Let's face it. We've all fallen prey to a handsome face, kind smile, great build. Sure, at first glance, he may seem like Mr. Absolutely Right. He sweeps you off your cynical feet with witty texts, great dinners and thoughtful gestures. His latest selfie is your phone's wallpaper. Yes, you're ready to introduce him to mom.
Whoa. Hold on there, Mr. Whipped.
Before you fall hook, line and sinker, take a minute and make sure you're thinking with both your head and your hormones. Trust me here. I've done the research, and that Mr. Perfect you went out with last Friday just might turn out to be a real piece of work.
Mr. Social Media
He's attached to his phone. And by attached, I mean he keeps it in his hand at all times, waiting for someone to "like" or comment any of his last 12 posts -- that were posted in just the last two hours. Mr. Social Media may be a great guy when his eyes aren't glued to his phone. But, keep in mind: He'll always be more interested in the virtual reality of his social media persona than he will be in you.
Call Sign: Getting any less than 500 likes on any of his posts will ruin his day
Giveaway: He sleeps with his phone. Not on the nightstand next to him, but in his hand under his pillow.
For him, romance is all a game to seek, conquer, and (often) destroy his prey. Yes, that would be you. Now, if you're wise to his ways and just want a quick trick, then game on. If you're looking to date seriously, steer clear.
Call sign: There's nothing natural about him. He'll hide behind a veneer of calculated faux-confidence-lines, routines and parlor tricks.
Giveaway: When it comes to sex, he's done it so many times, he has this old sport down to a science. By the time you light the candle on the nightstand, he's already naked, condom on and lube in hand.
Mr. Sugar Baby
Hard to spot at first, this guy is attractive, witty, smart and seemingly successful. You'll meet him and can't, for the life of you, believe he's still single. Well, that's because he's not. Sure, you can probably date for weeks, spend time at "his" apartment and even go on weekend getaways. But, somewhere along the line, the name of a "close friend" will keep coming up. He-llo, Daddy.
Call Sign: His wardrobe, apartment and travel schedule all add up to a seven-figure salary yet he rarely sets a morning alarm, or even mentions his work.
Giveaway: He'll disappear to take calls and dive for his phone when a certain number comes up, often followed by rapid-fire texting through dinners and movies with that same "close friend."
Mr. Text Message
Texting is a great tool, especially for those of us who want the freedom to converse at our leisure. However, if you meet a guy who continually attempts to have a deep conversation via text, tell him to either call or leave you alone. Bottom line: If he likes you, he'll call.
Call Sign: You attempt to call him, but get his voicemail. Then, he texts to ask what you wanted.
Giveaway: Most conversations you have with him are all but rhetorical. However, as soon as you walk away, he'll text and tell you how he's really feeling, often employing some cryptic series of emoticons to communicate his deepest feelings.
Mr. Peter Pan
Though he's in his 40s, Mr. Peter Pan is still a 20-something at heart. Life's a nonstop circuit party, and he's the affable host. He's on a first-name basis with all the bartenders in town, thinks your 401k is computer stuff and anything from Abercrombie and Fitch is still de rigueur.
Call Sign: No less than 20% of his Instagram posts were snapped at the last few circuit parties. His response to all your venting about a bad situation at work is, "C'mon baby, relax and have a bump."
Giveaway: When the proverbial shit hits the fan--because it will--he will be too exhausted trying to re-balance post-Molly-weekend serotonin levels to be a shoulder to lean on.
Okay, sure. It's a nifty little app that allows us gays to connect with men in the immediate area. But, if the guy you're dating is "just seeing" who is near him at a gay bar, the gym or Whole Foods, he has no real interest in seriously dating you. Now, if you guys are keeping it open, then...go for it. But, if he claims he's logging in to just chat and meet new friends...that's bullshit.
Call Sign: He knows more guys in the 'hood by their profile name than their actual name.
Giveaway: He's not only on Grindr, Scruff and every other lesser-known hook-up app, he's paying for premium status on all.
He's brilliant, accomplished and has an unflagging belief in his own infallibility. You'll never see him waffling or agonizing about a decision. He's in charge and, yes, he's hot. But be warned, that extreme decisiveness usually also means the world revolves around him.
Call Sign: He never tires of talking about himself, his job, or pretty much anything he's interested in. There's no give and take, just his lecturing. Frankly, he doesn't care about what you have to say. He may listen, but only long enough to prepare for his next lecture
Giveaway: He surrounds himself with ass-kissers, but has few real friends.
Remember, the longer you've been single, the more prone you are to give one of these out-of-bounds boys a chance. Trust me, it's not worth the headache. A better alternative might be to just to take care of the temptation through...uh, manual relief.