Five Guys You Shouldn’t Date

Niki Marinis

They look good on paper, but no so much in real life

Photo Art by Katie Dutch

My parents always warned me not to date starving artists, bartenders and guys who don’t pay their bills on time. I know, I know, we shouldn’t stereotype but there’s a reason the stereotype exists in the first place.

I was told from an early age to always check the guy’s bank book (Does anyone besides my dad even have a bank book anymore?) And to assess whether he’s kind to the wait staff.

But despite that sage advice there are a few other types who can blindside you and some of us had to learn the hard way.

Here are five guys you shouldn’t date.

The Perfect on Paper Boy

How to spot him

He’s well educated. Comes from a good family. Knows just how to make you laugh. He sends you flowers and buys you gifts for no reason. He’s a good looking guy. Not like he stepped off the pages of GQ, but he’s certainly no slouch.

He works out often and is in great shape, but secretly loves junk food as much as you do. He has a promising career and reads to blind children in his spare time.

If dating was like potential CEOs applying to work at your Fortune 500 company, because it is, his resume would be pristine. His exes would gladly pick up the phone to lobby on his behalf, citing their own inadequacies as the underlying cause of their respective breakups.

Why he’s tempting

He’s pretty much “perfect”, however you want to define that, so you’d be an idiot if you weren’t interested in this guy. But that’s the problem: he’s so perfect he’s boring.

There’s no chemistry. No excitement. We need some spice! That’s what sucks the most about this guy. On paper he’s perfect. In reality he’s a snooze fest.

Plus, I’m convinced anyone THAT perfect has to be hiding something.

Right, Ted Bundy?

How to get rid of him

He’s not going away easily. Even if you start dating someone else, he’ll be carrying that torch for a while. He’s devoted to you 100% so nothing you say can change that.

Try faking mental illness and he’ll offer to drive you to the clinic. He’s so persistent you may end up the victim of an encore appearance.

He’s perfect on paper so you should love him. Just remember that you don’t.

The Freeloader

How to spot him

He’s in his 30s but dresses like a 19 year old frat boy who just rolled out of bed. It’s likely he dropped out of college. Not because he started his own company and is currently the world’s youngest billionaire, but because he wanted to backpack through Europe and “find himself.” Keep looking.

He’s perpetually unemployed but occasionally lands a part-time handyman or construction gig and always has a rational explanation for why he’s “in between jobs.”

He enjoys relaxing on your couch, eating your food and spending your hard earned money.

Why he’s tempting

Despite his lack of ambition and sloth-like tendencies, you’ll find yourself attracted to him because he’s a good looking guy with a winning smile and a smooth line of BS.

He’s managed to get through life without having to hold down a job or act like a grown up because he’s charming. Freeloaders say whatever’s necessary to get what they want. It’s a survival technique he’s honed over a 30+ year period so you don’t stand a chance against his charm.

When it comes to relationships he probably insists he’d dig ditches 20 hours a day if it meant he could be with you, but there just aren’t any ditch digging jobs open right now. *sigh*

How to get rid of him

You don’t think he’s going to get off this gravy train willingly, do you? Ending this relationship will be tricky. You may have to sneak out of it if you want to end it successfully.

It’s not as simple as saying, “This isn’t working out for me anymore.” They’ve been freeloaders their whole lives. They’re really good at scamming and then convincing you it was your idea in the first place.

The minute you try to end it he’ll tell you whatever you need to hear to keep you supporting his comfortable lifestyle.

The Scumbag

How to spot him

He’s usually in his late 30s, i.e. old enough to have graduated from his player ways and developed some respect for himself and women.

He has a good job that requires a dress shirt and tie. He might even own his home. For all intents and purposes he’s got his act together.

And you can thank his wife/fiance/live-in-girlfriend/soon-to-be-ex-wife because she’s already invested her time and effort to at least make him look like a decent man.

Therein lies your problem: from an emotional or legal standpoint he’s spoken for by someone who isn’t you. Guys who claim their relationship status is “complicated” also fall into this category.

Why he’s tempting

Aside from our stupid biological tendency to be attracted to assholes, there’s an additional layer of complexity here. The fact that he’s attached demonstrates his willingness to commit, and if you’re looking for a long term relationship you might fall victim to this bass-ackwards logic.

You may also be tempted by the fact that he’s doing a side by side comparison of you and his S.O. and you’re coming out on top. What’s not appealing about being more attractive than someone else?

Everything is a competition these days. Plus, there’s something deceptively alluring about being the other woman. The problem is, unless he’s willing to leave her he’ll never really be yours.

How to get rid of him

This kind of relationship should end before it starts, but it rarely works that way. If attempts to extricate yourself from this sticky situation fail, call his wife. She can probably help you out.

The Lone Wolf

How to spot him

Dark, brooding, intense. Think Ryan Gosling in “Drive.” He doesn’t have a lot of friends (if any) and doesn’t have any substantial ties to family.

He’s a loner, Dottie. A rebel.

He drives too fast, smokes too much and takes his whiskey neat. Rules were meant to be broken. He’s tall and lanky from malnutrition. Who needs vegetables when you’ve got bourbon?

You might mistake him for a hipster, except he refuses to wear glasses. Unless you’re referring to his aviator sunglasses he needs for high speed cruising around dangerous curves.

Why he’s tempting

He’s irresistibly mysterious and so cool you’re beside yourself. You’re convinced you can soften his edges a little. You’re the woman that can save him from the dark side. You can fix him.

But when you really think about it, it’s weird he basically has no one. If he hasn’t even been able to maintain a friendship what makes you think he’s going to be able to manage a serious relationship?

Spoiler alert: he’s not. Move on.

How to get rid of him

Just stop calling. Chances are, he probably won’t notice anyway. He’s not the relationship type, remember?

The Mama’s Boy

How to spot him

Aside from the bleeding heart “MOM” tattoo, he can be anywhere from his late teens to his late 60s. Mama’s Boys span the generations. Why? Because it’s not something they’ll ever outgrow.

He spends most weekends with his family and speaks very highly of his mother. Not only is she an amazing cook who keeps a spotless house while working two jobs, she’s also next in line for sainthood.

He’s looking for a woman to take over her previous responsibilities. But it’ll end up being more like a job share.

Why he’s tempting

The fact he has a great deal of respect for his mother speaks volumes about him. His relationship with his mother can provide good insight into his overall perceptions of women. When he holds his mother in high regard, most of the time you can assume he’ll do the same for you.

The problem with Mama’s Boys is they’ll never hold you in higher regard than their mother. For the rest of your life, despite the fact that he should be basing decisions on you, his mother will continue to assert her influence. It may not even be intentional. He’ll default to whatever his mother thinks is the right thing to do.

Considering taking a job overseas because it’s a great career move for you? Mama might not like that her son will be missing Sunday dinner every week thanks to your international jet setting ways, and she’ll be sure to remind you every chance she gets.

Should you choose to stay in a relationship with a Mama’s Boy be prepared to compete and lose. You’ll never cook as well as she does.

How to get rid of him

Call his mom and inform her that your relationship with her son is over. She can take it from there.

Oh, and the artists I’ve dated were never starving. Nor were the musicians. The novelist was, but only after we dated, and he stopped dating when he was broke. Because he’s a man and he’s got his priorities straight. I should look him up…

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I'm an original. A Warhol. You're just a print. I like thrift store owls, true crime, and breaking hearts.

Ventura, CA

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