1. Be aware of dudes who can explain what they did, who can carefully extract their fault from the situation and pin it on you. They’re sorry that you were offended, you know. Maybe don’t be so offended next time. Yeesh, it’s always a thing with you.
2. Be aware of dudes who can flip it to you, who can counter problems and complaints with the same, and who choose to fight and battle with numbers and recollections because they’re planning to win an argument, not solve a problem.
3. Be aware of dudes who can speak so prettily about love that it gets them published, who can aw-shucks and explain and fluff words around their actions.
4. Be aware of dudes who give unsolicited advice about dudes because they’re so smart and they know what’s best for you. It’s a thing called mansplaining- have you heard of it? Okay, so basically-
5. Be aware of Aladdin, both the character and the movie, because that will hopefully remind you to watch Aladdin more, which, let’s be clear, is something we all should be doing.
6. Be aware of dudes who care about you, care so much they won’t let you go, who’ll paralyze you with what they call love, who’ll strangle and drag you in with cupcakes, triple-texts.
7. I feel like this goes without saying but beware of dudes who act angry about women in general, let alone you in specific.
8. Be aware of dudes who have, like, tons of crazy exes, but you – you’re not crazy, right? No, you’re great. You’re the best. You’d never flip out at them. Don’t ask why – don’t ask if they were justified, or what kind of guy he is, or if maybe he’s the crazy one who brings the crazy with him – just accept, nod, and sign that subtle contract to “keep it chill.”
9. Be aware of Skrillex because I feel like he was really big for a while and now nothing, right? Is he doing okay? Can one of you check?
10. Be aware of dudes who want to keep things “chill” indefinitely. You’re chill, right? Keep being chill. Be chill forever and ever. Let your heart and hopes freeze. Chill. Become frozen.
11. Be aware of dudes who know what’s best for you, who trade on the image of goodness or feminism or advice because image isn’t action, and a man dedicated to keeping up titles and image will be defensive to any slights against it.
12. Be aware of mysterious dudes who try to sell you a beautiful gem that carries a powerful curse, okay? It’s going to be a whole thing with them.
13. Be aware of dudes who will talk about dudes to beware like they aren’t a dude to beware of.
14. Be aware of dudes who will talk snarky about Straight White Men with the implicit hope that from a few tweets or sentences they’re exempt and special.
15. Be aware of dudes who are great, really, actually and honestly great, but are going through something. Going through something is fine and human, but beware dudes who will be going through it on you or on your time.
16. Be aware dudes who aren’t dudes but fit these descriptions because dudes is a generic phrase for people.
17. Be aware of the sort of dudes who were about to complain that this list was anti-men or that they specifically were cool, if any girls from the internet want to date based on comment sections.
18. Be aware of my friend Alden because he’s sincerely the best. He’s kind and tall and fun and a cook and nice, and is the sort of guy “nice guys” wish they were when talking about themselves. He’s dating someone now, but be aware that he exists, because this list is starting to bum me out.