The (New) Rules of Dating


According to Wikipedia, Dating is a part of the human mating process whereby two people meet socially for companionship, beyond the level of friendship, or with the aim of each assessing the other’s suitability as a partner in an intimate relationship or marriage. But anyone who has been single in the last 5-10 years knows that more accurately, dating just means “we are sleeping together.” And by sleeping, I mean having sex.

This may be hard to believe but I have dated guys and never had sex with them. Shocking, isn’t it?

My senior year of high school I met my first love. Every Friday night, he would come into the DQ where I worked and always order the same thing. A hot dog and a chocolate sundae. He would smile at me and I would immediately blush. Within a few weeks we were boyfriend and girlfriend. I’m not exactly sure how the transition to boyfriend and girlfriend went, but it happened pretty naturally. I liked him and he liked me. There wasn’t any game playing or weeks of guessing or obscure text messages to decipher.

We were just 2 young people who liked each other and so we started to date. We talked on the phone every night. He sent me flowers and love notes. We took walks on the beach and my Mom would yell at me the next day for getting sand all over the house. We watched t.v. in my parents living room and made out on the couch. In the year we were together, I never slept with him. It was dating in it’s simplest, sweetest form.

Fast forward to now.

One divorce, two children and three LTR’s later, I admit that I do not understand dating. At all.

Every single aspect of it has changed since then.

Back then, if a guy liked you he would ask you out. And if the date went well, he would take you out again. You would start seeing each other regularly and magically, you were boyfriend and girlfriend.

Now, a guy can send you 47 text messages, spend three weekends with you and you still might never know how he actually feels about you. Are you just friends? Or friends with benefits? Maybe you’re just a rebound?  Or maybe he’s biding his time until something better comes along? Or maybe (like one guy I spent 6+ months with said to me) you’re just hanging out.

Hanging out? Don’t kids just “hang out” at the mall? And how does that relate to dating? What the hell does that even mean? I still don’t know.

Everything used to be so simple. Then dating websites and cell phones and social media and tinder changed everything.

Thanks to modern technology, you can immediately find someone within a 5 mile radius to hook up with and have sex. People don’t want relationships anymore. Why would you settle for one person when you can easily find a different person to have sex with each weekend? And if you do find someone interested in monogamy, you have to deal with the fact that they are still “just friends” with all of their exes. She’s stalking him on Facebook or maybe he’s “not ready” for a commitment, or he just “doesn’t know what he wants”, and it makes you wonder if it would have been easier to stay in your last relationship, just to avoid all the confusion and drama.

The whole process of dating has become ridiculously complex. How did something as simple as “I like you and you like me” turn into such a complicated mess?

So in an attempt to clarify things, here are The New Dating Rules I’ve learned along the way:

1.Never mention your relationship status. Confused? Not sure where you stand? Good. That’s the new normal now. And if you ever become tempted to ask that new person in your life “Where is this relationship going?” just don’t. That is the absolute kiss of death for any new relationship. Better to remain in the dark and guess and be confused than to end up alone.

2. Relationship vs. Sex. It used to be that people wanted to be in a relationship. To find that one person who is your best friend and lover; a partner who understands, supports and loves you unconditionally. That was called a LTR (long term relationship). Now, many people are only interested in finding NCS (no commitment sex).  And just because you’re having sex with someone on a regular basis does not necessarily mean that person has actual feelings for you. Confused? Want to ask this person how they feel or if it’s a LTR or a NCS? Don’t. See Rule 1.

3. Texting vs. Talking. No one talks on the phone anymore. Talking has become as outdated as flip phones. Talking on the phone is stupid. It’s all about texting now. But texts should not be too short or too long. Also, be very careful how you word your text because they can be easily misinterpreted. One badly worded text can turn into a huge misunderstanding that leads to you never hearing from this person ever again. So good luck!

4. Wait to Reply to Texts. It’s important to wait the right amount of time before replying so that you don’t seem too eager. So how long do you wait? As a general rule: Wait 4 hours to reply. And if a guy waits 4 hours to reply back to your text, wait an additional 4 hours to reply back, but add 30 minutes to 2 hours to the 4 hour rule, making the total wait time 4.5 – 6 hours. Unless it falls past midnight, then you should wait until the following day to reply. This pattern continues until eventually you both wait so long to reply, that you completely forget about each other, meet new people and the whole process starts all over again with someone else.

5. Release the Skeletons. In the age of the Internet, expect that you will be Googled. And any secrets you’ve been trying to keep will likely come out. Remember that DUI you got when you were 21? Or the time you were arrested for selling drugs in college? Well, at some point, your date will find out about any crimes you may have committed in the past. So if things seems to be going really great and then one day, POOF, this person suddenly disappears? There’s a good chance he/she Googled you and discovered you were a stripper for 3 years while you were putting yourself through college.

6. Play Hard to Get, But Not Too Hard to Get. Everyone is busy. But everyone has their cell phone within reach most of the time. It’s okay to play hard to get in the beginning. Rushing things early on is a turn off. But constantly playing hard to get by ignoring someone will result in losing them. Especially when there is a sea of attractive, smart people ready to take their place. So if you really like someone, you’d better let them know. But don’t say too much or you might come across as clingy and needy and they will dump you. It’s your job to find that fine line and not to cross it.

7. Don’t Assume Exclusivity. Even if you’ve been dating for several months, do not assume you are exclusive. In the age of tinder and internet dating, multi-dating is very common. So unless you’ve discussed and agreed not to date other people, assume that he/she is seeing [and possibly having sex with] other people. After all, Caitlyn Bristow, The Bachelorette,  was able to date [and have sex with] multiple guys on national television and that was considered socially acceptable, so don’t assume this person would think any differently. Isn’t dating fun?


I knew a guy for 2.5 years on two social media sites. Yet in reality, we were still pretty much strangers. Our online friendship slowly evolved into mutual flirting and a “Let’s take this to the next level” type thing. But when I asked him to call me so we could have an actual conversation, he replied “What more do you need to know about me?” Seriously? So if I follow you on 1 or 2 social media sites, we get to bypass the whole “Getting to know each other stage”? Um, No thanks.

Call me old fashioned, but I prefer to get to know someone through actual conversations and spending time together. I want to sit in a cozy restaurant and drink martini’s and talk for hours. I want to hear about the things you are interested in and talk about things we both care about. I want to hear all your corny jokes and see your facial expressions and hear you laugh. You have to spend actual time together.


And as far as rules, I have a few of my own. Good morning and good night texts are great, but I prefer out of the blue, unexpected texts when you say “I can’t stop thinking about you.” Don’t disappear during the week and only text me on the weekend, so I know you’re not just looking for a booty call. Take an interest in my life and be ready for me to ask you questions about yours.

Let’s spend a weekend together and drive through the country and explore places we’ve never seen before, together. Let’s lie in bed for hours and talk about everything and nothing.

Take me out. Woo me. It doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy. It could be as simple as seeing a movie together or hiding in the corner of a bar and talking and making out. Introduce me to your friends so I know I’m not some girl you want to keep hidden on the side.

And most importantly, I won’t ask you where the relationship is heading or what I mean to you. Because if I genuinely mean something to you, I’ll never have to guess. A man who adores you will treat you that way and he’ll make sure you always know.

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The Affair

As her date droned on, she noticed a group of guys laughing and drinking beer a few feet away. The bar was loud and crowded. She couldn’t make out their faces. Except for one.

Her date asked her a question.

“What?” All she could hear was this handsome stranger laughing a few feet away.

She caught him staring at her. So she smiled back. And no sooner had her date left to make a phone call, she looked up to see his face smiling down at her.

He asked her her name. Before she could answer, he said “You’re beautiful.”

Soon they were walking down the street together, huddled close in the winter wind. They passed a group of loud girls, smoking and an old man walking his dog.

He grabbed her hand and led her across the street and into another bar. His hand felt warm and strong.

“Two vodka tonics” he said to the bartender. Despite the toasty fire crackling in the fireplace, the bar was practically empty.

He said something funny and she laughed. Suddenly his hand was on her waist, gently pulling her closer. She thought he might kiss her. But instead he leaned over and whispered into her ear.

She’d always been attracted to quirky. But only when it was perfectly mixed with intelligence and wit and charm and of course humor.

And he was all of the above.

And the fact that he was tall was the cherry on the all ready delicious cake.

Two hours later, they were in his apartment. He offered to take her coat. She politely declined.

“I really should go,” she said. As she started to leave, he leaned over and kissed her. Soft and slow at first, then deeper and passionately. She wanted to tear off her coat and throw her clothes on the floor. But instead she kissed him one last time and left.

The 18 minute drive home felt like an hour.

Two nights later she was in his apartment again. A bottle of Patron sat on his countertop next to a basket of fresh raspberries. How did he know those were her favorites?

He was wearing dark jeans and a long sleeved tee and a boyish grin. He opened the tequila and she did a shot to take the edge off. They drank and talked and kissed. He told her about his family. She talked about her new job. They kissed and talked and drank some more. His lips were on her neck. Her hands were on his waist.

She knew she wanted to sleep with him but there were so many reasons not to. But maybe even more reasons why she should. His lips tasted like tequila and raspberries and perfection. He pulled her closer and she whispered into his ear “Where’s your room?”

A candle was burning on his nightstand. His room smelled like red velvet cake. His bed sheets were dark gray. She could hear music playing from the apartment next door.

His curtains were slightly drawn and she could see the moon outside his window. He kissed her as she started to unbutton his pants. Their hands were everywhere. She could feel the weight of his body on hers and every doubt she had disappeared from her mind. Every movement felt electric. The candle flickered next to the bed. He felt perfect and delicious and intoxicating.

At 6:15am the alarm went off on her cell phone. He helped her locate her clothes as she hurriedly dressed. He followed her to the door. All he was wearing were a pair of dark blue gym shorts. His chest was smooth and perfect. She kissed him goodbye.

They started meeting 2 or 3 times a week. Sometimes it would be at her house and sometimes, his. They’d snuggle on the couch and watch a movie, but mostly they would talk and drink and make out for hours before falling into a heap in bed. And in the morning he would always tell her how beautiful her eyes were.

It was easy and fun and exhilarating and uncomplicated. Weeks and months passed. Sexy texts and flirty conversations. She knew it wouldn’t last – they both knew – but it felt good now. And he was smart and sexy and he was so drawn to her and their bodies fit so perfectly together. The sex was addictive. She knew she couldn’t say no.

Then something happened. It doesn’t matter what. Because something always happens. He started to get too close and he said something that hurt her feelings. And she held back because she knew it could never be anymore than it was. He pushed her away and she pushed him away further. She imagined she would never see his beautiful face ever again so she busied herself with work and meaningless things.

The weather grew colder and she would lie awake at night thinking about him. He imagined her with someone else and it drove him insane. But neither of them contacted each other. They were both too stubborn and practical, and she was so busy. But not too busy to lie awake at night imagining all the nights they had spent together in her bed.

And he stayed busy too. But he could still smell her on his pillows and he imagined her body wrapped around his.

And the days and weeks passed and it started to get easier. She started to forget the little things. Like how his skin smelled and the way he would hold her so close, wrapping his arms around her waist when they were lying in bed.

One night, around 1:24am or something like that, he sent her a text.

“I miss you.”

They saw each other again after that. It turns out, it wasn’t an affair. It lasted over a year and a half. And each time he would walk through her door, without a word, he would  immediately grab her and kiss her like he hadn’t seen her in a hundred years.  It was sexy and passionate and she never wanted it to end.

He made her feel beautiful.

Then something else happened. Maybe she met someone else. Or maybe he did.  It doesn’t really matter. Because something else always happens. And so it ended again and they went their separate ways, as people always do.

And sometimes when she is out with another guy, she gets distracted and finds herself searching for his face in the crowd.

And sometimes when he is out with his friends, he’ll see a girl with long blonde hair and he’ll hear her laugh and he imagines it is her.

Image #1047511 by korshun on Favim.com

Love in the Rain | via Tumblr – image #1047511 by korshun on Favim.com

The Age Factor

The first time I ever dated a considerably younger guy, I repeatedly asked myself “What in the hell are you doing?”

It’s not like I was new to dating younger guys. In fact my first boyfriend was younger than me, my ex-husband was 7 years younger and my most recent LTR was with a guy 12 years younger. It wasn’t exactly new to me. But then out of nowhere it seems, the 20 year olds started appearing. I’d been hit on by 20 year old guys before, but none of them were ever able to truly capture my interest. There’s nothing remotely appealing about “Heyy whats up babe?” or “How r u?”  If he can’t string a simple sentence together, you kind of already know the deal.

But then twitter happened and it opened up a whole new group of guys – of all ages – who were actually thoughtful and funny and intelligent. Then add tinder (no explanation needed there) and the flood gates opened.

That’s when I decided to rethink the whole age thing.

I started out with just simple conversations.  I’d often ask these younger guys why they were interested in older women? Their answers were always the same:  Girls their age demand too much. They get upset if you don’t text them 20x a day. They don’t give a guy his space. They need to know where you are every minute of the day. They’re too dramatic. She was only interested in money. She wanted a serious boyfriend. She wanted to get married.  She was insecure. She was extremely jealous. The list goes on. All huge turn offs to a guy of any age.

Which brought me to why they were drawn to older women: Older women are confident. We don’t need to know what you’re doing every second of the day. We don’t care about that girl who you were talking to at the bar. We’re too busy to text you every single day. We don’t care how much money you make. We are busy with our own lives and careers. We’re more open minded and experimental when it comes to sex. And we certainly are not looking to get married.

Maybe dating a 20 yr. old would be fun.  I decided why not.

One guy in particular made me change my mind. It all started with a few sweet words. Not only was he articulate but extremely intelligent. Two things I can’t resist (even though I tried). Instead of partying with his friends, he chose to spend time with me. He was emotionally mature and genuinely interesting- both extremely sexy- which made him irresistible.

One of my flaws is that I sometimes try to end things at the first sign of trouble. Even if the “trouble” doesn’t actually exist.  I’m like the Runaway Bride of dating. So after only a few months of amazing sex and great conversation, I told him I could never see him ever again.

WHO DOES THAT?

Me, apparently. Well, I used to. (But I’m getting better.) It’s easy to let your head overthink and complicate things, but sometimes you need to think with your heart, which is kind of the same as NOT thinking.

Then a friend told me “Just let the relationship run it’s natural course.” Words I sometimes forget but should definitely try to remember. It’s sometimes difficult to enjoy time with someone when you’re constantly thinking “This can’t last.”

Luckily, he wouldn’t let me end it, so we continued to see each other.

And each time I would start to overthink it, friends would weigh in with “Just have fun. Who cares how old he is?”

It’s our experiences and the people we meet and share time with who ultimately shape who we are and who we become. So I did my best not to overthink it and just enjoy it.

Here is what I discovered. Age really is just a number. Your brain doesn’t say “You cannot be attracted to this person because they’re not the *right* age.” It’s all about chemistry and connection. It’s probably true that a guy in his 20’s isn’t looking for a girlfriend and is more interested in just having sex.  But that’s often true about guys in their 30’s and 40’s, too. And it’s a common fact that women reach their sexual peak in their mid 30’s to 40’s. We think about, enjoy and want sex, too.

I had dismissed many guys simply because I thought they were too young.  But there’s a difference between someone’s age and  emotional maturity. And just because a guy is older doesn’t mean he’s emotionally mature either (I’ve been down that road before, too).

Age doesn’t determine chemistry. If you connect with someone who’s fun and interesting, why not just enjoy it?

It’s all about mutual respect and how you make each other feel. If he makes you feel sexy and beautiful, and he’s respectful and honest, where’s the harm in that?

It doesn’t mean it has to turn into anything serious. Having fun together does not always equal love. It’s not a promise for forever. (I admit that’s a beautiful and romantic notion, but it’s simply not realistic.) It’s just fun and enjoyable and one more life experience that makes you a more interesting person. I mean the world could END TOMORROW. Would you really say no to having fun and good sex if you thought you only had one more day to live? I THINK NOT.

Find a person who you connect with, who you feel comfortable with, who you respect and trust. That’s when the sex really becomes amazing. If those pieces are missing, then you’re probably just having mediocre sex.

And age has nothing to do with finding that connection. Connection has to do with chemistry. And you never know who will have chemistry with until you actually spend time with someone. You shouldn’t dismiss a person simply because of their age.

I don’t often meet guys who can capture my interest. So when I do, why would I dismiss him simply because of his age? It’s all about how he treats me, how he makes me feel and how we interact together. And if all those pieces click, then why not just take it for what it is and simply enjoy it?

 

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I Always Fall for the Average Guy

I’ve dated. A lot. Hot guys, average guys, tall and short guys, smart and nerdy guys, quiet and shy guys. I’ve dated American guys, Canadian guys, British guys and Swedish guys. Okay, only one Swedish guy, but still.

I’ve dated lawyers, engineers, a Secret Service agent, a construction worker, a fireman (he was sweet), rich guys and poor guys. I even dated a body builder, who not surprisingly was dirt poor. We all label people, but the body builder was actually one of the most sensitive guys I’ve ever dated. We were together for almost 4 years. You don’t spend years with someone simply because their body is perfect, because I could have cared less. I stayed with him because he was respectful and sweet.

I’m a sucker for sensitive, funny and sweet. Throw in cute and it’s so over.

I’ve been quite fortunate to have traveled quite a bit during my life and I’ve met many men.  But you don’t have to travel far to find the guy who thinks he is super hot. You know: the one who also comes with a super sized ego. They’re the ones who get the most attention – good and bad – and more often than not, the equally superficial girls.

Personally, I think it’s the average, guy-next-door types who are the real hotties. Because understated is sexy and an overblown ego is not.

The Average Joe. What makes him so special?

How many times have you seen a drop-dead gorgeous girl with an average looking guy? It happens all the time.

Why? Because he’s really not that much different than someone like Steve Carell.

I recently told a guy he reminded me of Steve Carell and his response was “Fuck you.”

But not an angry Fuck you. More of a Haha, that’s funny fuck you.

Either way, why would any guy be offended by that? I’m betting that 90% of women reading this would love to date Steve Carell.

Am I right, ladies?

Steve Carrell is funny and smart and so fucking cute. But he’s not so disastrously good looking that it has totally gone to his head.

He’s also a family man (which is a rare find these days), a doting husband, successful, and all around great guy. All of which makes him the poster boy for the Average Guy.

But most importantly, Steve Carrell is respectful and humble. And those two qualities are ultimately what separates the jerks from the nice guys.

It’s not how a man looks. It’s how he behaves.

Gorgeous or not, women don’t want any guy who is full of himself. Women want a gentleman. They want a man with manners. They want someone who can make them laugh. And someone who can laugh at himself. Women want a man who is real.

Let’s face it, some guys simply try way too hard. I once dated a guy who wore more self-tanner than I do, bragged about his pricey custom made clothing and had an apartment that resembled a hotel room suite. Zero clutter. And zero personality.

We met on a dating site (and I admit, I winked at him first, because hot) and before we ever went out, he sent me an email saying he would never date a woman who had children because he was admittedly “too selfish.”  So I left it at that and moved on to the next profile.

Two weeks later, he emailed me again saying he would make an exception to his “never date single moms” rule and asked to meet for a drink. And although I should have seen the red flags waving, I’m the kind of girl who says “Fuck it”, so I decided to give it a whirl. On our first date, he spent an hour talking about the beautiful, but very dumb woman, he had dated the year before. He admitted she was completely clueless, yet she was “so beautiful.” His “Russian Princess.”
Apparently Russian Princesses are unable to operate an “oven” and don’t know how to “mail a package” (his words, not mine).

It amazed me that a man as educated and intellectual as he was, had wasted 2 years of his life with someone so incompatible. But at least she was hot.

I couldn’t get past the fact that looks were more important to him than a woman’s intelligence and personality.

We dated briefly, and although he wasn’t a bad person, he also had a huge ego. He genuinely thought he was hot shit in his $500 shirts.

PS: The GAP has those exact same shirts for like $30 on sale.

Confidence is sexy, but cockiness is so very not. Next, please.

It’s not difficult to find a hot guy or a pretty girl. Good looks are pretty standard these days. But finding someone who you can actually connect with, someone who makes you laugh, someone down to earth, someone kind, who you can have a stimulating conversation with, someone smart and funny, and someone that accepts you exactly the way you are, is not easy to find.

I once had a guy ask me for full body photos and one additional photo of my ass (yes, a close up of my ass) before he would agree to meet me. He justified himself by telling me he needed to know if he would be “attracted” to me. (I really hope my Mom isn’t reading this. Look away, Mom. LOOK AWAY.)

And I hate to admit this, but I sent him a photo of my ass in sexy underwear. Fuck, I hate myself. (Again with the whole “Fuck it” thing.)

I’m not proud of that – and that is the one and only time I have ever done that – but if I had to do all over again, I would have told him “No thanks” and moved on to the next person. Live and learn.

It sometimes feels like you have to look like a model to get a mans attention. Being smart and funny and interesting simply isn’t good enough anymore.

You have to be all of those and be beautiful, too.

Another guy’s dating profile read: “I don’t want a woman who’s a 10. I want an 11.”  Seriously?

Sadly this is what dating has come to.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Steve Carrell never asked Nancy Walls (his wife of 18 years) for an ass pic before he decided to go out on a date with her. But I could be wrong. Maybe he’s more of a boobs guy.

Guys who put that much importance on how someone looks could care less whether you dropped out of high school or have a Masters in Astronomy.

And they probably don’t care that you spent 2 weeks volunteering in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina or that you spend one weekend a month volunteering at a soup kitchen.

None of that stuff matters.

However, your body better be perfect.

I think most average guys genuinely appreciate a woman. And they’re respectful.

I wonder how Mr. Send Me an Ass Pic would feel if some guy asked his daughter that same question.

Average guys explore a woman’s mind. They ask her questions.

Instead of asking what her ass looks like, they are more likely to ask her what her favorite book is.

They don’t care that you’re not a super model. But they will tell you that you’re imperfections are what make you beautiful.

Because they’re not perfect either.

No matter what someone looks like (hot, average or otherwise), I honestly believe that like attracts like. I think self-centered people attract equally self-absorbed people. Ego attracts ego.

And I think nerdy, sweet girls attract equally nerdy and sweets guys. And so on.

And that’s probably a really good thing.

Because if that’s true, all of the vacuous Barbie dolls will end up with Mr. Look At The $500 Shirt I’m Wearing, leaving all of those cute, sweet, and funny average guys for the rest of us.

Lucky us.

Dear Steve, if you and Nancy ever split up, please call me.

Steve_Carrell

My Perfect Man: The handsome and charming Steve Carell.

How To Date A Jerk

Original title: How To Snag a Good Jerk Before All the Best Ones Are Taken. 

Why would anyone want to date a jerk?

Besides the fact that they are impossible to avoid, the truth is jerks can actually be very interesting people. They can be well read, smart, funny and charming.  They can make you feel really great about yourself, too. Right up until the time they start lying to you. And the cheating part isn’t much fun, either. It’s easy to overlook the negative when we only see the positives. Sweet. Romantic. Sexy. Generous. Thoughtful. In fact a jerk will use those great qualities to lure you in.

Nice smile = I bet he’s nice. He’d make a good boyfriend. Sexy = I bet he’s a great kisser. Sweet = Oh, he told me I was beautiful. *swoon* Thoughtful = He sent you a “Good morning” text. And he sent you your favorite flowers on your birthday. Generous = He took you to dinner and ordered the most expensive wine (all 4 bottles) and now you’re too drunk to drive and that’s not safe, so you should probably stay at his place tonight and OOPS, now you’re naked in his bed. How did that happen?

See what I mean?

I’m certainly not saying that having sex makes someone a jerk. One of the most meaningful relationships I’ve ever had started out that way (sort of, but not really). The point is it’s the ones who keep you guessing all the time, the ones who disappear for weeks & months at a time, the ones who can never give you a straight answer: All jerks.

It wasn’t easy becoming an expert on jerks, but somehow I managed. And the truth is, if we ever rid the earth of all the jerks, there would be very few men -or women- left. Dating jerks can not only be entertaining and fun (in the beginning) but it’s practically impossible to avoid, so choose wisely.

The key is picking the best ones. Jerks come in all shapes and forms. So at least try and choose one that treats his mother well and bonus points if he likes animals. But avoid the Deadbeat Dads at all costs. They fall into the Complete Loser Jerks category, another variety altogether. At least the jerks I dated all had jobs. Well, most of them.

The descriptions I’ve provided are broad, based on my own experiences, so the ones you meet may vary slightly. Here’s a quick overview, from least jerky to most jerky (although 1 and 2 might be tied for equal jerkiness):

How To Spot a Jerk:

1. Mr. Perfect 

Ah, Mr. Perfect, aka: Mr. Great Hair. He has all the physical qualities of The Perfect Man: the fabulous hair, a handsome face, he’s tall, and has a fit body. Physically ideal from head to toe.  He’s successful, has a great job, the modern bachelor pad, the fancy car, the designer clothes, the whole deal. This guy will make all your friends jealous. I mean, what woman would NOT want to date him? He’s never late and he plans every-single-thing (aka: boring). But, he’s too perfect. And he expects you to be perfect, too. Because he suffers from Narcissistic Perfectionism, he will end up criticizing and critiquing every single thing you do. Nothing is ever good enough for him because everything has to be done his way, perfectly. He has to be right all the time and he will remind you constantly. Because he’s unable to appreciate an independent minded woman who thinks for herself. Ultimately, he’ll end up with a beautiful, yet completely vacuous and dull girl, and they will live a very uneventful life together.  The bad news: She will bore him to tears and eventually, she’ll walk away with half of his money. And maybe his fancy car, too. So much for happily ever after. The good news:  He will always have great hair.

2. Mr. Charming

Aka: Mr. Sweet Talker. This guy thinks he’s God’s gift to women. And quite frankly, he could probably charm any woman (or man) into bed.  And he probably already has. If black books were still a thing, he’d have a list of fuck buddies 1,908 pages long. And he keeps his phone locked for that exact reason. He is an expert at schmoozing everyone: men and women.  Which is how he got you. He charmed you into thinking he’s Mr. Faithful, but he’s not.  Far from it. I mean a guy this great should be in a committed relationship, right? The reason he’s still single is because he can’t stay faithful to anyone.  He’s so charming, that even his lies sound believable. He’ll tell you (and all the others he’s sleeping with) how “beautiful” and “special” you are. He uses both reverse psychology and self-deprecation, to appear humble. He’ll tell you how awful he treated his ex, how HE screwed up, and how it was all HIS fault. He’ll tell you how much better he is now, how much he’s learned and how much he’s GROWN from that experience. He’ll say he’s a better man now and blah, blah, blah. He knows exactly what to say to charm you. Right into bed. It’s easy to fall in love with a sweet talker but he’s too in love with himself to love anyone else. He isn’t looking for a real relationship: just another fuck buddy. He’s having sex with so many women, he will slip up. And if you question him, he’ll schmooze and lie his way out of it, attempting to distract you with his charm. So be smart and don’t fall for that crap, beautiful. PS: You’re really special.

3.  Mr. Excuses

Although he’s so sweet and thoughtful in the beginning, you will soon find out that Mr. Excuses (aka: Mr. Liar) has a reason for everything. He had to cancel your date because “He has a big presentation at work tomorrow.”  He still texts other women because “They’re still just friends.”  He can’t see you next week (or the week after that) because “He’ll be out of town on business.” He isn’t looking for a girlfriend because “He needs to find himself first” or “He’s still trying to get over his ex.” He won’t commit to the relationship because “He might get a job in Timbuktu and they only cover a one-way plane ticket and it would break his heart if he moved away and couldn’t see you again.” He had sex with another woman because “You two were fighting and he was out of town and he had too much to drink and it didn’t mean anything.” He can’t invite you over to his place because “He got fired, got arrested, spent all his money on whores and now lives in his mother’s basement.” He has naked photos of other women on his cell phone because “He’s a jerk that has been lying to you and blahfuckingblah.” Need more examples? I think we covered this one.

4. Mr. Sensitive

More like Mr. Insecure. Don’t let his sweet sensitivity, good manners and his soft spoken demeanor fool you. This guy would actually be really great IF he didn’t have so many insecurities and issues. We all have shortcomings, but this man is defined by his. Maybe it’s because his mother didn’t love him enough, or it might be the voices in his own head. More likely it’s a combination of multiple things. The fact is many people have had a crappy childhood. Maybe it was sexual, mental or physical abuse or a parent who was never around. It could be a million things. We are all shaped by our past experiences. And while some people are capable of overcoming a difficult past, sadly some people are not. Not everyone is mentally equipped to conquer their emotional demons. (Which is why they invented THERAPISTS.) The worst part is that because of his issues, this man doesn’t respect himself, so he is incapable of respecting you. He is incapable of reciprocating love. He will most likely drink and use drugs as a source to cover his pain. Sadly, his issues combined with his alcohol and drugs use, will always keep him down. No matter what he tries to convince you of, his demons are his own. It’s actually difficult to find any humor in this one. So unless he seeks counseling and changes, this is one to definitely avoid. *waves 47 red flags* This man needs empathy, but more than anything, he needs to be left alone. RUN, FORREST, RUN.

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After reading over all four (because I’ve only slept with four guys in my life, ever) it appears that many of the guys I’ve been with, all actually cross over into multiple categories. I imagine my exes reading this and trying to guess which one they are. The truth is, many men (and women) are smart, charming and sensitive. We have all lied at some point in our lives. So all four of the men I’ve been with – and everyone on the face of the earth – could potentially fall into 2 or 3 different categories. Including Mr. Control Freak and Mr. Immature. (Okay, FINE. I slept with six guys total. Whatever.)

It’s easy to label someone, but we are all human and everyone makes mistakes. And I could be labeled, too. Every person who has ever dated has committed some relationship crime. But the difference is I never cheated.  I never had an adulterous affair and I never saved the naked pictures as proof.  I was never unfaithful.  It was their own behavior –  the lying and the cheating – that ultimately destroyed every relationship.

Once someone has cheated and lied to you, it’s almost impossible to ever go back.

As you can see, I have had a very positive, happy and successful dating history. It makes you wonder why so many women call men names like jerk or liar, doesn’t it? I guess that will continue to remain a mystery.

The bottom line is that it all comes down to respect and honesty. Respect someone enough to always be upfront and honest with them. No hiding, no lies, no secrets. And if you can always do that, you might just become the Best and Most Honest and Loving Jerk Ever.

Next: How to REFORM A Jerk and Make Him a Better Man. Who knows? Anything is possible.Xoxo

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Disclaimer: All names and identities have been changed to protect the jerks in each description, because jerks deserve privacy, too. Plus, I don’t want to get sued. (Again.) As I wrote this draft, I actually had each guy’s real name next to each description. So if there’s a way technology can go back in time and find that draft, revealing each one’s actual name, maybe I will end up getting in trouble after all. Oh, well.

Final Note: Given everything, I still believe in love. And more importantly, I think most men do, too. Even the jerky ones. Xoxo -MMP

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