The other day my girlfriends and I were discussing some of their recent, more disastrous dates and how now, in their late twenties and early thirties, they have a much better bullshit detector than in their younger years. We got to talking about some of the first signs they saw of a boyfriend being bad news. If only there was a manual like this when I was young, free and single! I hope this saves lots of you lovely ladies a lot of time and heartache!
Ten dating warning signs
He’s rude to waiters
He’s all charm with you, but he’s sarcastic, patronising and rude to the person taking your order. It shows that he both thinks he’s above people and isn’t genuine. A genuinely nice person treats everybody equally nicely, not just those he deems to be on “his level”.
He bitches about his ex
A girlfriend of mine went on a date with a guy who referred to his ex as a “f**king bitch.” What had this terrible woman done to him? Well, she broke up with him. He disagreed. If he’s hanging on to resentment over being rejected by someone else, then he’s probably unreasonable, entitled and, by the sounds of it, misogynistic. Give him a miss.
He says something racist
Or homophobic, or xenophobic or just generally awful. Enough said.
He’s looking over his shoulder
Obviously checking out other women already? There’s nothing inherently wrong with a wandering eye, everyone looks, as long as he’s not acting on it, but if he’s not captivated by you on a first date then it doesn’t bode well for the future. Nobody expects their boyfriend to never notice other women, but certainly not during your honeymoon period!
One day he is dead set against something, the next day he’s doing it himself. In my teenage years I had a boyfriend who introduced me to smoking (which I have thankfully since quit, but it took a long time). He lit my first cigarette and half of our time was spent hanging around places and puffing away, as you do when you’re a teenager. One day, he decided to quit smoking. Overnight he became an anti-smoking campaigner. Literally, overnight. He stopped one day and the very next demanded that I quit too or he would have to break up with me. Yes, this was indicative of his overall character and no, we didn’t stay together much longer! You can never talk sense to a hypocrite so quit trying and move on.
He shows his bad habits right away
When I was in my early twenties, I went on a date with a guy who spent the entire evening sitting at a slot machine. Addiction is a serious thing and I’m not making light of it here, but if somebody can’t hold off their bad habit on a first date, I think you can see how a future with this guy would go.
Too much too soon
A friend of mine went out for a meal and a movie with a guy she’d met the week before at a university lecture. At the end of the movie, he told her he loved her. She never saw him again. A bad egg isn’t always doing bad things – you can be sure that if he falls in love with you after five minutes, then he would pretty much fall in love with anyone.
He doesn’t like his mum. Or he thinks she’s the best mummy in the world.
You can tell a lot about a guy from the way he treats his mother. If he hates her, that tells you a lot about how he feels about women, and by extension you. If he thinks she’s so marvellous that no woman could ever compare to her, ever, then you have a whole other problem on your hands. And if he calls her “mummy” that’s an instant red card.
He has a “nice guy” complex
Every woman who’s ever dated has come across the “nice guy”. The good news is, she probably isn’t dating him. He’s firmly in the friend zone and he resents being there. He’s watched too many romcoms and thinks of himself as the “nice guy” on the sidelines watching you date all these jerks and hoping that if he’s a shoulder to cry on and shows how “nice” he is, you’ll eventually fall in love with him. The thing is, this “nice guy” isn’t so nice after all. Why not? He doesn’t really want to be your friend, he just thinks that by being your friend he can get into your knickers, and he doesn’t respect your choice not to be with him. There is an element of misogyny there – he thinks that being kind to you when you’re vulnerable entitles him to eventually end up with you. Think There’s Something About Mary.
He’s hiding things
Another dating horror story – a friend of mine had a boyfriend who told her he didn’t have a mobile phone. Yes, you read that right. After reluctantly swallowing his blatant lie, she was dismayed on the third date when his phone actually rang mid dinner. If someone is playing games and hiding things from you from the start, he’s likely to keep doing that and on a grander scale. Unsurprisingly, the relationship ended when he rekindled his romance with an ex he claimed not to have any contact with, leaving her heartbroken.
There are plenty of good eggs out there – I know, I married one. We all just have to kiss a lot of frogs first to find out what we don’t want. In the meantime, I hope my guide helps you to weed out the awesome from the… well, less awesome! Happy dating!