Okay, so I admit I’m culpable here and have fallen for the romance of “the player” more than once. With age and heartache comes wisdom. Before you leap into the fire, bedazzled by romance, take note of these red flags:
1) “You are the most beautiful and intriguing woman I’ve ever met. I’ve never known anyone like you.” Ninety-nine times out of a 100, this is a line. I know; it’s hard to acknowledge it as such. Who doesn’t love to be admired? And true, you are beautiful and intriguing, but trust me, the guy who feeds you this line, most likely between dates 1 and 3, hasn’t a clue just how intriguing you are. He just wants the intrigue between your legs. If he can say the above a year into the relationship, then maybe you’ve got a gem on your hands…
2) “I’m thinking of introducing you to my family.” Note the word “thinking.” Men claim to be clueless, but they totally understand semantics. If he isn’t offering you a solid invitation to meet his mom or hang with his brother, then he’s just blowing smoke up your ass. Sorry. It’s true. For women, “the fam” is the proverbial carrot, and players know it.
3) “Let’s open a winery together.” Okay, so aside from the practical reality that there are wineries exploding all over the landscape and it’s probably not just a sound investment idea anymore, realize the true translation of this statement is “you actually are a really cool woman, and inside my head, I fantasize about happily ever after with you, but this is just fantasizing. I’m not a reality kind of guy. Wow, did you see the rack on that woman who just walked by?”
4) “I love you. Let’s have beautiful babies together.” If this isn’t self-explanatory, then you shouldn’t even be on the dating circuit.
5) “My ex was a psychopath.” Okay, so maybe she was, but the mature adults among us are willing to admit their share in the psychopathy. If you’re dating a guy who is convinced his ex is the devil incarnate, run fast and hard. He has about as much self-awareness as a tree stump.
6) “We’ll go to Bora Bora…someday.” If he’s not booking tickets, he doesn’t mean it. It’s a carrot along the lines of no. 2. Book your flight to Bora Bora yourself, and leave this guy at home.
7) His kids don’t respect him. Our children are the easiest people on the planet to awe, and it’s completely natural for them to see Mom and Dad as Goddess and God. If his kids think he’s a dick, then he’s probably worse than a dick…because, for better or worse, it takes a lot of effort for us to completely disillusion our children. Steer clear.
8) “I think you’re amazing, but I want to see other people (i.e. have sex with other women)…while continuing to see you.” Unless you live in a commune, a harem, or certain Mormon communities in Utah, this is unacceptable. You are amazing. Find someone who is willing to sacrifice to be a part of your amazingness.
9) Everyone finds him charming and loveable. Reality check, ladies: the man who is loved by all is the man who stands for nothing. People with principles and courage make some enemies along the way. Trust me, you want a guy who has the balls to be disliked.
10) He texts you or “chats” with you more than he calls. This is a man who wants to keep his human interactions at arm’s length. Chances are he has a dismissive-avoidant attachment style. Trust me, you really don’t want John Wayne or James Bond for your boyfriend or husband…unless, of course, you really enjoy being in the dark about how a man feels for you and whether or not he’s going to be there for the long haul. My advice? Buy a puppy. They may pee on the floor, but they’re far more reliable.