Recently, an article was published on entitled “Five Ways to Turn Off A Guy.” After a flood of criticism, the article was taken down with a disclaimer and apology put in its place.

In the apology, Aish explained that the authors hadn’t explained themselves properly. I disagree, and I would like to explain why I think they were right on the money by going through their arguments one by one:

1) Don’t debate

To understand why this is correct, we need to distinguish between a discussion and a debate. A discussion is a friendly exchange of views and banter. It may include disagreement, but that is not required for what is effectively a pleasant talk. In a discussion, conversationalists let things slide and “don’t sweat the small stuff”.

debate by contrast is inherently adversarial, a contest in which there are winners and losers. People who debate are often unpleasant, overbearing and downright nasty. Even in the best of circumstances, debate forces one onto both the offense and defense and does not make for a pleasant experience.

Speaking for myself, I’m perfectly capable of debating and holding my own – but I’m not going on a date to debate and neither are most guys. We’re going to get to have a pleasant experience and get to know prospective wives. The idea of debating our entire life with someone isn’t necessarily emasculating – it’s just very annoying. I don’t need to date for debate – I have internet forums for that.

You don’t need to voice a contrary opinion on everything to prove you’re smart and capable; some of the most intelligent men I’ve known were also very humble – either because of religious attitude or because they had no need to prove themselves. If you really are “all that”, it will show, believe me.

2) Dressing Well

In a previous post, I mentioned how important it is to attract the other person. I also mentioned that guys and girls are attracted to different things.

Well, guys are primarily attracted to the visual. This applies to both hetero and homosexual men, so this is a biological not a gender identity issue. If you want to attract men and maintain that attraction, you need to invest in your appearance: clothes, hygiene and yes – figure.

But I can’t possibly compete with supermodels, you will argue.

I’ll tackle this in full in another post, but most guys aren’t aiming for supermodels and those who are are usually shooting way out of their league. Most women can attract most men if they put in the necessary effort – but it does require effort.

But why should I make such effort, it’s very hard? Why can’t he just accept me for who I am?

For the same reason you will never accept a “nice guy” who has all the right personality qualities for a good husband but with whom you don’t “feel anything” – attraction matters. What’s more, attraction cannot be shamed, socially forced or otherwise coerced. It either happens or it doesn’t.

You expect your guys to “man up” when it comes to manners, social status, religiosity (if that’s your thing), appearance and other aspects so you can find them attractive. We expect you to invest in your appearance (and personality, see below) and maintain it. Both attitudes are correct, both are very hard to accomplish, but both are worth the investment.

3) Overloading your profile – or why women’s formal credentials are less important in the dating world

Anger at this derives from a misunderstanding. When I (or any other guy) are dating you, we are interviewing you for the prospective job of wife, lover, mother to our children. If we were looking for a business partner or someone to hire for an executive position, your full CV would be very impressive. As we are not, your overemphasis on degrees is simply misplaced, kind of like a guy showing off his sporting skills for a computer job.

What we are looking for, far more than credentials, is personality. Everyone has their preferences, but I find this list of traits to be fairly universal. Again, you don’t need to be 100% of this list any more than you have to be a supermodel, but this is a good direction to aim towards.

What’s more, there is no necessary correlation between having a pleasant nurturing personality and being a doormat or a slave. You can be assertive, have a career yet still be nurturing and pleasant.