I think each and everyone of us makes lists of our future boyfriend’s “absolutely can’t haves”. We usually do it just after a break up and solemnly swear not to date anyone who displays certain behaviors. A few weeks or months down the line, depending on our recovery pace, we nearly inevitably meet someone who makes us feel like a complete hypocrite because we’re willing to disregard our previous findings just to be with him. We’re not categorical anymore and we explain to ourselves that something that IS a red flag, in most cases of course, but in this particular one it doesn’t apply. Then inevitably things go wrong and we start beating ourselves up for having allowed ourselves to justify what we knew was the wrong choice. It’s all good, however, if we learn from an experience like this and after second (or third or tenth time) decide that some things just don’t work for us. Below my personal list of non negotiable warnings.
1. The overly attached son
Probably because of my own close relationship with my mom I tend to go for boys with a worryingly close relationships with theirs. I experienced (for real) the following: a guy telling his mom that he’s breaking up with me before telling me, a guy holding hands with me and his mom at the same time, a guy mentioning his mom over 50 times on the first date (I’ve counted!) and maybe least surprisingly, a guy over thirty living with his mom. A specimen of the sort will always prioritize her needs over yours and as much as I love Greek culture, I have no desire to date an Oedipus of my own. If by the end of the first date I know more about his mom than about him I don’t go on a second one (unless he’s very hot. In this case how could I have criticized strong family bonds at the first place?).
2. Early sex jokes
Who knows me, knows also that I have little or no shame. However, for the purpose of finding the right partner I’m hiding this trait in the very beginning. A guy who makes sexual jokes early on has no respect either for you or for women in general, or both. A gentleman or even a half decent guy would be concerned about potentially offending you. Someone who’s only interested in getting into you pants doesn’t care. Sexual jokes early on even if they’re funny are also disrespectful and if he has no respect for you in the beginning he won’t start having it later on. Unless you sleep with him, because this always helps, right?
3. Commitment issues
We love to claim that he seemed like he was thinking about us seriously (or at least me, myself and I, we do). We often manage to convince our friends but rarely ever to do the same to ourselves. We know very well that when they’re mentioning the trip around the world as they want to “gain life experience” they’re not referring to our honeymoon. Some guys even tell us right away that they’re not looking for a relationship. Surely, they don’t mean it, do they?
In brief, if something looks and smells like shit it probably is shit. We’ll all do ourselves a favor if we remember it in our dating lives. What are your Red Flags, Dear Reader(ess)?