12 Signs He’s An Undercover Player

Nobody ever intentionally gets into a relationship with a jerk, but a lot of us sure end up breaking up with some lousy guys. While there are some red flags that can appear as early as the first date, a lot of the signs that a guy is no good don’t show up until after you’ve really grown to like him, which can make it that much harder to leave. Even if the guy you’ve been seeing seems like he descended straight from the heavens, be on the lookout for these signs that might indicate a much darker relationship future than what you’ve had in mind:

  1. His friends are jerks. The people we surround ourselves with are a good indication of who we actually are. If all of his friends are jerks and he’s an angel, then the reality is that he’s probably a jerk too and just hasn’t shown you his true colors yet. Nice people don’t surround themselves with jerks, plain and simple. Plus, on the off-chance that this guy really is the sweet black sheep among his douchebag friends, do you really want to be with someone who chooses to spend his time around horrible people?
  2. All of his exes are “crazy.” We’ve all had one or two truly crazy exes, but if this guy has literally never dated someone who wasn’t “obsessed” with him or wasn’t a “total bitch,” keep in mind that he’s the common factor among all those women. He either has insanely bad luck or HE’S really the problem in his relationships. Don’t be surprised if and when you become one of the “psychos” he’s dated after you two break up.
  3. He’s not nice to people in the service industry. Your mom was right when she told you that “Someone who is nice to you but isn’t nice to the waiter is not a nice person.” A guy who flips out when his order is taking too long or leaves a crappy tip just because he can is the epitome of entitled. You may think at first that this behavior is only confined to people he doesn’t know very well, but I can promise you that it won’t be long until he starts directing that horrible attitude towards you.
  4. He’s only nice to you when you have something to offer. When you’re on your period, he find every excuse in the book not to come over. But when sex is a possibility, he suddenly turns into the man of your dreams. If you think this is a coincidence, you’re lying to yourself. A guy who pulls this crap is one who has only his own interests in mind. He might be able to fool you now, but down the road, he’s going to spread his douchey wings, and you’ll wonder how you missed such an obvious red flag early on.
  5. He prides himself on being “brutally honest.” People like to tout this as a virtue, but really, all it means is that they want to be able to openly insult people without being called out on it. Someone who is brutally honest will tell their friend that the person she’s dating isn’t good for her, or that her partying habits are going to get her kicked out of college. If this dude is calling people ugly or finding other ways to insult them to their faces and then brushing it off as “just him being honest,” don’t be fooled — he’s ~honestly~ just a loser.
  6. He apologizes for how you feel instead of what he did. Have you ever heard, “I’m sorry you’re mad at me,” or, “It sucks that you feel that way”? Yeah, those aren’t apologies — they’re deflections. Rather than him apologizing for messing up, he’s essentially passing the blame on to you, implying that he did nothing wrong and you’re being irrational. If this guy genuinely messed up and tries to pull this nonsense, he’s not being nice — he’s being a jerk, and it’s only going to get worse from here.
  7. He’s a jerk on the internet. Putting a mask of anonymity on a person can reveal a lot about who they are, and the internet is the perfect place to do so. If this guy is the type to belittle strangers on social media and in comment sections, he’s revealing the type of person he is when he knows he won’t face consequences for his actions. No matter how great he might be to you, you really don’t want to be with the type of person who bullies people just because he doesn’t know them.
  8. He tells a lot of white lies. Catching him lying about stupid things means you’re eventually going to catch him lying about big things. If he constantly gets away with fibs about how he went to the gym (when he really went to the bar) or how it was the cat who knocked over and broke that expensive vase (when it was really him), he’s going to learn that he can get away with lies about what his relationship is really like with that hot new coworker of his. A man who lies — no matter how inconsequential those lies may be — is one who has no problem with deceiving you.
  9. Everything in his life seems very temporary. He hasn’t known any of his friends for more than two years, he’s never dated a woman for more than one year, and he has a hard time holding down a job for more than six months. If it seems strange to you that no one seems to want this guy around for a long period of time, the explanation is simple: He’s not a good person. The good news is that for dudes like this, you won’t have to wait very long before he starts revealing who he really is, allowing you to move on as fast as possible.
  10. He’s always running into bad people. You know what they say: If you ran into jerks today, you ran into a jerk. If you ran into ten jerks today, you’re the jerk. A man who comes home and complains about how everyone from his boss to the barista to the homeless guy down the street was out to make his life miserable, he might have just had a really bad day. But when this is happening on a regular basis, he’s the only thing all these “horrible” people have in common. You already know what that means.
  11. You get the feeling that his rude jokes aren’t actually jokes. The kind of person who is still making racist, sexist, or homophobic “jokes” in 2016 is probably going to be better off dating your bigoted great-aunt instead of you. The occasional off-color jab might be possible to eye-roll away, but someone who keeps laughing at others’ expense probably finds at least a little bit of truth in what he’s saying… and you shouldn’t be surprised when he ends up laughing at you rather than with you eventually.
  12. He constantly talks about what a good person he is. We were always taught that actions speak louder than words, but in this case, someone saying, “I’m a nice guy,” is the equivalent of him screaming, “I’m a terrible person and everyone knows it, so I’ve forced myself into denial!” A truly good person doesn’t need to convince the world of his awesomeness, and if he feels the need to, he’s probably covering up something unpleasant.
Averi is a word nerd and Brazilian jiu jitsu brown belt. She's also a TEFL/TESOL-certified ESL teacher and an equine enthusiast. Originally from Pennsylvania, she lived in Costa Rica for a while before moving to Australia. In addition to her work as a writer and editor for Bolde, she also has bylines with Little Things and regularly writes for Jiu-Jitsu Times.

You can follow Averi on Instagram @bjjaveri or on Twitter under the same handle.
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