In the 20 short years that I’ve been on this planet, I’ve dated almost every type of douche bag in existence. Some gorgeous, some stupid, some heartbreakers, and some ridiculously clever. We’ve all been there. There’s this ridiculously attractive guy in your math class who you just can’t stop staring at. You flirt, you exchange numbers, you text, you hookup a few times, and suddenly you guys are a thing. Everything is great, until one day he stops answering your texts as frequently as he did before. Or maybe he just starts avoiding you, and you’re left wondering what could possibly have gone wrong. This guide, my dear reader, is for you. You simply need to learn how to spot the assholes before it’s too late. The first type of douche bag you should be on the lookout for is…
1. The guy who just ‘isn’t looking to date right now.’
HELLO?!? DO YOU COPY? He might as well come wrapped in caution tape with a sign taped to his forehead reading ‘Captain Asshole.’ I once dated a man named Thomas (names changed for protection) who would always tell me that he wasn’t ready for commitment just quite yet. This week just wasn’t the right one, yet. Well that week quickly turned into a month, which turned into several months, which turned into a year of constant hookups and half-assed dating. And what do you know, at the end of that year Thomas was just as unable to commit to me as he had been the year before. Don’t make the same mistake. If he ‘isn’t looking to date now,’ he isn’t looking to get to know you as an individual either. And that’s not something you can change, regardless of how awesome you are or how much effort you put into the relationship. Of course Thomas enjoyed all of the time and effort that I put towards him, but in the end I was honestly left with nothing more than empty excuses and a whole lot of pain. Which brings me to…
2. The guy who is incredibly into himself.
Again, sounds obvious, but often times that self-confidence comes across as remarkably sexy. I met a guy named Aaron at a summer job two years ago. We had a fun fling, and I didn’t expect anything out of it besides mutual respect and a casual friendship. Not only was Aaron rude and arrogant about the entire thing, but he also wouldn’t acknowledge my existence in the light of day. He didn’t even want me to tell anyone about it because it would have ‘ruined his chances with other girls!’ What a dick! Any guy who is obsessed with his reflection, both literally and figuratively, will never be able to pay any sort of attention to you.
3. The guy in recovery.
Formerly the guy who was incredibly into himself, currently the guy who admits that he has a few issues on his plate. Men in recovery are a lot more common than you’d think, and there’s something incredibly sexy about the angst and individualism that men in this category possess. I had a long and complicated relationship with a recovering alcoholic, which began long before I understood the complexity of the issue. Members of Alcoholics Anonymous are strongly encouraged to avoid relationships for a full year, due to the fact that being in a relationship distracts you from focusing on yourself. I knew that Ben was in AA, but I had no idea that he was advised against dating, and frankly I didn’t care. He was everything on my checklist. Fun, smart, incredibly attractive, great hookup.. I didn’t think that I had anything to lose. But Ben lied to me, time and time again. He would make promises that he could never keep, and he blew me off every single time that we had plans. Eventually I found out that he didn’t want commitment, or even anything casual, but I wish that I could have saved myself from the empty promises and the bullshit beforehand.
4. The guy you really don’t know that well.
As Ben once told me, ‘if you care about the entire campus potentially finding out in the morning,’ because at a school my size, absolutely everyone does, ‘don’t do it.’ Well, but actually, he was absolutely right. Howard was one of the most attractive men that I have ever seen. I met him on campus during our fall long weekend, and I thought that he was perfect. Tall, smart, extremely polite, charming, and impeccably well dressed. Unfortunately, two days later, not only did I find out that he was married, but he had also proposed to me and told me his elaborate plans for leaving his wife. Needless to say, there was not a follow up visit. Get to know the guy first. There’s always a lot more than meets the eye.
Good luck to you, dear reader. I hope that these reflections protect your heart and well-being. May your manhunt be forever bullshit free.