I’m a hopeless romantic. I hate to admit it, but I am. I’m really gullible, loving, vulnerable, naive, and too nice and forgiving for my own good – but only when I really like or want someone, which is precisely the problem. I often break my back to see the best in people, even when they’re hurting or pissing me off with impressive consistency. Chances are, many hopeless romantics are like this.
We want to believe in the good guy, even when he’s wearing a mask instead of a cape. We want to believe we’re loved and cared about, even when we’re treated like a shadow on the wall. We want happy endings and romantic gestures, even when all we’re getting is mixed signals and shitty treatment.
If any of this sounds familiar, you may be suffering from the “nice girl who doesn’t believe in assholes” syndrome. (That’s not actually a real syndrome, but let’s pretend it is for a minute.)
In case there’s any confusion, below is a relatively comprehensive list of hints and insights to help you determine if you’re wasting your precious time on an asshole who just might be cleverly disguised as the man of your dreams.
1 You cry a lot. You cry a whole freaking lot.
Listen. If someone is good for you, they’ll only make you cry a few times. (No one is perfect.) But if your life feels like an endless wasteland of tears and suffering, perhaps you should really examine your decision to continue giving your heart to someone who thinks it’s acceptable to throw it on the ground and step on it.
2. He doesn’t call or text when you’re apart.
He’s not that busy, and he definitely saw the text or heard his phone ringing. Non-assholes either text or call you back in a timely manner or give an honest reason as to why they can’t or won’t. Assholes don’t bother.
3. He wants something from you more than he wants you.
Maybe it’s sex, money, shelter, validation, attention, an ego boost, or all of the above. Unfortunately, wanting these things is not even remotely close to being the same as wanting you – no strings attached.
4. He’s barking up someone else’s tree while simultaneously trying to bark up yours.
Don’t even get me started.
5. He says and does the dumbest and most ridiculous shit ever.
Watch and listen closely, my friends.
6. He won’t introduce you to his family or friends, much less tell them you exist.
Red flag much?
7. He’s rude to service industry workers.
8. He’s rude to random individuals.
9. He’s rude to his loving and well-meaning parents.
10 He blames you for his fuck ups.
Grown-ass men take responsibility for their words and actions and are smart enough to know that no one can make them or “drive them” to say or do anything. Non-grown-ass men point fingers and turn everything around on you. The sad part is that most of them are extremely good at it. But just remember – you never owe anyone an apology for something THEY said or did. That ain’t got nothing to do with you, boo.
11. He makes you wonder how he really feels about you on a near daily basis.
If he loves you, he will make it glaringly obvious and crystal clear. Mixed signals are for losers.
12. He doesn’t like pets and thinks children are the spawn of Satan.
Look, I’m not a huge fan of children either, but I’ll gladly entertain and spend time with them and their blossoming little minds. I don’t treat them like they’re the plague, and I certainly don’t treat animals like they’re the plague. If someone has a serious, borderline psychotic aversion to innocent creatures such as these, he’s all kinds of bad news.
13. He won’t walk away from an argument until he feels he has won it.
Pardon me, sir. Your extraordinary ego is showing.
14. He wears pretentious clothing.
They say that sometimes you can just tell about a person. And while there is certainly nothing wrong with dressing to impress and having some quality fashion sense, I just can’t avoid feeling intimated and almost morally wronged by a person who’s willing to spend $800 on a leather jacket, has an extensive silk scarf collection, or wears designer sunglasses when the sun in nowhere to be found. So yes, sometimes you can just tell about a person.
15. He gives you his unsolicited opinion on literally everything.
16. Oh, he wasn’t insulting you. He was just giving you some tough love.
JUST KIDDING. If you feel insulted by a comment, he probably just insulted you. Don’t buy into the excuse of “tough love” or “an honest challenge.” That’s a pretty nice save though.
17. He tells little white lies.
Your mother was right when she said, “If he lies about the little things, he’ll lie about the big things.”
18. He makes everything about him.
You can’t talk to him, you can’t share your feelings, and you certainly can’t win. Not without him launching into a story or tangent that has nothing to do with what you’re trying to convey.
19. He speaks like a modern day Shakespeare, but never actually does anything.
Lovely words are lovely, but without lovely actions, they can get old and boring pretty fast.
20. He’s hot and cold (and yes and no, and in and out, and up and down).
You should know that he’s no good for you.
21. He rarely, if ever, shows true remorse or takes responsibility for his words and actions.
Ali MacGraw LIED. Love means always having to say you’re sorry – never hesitating to say you’re sorry. When you hurt someone you care about, you can’t bear the thought of not owning up to it and making it right. If he doesn’t do that, screw him. He’ll always live in a lonely world full of himself, his pride, and a bunch of cats (or big trucks…or guitars…or video games).