You’re stuck in an endless cycle of dating terrible guys. Every time you start seeing someone you get this feeling you’ve finally found a good one and before you can even finish that thought he proves you wrong.
Either that, or you’re dating weirdo after weirdo and your bad date stories are piling up. It drives you CRAZY. After all, you’re a good person, and you’re clearly not out here trying to choose weird guys but through some horrible twist of fate, you’re just getting the worst of the worst again and again.
Apparently, there’s some super secret club where all the normal people get together, and we’re just not in the loop. At this point, that’s the only explanation.
As a woman who lives and breathes, I too, have experienced this. In the form of awful tinder dates, annoying boys I met while out with the girls, guys trying to convince me to be a sugar baby, men getting too handsy, and mediocre guys I spend too much of my time on, I have learned that dating is almost impossible.
My 15-year-old vision of eligible men parading to get my attention in glamorous restaurants and wearing extravagant dresses having the time of my life was a little off from the reality of asking from the bill early and literally running for the hills.
So what do you do? How do you navigate the world of dating when dating is the thing that’s driving you crazy in the first place?
The truth is that the solution is a lot more simple than it seems. Learn to say no.
There are a couple of different ways that this usually plays out. Here are 4 types of terrible guys and how to avoid getting involved with them.
1. The Creep.
This is the guy you meet while you’re out on the town, maybe a little bit tipsy, maybe a little bit lonely. He’s the one that is just a little too handsy or a little too pushy, and won’t take “no” for an answer. It’s uncomfortable, right? You might be feeling like it’s easier (or safer) to just give him a phone number, even if it isn’t yours. It’s a bad situation, and for whatever reason, you have a bad feeling in your gut, and that isn’t OK.
So stay firm with that no. EIther find some friends, a group of people who will pretend to be your friend, or lie about having a boyfriend. If someone is making you feel unsafe, you definitely shouldn’t be going on a date with them. I have never heard that go any positive way.
2. The Guy Who Doesn’t Understand You Friendzoned Him.
This is the guy that isn’t really your type. He might be totally smitten, maybe he’s had his eye on you for a while, and the fact of the matter is that you just aren’t into it. I often find myself in this situation, where I enjoy a friendship but the other person is looking for something more than I am willing to give. Sometimes this just stays at that level, where you just stay in an undefined limbo, which can be fine as long as there’s no pressure. However, more often than not, this progresses into an “I’m a nice guy, why aren’t you into me” scenario, and this can get intense fast.
If you know you aren’t into him, just be honest about it! I’d say this is often the most successful way to deal with this. If you let things stay kind of undefined, he might feel hopeful and then end up feeling like he was led on. So end it early, be open and honest about how you feel and try to be aware of his feelings while you do.
3. The “I’m Bored And You’re Here” Guy.
Too often I mistake boredom for loneliness and it seems like a common thing among my friends and family in the dating pool. It’s so easy to say yes when you don’t really have a reason to say no. Sometimes, someone asks you out at the perfect time, where you’re a little more available than usual. You might have a little extra time in the day, but that doesn’t mean you need to find a man.
If he’s not worth your time on your busy days, he isn’t worth it when you’re bored either. Just because someone is conveniently around, doesn’t mean you should say yes. Stick to your gut on this one, but don’t settle just because he’s available.
4. The ‘OK’ Boyfriend.
Most people who have dated can think of one relationship to put in this category. This one is the guy you date for too long for no reason. He’s really an OK dude and maybe you realize he’s mediocre early on but you aren’t ready to end it. Let’s be honest, we all enjoy having someone to rely on to be around, and having someone to post about on Valentine’s Day or on anniversaries is really fun. It makes us feel good so we stay.
But the truth about the okay boyfriend is that he definitely isn’t filling your life with joy. He isn’t building you up, he isn’t encouraging you to be your best self. He’s a placeholder, and you honestly deserve a lot better.
It’s so easy to find a decent dude you can tolerate and slip into the comfort of a relationship hoping that things will be okay. Don’t let yourself do this, this is how you end up dating “eh” guys.
The truth about dating is that it can really suck. It’s hard to find someone worth being with! But you deserve someone who makes you giddy, with that huge stupid goofy grin that you can’t wipe off your face. So say no to ‘eh’ and find something freaking awesome. With 7 billion people on the planet, spaces and events specifically made to meet people, and a million dating apps that let you connect with more people than ever, this is no time to settle for “OK.”
Go get ’em, girl! Just not if they aren’t worth it.
Beth El Fattal is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture and relationship topics.