There are two kinds of jerks: the ones that make no effort whatsoever to hide their douchebaggery and the ones that either have no idea they’re being bad or will go to great lengths to manipulate you into believing they’re actually one of those mythical “nice guys.” Identifying a jerk in the wild has become more difficult, mostly because the ones you really need to look out for are the ones who are the best at hiding their real bad guy selves. Luckily, there are a few tell-tale signs:
He acts like you owe him something.
He won’t come right out and say, “Listen, I’ve paid for three dates, I thinks it’s time I get a blow job,” but he’ll definitely start to get noticeably impatient if you aren’t jumping at the chance to sleep with him. He knows better than to say it out loud, but he still sees getting to know you as a means to an end — not as something he’s genuinely interested in.
He’s the king of backhanded compliments.
“Those jeans make your butt look like you’ve been doing a lot of squats,” he says, thinking that’s the same thing as saying your butt looks great in those jeans. But no, what he really said is your jeans are magical, because he knows your butt isn’t that nice. Screw him.
He pretends his jealousy is just proof that he “really likes you.”
Guys who get possessive and clingy early on are only going to get worse. He’ll probably count on you liking the attention at first, but eventually, his obsession with knowing who you’re with and what you’re doing every second you’re not with him is going to get borderline scary.
He makes you feel guilty when you don’t have time for him.
You have family, friends and a career to make time for in addition to spending time with him, but he doesn’t seem to understand why he wouldn’t be your top priority. It seems sweet that he would choose hanging out with you over going out with his friends, but if he expects you to do the same — every weekend, at that — that’s a problem.
He buys you things he likes rather than ones you will.
Instead of getting you the vintage bracelet you really wanted for you birthday, he’ll pick out an expensive alternative of his choosing. Sure, it cost more and you’re grateful for any gift, but it’s still not your style. He clearly thinks his taste is better than yours, and he’s trying to force it on you.
He talks trash about past girlfriends.
He might even do it in the nicest way possible by saying she was a sweet girl, but… Basically, he’s always 100% innocent and every relationship he’s been in went wrong because of “crazy” girls and their issues.
His relationships with the other women in his life are shaky at best.
Most women can spot a jerk a mile away even if that jerk happens to be their brother or even son. If he doesn’t have any solid relationships with the women in his life, that’s a bad sign — it means he doesn’t relate well to women.
His communication skills leave a lot to be desired.
No one is expecting every guy to know inherently know the gentlemanly move to make at all times, but that’s exactly why communication is important. Not only does a jerk do jerky things, but he also refuses to admit when he was wrong and he’ll definitely never apologize or try to change his ways.
He talks a big game.
No genuine nice guy feels the need to brag. A jerk in disguise on the other hand is trying to block your view of his true nature with a smokescreen full of plans he’s never actually going to follow through on. He’ll go on and on about the great dates he’s going to take you on, but when it comes time to actually show up, he just won’t.
He insists he’s actually a really “nice guy.”
Again, an actual nice guy would never call himself that. He doesn’t have a list of “proof” of why he’s nice and why girls should like him. He’s just himself — not because he wants something, but because he knows that’s all he needs to be.
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