I’m a pretty open-minded guy. I’m willing to forgive even the strangest of tendencies, provided you’re good-looking, funny and nice enough to overcome them. But there are some things that I can’t overlook, no matter how awesome you are otherwise. They are called red flags, and here are a few of them.
If there is a burgeoning relationship between us, I know you’re going to stalk my Facebook. There’s a decent chance that I’ve already prepared for it. But please don’t make it so obvious. Please don’t comment on my school picture from my sophomore year of high school. Please don’t tell me that my prom date was pretty. And please, please don’t friend request my roommates until you have some sort of actual friendship with them. Wanting to date me doesn’t count.
I’m all about self-expression, self-empowerment and all that feminist nonsense (Hillary 2016!). And yes, I realize that Marilyn Monroe is supposed to represent that. But if you have a poster in your room with her views on sexuality, I’m going to guess that I’m not the first guy to have seen that poster recently. And that means I’m probably not going to be back to see it again. Fair? Probably not. But I don’t want to have to defend you from the knowing snickers of other people when we’re out together.
If I go to a bar with you, or if I meet you at a bar, I may offer to buy you a drink. If I do, I will insist on paying for it. But maybe, you’ll say “let’s get a drink.” If you say that, and look at me expectantly when the bill comes, I’ll pay for it. And then I’ll stop talking to you and find somebody who doesn’t view me as her personal ATM. It’s 2012. Until we are a serious couple, don’t come to the bar with three dollars and expect me to pay for your night. Oh, and if you go out in January without a jacket, you are invisible to me, no matter how much skin you show.
The books you read and the TV you watch say a lot, too. If your favorite show is The Office and favorite book is Pride and Prejudice, I’ll assume that you admire Pam Beesly and Elizabeth Bennett. If you watch Keeping up with the Kardashians and read Twilight, I’ll assume you want to be like Kourtney Kardashian or Bella Swan. If you don’t know which of these two combinations is the red flag, I can’t save you.
College is stressful. We’re all broke, overworked and sleep-deprived. Your problems are not special; don’t flood my news feed with them. Other red flags: “whoo girls,” girls who can’t string two words together without using “like,” girls whose voices become so high-pitched when they see a friend for the first time in more than five minutes that they are audible only to dogs, girls who use the “I was drunk” excuse for bad hook-ups more than twice, and Jets fans. Just stay away from me.
The world is full of red flags. Everyone has them, even me. Sure mine are pretty minor (read: nonexistent) but some people may think that I’m a little… self-assured, opinionated, what have you.
Generally speaking, there are three major types of red flags: the type I pick up within the first 10 minutes of meeting you, the type my stalker-roommate can gather in 10 minutes on your Facebook and the type that I will write off until we break up.
First thing’s first: if I meet you in the drive thru of Burger King or in a lingerie shop – there is no future for us. Let me rephrase that. There is no us. Any sort of Jersey Shore reference on your shirt? I want nothing to do with your “Situation.” Personal hygiene lapses are complete no-nos. As are fake tans, tattoos of your family crest, frosted tips and hats two sizes too small.
I’m not saying you have to look like you walked straight out of a magazine ad, but c’mon. These are obvious red flags, things that anyone in their right mind would notice and steer clear of.
Now here’s the beginner’s guide to the Facebook (red) Flags. It starts with your information section, which should be short and to the point. If you claim to speak three or more languages, or include gibberish, you’re done.
Next we move on to the profile pictures. You should be in them. All of them. Excessive pictures with your ex, your parents or one single friend are all signs that there may be something lacking with you. Mirror pics with no shirt on? Thanks but no thanks.
Our mutual friends will tell me a lot about you. As will your wall activity. If all of your recently added friendsare girls, you’re “checking into” your art class in St. John’s Hall every Tuesday and Friday or you post long-winded statuses about nothing in particular, look up – your red flag is waving. The most important red flags, however, are the ones that we ignore until it is way too late. They become all the more clear after the break-up, which, ironically, is when we suddenly realize that we should’ve expected the end all along.
The jealous man’s constant texts are him checking in on you, not evidence of complete adoration. Cheaters project their own actions onto you. If he’s worried you’re flirting with other guys at the bar, he’s probably flirting with other girls. What you really need to remember is to listen to your gut, and your best friend – they usually can see everything.
In addition there are some general red flags that you should always be wary of. He has any connection to Jersey or Long Island. His friends have some sort of unacceptable nickname for him. He aspires to be a stay-at-home dad. He wears socks with flip flops. He cannot differentiate between their, they’re and there. He counts his calories. He roots for the Patriots. In any of the previous cases, just run.