Last year after the relationship I was in ended my buddy tried to set me up with his “incredibly cute coworker” to get me back in the game. Very kind, but I declined. My heart was still with my ex and I didn’t think it would be fair to get involved with someone else when I didn’t really mean it. Quite simply, I wasn’t datable. Not that I wasn’t tempted. Men are particularly risky bets post-breakup because we secretly hope we’ll never have to deal with our feelings– the chance to “fix” our sadness with someone else is very attractive.
I’m proud I had the self awareness to make that call and am happy to report– after taking some time for myself– that I’m back in the game. But it got me to thinking about the types of guys women would do well to avoid. Of course there are exceptions to everything but in general beware of…
Mr. Not So Nice
Sure there are examples of reformed Bad Boys, in Hollywood and probably in your own circle of friends. But for every Warren Beatty, there’s a Tommy Lee. And having seen the way some guys I know treat women, I’m amazed at what my gender thinks they can get away with. A partial list of atrocities I’ve witnessed: Checking out the waitress, playing with his Blackberry while she’s talking, canceling plans last second/for no reason, opening the door…just for himself, and worst of all, asking the bartender for her number when his girlfriend is in to the bathroom. So while the untamed spirit of an “edgy” guy who is living life to the fullest may seem appealing, if it’s a relatively stable relationship you’re looking for, these dudes are a don’t.
Mr. Disappearing Act
He’s fun. He’s nice. He’s gone.
Some seemingly normal guys have a bad habit of vanishing. Common excuses like “traveling so much” and “work’s really busy” may technically be true, but there’s often something else going on— like in the case of my old roommate who had a girlfriend while trying to be with someone else. I also know of a guy who told a woman he was single in New York when in fact he was married in Ohio. In both situations, they checked out for days at a time. No wonder.
The give away is erratic contact—is he in touch every day and then suddenly MIA? Does he frequently change or cancel plans? Do invitations have sudden urgency—didn’t hear from him all week and then he calls and wants to get together in an hour? One important aside: Do not confuse this magician’s behavior with general male laxness. We can go twice as long as women without contact and not find it the least bit odd. And, yes, we know you hate that, but it’s true.
It’s tempting to go back, I know. Long nights, fear of being single forever and conveniently short-term memory can lead you right to what was comfortable, familiar— and over. I’ve been guilty of it twice, both during lonely times in the dead of winter. Rekindling romance seemed far easier to me than the unknown, and it was for the two months before we painfully rediscovered why we broke up in the first place.
Like with the bad boy, everyone has an example of someone that this worked out for—I myself know a happily married couple who met when neither could commit but later found that they were indeed ready. Still, keep in mind that for most of us mere mortals, recycling is great for the planet but a crap shoot for your love life.
Mr. Too Much Too Soon
If it’s the first date and he has already discussed joint vacation plans, mentioned meeting the parents, and even alluded to marriage and kids’ names he likes, you’re out with someone who has gotten way ahead of himself.
A female friend told me of a first date where the guy suggested they go to a Spanish island for the holidays. A lovely sentiment but a bit much from someone you met four days earlier! As the night progressed– and he continued to reference things he wanted to do for her– she realized it was all a ploy to end this night in his bed. It didn’t and she never heard from him again.
That’s not to say it can’t work, or that he’s deceptive or a stalker, but don’t take the barrage as a sign that you’re so amazing that he can’t resist imagining the next 50 years with you. Any number of things can be going on—loneliness, his “biological clock” is ticking (when my perpetual bachelor friend, Brucks, recently announced his engagement, we were all shocked. “I said that would never be me,” he admits, “but all of a sudden having a family looks cooler than it used to. It literally happened over night. Plus, I’d like to be able to play with my kids, see them graduate from college– all stuff I had with my dad.”)
…or he thinks it’s what you want to hear, he just got out of a relationship and is anxious to fill the void (see above!)—or, the best option, he is beyond himself with excitement and has momentarily lost the ability to filter what comes out of his mouth.
Mr. Way Too Sexual, Way Too Soon
These guys even make me uncomfortable so I can’t imagine how you must feel. Hands on thighs, stroking things that didn’t ask to be stroked. A female friend told me of a third date where the guy invited her to his apartment for “wine and whatever” and answered the door naked. Yes, they’d been flirting on the phone and she assumed (and hoped) going over would lead to something— but his approach infuriated her. She made him put on pants, open an expensive bottle of wine… and left.
Mr. Way Too Slick
Impeccably dressed, professionally decorated apartment, his life looks like a magazine. If a guy this buttoned up is your cup of tea then go for it, but beware when people pay that much attention to appearances, it’s sometimes at the expense of what’s inside.
My college roommate (not going to say what year) suffered this challenge— his life resembled that of a leading man. Sporty car, newest cell phone, some futuristic toothbrush from Sweden– he was “perfect”… and I mean it in quotes. Living with him I came to realize he was totally insecure and never felt “good enough” so he hid behind exteriors. As such, he refused to let women get close to him for fear they’d find him out. They, in turn, felt rejected when it was really he who sucked.
Say what you want about the guy with a mountain of laundry in the corner who considers a picture of dogs playing poker “art” but I promise you this– he’s real.
All this said, keep in mind that sometimes when a guy does everything wrong, it’s because he just really, really likes you. Take my friend James. After finding out the “awesome” woman he just met at dinner party was from Maryland, he practically shouted at her that a palm reader said he would marry a woman from, that’s right, Maryland! Needless to say, she was a little thrown. Fortunately, she realized he wasn’t insane, just insanely giddy about her. So she gave him a chance, and eight months later, they’re still together and he’s still doing backflips.
NOTE: Thanks for reading my blog! I have a new comedy CD coming out next month and it’s packed with relationship jokes– if you’re enjoying “What Me(n) Think” you’re going to love it! I’m using kickstarter to fund the project and have 7 days left to make it happen! If you want autographed CD’s before they even hit store please visit the link…
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