It’s Not Your Fault You Didn’t Realize He Was A Bad Guy — He’s A Good Liar

It’s a tale as old as time: meet a nice guy, hang out a few times, start warming up to him, and then BAM! Just when you’re on the precipice of falling for him — or worse, when you’re already on your way down — it hits you: he’s a douchebag. Unfortunately, when you finally do wise up to his douchey ways, it’s always a little too late for comfort — so what gives?

  1. Douchebags are expert liars. Even though he might boast about his “brutal honesty” and shocking ability to “tell it like it is,” there’s no denying that when a douchebag wants you to believe something, he’ll lie like a politician during campaign season. In other words, it’s not really your fault for not figuring out his BS earlier.
  2. He’s had a lot of practice pretending to be something he’s not. His ability to spin half-truths and falsehoods is something he’s been cultivating from an early age. He’s always pulling stuff that he knows will get him in trouble, so he’s become well-practiced at talking his way out of it. There’s a good chance you won’t even realize all the awful things he’s been doing until you finally catch him in a position that he can’t explain away. Once you’ve got ahold of one slimy thread, though, the whole asinine sweater starts to unravel.
  3. He sees niceness as a means to an end. He’s convinced that if he puts enough nice tokens into your feelings slot, eventually, you’ll give him something he wants. Sure, he’ll pick you up for dates, buy you dinner and drive you home… but eventually, once a douchebag feels like he’s accrued enough Good Boy Points, the whole “nice guy” act will start to unravel unless he gets what he’s really been after the entire time.
  4. The nicer he is to you now, the more he thinks he can get away with later. A douchebag doesn’t see being nice as an act of basic human interaction; he sees it as a currency that he can put into your emotional savings account today to hedge his bets against bad behavior tomorrow. Flowers, jewelry, romantic dates — these are all just things he can hold over your head as proof of his “niceness” the next time you call him out on his douchey ways.
  5. He’s just trying to get you hooked on his emotional heroin. Deep down, he knows exactly what a terrible human being he is. The important thing is, you don’t know that yet. If he can give you a little taste of how good he can be now, then you’re more likely to put up with his douchebag nature down the road. Once you know what a “good guy” he can be, he can let his murky true colors shine, and you’ll still stick around him, chasing that original high.
  6. Manipulation is kind of his bread and butter. To win the title of The Biggest Douchebag, a guy has to be pretty savvy in a number of the douchey arts, such as: applying hair gel, wearing Ed Hardy t-shirts and “forgetting” to text back. But when it comes right down to it, what really solidifies out a douchebag’s place in the Douchebag Hall of Fame is manipulating you into thinking that they’re someone special… only to pull the rug right out from under you the moment that you finally believe it.
  7. His strengths are flashy enough to distract you from his flaws. He’s always going to be the guy who buys you the biggest bouquet of roses on Valentine’s Day, the dude with the most delectable six-pack or the bro boasting the bedroom moves that you can’t wait to brag to your girls about… because every minute that you’re distracted by how dreamy his eyes are or sweet that last text was is another minute that you won’t be paying attention to his flaming dumpster of a personality.
  8. Maybe — just maybe — he’s actually trying. Sometimes, crappy people really can change. While caught in the whirlwind of a new relationship he hasn’t managed to effectively destroy yet, he might think he’s ready to finally turn over a new leaf and treat you right this time. Unfortunately, old habits die hard, and once that new relationship smell wears off, he’ll find it easier and easier to slip back into his awful old behaviors… until he’s finally reverted back to full-douche. Bummer.
  9. He genuinely doesn’t see himself as a douchebag at all. He plays the part of the “nice guy” so well because in his mind, he still totally thinks he is one. Sometimes, douchebags are so wrapped up in themselves that they don’t even realize that they’re the villain of the story. He doesn’t see himself as a “bad guy” with a nasty attitude and a raging temper — he sees himself as a kind, genuine dude who sometimes just gets pushed a little too far. It’s easy to fall for a douchebag’s lie when it’s so good, he still believes it himself.
  10. It’s the only game he knows how to play. It’s a never-ending cycle of awful: he’s been a douche for so long, he’s forgotten how a healthy relationship is supposed to work. So he plays the nice guy. He puts in his hours. He wins you over. And then, the minute that things get too hard, he destroys a perfectly good thing because the dude just doesn’t know how to deal. The game only ends when he finally finds someone just as terrible as he is — so maybe we should all just be thankful that girl isn’t us.