How To Spot A Toxic Guy Before You Start Dating Him

Plenty of guys seem great at first, only to reveal some rather toxic qualities once they think they’ve won you over. Save yourself some time and energy and look out for these dead giveaways that will tell you he’s bad news, no date required.

  1. He busts out his “swagger” before even knowing your name. I’m referring to the way he slowly turns his body to you, gives you the smolder and maybe a wink or two from across the room. He makes his way toward you with a slight intentional limp in his step, otherwise known as his swagger walk. He’s now in your face, a little too close for comfort. He looks you up and down, opens his mouth, and the words, “Wassup, girl?” escapes his lips. Yikes. Run girl, run!
  2. He uses douchey pick-up lines. There’s a difference between douchey and cheesy pick-up lines. It doesn’t matter how charming he thinks he’s being—he needs to take his lame pick-up lines and learn how to initiate a real conversation. If you feel offended or grossed out, don’t even go there.
  3. He expects you to be convenient. One trait toxic dudes all have in common is that they expect you to operate on their schedule and get mad when you have plans of your own. In this guy’s world, you’re not allowed to have a life. If you do, that means you don’t love or care about him. As crazy as this logic seems, there are plenty of guys who actually think this way. Not only is it ridiculous, it’s also degrading, manipulative, and unrealistic.
  4. He doesn’t own any professional-looking clothes. He doesn’t have to own fancy suits or anything, but if he doesn’t own any clean or professional-looking clothes, he’s most likely not serious about his professional life. If he has a job but doesn’t own any business attire, he’s definitely not ambitious nor looking to advance his career anytime soon. He’s content with where he’s at and is not invested in his personal growth. With him, what you see is what you get. End of story.
  5. He can’t cook anything that requires a stove. I get that cooking is a challenge for some people, but if the guy doesn’t know how to make a simple dish and isn’t willing to learn, you can expect to be doing all of the cooking in the relationship. Although pizza rolls make a super bomb snack, it’s not so bomb when that’s all you’re having for dinner three days in a row. Anyone who can read can follow a recipe. There’s really no excuse for this.
  6. He doesn’t ask you out on dates. I don’t know what’s up with guys that do this. Instead of asking girls on dates, they tell them. Scratch that—they demand them. Guys may think that they’re coming off as confident, but in reality, they’re just being rude and trying to assert their dominance. I don’t know about you, but a man that demands my attention automatically turns me off. If he has no problem demanding a first date, he’ll definitely have no problem demanding more from you and walking all over you like a doormat. You deserve more than that.
  7. He doesn’t have a good relationship with his family. The type of relationship a man has with his family can tell you a lot about the kind of relationship he’ll have with you. If he has a toxic or nonexistent relationship with his own family, you’d better believe that the toxicity or absence will play a part in your relationship as well. If the family drama doesn’t directly affect you, his reaction toward the whole situation will show when your relationship hits a snag. Spare yourself time and energy and just skip the drama.
  8. He’s all about your body and how you look. Clearly, this guy prioritizes looks and sees you as a trophy rather than a person. Ask him what he likes about you. If he can’t give you a straight answer or everything he lists is about your physical appearance, then it’s definitely not love. It’s lust. Looks can only go so far, so if that’s all that he cares about, then the relationship isn’t going to last very long. When he finds another good-looking girl to get at, he’ll toss you aside without thinking twice about it.
  9. He gets crazy drunk. Alcohol can make people more confident but in this guy’s case, it brings out the toxicity. He doesn’t know his limits and easily spirals out of control, creating a violent and dangerous environment for everyone. If the guy can’t hold down his liquor, he definitely has self-control issues and isn’t considerate of other people. With him, you’ll always be his designated driver and the person responsible for taking care of him. In other words, you’re his surrogate mother.
  10. His friends are rude and obnoxious. We are a reflection of the people we surround ourselves with. If his friends are awful, you can bet that he’s the exact same way. As long as he stays friends with these people, don’t expect him to change anytime soon. In fact, distance yourself from him and his crowd as soon as possible so that their negativity and toxicity won’t rub off on you.
Katrina Torrijos is a lifestyle blogger and YouTuber from San Jose, Ca. She is passionate about helping young professionals find their footing in the real world through advice, conversation, motivation, and affirmation. Read more of her work at