coming across as creepy reduces the likelihood that single men would interact with women, romantically or otherwise.
Our dating experts work with singles to help them conquer their fears and insecurities.
Fortunately, when it comes to avoiding the creep factor, we have good recommendations for single men, to take away the fear as well as to avoid setting off alarms in the women they seek to woo. By avoiding key missteps and improving your habits, you can put fear aside and confidently find the woman of your dreams.
The first step to getting over the creep factor—or the fear of it— is to know what you might be doing wrong. By knowing and avoiding the key behaviors that send up red flags for the women you’re dating, you can not only stop coming across as creepy but also get rid of the fear of coming across that way.
Eye contact can be a major factor in the success or failure of a first date — or even a first conversation. Solid eye contact is a big indicator of interest and engagement, which helps not only keep things going but also draws the woman you’re talking to in, making her feel appreciated and listened to. As a bonus, maintaining good eye contact also makes you come across as more confident and trustworthy.
However, staring at a woman is off-putting. It can make it seem like you’re overly controlling or only interested in her physical appearance.
Too much eye contact makes women especially uncomfortable. When you stare at a woman you’re talking to, you may come across as aggressive, or potentially dangerous, or any number of other negative qualities.
Looking at the woman you’re interested in with long, unblinking focus will quickly set off alarms and red flags in her mind.
While “Persistence pays off” is a popular saying, refusing to take no for an answer can very quickly get you labeled a creep. Movies, TV shows, books, and popular culture generally like to portray women as playing hard to get, initially turning men down just to get them to come after women more. In reality, most women aren’t playing that sort of game.
So, assuming that the woman you’re pursuing isn’t playing hard to get, refusing to take no for an answer will set off alarms in a woman’s head. It suggests that you don’t respect the woman and that you’re not listening to her. It also suggests that in other situations you’ll act in a similar way.
Women don’t want to put themselves in a position of being vulnerable with a person who may not respect their “No” when it really counts.
Whether it’s paying for dinner, the decision to go on a date, or the response to asking for her phone number, if she says no, treat it as a no, and move on.
While some couples seem to delight in doing every little thing together, most adults have complex lives with a lot of different obligations, priorities, social ties, and engagements.
Especially early on in a relationship, you should demonstrate to the woman you’re interested in that you’re just as independent as she is. Clingy behaviors do the opposite of that: They make you come across as demanding, potentially insecure, and imply that you may not respect the full life your prospective partner has going on.
In the early excitement of the first few dates, it’s easy to get frustrated if the woman you’re keen on doesn’t answer her texts right away, has to postpone a date, or wants to mingle with some other people at a party you’re both attending. But rein it in. Clingy behaviors like demanding an instant reply make you look controlling, insecure, or codependent. Keep your expectations in check, and remember the woman you’re interested in probably has a lot going on.
Of course, most stalkers don’t actually think that they’re stalking someone. But online and in-person stalking has been on the rise, and women tend to experience stalking more often than men.
Online stalking, also known as cyberstalking, covers a lot of ground that you may have never thought about as being very threatening. If you hunt down your blind date online and scroll through all of her social media profiles looking for every little bit of information, it will definitely come across as creepy (even if it’s not technically a crime in most jurisdictions).
Even with the best intentions, it’s a good idea to avoid putting yourself in a situation where you might violate a woman’s boundaries. Wait for the woman you’re interested in to provide personal details like her address, social media accounts, and other private information. Digging up the information, and especially letting her know you dug up the information, is extremely off-putting and can even feel like a violation. Be patient!
Now that you know some of the key behaviors you should avoid, think about the ways you can improve your overall odds with the woman you’re interested in by taking on some good habits. These 5 habits will make you come across as more confident, and also keep you off the creepy-dar when it comes to women’s built-in defense systems.
A little self-awareness can go a long way toward helping you come across as more confident in your dating efforts. Pay attention to how your behavior affects the way that others perceive you. That will generally steer you toward better choices and outcomes in social settings.
Self-awareness exercises can build up your ability to evaluate and analyze your own behaviors. That’s a good starting point to help you reach your dating goal.
More specifically, pay attention to your eye contact and engagement in conversations with a woman you’re interested in. If you notice yourself ogling the beautiful woman across the table from you, take a moment to rein yourself in, glance away for a few seconds, and keep your facial expression polite. If you have to, remind yourself to move your gaze every few minutes to make sure you’re not staring.
As exciting as the rush of the first few dates can be, don’t let it go to your head. You and the woman you’re dating are strangers, and that means the boundaries between you need to be firm and respectful.
If the woman you’re dating says she doesn’t like a particular shortened version of her name, don’t use it. If she says she’s uncomfortable giving out her home or work address, respect that.
It may feel like you’ve known her all your life, but don’t get ahead of yourself. Focus on enjoying each step of the process and getting to know her at each stage in a way that is organic, fun, and low-pressure. In the first few dates, don’t picture how the relationship could be down the line. Instead, keep your attention on making the most of the present.
Give the woman you’re dating space, and know when to call it a day. If the woman you’re seeing doesn’t reply to the text you sent her within 48 hours, or if it’s been a week since you emailed and there’s no response, chances are good she’s just not that into you.
Of course, ghosting isn’t always super obvious, and it can be hard to know if a woman is just busy or if she isn’t interested but doesn’t know (or isn’t comfortable) with telling you directly.
If you’re not getting reasonably quick replies to your texts, calls, or emails, or you’re receiving vague, non-committal answers, it’s time to cut her loose and move onto the next person.
Don’t chase after a woman who isn’t interested. And never try to argue her into being more interested in you than she is: It’ll never work. Instead, focus on finding a woman who is interested.
The best conversations, the most exciting ones, are those in which both sides respond with understanding and interest. Listening to your date is a simple way to demonstrate interest and respect. Paying attention will also help you notice the clues that indicate her interest in you.
It can be intimidating if the woman you’re talking to brings up a topic you don’t know much about, but use that as an opportunity to ask questions. If your date has a career in a field you’re not familiar with, ask what got her interested in the field or what misconceptions people have about her career.
The important thing here is not just to listen and engage with the woman you’re speaking with, but to also be authentic. Don’t try to pretend you know everything about everything to avoid coming across as ignorant. Nobody knows everything! Your date will have a much better impression of you if you’re curious and interested in her than if you try to fake your knowledge about the topics she brings up.
Nobody is perfect, and nobody gets it right every time. But by committing to try to be better every day, you can become a better dating prospect and generally improve your life. While you’ll never be perfect, you can keep getting better and better.
It can be hard to figure out where you specifically need to improve. Especially when it comes to dating. Most of the time when things don’t work out the way you want, you may not be able to ask the other person what the issue was (at least, not without potentially making things worse).
This is where a knowledgeable dating coach can be a really big help. One-on-one sessions can contribute to a healthy dating attitude. That way you can tackle your bad habits and reinforce good ones to boost your confidence and improve your chances.
Nobody wants to be a creep, but it can be hard for some single men to figure out what they’re doing that’s making women turn away from them.
Fortunately, a few tweaks to your behavior can help you lower the red flags you may be raising and pick up more phone numbers and second dates. We’ve made some quick recommendations here, but if you want more specialized help, a dating coach can provide more meaningful and personalized support.
Single guys may worry about being seen as creepy, but as long as they listen to their dates and respect boundaries, there will be no reason to call men a creep.