Don’t Get Played By A Shady Dude—Watch Out For These 13 Red Flags

Shade is subtle by nature. As a result, it’s sometimes hard to spot—sometimes, but not always. Plenty of guys out there are so extra that they just can’t hide their shadiness. They’re allergic to the truth, full of double standards, and overflowing with secrets. Fear not, however—these dudes never hide in the shadows for long. They always reveal themselves.

  1. Poor guy, his phone dies all the time. That’s why you can’t get a text back—his phone is dead. His phone is somehow always dead, even though he seemingly can’t function without it. It’s halfway between a lie and an excuse, but you can’t call him out on it because it’s just believable enough to possibly be true, which makes it that much easier for him to gaslight you if you say a word.
  2. The dude can’t even tell the truth about what he had for breakfast. A shady guy just can’t bear to tell the truth. He lies about everything—his IQ, his job, where he lives, the size of his penis. Don’t worry, though. Shady dudes always out themselves. Just because they lie often doesn’t mean they lie well.
  3. The majority of his “friends” are women. In and of itself, that’s not a shady thing. Pay attention to the way he behaves with his friends who are women, however, and how they behave around him. Flirting is a red flag because it suggests that his female friends consider him single.
  4. All his phone calls take place in private. What’s he doing, plotting a bank robbery? Is he an undercover CIA agent? Does he work for KFC and can’t risk talking about the secret recipe in front of you? Nah. He’s shady, that’s what he is, taking his phone calls in the bathroom, whispering into the mouthpiece until he gets there and throwing looks over his shoulder like you’re even trying to eavesdrop.
  5. He leaves you hanging on social media. He won’t friend you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter, and woe unto you if you ever even think about tagging him on Instagram. He either gives you vague, nonsense excuses or no justification at all beyond a shrug—and probably a smarmy smirk.
  6. Snapchat’s his life, though. Oh, yeah, he’ll happily follow you on Snapchat. You know why. I know you know why. The flash-in-the-pan nature of the app and the ability to quickly and easily send penis pics appeal to him.
  7. Not only does he hate your friends, but he has the most ridiculous reasons. If—if—a shady guy agrees to meet your pals in the first place, he’ll hate them. Every single one of them. It’s practically written in the stars. One of your friends has pink hair? Oh, he thinks bright colors are juvenile. Is your buddy a philosophy major? The shade master does nothing but talk crap. It never ends. It’s probably because he’s desperately afraid your friends will see through him.
  8. Every so often, he just disappears and reemerges as a player. You have no idea where he goes and he doesn’t bother to explain himself. He just falls off the grid every couple of weeks. For days or longer, he’s Big Foot—you hear stories about him, and sometimes you swear you see him, but you have no definitive proof, and he’s damn sure not getting in touch. Upon his return, he’s smug, passive-aggressive, and still distant.
  9. He’s defensive af in response to the most innocuous questions. You ask him what he did over the weekend, and he’s immediately on the defense like, “Why? What did you hear? I told you I was hanging out at home, who told you I was out this weekend?” Ask him if he’s wearing a new shirt, got a haircut, or saw a movie and he acts like it’s an inquisition. Boy’s trying to hide something.
  10. He only wants to hang out suspiciously early or in the middle of the night. There’s no in between and no honest-to-goodness dates, either. This is one of the biggest warning sides that you’re dealing with a shady character, but the code’s easy to decipher. Anytime a guy constantly wants to see you early in the day, then it’s highly likely that it’s because he’s got a date with someone else afterward. Constant texts after midnight are nothing more than hopeful mating calls.
  11. The dude’s always got an extra toothbrush. Is he considerate or is he just very well prepared for all the girls parading through his place? Depends. Does he always have other amenities at hand, as if he’s a hotel?
  12. You catch him talking to other women all the time. He does it on social media. He does it when he’s out with his friends. He flirts with every server, bartender, and cashier he crosses. You’ve even gone to the bathroom and come back to find him engaged in conversation with another girl.
  13. He loses his mind when you talk to other guys even though he’s “not ready for commitment.” He doesn’t want to be exclusive, but he doesn’t want anyone else to have you, either. It doesn’t matter that he’s not willing to define your relationship, and he thinks it’s entirely irrelevant that he does nothing but talk to other girls. He still can’t handle the thought of you being with anyone else. Shady.
west virginia native, new hampshire transplant, parisian in the depths of my unimpressed soul. owner of an impressive resting bitch face. writer and reader. fluent in sarcasm and snark. lover of lower case and the oxford comma.