Some of these may seem very obvious, but even the smartest of women sometimes gloss over the red flags:
1. THE JEKYLL-AND-HYDE DRUNK
When you first meet a guy like this, you feel so lucky to have found someone creative, interesting and smart. He is on his best behavior, but because past friends and lovers have told him his drinking is sometimes problematic, he keeps it to a minimum around you. Once he gets comfortable, though, he allows himself to get drunk because he just wants to have fun like everyone else. That’s when the monster comes out. Suddenly, this guy is spewing the most hateful, nastiest things you’ve ever heard. He doesn’t even seem like the same person. He becomes like a petulant child who you feel the need to babysit, and his behaviors become dangerous and erratic. He gets into fights, throws things and refuses to listen to anyone. It’s frustrating and confusing because this guy is so normal and cool when he’s sober. But, this is all evidence of some deep and major issues with which he has clearly not dealt. I know what it’s like to want to try and fix this broken person, but it’s not worth your patience and sanity. He has to deal with it on his own.
2. THE ALCOHOLIC
The Alcoholic is very different from the Jekyll-and-Hyde Drunk. The Alcoholic is a person who usually keeps it together and rarely acts irrationally. But, this is because he is always self-medicating. His issues emerge when he's sober, so he would rather just block that all out and numb anything that resembles feelings. You wonder if you’ve ever hung out with him when he's sober. Sometimes, you don’t even notice his drinking because it’s so normal for him. He rarely drives anywhere and always wants to end the night at his place so he can have one more (or five more) cocktails from his own stash. These people never have clear heads, so you can never be sure who they are. Nothing ever gets too real, deep or personal. You try to suggest sober activities, but they don’t usually seem interested.
Alcoholics don’t really want to engage with you in the light of day, without the comfort of their drinks.
3. THE CHEATER/MANIPULATOR
This type of guy is someone you hooked up with while he was in a relationship. He insisted they were “on a break,” or things were so bad with his girlfriend that they were definitely breaking up anyway, so it was fine. You knew it was wrong and you didn’t want to do it, but your heart just couldn’t help it. He was just so charming and enamored with you. Once this guy gets you hooked, you think you're the right person for him, and he and his ex were wrong for each other. You were both attracted to each other by the universe and it was meant to be. Get real. He's probably going to cheat on you, too. Sorry. Why would he act differently with other girls? He sees something he wants and he goes after it. Right and wrong don’t mean much to him — only personal gain and pleasure. If he gets caught, he has at least five excuses in his back pocket he can use on you. This guy probably not only cheats with women, but in life, too. He probably cheats on tests, steals other people’s ideas and does whatever he needs to to get ahead at work. He is usually very smart and calculating; a smooth talker who gets what he wants by charming his way out of any sort of discipline. He's constantly making excuses for his behavior. Proceed at your own risk.
4. THE CONTROLLER
This guy constantly makes you feel bad about everything: what you’re wearing, how much makeup you have on, how you do your hair, what you eat, etc. He belittles your intelligence and questions every idea you have. He doesn’t support what you do and makes snide comments about it regularly. He gets jealous frequently, always wants to know where you are and what you’re doing. He’s probably also a misogynist, though he would obviously never admit it.
I have never dated this type because there is no way in hell I could put up with someone doing that to me all the time — but my friends have. Their boyfriends made them feel so small and insignificant that they ended up changing so many of their unique qualities just for this assh*le. The most extreme version of The Controller is someone who is abusive. It's a no-brainer to avoid this guy, but some women get in too deep before they even realize he is capable of such an atrocity. You have to constantly pay attention to how any potential lover treats other people. Is he mean to waiters or customer service reps? Is he abusive to animals? Is he hypercritical of everyone around him? Those are signs of a controlling person.
5. THE COMMITMENT-PHOBE
This is a guy to avoid, but he's less egregious than the others. Still, he will emotionally ruin you. This guy usually has it all together; he's mature and wise. He treats you very well and loves spending time with you. And, you want so badly for that to be enough, but you are constantly craving more. It’s like pulling teeth to get him to talk about the future. He’s happy where you both are, so why would he want to ruin that? He would never talk about moving in together or marriage seriously, even after more than a year of dating.
He just likes to cruise along and have someone to spend time with when he wants it; other than that, your lives are pretty separate. He is Mr. Big. If you are the most patient person on the planet and you are not at all looking for something that has the potential to last forever, then go ahead and be with this guy. If you are afraid of commitment, as well, he could be a perfect match for you. But, for anyone else, this is definitely a type of guy to avoid. They may seem very hard to come by, but there are many great men out there, so never allow yourself to fall for one of the bad ones.
Life is too short to put up with all that.