The Signs You're Dating A Douche, And Why It Might Actually Benefit You

by Patty Rivera

In my ten years of dating, I’ve dated some pretty horrible guys. I’m not going to say it was entirely their fault because I was dumb enough to fall for their games and allow them to be douchebags. With that being said, if you’ve fallen for the antics of a douchebag, don’t blame him; blame yourself. This article is a confession and declaration of why it’s okay to date douchebags, especially in your 20s.

For the most part, I was in serious relationships during my early adult life. Looking back, I can say that even the men who took me off the market ended up being douchebags. The first boyfriend I ever had ended up screwing me over financially and left me greatly in debt. My second boyfriend graduated from law school and broke up with me right upon graduating.

Then, he decided to move on to someone new just two months later, after I invested four years of life, let alone my early 20s, with him.  It’s not to say these men didn’t make up some of the most wonderful experiences of my life. I can say now that even though the end was bittersweet, the beginning was amazing, and I will never regret spending some of my most valuable years with them.

Now, you might ask yourself what led me to think that dating a douchebag might actually be a beneficial experience. Well, growing up in a household with five boys taught me a lot about men, which is also why I didn’t have a boyfriend until I was 18. My brothers were extremely protective. Watching them play games on all types of females taught me how to be aware of all types of men. However, in my days of being single, I lost my ability to pick the douchebags out of the crowd.

After being in two back-to-back long-term relationships, I’m still single, yet very much mingling. I had booty calls, one long distance relationship, mini summer relationships and, of course, flings. Not all the men I’ve dated have been douchebags, as I’ve met some pretty amazing men along the way, too. However, my biggest weakness was my failure to pay attention to the signs.

I would get myself so hyped up on the idea of a possible relationship that I missed all the obvious red flags. So, to help you avoid making the same mistakes I did and ending up with a douchebag, here are some of the signs to look for when dating in your 20s.

He fails to respond to your attempt to communicate.

If he does not return your text or call within 24 hours (or even within four to six hours), his lack of expression is an obvious hint at his disinterest. If a man wants to talk to you, or he’s just thinking about you, he won’t hesitate to let you know it by reaching out.

He makes none of the effort.

If you have to go out of your way and travel the distance to see him without him making the same effort, it’s not worth it to him. While it may sound harsh, men are rather simple. If he doesn’t put in the effort, he simply does not care.

He’s either broke, or he’s selfish.

If he doesn’t take you out and treat you to something special every once in a while, he has no intention of showing you your worth. If he constantly suggests a night in of watching movies and you making dinner, he likely has no money to spend, or he doesn’t wish to spend his money on you. In addition, it’s possible he doesn’t want to be seen with you in public if he’s keeping you inside every night.

He doesn’t know how to treat a lady.

Selfish Machine

If you are splitting the bill more than half of the time, run. This man is so obviously a loser and not a true gentleman if he can’t comprehend the manners to treat a woman to dinner every once in a while.

He wants to steer clear of your loved ones.

If he doesn’t want to meet your friends and family, he doesn’t take you seriously. The same goes for his family. Meeting family members and close friends is a big step in a relationship. It can be very awkward and rather nerve racking, so if he’s not willing to take that leap, know that he doesn’t plan on sticking around for long. As soon as he gets bored of banging you, he’ll be out of sight.

He wants to see you at random times and days.

If he has to work weekends, this might be understandable. However, if he works a typical 9 to 5 and only calls you in the early morning hours and weekends, you’re so plainly his booty call. He has no intention of bringing you into his life, taking you out, introducing you to his friends, getting to know you, etc. If you sense a man trying to make you his booty call, give him one last ring, and hit it and quit it for yourself.

The only way you will ever really know what type of man you really want is by dating and being in all types of relationships, with different types of men. By different types, I literally mean men of different races, nationalities, ages, interests, etc. Like I tell my friends, I’ve basically dated all the colors of the rainbow, and although they say that no two people are the same, boys will be boys no matter age, race, or culture.

I look back and remember thinking I was a victim in my relationships with these douchebags. I was no victim, and you aren’t, either. A man will go as far as you let him. Men are like little kids. If you take their toys away, they will miss them and want them back. If they play with their toy too often, without the chance to miss it, they will get bored of it and toss it away all too quickly, no matter how fun, pretty, or cool that toy was. The world of dating is like a game - you have to know how to play it.

The more douchebags you date, the more you become aware of the common games they play. I’m not going to say all men are the same because they are not, but I’m here to tell you they are all very similar. Quite frankly, men continue to play the same games their whole lives, with periodically changing rules as they age, or “mature.”

If you’ve never dated a douchebag and your dating life is thriving, good for you! Keep repelling the gnats. But if you are like me, if you’re a nice, naïve girl like I once was, you should know that your heart is bound to be broken – if it hasn’t been already.

But ya know what? The juice is worth the squeeze. In the end, it’s better to have had your heart broken a million times than to have never experienced the power of love. So, thank all the douchebags you’ve dated because one day, you will meet that special person and know exactly how to build the foundation for a good relationship. You’ll know how to cherish and appreciate him and how to keep the healthy bond.

This world is huge and not every man out there is a douchebag. As women, it can be a cold, cold world when it comes to dating, but we just have to know how to pick ‘em! Don’t ignore the signs! Don’t settle for less than you deserve! Remember your worth and never sacrifice it! Remember who you are and all that you have to offer. Soon enough, you’ll love yourself too much to ever let anyone into your life that loves you any less. And for those douchebags? “What goes around comes around.”

Top Photo Credit: Bryan Steffy/Getty Images