Having casually (and occasionally, seriously) dated for nearly a decade straight before marrying my husband, I have seen some real jerks in my day. Of course I have seen some real gentleman, too. If I’m honest though most of the guys were somewhere in between.
Through my dating experiences, I identified some surefire warning signs to look out for. If you see any of these 7 signs, you can be sure that guy isn’t worth your time:
1. He’s rude to others
Once I was on a date at a restaurant with a guy I had been seeing for a few months, when his order came out wrong. He was usually a pleasant person, but he was cold as steel to the waiter who had made an honest mistake.
His attitude was so haughty that I felt embarrassed every time the waiter came back for the rest of the evening. It was the perfect incident to show me how this guy’s character would disintegrate the moment something didn’t go his way.
2. His teasing tears you down
Gentle teasing every once in awhile is no big deal (and even sometimes fun) in a relationship, but there’s a difference between that and flat out being made fun of.
Flirty teasing should never includes jokes that might legitimately hurt someone’s feelings. I once had a boyfriend make a mean joke about my appearance. I still remember the feeling of shock and shame I experienced.
Any guy that intentionally says or does things that could undermine your self-confidence doesn’t deserve your loyalty, because the foundation to any healthy relationship should always be mutual respect.
3. He is constantly critical of you
My best friend’s long-term boyfriend blamed her for everything. He seemed to think he was perfect and any problem they had was her fault.
It was painful to watch someone I love be constantly made to feel inadequate and unworthy. Thankfully, they ended up breaking up, and she married an amazing, encouraging man.
4. He leaves you hanging
I once dated a guy who constantly forgot to call when he said he would. I would end up sitting by the phone for an hour feeling like a total idiot before finally giving up and going out with friends or just picking up a book.
I never wanted to be the “sit at home and wait by the phone” kind of girl, but I found myself doing it because I liked him so much. But when it kept happening I finally realized he clearly wasn’t worth taking seriously. I was much happier spending time with girlfriends I could rely on.
5. He consistently chooses friends over you
Dating someone should never mean that either of you has to give up their friends; those relationships are as important too. But when my boyfriend’s plans with me were consistently being dropped for last minute hangouts with his friends, I quickly got the message that he wasn’t ready for commitment.
You both need balance in our lives, but when you’re dating someone it should be because they are the one you most want to be with. Otherwise, what’s the point?
6. He acts differently around his friends
Remember the movie Grease when Danny was all lovey-dovey with Sandy until he got around his friends, when suddenly he would become too cool to care about her? One of my ex-boyfriends was like that.
Once again, I let it go on way too long because I wanted the relationship to work. But the truth is, if a guy is serious about making it work himself, he’ll treat you with respect in front of his friends.
7. He never takes you out
No one’s saying he has to take you to a 5 star restaurant. A date doesn’t actually have to cost a thing! But if he’s not making an effort to do anything more special than ask you to come over to his house to make out (like one of my early boyfriends), you’d better be picking up on those warning signs.
I got tired pretty quickly of that guy and his clear sense of entitlement: Our relationship was all about him. I wasted no time moving on to someone who actually cared about me and wanted to show it.
It’s easy to write things like this off as trite and unimportant. I mean, hey, at least he’s not a kleptomaniac or cheating on you. But warning signs like these can actually add up to reveal a lot about the kind of person the guy is and how you’ll be treated by him if you stick around. You deserve the best, find someone who feels the same way.