Have you ever wondered how to not date a jerk? They seem to be everywhere. No matter how hard you try to avoid them, they seem to ooze out of the woodwork like roaches waiting to pounce.
To be clear, today, we’re talking about lazy, unmotivated, broke, selfish guys who put on a heck of a show for the first few dates and then show their true colors.
Slow Your Roll
Take the time to get to know the man you’re dating, especially if he’s pushing you. Screen him with a phone or zoom call. If he checks out, schedule a daytime date in public.
Daytime dates offer him little chance to have sex with you and help reveal his true character. Don’t have sex with him or you’ll be blinded by your emotions. Hold off until he has proven himself to be worthy of you.
How to Not Date a Jerk: Watch for Patterns to Emerge
Dating is like a marketing exercise. You both want to show your best side to the other person, so you try to hide any baggage and stay on your best behavior.
You won’t hear about the rash around his balls or his drinking problem, and you won’t have a clue that his ex is poking a look-alike voodoo doll of his face with sewing needles.
His true colors usually arrive near the three-month mark of your relationship. The curtain falls and the real man steps forward. He begins to feel comfortable with you and you haven’t dumped him yet, so he feels a little safer showing more of his true colors.
Until you reach this milestone, keep your emotions in check and try not to sleep with him yet. If he respects you, he’ll wait and so far, he hasn’t yet fully proven himself worthy of you. If he’s pushing for sex and trying to crash your boundaries, it might be time to let him go.
Don’t let this guy meet your kids until you’re sure he’s not just another jerk. This keeps them safe from harm and keeps them from falling for him, only to suffer disappointment later…again.
Date Multiple Men
Before you protest, know that he’s dating other women while you’re still in this early phase of getting to know one another. I recommend you do the same. This keeps you from falling too hard for him and allows you to keep your options open.
If you only date one guy at a time, you believe you can mold him into the guy you want. You don’t see that you have other options, and you fall too hard, too fast. You also don’t get a chance to compare different types of men with clarity.
You will never change this guy! Knowing how to not date a jerk means dating more than one guy!
How to Not Date a Jerk | Know What You Want in a Man
Write down what it is you want from a good man. Think back to other men you’ve dated. What did you like about them? What did you dislike? Form a list of those criteria and look for men who have some of them. You’ll never find the perfect guy. All you need is the guy who’s perfect for you.
Know what your dealbreakers are. For example, do you want to date someone who drinks to excess? Would you rather not date someone in a dangerous job? This is a good exercise, as long as you don’t make the list so strict that no guy will ever qualify. Then, you’re just avoiding a commitment.
Embrace Being Single
After you exit a relationship, remain single for at least four months, preferably longer. I know you might feel lonely and all your friends are dating, blah blah blah. Knowing how to not date a jerk means taking time to reestablish yourself as an independent single woman first.
Doing this gives you time to get to know yourself again, rebuild your confidence, get a handle on the current dating scene and reconnect with friends, hobbies and passions that may have been set aside during that last relationship.
This break from dating also allows you to get over your last relationship fully so you aren’t carrying old relationship baggage into a new, potentially great relationship.
Knowing how to not date a jerk includes embracing your single life and taking the time to become a confident, independent woman. Riding Solo, a book written specifically for women who want to do just that, walks you through overcoming the stigma of being single on to becoming that independent, confident woman. This places you in the best possible position to find and date wonderful, great men who are not jerks.
How to Not Date a Jerk | Meet His Friends
Spend an evening hanging out with his friends and watch how they treat him. Do they show him respect? Does anyone pull you aside and warn you about him? How does he treat them and any other women in the room?
Meeting his friends helps you know more about what he’s really like. What type of guys are they? Are they players? If so, so is he. Guaranteed. If they seem like upstanding guys who have steady girlfriends and jobs, then he’s an upstanding guy too.
Does he get drunk? If so, how does he act then? Does he become someone else entirely? Is he rude, discourteous, angry, jealous, and so on? This isn’t normal behavior for someone who’s drunk, so don’t let him tell you it was the alcohol. Many people can get drunk and be perfectly nice, funny people who never verbally or physically assault anyone.
Conversely, let him meet your friends. They will be bulldogs for you. They can ask him questions you either can’t or won’t. They can dig into his past and are better able to ask him embarrassing questions that might draw out those true colors of his.
The only caveat is that if they give you an opinion you don’t like or even a warning, you should resolve to listen. They aren’t wearing your rose-colored glasses and they have your best interest at heart. If they’re seeing a problem, there is one and you’re choosing to close your eyes to it.
Use Your Intuition
Your intuition is a very powerful tool and yet, you probably ignore it sometimes. We all do if our intuition is telling us something we don’t want to hear. Your gut may be telling you something with this guy is off. Listen to that gut instinct.
Take some time to honestly look at what’s giving you that gut feeling. Is it his behavior or something he said? Did someone else say something to you that’s niggling at the back of your mind?
How to Not Date a Jerk | Look at Your Patterns
Humans are creatures of habit and tend to repeat failures, rather than stop and examine them for potential lessons.
Take some time to look at the past men you’ve dated, especially the ones who squarely fall into the jerk category. What is it about these guys that attracts you? Do you like the feeling of rescuing someone? Is it that you somehow are afraid you aren’t worthy of great guys or you don’t feel as if you can attract men other than these guys?
Take that exercise from above and look at the bad qualities in the men you’ve dated. What about those qualities seems to keep drawing you in? The excitement of dating a bad boy? Are you trying to prove something to someone? Really take the time to examine the why behind finding these guys datable.
Form a list of those negative qualities and immediately dismiss any man who shows even one of them.
Last week, I sat down with a woman named Jennifer who also wondered how not to date a jerk. As we talked, she discovered that she chose broken men ever time. She sought them out. Even if a better guy was sitting right in front of her, she chose the fixer-upper guy instead.
This is a low-confidence, low self-esteem, and low self-worth move. This need to fix others is a way of avoiding fixing yourself. It places you squarely in a co-dependent relationship and those never work long-term.
What Jennifer needs to do is embrace being single, learn to become a confident, independent woman and then seek out a great guy who deserves her. She needs a dating time-out to find herself again and rebuild from the damage of her dating past.
This is called a co-dependent relationship and it will always fail. Her fix? Embrace being single and take my confidence courses along with understanding men. The result? Now she is killing it!
Wrapping it Up
Knowing how to not date a jerk is easy, once you know what to do:
- Slow your roll
- Look for patterns
- Date multiple men
- Know what you want
- Embrace being single
- Meet his friends
- Look at your dating patterns
- Trust your intuition