These may seem like red flags, but we actually love them.
By Steph Auteri — Last updated on Jun 23, 2023
Photo: Alexa_Space / Shutterstock
The authors of Undateable — a compendium of 311 things men do, say or wear that renders them, well, undateable — interviewed “hundreds of smart, funny, normal women” in an effort to pin down the top red flags and deal breakers men can be guilty of.
Flipping through, however, we began to wonder if the average woman was rendering herself undateable simply by being so judgy.
Don’t get us wrong. The book is, indeed, filled with a number of unfortunate lifestyle choices that would definitely make us think twice before accepting a date. Wearing sunglasses indoors? They’re right. Larry David did say it best. (“You know who wears sunglasses inside? Blind people and a-holes.”)
And the use of the phrase “make love” totally makes us squirm. We also loathe “nasty guy talk”; the practice of rearranging one’s junk in public; and texting, emailing, or taking personal calls while on a date. But this book makes us long for that middle ground between settling for Mr. Good Enough and blindly rejecting anyone who’s not Mr. Perfect.
Some items we couldn’t believe made it into the book.
Here are 10 traits of “undateable” men that are actually very attractive:
1. Body piercings, multiple tattoos, and faux hawks
Some of us have a soft spot for this look. Lip ring? Super-sexy. The bottom line? Spray tans are never* OK, but judging wardrobe/facial hair/body modification choices is incredibly subjective.
2. Sleeping masks
This girl teases her husband for wearing a sleep mask (which she bought for him, by the way), but these things can be a godsend for couples who struggle with clashing sleep schedules. Likewise, wireless headphones are totally dorky but also totally useful.
3. Owning a cat
Some of us are sick to death of the cat lady stereotype. Cats are smooshy and adorable and owning one can be endearing, especially as it provides just a little bit of proof that the owner is capable of taking care of a living thing.
4. Playing Dungeons and Dragons and/or WoW
We thought that everyone had come to a sort of geek-is-chic consensus. Right…?
5. Owning spicy photos
While we don’t love staring at that Penthouse centerfold when we use his bathroom, we also don’t automatically think “perv” just because he enjoys risque photos. Sometimes, we enjoy it, too!
6. Preferring BYOB restaurants
BYOB restaurants are fun and thrifty! We suggest going to a wine, beer, or sake tasting beforehand, picking up your favorite bottle, and bringing it to dinner as a nice twist on the typical dinner date.
7. Being a serious singer
Hey! There are some of us here who find singing ability incredibly sexy. And in general, talent = impressive.
8. Having a stack of reading material next to the toilet
This is just one of the many items that caused this girl to do a double take, gasp, and exclaim, “But I do that, too!” Other items in this category: are road rage and Renaissance Faires.
9. Owning nunchucks
The book was filled with tons of items like these — things we couldn’t imagine would ever come up in real life. We appreciated the belly laughs, though.
10. Use of the phrase “cruisin’ for a bruisin'”
This one made us smile and think of Grease. Do people actually speak like this?
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Steph Auteri is a freelance writer and editor. She’s been featured in Playgirl, Time Out New York, American Curves, New York Press, Nerve, and other publications.