The other night a girl friend of mine called complaining her boyfriend said he’d call at 9:30pm, but it’s half past 10 and he hadn’t called yet. A co-worker reports to me that her brother always forgets Mother’s Day, and he put his name on the present she bought. These are two very classic examples of behaviors that some guys do that drive women up the wall—not calling when they say they’ll call (according to Michelle K.) and forgetfulness (according to Jenny K.).

Every woman has different tolerance levels for obnoxiousness, cockiness and all things that drive them outright crazy! I asked roughly two dozen girls, “What are things that guys do that drive you nuts.” You may be surprised by some of the 15 things that made the list.

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to bash on guys. Some of the thoughts and gripes are specific to the individual woman and are not meant to stereotype men (or women, for that matter).

15 Things that Guys Do that Drive Women Nuts


1) Breaking a promise. Be realistic with what you can and can’t deliver on, and don’t make a promise you can’t keep. No one likes it when expectations are high just to later be let down by another. And while we’re on the topic of breaking promises, don’t wait to break plans till the very last minute. According to Rachel L., the sooner her guy cancels, the more understanding she’ll be towards the situation.

2) Hanging out alone with a woman who’s not a family member. Let’s face it, at one point or another you had a crush on your girl best friend or vice versa. It’s no wonder that some women have problems believing that men and women can just be platonic friends. Andrea H. says, “You cannot have a strictly, 100% platonic close relationship with a member of the opposite sex, especially if that person is in any way sexy.”

3) Not letting us into your world. Do you have more “guys’ nights” than group outings that include you and your buddies’ significant others? Did you forget to invite your girlfriend to a family party? If you’re serious about your gal, it’s important to include her in your world thus showing that she is also one of your priorities. “If I’m important to him, I’d think he’d want me to be part of everything else in his life that’s important,” proclaims Veronica T.

4) Non-responsiveness to messages. Whether it’s a text message, voicemail or email, men can tend to take awhile to respond. Katie K. retorts, “Least they could do is acknowledge that they received the message.” And she’s absolutely right; men don’t have to answer or engage in a long winded conversation if they’re not ready or up for it. Simply acknowledging the receipt of the messages and mentioning you’ll get back to us later is usually enough for the time being.

5) Poor gift giving. We know that guys mean well when they pick out a gift, and we should realize it’s the thought that counts. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Jeannette H.’s husband never gets her the right size and they’ve been married for years. “Not only does it [article of clothing] usually not fit, I have to log the transaction in the checkbook.” Oh, dear! Take note, guys, if you have a joint account and you don’t want your significant other to know how much you spent, use a credit card that you take are of or take out cash instead. And in terms of buying the wrong size, if you don’t know her exact size, stay clear from purchasing clothes.

6) Giving us unsolicited advice. Ever been in a situation when a girl just rambled on for three minutes straight without flinching. She doesn’t ask for your opinion at the end of the three minutes, and yet, you still give your unsolicited advice. Wrong move. Sometimes girls talk just to vent. Helpful hint: your role in this type of situation is just to listen.


7) Long, unkempt hair. It’s one thing to intentionally grow your hair for fashion’s sake (newsflash though, ponytails are so passé), but it’s quite another to procrastinate on getting a haircut. According to Patty Z., guys should remember to upkeep their hair because it’s not attractive to see a guy with long hair that is three months past needing a haircut. (Buzz cuts and shorter haircuts are also exception to this, usually.)

8) Dirty fingernails, longer than mine. If you think you’re going to touch us with dirty, long fingernails, think again! “Dirty fingernails gross me out, it tells me you don’t care about appearances and hygiene,” exclaims Cathy M. Consider trimming your nails every week and a half (or more as needed) and clean the gunk underneath them. You’ll appear more put together and maybe she’ll be more willing to have those fingers in her mouth.


9) Not putting the toilet seat down. Just because your father, and his father and his father’s father didn’t put the toilet seat down, doesn’t mean it’s an age long tradition that needs to be followed. Do your part and put the toilet seat down for your mother, sister, and significant other suggests Jenny K. (If you live with a house full of guys, then please ignore.)

10) Doing everything last minute. Christmas shopping, walking the dog, throwing out the trash and even solidifying plans for the next trip or outing—guys tend to wait last minute to get these things done. Sara S. blows her top when her boyfriend can’t commit to plans two weeks in advance. Is it more appealing to wait to the very last minute? Chances are you’ll enjoy the task even more if you don’t rush through it.

11) Throwing things at you and expecting you to catch it. Ever notice that most guys like to throw things and expect you to catch them? From keys, books and everything not meant for throwing, Alissa V. says, “It’s annoying because I can’t catch and if I don’t catch it they’re [guys] always like, ‘OMG, you didn’t catch it, what!’.” (Side note: wonder if there’s a correlation between the guys who like throwing objects and a fondness or ability to play sports.)

12) Talk during and make fun of my favorite TV show(s). “A friend of mine would make faces and mimic the characters of my fave show while it was on, and it bugged me cause I was seriously trying to watch,” laments Maria S. We won’t bother you when your favorite team is playing and the score is tied in the ninth inning, with two outs, four balls and two strikes, and in return we’d like peace and quiet during our TV shows. Kapish?

13) Tuning out when someone’s speaking. Women understand that men get distracted easily, says Alissa V., but it’s bothersome when we’re talking and trying to get a point across all the while your eyes are glazed over and you’ve tuned us out. This might be one thing that guys do that we have to chalk up to an innate, DNA kind of thing. We’ll deal.

14) When they think you’re a bad driver. Melissa C. dislikes that guys automatically think she’s a bad driver just cause she’s a girl. It’s as if they think we’re going to get in an accident or scratch the car, she retorts. Gender has nothing to do with one’s ability or inability to drive. Hello, Danica Patrick is a kick ass driver and that’s indisputable.

15) Leaving their belongings everywhere. There are definitely neat and tidy guys out there, but some seem to lack the clean gene. Marissa L. offers an example, “…if we went out shopping they would bring their bags home and just leave it there for days, weeks and even months…still in the bag!” Frustrating as that’s clutter in your home you don’t want.

Stay tuned for a follow-up article on 15 things that guys do that drive women wild.

photography by Kelly Hau Photography


12 Responses to “15 Things that Guys Do that Drive Women Nuts”

  1. Nick on September 12th, 2008 4:25 pm

    i liked in #12, the reference to not bothering us when the count is 4-2. just so u know, once the batter receives four balls in a plate appearance he has drawn a walk (so the PA is over and the count has become irrelevant); i believe you meant to say three balls and two strikes (that would be a full count, and the next pitch being the payoff pitch so to speak).
    and in reference to throwing things, is it ok to throw something if we don’t cap on the girl if she drops it? what if when she drops it, it’s no big deal? b/c i think a big reason for throwing things is simply for efficiency’s sake.

  2. Stacey on September 12th, 2008 4:57 pm

    In relation to #11, my husband not only likes to throw things to me, but he also tries to make me throw things to him. He does this especially in the supermarket, and he knows that I don’t have great hand-eye coordination. What’s up with that?

  3. karmazon on September 13th, 2008 10:07 am

    Things women do that drive guys nuts:

    1. Make lists of requirements.

    2. Everything else

    Seriously, the list is typical female bullshit.

  4. LC on September 13th, 2008 12:27 pm

    You are so right about #9. That is my biggest pet peeve and I will live with my husband and two boys. They just dont get it! Thank god we moved into a house with 3 bathrooms so that I can have my own toilet! LOL.

  5. AH on September 13th, 2008 3:32 pm

    This is a typical list of petty inconveniences that women are somehow unable to get over. I’ve never seen a guy ask for a woman to leave the seat up, why do we have to put it down? Isn’t it anti feminist to think that women would be too squeamish to put a toilet seat down?

  6. DD on September 14th, 2008 12:24 am

    If I didn’t do all those things that are listed, my gf would be weirded out and find me creepy, then she’d think I was a serial killer with OCD and leave me.

    Point is, women can bitch and moan all they want about these things, but deep down, they love that we’re imperfect because it makes them feel superior.

  7. design on September 15th, 2008 4:42 am

    Not putting the toilet seat down? Really, you wouldn’t think this is a big deal, but my wife (over 15 years) just got on me about this yesterday. Makes me want to pee sitting down. Have I no pride?

  8. share-bare on September 15th, 2008 8:57 am

    nice article. i love readng your stuff!

    i personally wouldn’t mind #2 if i knew the chick. #3 is just invasion of space. guys need their qt w/their buddies. #7 can be hot at times. #10 i do all the time so i can’t hate on that. #11: if he throws it at me then i’ll throw it at him! i’m guity of #12 but worse – i once tried to initiate sex during a sunday football game and he didn’t want any =( NEVER will do that again! i do #13 and #15 all the time, too.

    umm, so i guess i can drive men nuts then, huh? or does this make me a dude?

  9. 15 Things that Guys Do that Drive Women Nuts | adam.riggins on September 24th, 2008 7:03 am

    [...] Read the rest [...]

  10. Nutso on October 6th, 2008 11:13 am

    women, arrggghh. i don’t think i could make a list that’s shorter than 100 w/things that they do that drive men nuts!

  11. B-Girl on March 20th, 2010 10:16 pm

    I totally don’t get the toilet seat thing. There should be nothing to fight over, the toilet has a lid, and it is there for a reason. Who wants to go in the bathroom and see the inside of the toilet bowl (possibly streaked and stained), or have something dropped on the counter bounce into the toilet?

    Hey Nutso – Women could easily come up with many more items than this list, we just know you guys have too short of an attention span to read anything that long.

    Karmazon – If you don’t want to hear “typical female bullshit”, then enjoy being alone or get with men. What is wrong with women wanting to be respected and have the things that make them different from men enjoyed and tolerated?

  12. tom murphy on September 6th, 2010 3:24 pm

    I don’t get the whole toilet seat thing either. My wife of 16yrs is the same way even when her son lived with us. I gottt a say that I do miss him living with us, because he was my back up. My god my wife is so stupid . Let’s get dogs when we are losing our jobs and our house . they always have to think that they are smarter than us. How retarded yeah I used that word

NOTE: We'd rather not moderate, but off-topic, blatantly inflammatory, or otherwise inappropriate comments may be removed. Let's add value. Thank you.