10 Ways I Know Your Boyfriend Is Terrible

As a big brother I see men through two distinctly different lenses and evaluate them by two different criteria. First as a man, I know what we’re like so I know what we can and will do, for good and for ill. Unfortunately, there’s lots of ill. And secondly, as a big brother to a little sister, my opinions are formed by my expectations that men treat women a certain way, respectfully. This general big brother quality means my gay male and female friends often ask for my advice on men, they know it’ll be honest and comes with a certain big brotherly affection and sense of protection.

I usually speak pretty frankly, so be it. If you wanna pretend like a wolf wearing a lambskin coat is a sheep, then go right ahead, but I have to call bullshit. And I’m not talking about calling out things like the fact a guy won’t commit, that’s a whole different set of problems. I’m talking about the problems couples face in committed relationships. Over the years, I’ve listened to what folks tell me and for all those out there who don’t have a big brother to say things plain as day, here are ten ways I know your boyfriend is a waste of testicles. What you decide to do about that is entirely up to you.

1. He ONLY takes selfies or pictures of his food

This may seem like a cheap or superficial judgment call. And it is. There are many deeper ways to evaluate a guy. Lots of guys do both, so this one is a matter of degrees. Yet this level of self-absorption is always very telling. If the only reason your guy feels compelled to take out his phone and snap an Instagram pic is to capture a selfie or freeze a memory of some food that will also soon become him, that’s a red flag. Unless narcissism turns you on, just know this dude is always gonna be number one and two in his world. You may be the lucky one who gets to be number three.

2.  He has a “little coke problem”

Yes. Well, who hasn’t had a- Wait, a lot of people. Maybe this is more prevalent in cities like New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, but I’ve been around drugs my whole adult life. I’ve seen just about every combination ingested, huffed, slammed, smoked or snorted and I can tell you, a guy with a “little coke problem” is 9 times out of 10 a raging douchebag. And when it comes to drugs, either you’re the type who keeps their head and handles their drugs recreationally. Or you the type who’s likely to fuck up your life kinda slowly at first, and then quickly, until you ruin everything near you. If you say a “little coke problem” then you don’t understand the word “problem” or the term “coke.” It’s not like  being a meth-head is a better option, and heroin junkies aren’t gonna win any popularity contests anytime soon, but cokeheads are usually the sort of guys who will trick you since they can be very successful, they often have a good job, active social life, they’re fun on the weekends, and they have a “little coke problem.” Most times, the rest of those things will go away, and he’ll soon be the guy with just a coke problem. Try dating someone who doesn’t even drink Coca Cola (unless it’s Mexican Coke), you’ll probably be happier.

3. He dresses way better than you

A fashionable man is one we should all admire and, when appropriate, applaud him. He is a rarity amongst his species. Most men couldn’t dress fashionably if they spent the day in Justin Timberlake’s walk-in closet and happened to be the same size as JT. Most guys. But then there’s this hybrid, he’s an imitator so he’s hard to detect. You can usually spot them if you look for a guy with male peacock syndrome. It’s a flagrant warning sign. I don’t just mean those jag-offs in Ed Hardy. They prove the time-honored fashion advice that dragons are a tough look to pull off. Really have to pick your dragons well. But yes, those Ed Hardy bros suffer a form of the male peacock syndrome. They’re motivated by the same question: Hey- Who doesn’t like attention? Don’t get me wrong, men should dress well. Men should be comfortable being highly fashionable. The ones I’m referring to are the guys who make looking good they’re job. Male peacocks evolved such a bright plumage because when you get up close to one and look, a male peacock is an ugly bird even to female peacocks (although no study has proven this). The males compensate for their general unattractiveness with their brilliant iridescent feathers. Beware the human male peacock, often he’s compensating for a lack of personality and/or integrity.

4. He talks you up and down like a con man

When I was a boy I thought con men were fascinating. I studied them the way other boys tend to study magicians. To me, hustlers and grifters were social magicians. Watch me make this money disappear… Poof! But I was just a boy. When the main man in your life talks like a con man you got real trouble. “Talking someone up and down”, is how a person makes you feel good about yourself with compliments, usually very thoughtful and considerate ones, but an almost equal amount of the time, he says things to belittle you, rejects things that matter to you, mocks your views and the stories you tell, looks down on the friends you have, and doesn’t really value the experiences you share, he maintains an aloof quality, as it feels like at least half of what you offer doesn’t measure up. This triggers a deep psychological cycle. It creates a similar response as gambling, and like a gambling addict, uncertain which response you’ll get, you compulsively keep playing with the hopes this next time you’ll win. Some guys do this naturally and some guys learned to keep a woman enthralled within this gambling cycle. Beware the man who talks you up and down.

5. He listens to bullshit music

I’m not saying everyone should like similar songs or artists. God forbid we live in that world. Just because I like Waylon Jennings I don’t expect anyone else to like him. In fact, I expect most of you probably don’t like Waylon. That’s cool. It’s still good music. I bet we’d agree Otis Redding was the real deal soul machine. It’s like that. That’s how taste works. But we all know there’s some real bullshit music out there. Creed, anyone? If you’re driving around with your guy and you’re embarrassed, or worse yet, you’re annoyed by his terrible taste in music, and especially if you hope he never brings up music when he’s talking with your friends or coworkers, all I can say is- music speaks to the soul- that’s why music taste matters to passionate fuckers like me and Nick Hornby. Eyes may be the windows to the soul. Music is its language.

6. He cheats on you

You would think this one is a no-brainer… but sadly, it’s not. I know far too many people who stay with guys who cheat (and often continue to cheat) on them. Or they get into relationships with guys they know are habitual cheaters. Yes, we all know people can change. It’s unlikely, but it happens. And maybe you’re in an open relationship, and in that case, that’s not cheating. But keep in mind there are lots of men who don’t cheat. You could be with one of them. Cheating is indicative of an attitude that pervades a relationship. Are you surprised when a habitual cheater treats you poorly? That’s like being surprised that rotten fish makes your place stink. What does a cheater have to do to prove you don’t matter as much to them as they matter? Imagine, instead of saying, “he cheated on me,“ you said to someone, “I woke up and he was standing over me in bed urinating on me.” If you told someone that, would that obvious lack of caring be more easily understandable? Maybe you like that sort of drama, if that’s the case, so be it. There are cultures where that’s the unspoken norm. For anyone who wants to be loved and respected, habitual cheating is obscenely obvious proof your partner is unwilling or incapable of providing that same level of caring.

7. I want to punch him

Okay. Obviously, no man should wish or visit violence on another man unless absolutely necessary. I don’t condone quickness to violence. But there are some men who trigger this instinct- it’s deeply buried but active- and it makes you experience this hairy savage desire to punch the guy who triggers that instinct. It’s a caveman response. Presumably it had an evolutionary benefit. I really don’t know. It feels like it’s triggered by the micro-muscles of their face. Whatever it is, there’s a subliminal trigger for this sort of cro-magnon response to guys who are untrustworthy. If he’s the kind of guy that other guys just instinctively want to punch, keep in mind, instinctive reactions are rarely wrong.

8. You don’t see it… others do, they point it out, and you still don’t see it

The worst thing that can happen to a woman who dates a douchebag is when she doesn’t see it. The most successful douchabags often recognized it early on, back when they were young douchebags. This means they’ve had years to learn to cover up every trace of who they are. It only slips out under times of extreme stress or when they finally get what they want, namely you, and then over time, they grow lazy and let down their carefully crafted façade but by then it’s often too late. This can be a terrible moment of realization if you’re married and/or pregnant with his child.

9. He uses money the way others use talent, charm, intelligence, beauty or wit

Lacking a likable personality he makes up for it with extravagance and the buzz and swirl of excitement that he keeps around him at all times and funds with the lucrative position he holds in life. He’s the guy who begs the question: How different would he be as a person if he worked as the night manager at Denny’s? Some people wouldn’t change much because they have something like talent, charm, intelligence, beauty or wit. Regardless of their job, or position in life, they remain cool and/or interesting people. If tragedy befell them and they lost their fortune they’d be fun guys to be with as they earned another fortune. Others guys just have money. Few people ever believe it until they know it for themselves but money gets boring. And if you marry for money, you earn every cent.

10. He’s a liar!

A liar is unlikable anywhere he goes. But if he’s your partner, you’re setting yourself up to inherit the wind. The truth is a gift. Sure, you can gift wrap it and be considerate of those you love and respect when you give them your truth. But if your guy deprives and denies you his truth, then he’s a hard-hearted man and should be avoided for he is cruel. It’s an act of cruelty to deprive someone you love. It doesn’t matter whether it’s time, attention, laughter, joy, orgasms or the truth. It’s cruel. Be wary of any man who deprives you any of these… but perhaps most importantly if he denies you his truth because it’s very difficult to enjoy the others without trust.

I think most of what I just said you already knew. You know some guys are wastes of testicles. And you know you deserve one who treats you right. But if he exhibits these behaviors, ditch the guy who treats you badly, and clear some space for a better man.

Or maybe I just listen to too much country and soul music, and consequently, I have certain expectations for how men treat women. Guess you ought consider this one man’s opinion. It’s certainly not gospel. It’s your love and your life. Do with them what you will. Good luck, for the heart is surely irrational and it must learn at its own pace. TC mark

image – James Sheriff

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