My dating life has been rather busy lately thanks to a reactivated online dating profile. Because I have taken many of these coffee dates into boyfriend territory, I’ve developed a list of red flags that let me know if I’m on a date with a jerk. Trust me when I say that 9 times out of 10, ignoring these signs leads to personal misery.
1. He wants to debate. If you read Persephone and are bookish and clever, you probably have strong opinions on many things, and many of these opinions buck the status quo, which is why you love us and why we love you, but if you tell a jerk this, he’ll want to debate, which really means he wants to derail everything you say and prove that he is the smartest, most manliest debater ever.
2. He asks why you are still single. This is a tricky one because it is often framed as a compliment, “Why is a beautiful woman like you still single?” But really he’s about to draw upon any and all stereotypes about single women: you’re picky, you’re batshit crazy, or you think you’re too good for nice guys like him.
3. Related, he says he’s a nice guy. Nice Guy Syndrome sends all of my alarms a-blazing because nice guys are rarely ever good in bed and they are usually horrible human beings. Despite their exceeding niceness, they refuse to listen to you because they are too damn busy pretending to be nice. They also have a tendency to explode the moment you get angry at them, because why would you get angry at someone so nice?
4. He says he’s a feminist and then qualifies it with, “I treat women just like men, because isn’t that what feminism is all about?” People, this is code for, “I am a complete and total mindfuck.” Why? Because it means that dudebro interprets lacks of respect for women as treating them like men, and when he doesn’t call when he says he will? That’s what he calls feminism.
5. He interrupts you. This one is a gimmee, of course, but needs stating because guys who interrupt? Usually jerks.
Sometimes a guy can be a perfect gentleman during a date, but after the date his jerkiness starts to show. The primary indicator here is a guy who says he wants to take you out again and then waits until the last minute to ask you for your second date, leaving you on pins and needles all week. The contrast to this is the guy who obsessively calls and texts you post coffee date – dude, I barely know you and you are acting a little cray-cray.
What red flags lead you to to run screaming for the exits on a date? Share them in the comments.