9 Practical Tips to Avoid Dating an Annoying Douchebag

Let’s keep it real: no one likes a prick! If you’ve had enough of dating slimeballs, these pointers will help you steer clear of unsavory companions.

dating an asshole

The world of dating looks much different today than it did a mere five to ten years ago. Now, technology rules all, and you can find a casual hookup or quick little fling with the help of a mobile app. All you need is a smartphone, an appealing picture, and a few interesting details about yourself, and you can meet people in your local area with the same steamy interests as you. [Read: 9 sites you can use to get yourself a date]

While this is all fine and dandy, being able to use the internet so brazenly can introduce you to some very questionable characters. It’s all too easy for someone to fabricate an online persona that’s not true to who they really are. When you’ve got time to rehearse your responses and choose your words carefully, it’s a piece of cake to become more romantic or desirable to a stranger.

Even if you happen to meet someone new without the help of the internet, there’s no real way to know if they’re just putting on an act to get your attention. There’s nothing worse than giving a fresh love interest a chance, only to find out that they didn’t deserve it in the first place. In most cases, you won’t be able see their true colors until you’ve started spending more time together. Sometimes, though, that can be way too late in the game!

We’ve all got that one friend that seems to attract only the sleaziest guys in all the world… and maybe you’ve had trouble steering clear of those types, too. If you know what signs to look for, you can guide yourself right past all of the bad apples before you’ve wasted any of your precious time. It might seem like an incredible feat now, but you can beat your way through barrels of jerks to find a nice guy that treats you with respect.

How will I know which guys are no good?

It’s about time you pull on your Douchebag Detector helmet and start calling the shots! Most dudes won’t be able to admit that they’ve got shortcomings when it comes to dating, so you’ve got to go with your gut when caught in a sticky situation. The following tips should prove more than helpful when you’re trying to decide if you should love him or leave him.

#1 Don’t make a decision based solely on looks. Of course, we all dream of finding someone attractive to date, but looks won’t enhance a person’s attitude or personality. Hooking the hottest guy in the club might seem great at first, but finding out he’s full of himself later down the line is sure to be a bummer. That isn’t to say that every good-looking person out there is a douchebag, but being good-looking can sometimes get to your head.

Any time you meet someone new, try to get to know them on a more personal level. See if you share any common interests, and pay special attention to the non-verbal cues they provide. Posture, body language, and eye contact are all indicators of what he might be thinking about while you get friendly. If you’re not feeling the energy he’s giving you, it might not be the right fit. Contrary to popular belief, it’s pretty easy to tell if someone is interested in you right off the bat. [Read: 8 reasons gorgeous girls fall for douchebags]

#2 Pay attention to how he treats his closest friends and family members. Does he get along well with his mother? Is he the kind of person that likes to laugh at the expense of others? Is he the type that’s quick to try and embarrass someone else to make himself feel better? There’s nothing wrong with a little playful mischief when it comes to your best friends, but if your guy never wants to be the butt of the joke, that might be proof of a larger issue at play.

If he likes to push the limits–to a fault–with his buds, what makes you think he won’t do the same with you? One minute, you could be cracking up together, and the next minute, he could be cutting you with spiteful words. There’s a definite difference between having a good time together and crossing the line-and you want to make sure the guy you’re with knows that.

#3 Make the boundaries clear from the start. You should always feel that you’re in control of your body and your actions. Giving in to a guy too soon could reveal his uncouth demeanor before you’ve fully figured out what you should do. If you want to be sure that he’s not just trying to get in your pants, you should pump your brakes on any sexual developments. Let things progress organically, and if he sticks around, he might be worth a shot.

Do your part to give way to his chasing. Hold off on texting him or calling him all of the time, and see how hard he works to get your attention!

#4 A good listener will go far. All ladies love a nice compliment on a regular basis, but you want this guy to know that it takes more than that to catch your eye. Get in the habit of dropping hints about the kinds of dates or gifts you like. If he doesn’t seem to pick up on your clues, he might just be a forgetful man, but he might also not be concerned about you.

If he can’t seem to remember important details from stories you’ve shared in the past, or you never feel like you’re being heard when you’re with him, you shouldn’t waste your breath! There’s no amount of compliments that can make up for a lack of comprehension.

#5 There’s “confident,” and then there’s “cocky.” The cocky guy posts “selfies” on all his social media accounts day in and day out, while the confident guy shares solo snapshots every once in a while. The cocky guys can stare at themselves in the mirror for uncanny amounts of time before going out, while the confident guys are more interested in letting their dates know how beautiful they are.

There’s nothing wrong with being confident, but getting into cocky territory can be tricky. Cocky guys tend to be disrespectful, and they often believe that they’re “better” than you. If you begin to sense that he’s more into himself than anyone *or anything* else, it is probably a good idea to cut and run!

#6 Find out more about his view of women. Even though he’s dating you right now, it shouldn’t be difficult to find out how he feels about women in general. Is he fond of the women in his family? Have you ever caught him calling a woman names? Is he all about maintaining “gender roles” or subscribing to convention?

If you find him to be insulting toward women, that’s definitely not a good sign. There’s something admirable about a man who can hold his tongue when he’s being attacked. You want to be with the kind of man who values your unique opinions and uplifts your spirit. [Read: 13 ways to know if he’s a gentleman or a player]

#7 Don’t ever settle! So what if he’s tall, dark, and handsome, just like you like your guys? That can’t be all you’ve got to go off of. Having a car and a job might be important, but how does he make you feel inside? Are you able to communicate your thoughts and feelings freely, or do you feel silenced in his presence?

If you ever feel that you have to hide parts of yourself away for the “good” of your relationship, you’ve definitely got the wrong idea. Don’t be with anyone that can’t fulfill you in every way. [Read: 12 signs you’re walking on eggshells in your love life]

#8 Find out what makes him tick–early. It’s probably messy first date conversation material, but you should make it your mission to find out as much as you can about his habits and pet peeves early on. Is he the kind of guy that’s quick to anger? A guy with a temper is not very easily distracted from it, so you don’t want to get involved with someone hot-headed.

#9 Make sure you’re on the same page. Before you get too deep, you should be sure that he’s got the same intentions in mind. If your values are similar, it shouldn’t be as difficult to move into a more meaningful relationship, but remember: it’s not your job to educate him on how to be a great partner. If he’s not equipped with core tools, you don’t have to “make him better” if you don’t want to!

[Read: 16 signs you’re settling in an unhappy relationship]

When you’re out on the prowl, these winning tips should help you weed out the nice guys from the douches! As long as you find a man that can be both honest and kind, you should be able to walk away feeling happy and content in your relationship.

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