I once dated a man I thought I could trust.
I know we have all done it before: fallen into the web that was woven by a first-class player.
But something about my relationship felt different.
When I first got my heart broken by this man, my mother told me stories about how she got f*cked over by multiple boyfriends in her younger years.
She told me about how they were all dickheads, and she knew it.
But for some reason, she kept going back to them.
In my fog of sadness, I couldn’t relate to her. I told her this shouldn’t be happening to me because I picked a nice guy.
Eventually, a year later -- while I was in the middle of letting him back into my life -- I was blown away.
I realized he had been seeing another woman for the entire duration of our time knowing and dating each other.
So, I started thinking: What if a nice guy can secretly be a f*ckboy as well?
Now, there are not only the kinds of f*ckboys my mother used to date. There is a new breed of secret, nice guy f*ckboy.
These guys are much smarter, and definitely harder to detect.
So, what traits should we see as warning bells while trying to detect the secret, nice guy f*ckboys?
These are the things I have learned from my experience:
1. He says all the right things.
I realized that while we were together, he always said the right things.
In fact, not only did he say the right things, he said them in a genuine manner.
He would lead me to believe he was always coming from an honest place. I never felt as though he was saying anything for the sake of it.
For example, when you are being sold a secondhand car, you know the salesman is completely sugarcoating the bomb of a vehicle that sits in front of you.
Your warning bells go off, and you realize this is simply happening in order to get you to purchase said car.
With the secret, nice guy f*ckboy, the process is very similar.
Yet, there is one key difference.
He will make grand gestures and statements. He will hold your hand and look deeply into your eyes, and he will tell you he's being honest.
He will swear to you he is being honest in a very adamant, yet believable way.
But sometimes, being genuine means you make mistakes. It means you don’t always say the right things and do the right things.
But it’s okay because it means you are real.
Being genuine means you actually speak honest and true words, rather than just try to convince everyone you are.
If he’s always saying the right things to you and others, be warned.
2. He can talk for days.
When I first considered taking this devil of a man back for a second chance, we went for dinner and a walk along the boardwalk to “talk.”
We spent a fairly extended amount of time together. However, I did not get one word in.
I not only got fed dinner, I got fed a mouthful of bullsh*t with a side of lies.
I made excuses for him; I thought maybe he was just nervous.
But the truth was, he knew what he was doing.
He knew that the more he tried to convince me he was a changed man, the more likely I was to believe it.
A true and genuine man will want to have an honest conversation with you, rather than just give you a lecture.
He will be equally interested in hearing what you have to say and think of the situation. He will not force you to listen to the sound of his voice.
3. He will always makes you feel special.
I know what you’re thinking: Of course we want a man to make us feel special.
It’s what all women ultimately want to feel when they're looking for a partner.
But a good man will make you feel special through his actions.
I’m not talking about someone who is going to buy you flowers or shower you with gifts.
I’m talking about someone who is going to show up to important events; I mean someone who is going to call you to make sure you got home safe.
You want someone who is going to call you randomly just to see how you are.
This is where the generic f*ckboy and the secret, nice guy f*ckboy will differ.
A generic f*ckboy will take on a typical “hit it and quit it” attitude, and give zero f*cks about it.
The secret, nice guy f*ckboy, on the other hand, will most likely try to "hit it and quit it" as well, but he will leave you feeling tremendously special so you don’t suspect a thing.
Pay attention to a man’s actions, rather than his words.
If his actions lead you to believe he doesn’t care, believe them.
4. He will never give you the power in the relationship.
When my ex-boyfriend and I used to be apart, we would text profusely.
It’s a normal part of dating in this modern, tech-crazed world. But there is something you need to pay attention to when it comes to sussing out any breed of f*ckboy.
I noticed that when we communicated via text or messenger, it was always completely one-sided.
I’m not talking about the fact that I always texted first. I’m talking about him always leaving me hanging.
I eventually realized he would constantly leave me hanging for a reply, even when he was supposedly "just chilling."
Now, I am a rational woman; I realize people can lead very busy lives. They can’t always be glued to their phones.
But later on, he revealed he doesn’t like to respond to people’s messages because he hates it when people don’t respond to his.
He said, “I always like to have the power.”
So, there you have it.
There is always a method to someone’s madness, and this special breed of f*ckboy is much smarter than he wants to come across as.
Pay attention to the little things, and know that in a healthy relationship, nobody needs to play games.
In a perfect world, I would have never fallen in love with a borderline sociopath.
But unfortunately, the heart wants what it wants.
Sometimes, we have no say in who we fall in love with.
What I have learned from this experience is people aren’t always who they seem to be.
Sometimes -- especially when it comes to this complex species of f*ckboy -- they deserve Oscars for how well they can pretend to be people they're not.
So, pay attention. When you start a new relationship, look out for these key elements.
They could ultimately save you from a world of heartbreak.