The male of the species: My "Be wary" list

As some of you know, when I have insomnia (which is unfortunately pretty frequently), I often pass the time by making lists. The other night, I started making a list of things to be wary of in guys. Most of the points come from my dating experience, limited as it is, a few are based on friends’ experiences, and a few just come from my observations of the opposite gender.

So…inflammatory/controversial as it may be — and bearing in mind that these are only MY little red flags — here it is …

Be wary of a guy who says he “likes to dance a little every day.” Yes, a guy once told me that. On our first and only date.

Be wary of a guy who doesn’t like football (this may be unique to me). I figure it’ll raise a lot of eyebrows if a guy goes around complaining that his girlfriend/wife is parked on the couch all day on Sundays during the fall. (For those who don’t know, I’m a big football fan.)

Be wary of a guy who’s dirty. Now, I’m far from a neat freak, but I draw the line at not having hand soap in the bathroom, keeping sugar in the fridge “to keep it away from the ants,” letting dead bugs litter the dish-drying rack and cleaning contacts while sitting on the couch, letting the solution drip everywhere and anywhere. (In case you’re wondering, yes, it was one guy who had all these qualities. Plus the way he ate made me cringe — food hanging/dropping everywhere. Ick.). Two other no-no’s: Dirt under the fingernails (wash much?) and not washing one’s hands after going to the bathroom.

Be wary of a guy who’s too cheap. I’m not saying he needs to pay for everything, or even anything. But if the first time you meet face-to-face is over lunch — and said lunch only ended up costing about $20 for the both of you — he should at least make the token offer to treat. Then, you counter with “Oh, it’s fine, we can go Dutch,” and then he can say “OK, sure.” And/or explain that he’s tight for money or whatever. The guy in question here had a full-time job, so I’m not sure what his deal was. Again, I really, really don’t mind paying my own way on dates (in fact, I think it’s a bit odd to expect the guy to always treat), but c’mon..

Be wary of a guy who doesn’t immediately hit it off with your friends. I can’t say I’ve had many occasions to test this theory out as far as guys I’ve dated; it’s just a feeling I have.

Be wary of a guy who shuns TV (this may be unique to me). No, I’m not looking for a partner in couch-potato action, but I don’t get why certain people spit on TVs like they’re mind-polluting. There are so many fun, interesting and educational shows out there to enjoy.

Be wary of a guy who never answers his cell phone. I mean, is anyone every THAT busy?! Especially for someone they’re seeing?? And especially if, when you’re over at their house, they’re constantly picking up their phone to check e-mail and the like.

Be wary of a guy who doesn’t like to read (books, mainly). This is likely another one that’s unique to me. I’m a bookworm, so I need to be with someone who understands that every so often, I need to curl up on the couch with a blanket and a book and do my own thing for an hour or so.

Be wary of a guy with mostly, or a lot of, female friends. I think this is just a personal preference of mine. I don’t know, I just find it weird. Plus, I think I’d always be a little suspicious.. you know?

Be wary of a guy who calls his mom while he’s on a first date with you. Yes, this happened to a friend of mine, and yes, he was making the call, not answering. Oh, and no, there wasn’t anything urgent about the call, he was just calling to chat with her.

Be wary of a guy who makes head-scratching spelling/grammar errors, i.e., signing off by saying “Chau!” or making a joke about having a “stocker.” (OK, this could be me being too picky, but I think you need to draw the line somewhere!)

Be wary of a guy who lies about his age. To me, this means he’s a bit in denial about his situation, and is trying to attract women who are too young (I mean, why not be truthful, then??). A guy I knew nearly 10 years ago is passing himself off online as only being two years older than he was when I met him those nearly 10 years ago.

Be wary of a guy who’s too muscle-y. OK, this is probably another fun quirk I have, but I just can’t get into beefy guys. Unless the dude is a weightlifter, wrestler, football player or fireman (the latter of whom could be forgiven for many of the above transgressions ;o)), I don’t really get the need for all that bulk. Some years ago, my friend Matthew said this hilarious line: “Yeah, I work out and stuff, but not too much. I don’t want to have muscles.” He was an indie-pop musician at the time, so it totally made sense to me!

And of course, I must mention the classic: Be wary of a guy who’s rude to strangers, especially people in service professions (waiters, etc.)

And there you have it! Maybe I’m taking the glass-half-empty view by making a “Be wary” list rather than a “He’s a keeper if …” list, but I’m sure that come together some other sleepless night. Plus, it’s just so much more fun and interesting this way!

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