When it comes to relationships, my experience has been interesting, to say the least.
It's been eye-opening, even.
I've learned many lessons, and I've dated various types of men.
My relationships in my early 20s were just as unsteady as my future was.
It was a time in my life when I was exploring the person I was and the person I wanted to become.
I kept bouncing around from kid to adult and back again, depending on the situation.
However, I was confident in myself and my decisions. I believed I was prepared for anything.
I had seen my friends make some questionable decisions, and I thought I would never make the same ones.
I was wrong.
(Note to self: You are never as smart as you think you are.)
The following list is my compilation of the six types of guys who should truly be avoided in life:
1. The "Artist"
He comes with a camera bag or guitar, and he really is skilled at what he does.
But then again, he doesn't even attempt to figure out how to make a living off his passion.
He's critical and snobby about others doing exactly the same thing.
"I just can't stand sellouts in this industry" is one of his favorite go-to lines.
This makes you scratch your head. You wonder, "What industry is he in, exactly?"
Because the very term "industry" begs for a product and sustainable living of some kind.
Believe me, there is no hope for change in this category.
2. The Story Spinner
He's a "consultant," a "self-starter" or an "entrepreneur."
The thing is, he has nothing to show for any of those very vague career paths.
When you first went out, he had a convincing story about his ex-wife cheating on him, and how he was picking up the pieces after a tumultuous divorce.
You gabbed about it with your girlfriends later over drinks or coffee, and they agreed this "poor guy" had really been used and hurt.
How brave of him to open up to you like that!
But a few months later, he's changed his tune.
His ex-wife didn't cheat on him; you must have heard wrong.
She wasn't crazy, insecure or vindictive; that's just your opinion.
Your loving friends usually remind you of what you initially shared with them (because somehow, we forget the critical pieces of the puzzle when we're "in love").
Usually, you try to defend him.
"Maybe he didn't mean it that way."
Usually, he's the one who cheated in the first place.
Remember there are two sides to every tangled web.
3. The Text Collector
You have had plans for a week, but he cancels last minute because his family, job, band or dog needs him that weekend.
You make dinner at your place, but he just doesn't show up.
He disappears for a while, sometimes for weeks.
You decide you're done wasting your time. But then, he's suddenly blowing up your phone with texts.
"I'm so sorry, baby. I need you."
"You're so much better than me."
"How did I get so lucky?"
While it may seem obvious to most people that he doesn't take your relationship seriously at all, you have somehow become desperate for the attention he gives you (when he's not busy with his family, job, band or dog, of course).
Note: He won't ever show you his phone.
It really should not come as a surprise to find out he has a whole inbox full of women he's copying and pasting the same messages to.
It's sort of like a modern "John Tucker Must Die" scenario.
4. The Narcissistic Victim
You have both been through life-altering experiences that have made you who you are today.
They've changed how you view the world.
But somehow, his story is brought up in almost every conversation.
He uses it for sympathy, for attention and especially for the spotlight.
It shines directly on him, in any and all social interactions.
You may not need to talk about losing your loved one to a tragic illness, your own surgery or your accident in every other sentence, but he does.
He even brings the tears with it.
You can forget about trying to bring any hopeful vibes or encouragement to the table because his tragedy is obviously so much harder to deal with than yours.
You just wouldn't understand.
(Hint: This guy needs serious counseling, and you definitely need to peace out.)
5. The Chronic Child
It's 11 am on a Tuesday, and he's sitting on the couch and playing video games while you're at the office.
His mother still pays for his cell phone and insurance, and she even sends him spending money (even though he complains about how awful his childhood was).
He lives in a run-down apartment that he refuses to keep clean, no matter how many times you come over and help him out with it.
You're constantly pushing him to find a job, hold a job and stop quitting a job.
He stays up all night partying, and he tries to call you (multiple times) after midnight, "just to say hi."
Reminder: You have a full-time job, need to be up at 7 am and don't have time for someone who can't respect that.
He can't take you out on dates anymore (and it's only been three months).
While those first few weeks were spontaneous and fun, you find it gets real old real fast.
Unless you want to be his mother, move on, girl.
6. The Penny Pincher
Obviously, this is a screaming red flag of control and manipulation.
This guy won't spent money on anything (unless it's something he wants, of course), and he questions your purchases and bank accounts constantly.
Here's an example from four months into the relationship: You got your paycheck last week, and you really need a new dress for his sister's wedding.
Well, did you get that dress at a discount?
You used your (gasp!) credit card? We need to talk about how we handle finances.
He will probably give you the silent treatment, and he won't compliment your style choice during the wedding, either.
There are fewer things that irk me more than someone telling me what to do with my hard-earned money.
I pride myself on being pretty frugal when necessary, but I enjoy having the savings to buy myself a nice, new pair of sexy heels every now and then.
Because it's my money.
Someday, when I'm married, it'll be our money.
But for now, in my single life, what I do with my money is my business and no one else's.
So, if I bought those shoes at full price and not from the clearance rack, who cares?
These days, it's much easier for me to spot these guys.
I call them "guys" because they aren't in the same category I classify as "men."
There are plenty of articles about what makes a real man that I have saved as reminders for when I forget what I'm holding out for.
There is no shame in waiting, and there is no guilt in setting a higher standard.
You're worth it. I promise.
So, ladies, please take notes and spare yourselves the agony (or at least the wasted brain cells).
I already did it for you.