Reader A. B. writes:
You gave the ladies signs they oughtta’ dump their BFs; how about for us straight dudes? What are some ways we can tell a girl isn’t right for us?
Yes, we do love us some gender equality here.
Having never been a straight dude myself, this is going to be culled more from my experience of watching boys date girls, rather than my own personal experience. (The 10 signs he’s not the one post was actually a mix of my own experience and that of my dearest straight girlfriends, to be fair.) I think the lists can probably be interchanged, although from what I’ve seen, there are subtle differences between how guys and girls date the “wrong person”. Girls tend to get embroiled in more drama about clinging onto him; guys tend to get ever more removed from the situation and drift off, or at least that’s my experience. (Most) guys will put up with a lot to get sex; (most) girls will put up with a lot to have a boyfriend. Similar, but different, dynamics.
So here are some signs that I think you probably don’t belong with a girl:
1. You can’t be yourself when you’re around her. There’s a difference between being inspired to be a better person and feeling like you have to be a drastically different person to keep up with her. Do you feel like you need to take college classes, even though you’ve never felt that way before? Do you feel like you have to stop smoking, drinking, or watching baseball to be her boyfriend? Do you find yourself not spending time with your other friends because you can’t hang out with them and her at the same time? She’s not the one.
2. Your friends don’t like her. This is pretty universal for both sexes. Again, your friends like you, and they presumably want what’s best for you. If they don’t like her and are willing to say so, you’ve got the wrong girl on your hands.
3. You don’t have anything in common. You need to share some beliefs and interests or it’s not going to work out. Don’t let the thought of free sex mislead you into having a cruddy relationship with a girl you can’t even talk to.
4. She talks about marriage or commitment and it makes you really uncomfortable. This means she’s looking for something you’re not actually interested in. You should be honest about this because it can bite you in the ass later on. If you don’t want to get married and have kids, for the love of all that is holy, don’t date a girl who does. Even if it’s just you’re “not sure” while she knows for certain, you will get jerked around a lot more than you want to be. And, ya’ know, it’s not fair to her, either.
5. She criticizes you in public. A lot. This goes along with sign #1, but instead of being a feeling you have inside yourself, it’s something coming directly from her. If she’s telling you and everyone around you how much she hates how you smoke, or that you never take the trash out, or how you can’t spell, or how badly you dress, you should probably end things. If she likes you, she’ll be complimenting you, and even your bad traits will be cute to her. (At least until you’ve been together 3 years or more.)
6. She bad mouths you behind your back. You probably won’t hear about this until after the break up, anyway, but if a girl is complaining to her friends about you, it’s probably a sign you two shouldn’t be together. Of course, this swings both ways — if you’re complaining about her all the time, that’s not a good sign, either. However, I find that many guys aren’t really as willing to complain about relationship issues to their buddies as girls are.
7. Your libidos don’t match. This one was originally “you never have sex”, but I’m not going to play entirely into the “guys only want sex” theme in this post. Sometimes guys don’t want sex. It’s true. If either of you wants more or less sex than the other, you’re not a match. If you’re not interested in sex with her, it’s definitely a sign. If she’s not interested in sex with you, it’s also a sign. Sex isn’t everything, and all couples go through upswings and downswings in sexual desire. But if you two consistently don’t match, especially from the start, it’s probably not going to work out in the long run. And if you find yourself not interested in sex with her, but interested in sex with someone else, yeah, it’s over, or it should be.
8. You find any single trait of hers extremely annoying. This is particularly important in the first few weeks of dating. If you notice something annoying in the beginning of the relationship, it’s only going to get worse over time. Once again, don’t let the thought of free sex blind you to the fact that you can’t be with someone who talks out of her nose or expects you to pay for everything.
9. You don’t trust her. If you’ve got major jealousy issues, or find yourself accusing her of spending too much time with someone else, it’s probably not her — it’s you. Nevertheless, if you don’t trust her, for whatever reason, she’s not the right one. (It’s quite possible nobody is going to be the right one in this situation until after some therapy, too, FYI.)
10. You find yourself doing anything on the list of 10 signs he’s not the one. Because from what I know, boys react in those ways to a girl when they are pretty sure it’s not what they want, but they can’t let go, either because they can’t figure out a way to break up with her, or because they’re getting free sex, or who knows what else.