Why Is It So Hard To Tell A Good Guy From A Bad Guy?

Why Is It So Hard To Tell A Good Guy From A Bad Guy? ©iStock/sjale

You’ve dated bad buys because you originally thought that they were nice guys. You’ve overlooked nice guys because you originally thought that they were bad guys. So why is it so hard to tell the difference between the two?

  1. Your heart and brain tell you conflicting things. Sometimes, your heart will be able to tell you something your brain can’t. Sometimes, it’s the opposite. It’s hard to tell which organ to listen to when neither of them has a 100% track record.
  2. You have low expectations for men. If you’ve only dealt with bad guys before, you might assume that every guy you meet in the future will be just as crappy as your exes were. You’re not giving a good guy the chance to prove himself. You’re sticking him in a box without hopes of getting out.
  3. Bad guys masquerade as good guys. Most bad guys aren’t going to come out of the gate with insults and disrespect. They’re going to act like one of the good guys, because they know it’s the only way they’re ever going to get laid. They won’t reveal their true colors until after they get what they want from you.
  4. They follow the same rules. Most of us women can agree that we hate mind games, but men haven’t gotten the memo. It’s hard to tell if he’s a good guy or a bad guy when they all make the same moves.
  5. Your emotions blind you. If you already have your mind made up about him, then you won’t be able to see the red flags. You’ll assume that he’s the guy that you’ve dreamt up in your mind. No other explanation will do.
  6. Bad guys have better game. There are good guys out there who genuinely like you, but don’t know how to tell you without coming across as creepy. Meanwhile, bad guys don’t care how they look. They’ll tell you how beautiful you are and ask you out without missing a beat, which is why they seem sweeter than they actually are.
  7. You judge books by their covers. You’re told not to do this, but you can’t help it. First impressions are made right away. If a bad guy acts nice at first, then you’re going to think of him as one of the good guys, even though he doesn’t deserve the label.
  8. Men are nice for different reasons. At first, it’s impossible to tell why a man is complimenting you. You won’t know if he’s being nice to become friends, to date you, or to screw you. It takes a while for those intentions to be made clear.
  9. You fit men into categories. Life isn’t black and white. You can’t call him a good guy, just because he hasn’t ghosted you, and you can’t call him a bad guy, just because he’s said something he shouldn’t have said.  Sometimes, he’ll rest somewhere in the middle.
  10. No one’s honest anymore. A bad guy might lie about wanting a real relationship to get laid. A good guy might lie about being a player, so he doesn’t seem desperate. Honesty is rare, which is why it’s so hard to tell a good guy from a bad guy.
Holly Riordan is a writer from Long Island, New York who has authored several science fiction and horror books. A graduate of Stony Brook University, she has spent nearly a decade writing for publications including Thought Catalog, Huffington Post, Teen Vogue, and more. You can find her on Instagram @hollyrio and Twitter @hollyyrio.