Let’s face it. When it comes to relationships, convincing a man to commit is usually harder than convincing a woman to commit—especially when we’re talking about marriage. To help explain why that is, I came up with six types of single women who—instead of encouraging guys to come closer—possess traits that encourage men to stay single. For those of you who identify with these types, I’ve included a few tips on how to change your ways—and attract that special someone you’ve been seeking.
1. The “Guy-Friend Girl”
You have friends of the opposite sex. There’s nothing wrong with that, except you may neglect opportunities to connect with other women. This is a red flag for men, because we identify the “guy-friend girl” as someone dependent on flirtation to maintain friendships. An inability to create genuine relationships with women indicates, to us, that you have an insatiable desire for attention from men—that you need them to boost your sense of self-worth. Why would a man even try to win over your affection, when attention from one man probably won’t be enough for you?
By bonding with women you can confide in, you’ll avoid being labeled this bachelorette type and free yourself from the endless cycle of petty flirtation.
2. The Intimidator
You may gain points for getting an MBA from Harvard, or for earning a six-figure salary. Sure, these show off your brain power and financial independence, but they may have also gone to your head. You’re uncompromising, and you lean towards forgiving yourself more than forgiving others. Don’t get me wrong: There’s no problem with having high standards for the man you want to marry. You, however, hold a degree in nitpicking and finding flaws. You tend to hide every ounce of vulnerability inside.
If you think you fit this bill, you may have missed the point of a lifelong partnership. Marriage is about two people growing together—not a woman owning a man. When men look for the one they want to marry, they aren’t searching for the thrill of capturing the domineering vixen who sneers at the simpletons daring to woo her.
Guys go for the girl who gives them the benefit of the doubt instead of instantly judging them. Sure, it’s fine to know what you want and to pat yourself on the back for your achievements. At the same time, you shouldn’t let your independence and success overinflate your ego.
3. The Materialist
How many handbags do you need? Let’s be honest: If you don’t comprehend the word “budget,” and if it takes hours for you to count your pairs of shoes, then you’re guaranteed to scare away any sensible bachelor. Your only hope? Players who want a trophy wife—or changing your perspective on life by concentrating on a new mantra: Living beyond your means is never cool. (Suze Orman can explain this better.)
We all want to enjoy the finer things in life, but hoisting your self-esteem onto a huge mound of credit-card debt is plain irresponsible. Sure, many men may like stylish women with refined taste, but overwhelming yourself with extravagance is a sure sign of an unfulfilled psyche and an unhealthy fixation on possessions.
4. The Family Downer
Sharing a round of laughs about your boyfriend’s quirky brother can be a bonding experience. On the other hand, flat-out criticizing or insulting a family member is a no-no. Call me what you will, but when it comes to commenting on my family, showing a little respect is a dating requirement.
Here’s how to keep your negative opinions about your potential in-laws at bay: Let him ridicule his family first. If he encourages you to join in, feel free to do so. Without this precursor, choose to vent your thoughts to someone who won’t divulge it to him.
5. The Clinger
Sure, sharing quality time with your partner should rank high on your list of fun activities. But craving too much couple time can make you look needy, and can even move your relationship into distress mode. Spending every second together goes beyond counterintuitive; it’s an indication of naivete. Even if you want the intimacy of constantly experiencing life together, it’s important to realize that constant coupledom is just a fantasy. You’ll never merge into one being, and you’ll both always be your own individual. Every happily married couple knows this well.
The “clinger” solution is simple: Understand that your mate has hobbies you don’t, and might never, have an affinity for—and vice versa. Fit in the occasional time away from each other. He’ll respect you for it. If you don’t, he might schedule a permanent break from you.
6. The Pet Fanatic
I have nothing against pets; in fact, I have a few of my own. Now that I’ve stated my disclaimer, let’s continue.
Caring for pets has been proven to enhance people’s lives, especially singles. Nevertheless, hoarding and obsessing over a dozen animals that turn your tiny apartment into a cesspool of fur and dander tells men that you’d rather hang out with pets than with humans.
Remember: No matter how many pets you have, they’re simply no substitute for the human interaction you crave. Yes, animals can help fill the void, but overindulging in pet ownership is the same as spraying yourself with man-repellant.
To help assess where you stand on this list of types, ask your friends for input. You’ll gain insight on how others view you—and on how to improve your chances of attracting a guy you can truly share your life with.