Concentrate On The Negative Things About A Guy — It’ll Prevent You From Wasting Time On The Wrong Guy

Before you fall head over heels for the new guy you’re dating, make sure you’re not missing out on important red flags. It might sound unfair to say you should be looking for all a man’s negative traits and ignore the positive ones, but there are good reasons why you should do this before you get to know him better. It’s about keeping the keepers and weeding out the losers.

  1. His actions count more than his words. So many times people get hurt and say, “But my boyfriend said he loved me!” Sadly, the good things people do tend to be their words, whereas their actions reveal the truth about them — this is where they slip up and where you’re most likely to notice any red flags. Pay more attention to what he does instead of what he says. Remember: any guy can sound like the perfect guy, but few can actually behave like one.
  2. Don’t get conned. The best manipulators know how to blind you with their good qualities — they’ll be supportive, romantic and charming at first, only to unleash their nastiness later. By seeing through the bullshit early on, you can spot a creepy guy. If you only focus on a man’s good qualities and actions, you’re a walking target for psychopaths and manipulators.
  3. People wear masks. Everyone wants to put on a good first-date impression, but sometimes the masks some guys wear are much thicker. You need to look out for any warning signs that they’re putting on an act so that you don’t ignore fatal flaws they’re desperately trying to hide. Sometimes the actions that seem to be signs of a great guy can actually be signs you shouldn’t date him, like a guy who comes on too strongly or is a little TOO nice. Just what is he hiding?
  4. He needs to earn your interest. How does someone earn your interest? You might think it’s by being a great, interesting guy who ticks all your boxes, and that’s true. However, it’s also the guy who doesn’t put you off with his terrible qualities, those things he tries to hide. You have a right to see those before you give someone your heart.
  5. The stuff you ignore will come back to bite you in the butt. You want to be able to see that the guy’s wrong for you so you can move on without heartache and too much time wasted. If you don’t keep an eye out for any warning signs from the beginning, you’ll later kick yourself when the signs multiply, thinking, “I should have paid more attention in the beginning!”
  6. Someone’s flaws show you what they’re really like. Hey, anyone can be charming and sweet to those they love, but their flaws and negative traits are important. That’s why prospective employers will ask interviewees about their bad qualities — they can make or break a person’s worth. You want to see what flaws the guy has as soon as possible so you can tell if you can live with them or not.
  7. He might be a jerk in disguiseLots of guys pretend to be Mr. Perfect, only to become total assholes later on. It’s not that they changed, but that they had these bad sides within them from the start. It helps to look out for them so that you don’t fall for the Prince Charming act.
  8. You might feel something’s “off.” You should listen to that voice if it’s telling you that the great guy you just met is all wrong for you. This internal voice can really be a sign of red flags, even if you can’t see them. It’s hard to hear what the voice is telling you if you’re allowing yourself to get swept away by his charm.
  9. The good stuff means nothing if there are too many bad qualities. A guy might be the most amazing person — he donates time to charities, he has a good job, he’s close to his family — but what if he has a serious flaw that doesn’t match with what you’re looking for? Maybe he negs you or he’s sexist. That one flaw is enough to write off all the good qualities and can be the reason why you walk away instead of stay. Don’t fool yourself into thinking those flaws don’t matter — they do.
  10. He has to prove he’s a unicornAny guy can seem like a unicorn when you first meet him, but if you approach a guy with the mindset that he’s going to be Mr. Dreamy, you’ll find those qualities that confirm this belief. If, on the other hand, you go in with the idea that he has to prove he’s a unicorn, you see him for what he really is — and you’re prepared to deal with any flaws that come out to the surface.
  11. Don’t excuse his bad behavior. Any little bad behavior that shows up when you first start dating needs to be acknowledged. If you let him get away with the small things, he’ll start to think he can get away with more. Instead, cut the strings at the first small indiscretion to guard your heart against larger ones.
  12. It helps to see him in different situations. People can be very different in different situations. A guy might be such a funny dude at the office but a total party pooper when out with his girlfriend. You should try to see the guy you’re dating in different situations — at the bar, with his female friends, with his family, with his colleagues, when he’s drunk, when he’s angry — so you can spot any potential traits that make you think, “Uh oh!” If you only focus on the good stuff, you’re missing out on the full picture.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.