In 2022, finding a fantastic guy sometimes feels like trying to find a grain of rice in an Olympic-size swimming pool: almost impossible. But it’s not. There are some amazing men out there among the losers and it’s just a question of exercising good judgment. To save you time and agony, below are some of the worst kinds loser guys and how to spot them before you get stuck. (And please note: all men exhibit some of these traits; what makes a guy truly terrible is if he engages in these behaviors to a degree that it becomes an ongoing problem for the relationship.)
- The offender: The guy who ignores your texts and calls. What to watch for: His communication habits. A guy should respond to your texts or calls within a reasonable time frame. If he’s taking an unusually long time to get back to you or ignoring some of your attempts to reach out altogether, cut bait. Nothing good comes from a guy who can’t even push some buttons on a phone for you. In fact, you shouldn’t be messing with someone who isn’t regularly initiating communication with you. Yes, there are guys who do that. You want one of them.
- The offender: The guy who cheats. What to watch for: His ethical vibe and his selfishness level. Of all the loser guys out there, this one has to be the worst. Guys who cheat are weak creatures with weak moral frameworks. They’re needs-driven, not principle-driven. What you want is a disciplined guy who plays fair and by the rules — a guy who gives you the sense that he would do the right thing even if it meant going without. If the guy you’re with has a selfish streak or is coming off like he lacks character, move on. Cheaters are BS.
- The offender: The guy with terrible conflict management skills. What to watch for: His temperament. Be wary if he loses his temper easily or has a tendency to get defensive when you try to work through issues. A good guy will take an interest in your needs, listen to you when you have something to say, and communicate productively with you even when he doesn’t agree. That guy’s hot, not the one who bitches, shouts, and throws stuff around.
- The offender: The guy with no manners or sense of romance. What to watch for: Whether he cares about the little things. The big things are great but small gestures count for a lot and can make the difference between a relationship or a bad relationship. If you’ve ever been with a guy who doesn’t have a romantic or chivalrous bone in his body, you know how nice it feels when a guy opens a door for you, plans a romantic date, or texts you to tell you he’s thinking of you for no reason. Some of us ladies need/expect more of this kind of stuff than others but we all need a little bit. This is one of the most common types of loser guys you’ll come across, sadly.
- The offender: The guy who’s hot and cold. What to watch for: Consistency. Guys who are all over the place are seriously annoying, not to mention messed up. They’re not actually wavering or confused, they’re just selfish and manipulative — they act like they want you when they’re feeling bored, lonely, or horny, and they go MIA when they don’t need anything. Bottom line: Any guy who is not consistently making you a priority does not deserve your time, no matter how hot or charming he is.
- The offender: The lazy guy. What to watch for: How quickly he stops trying. Everyone gets a little lazy in relationships. That’s not a big deal. What is a big deal is how quickly the laziness sets in and how dramatic the drop in effort is. If he stops doing the basics as soon as he has you, you might need to pull back until he gets his act together and realizes that you have standards. If he doesn’t, he’s a loser and there are plenty of other guys out there that will step up to the plate.
More types of loser guys to watch out for/avoid like the plague
- The offender: The guy whose life is just a mess. What to watch for: How he handles his career. Having a solid career is often a guy’s biggest priority. So, if a guy’s career isn’t sorted out, he probably doesn’t feel great about himself and other parts of his life are likely a mess too. At the very least, a dude needs to have a J-O-B that pays the bills. If he doesn’t have that, it likely won’t work and we don’t recommend you stick around to find out.
- The offender: The guy who cares more about his job than you. What to watch for: His interest in balance. Like we said, a guy needs a job from which he draws income and some sense of self-worth. But taking that too far — by being a workaholic who always chooses to put work first — is not cool (exceptions include: brain surgeons, astronauts currently on mission, and members of Seal Team 6). If a guy wants to be with someone, he has to find time for them. If he’s not willing or able to do that, he should just be by himself until he has more bandwidth. You deserve proper attention.
- The offender: The guy who drinks way too much. What to watch for: Restraint. A man whose idea of the “best night ever” is getting wasted with the guys and never remembering anything the following morning, he’s a loser. Drinking is fun. Unless you don’t know how to stop before it gets un-fun. If he has no self-control when it comes to the booze — signs include getting drunk (vs tipsy) when it’s just the two of you (your dates should be more about connection than getting blasted), being overly interested in activities that involve tequila, not being able to go home before last call, and just generally loving alcohol way too much — you should exit the scene. This sitch is going to get way ugly before it gets better, if ever.
- The offender: The guy who’s not ready to commit (AKA the guy who just wants to hang out). What to watch for: Momentum. Healthy relationships are always going somewhere: forward. When two people are really connecting, they move towards commitment, engagement, marriage or just towards building an ever more satisfying relationship and life together. As you get to know a guy, pay attention to whether that momentum is there. So many guys just want to hang out and kick it that you may not even know what forward propulsion looks like but, trust us, you’ll know it when you see it. And if you’re not feeling it, pull back. If he’s ever going to treat you well, you disengaging will give him that chance to step up. If he doesn’t, find someone who will.
- The offender: The guy who’s insecure. What to watch for: His need for attention/validation. One of the worst types of loser guys that are all too common, sadly.We all know that men have egos that require tending. But some men’s egos are a real problem. Like the guy who’s threatened by your success — he’ll compete with you instead of being happy for you and he’ll minimize your accomplishments to make you feel small. Or the guy who needs to show off — he’s the one who flirts with waitresses in front of you and can’t shut up about how hot his exes were or how many women want him. These guys aren’t men, they’re boys. Pass.
- The guy who’s cheap. What to watch for: His generosity level. He’s a loser because he’s one of those guys who think he’s “woke” for being anti-chivalry. Did he pay for the first couple of dates? A guy doesn’t need to be rich or pay for everything all the time but he should absolutely pay for the first date and, ideally, for the first few dates. After all, we women usually spend more just to get to a date — blow out, mani/pedi, waxing, new dress — than most dinners for two costs. Good men understand this and reward the effort. Also: when a guy is into you, he wants to pay because he wants to impress you with his ability to provide for you. It’s a primal thing. Ergo: If the guy isn’t paying, he’s not into you. But whatevs… Go find someone who is!
Things to keep in mind when it comes to loser guys
Saying you need to run far away as fast as you can seems pretty simple, but sometimes when you’re seeing someone that you genuinely like, that’s easier said than done. However, it’s important not to let yourself get caught in a toxic situation. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Ignoring red flags is a big mistake. If he’s one of those guys who seems perfect at first only to reveal himself as a loser soon after, don’t dismiss that. Ignoring those signs of trouble will never serve you in the long run. “People can be emotionally charged and ignore the red flags in the beginning, or find a way to deceive themselves to lessen the impact because sometimes they just don’t want to face reality,” says matchmaker Susan Trombetti. “Other times, they just miss them if their picker is off or they lack boundaries. You can clearly see them in hindsight and lots of people [realize] the warnings were there.” Loser guys tend to show themselves sooner rather than later, so don’t ignore it when they do.
- Call him out on his BS. If you feel like the terrible traits he has are ones that can be addressed and fixed and you’re really not into the idea of throwing in the towel right away, it’s time to confront him. “Let your partner know if their behavior or emotion is unacceptable and unsustainable for you and why,” advises licensed clinical psychologist Jessica January Behr, Psy.D. She says it’s possible that maybe he’s not a loser, but he’s one of those guys who’s “unaware of how their words or actions affect others.”
- Don’t stick around in a situation you know is wrong for you. Generally speaking, guys like this are not going to change their ways and they’re certainly not interested in hearing your opinions on how screwed up their behavior is. “If you have communicated, shared your vulnerability, and asked for what you needed and the behavior or feeling has not changed, it may be that you and this individual aren’t compatible at this time.” Dr. Behr says. Life is too short to waste it on loser guys.