December 9, 2013

Don’t Date a Guy Who… ~ Renée Picard & Jamie Khoo


Date a Woman Who Knows Everything (& Nothing).

Date a Boy who Serves.

What Would You Pay to Learn How to Date?

‘Wow, I really like this guy. I think he might be the one.’

When we first start seeing someone, we think about how amazing he is, falling in love with him for what we perceive as something so very special: he’s older than us, younger than us, from our neighbourhood, from across the ocean, a writer (just like us!), a banker (nothing like us!).

Then at some point—a week, a few months, or a couple of years in—things change, and we find ourselves wondering how on earth we could have found endearing the very things we now want to pound them (erm…or maybe ourselves) on the head for.

To each their own, we know.

But having been in the dating world for a while now (some 30 years between the two of us, yikes!), we thought we might save you some heartache and irritation with a wisely-curated, definitive list of the kinds of boys you absolutely should not date.

Take our word for it. You may want to take our words with a pound of salt, but take them anyway. I think that at this point in our lives we at least kind of know what we are doing.

There’s a reason both of us are still single. Well actually, many reasons—and here they are. We highly recommend that you:

Don’t date a guy who…

Is a writer

Or any other kind of artist. You will be their muse at some point or another, which sounds really romantic but, amongst other things, means that you could end up in their blog posts that refer to their ‘crazy ex’ (which eventually will be you).

Wait, Jamie, that’s exactly what we’re doing right now, isn’t it? 

Aaaaand moving on.

(we don’t really mean this)

…Makes your knees weak just by being in the same room

I think that most of us ladies know by the time we hit our 30’s that this is a huge red flag…no, it’s beyond a red flag. It screams danger. If you know that you get rubbery just by brushing against his arm, if you are envisioning your panties on the floor within the first 10 minutes of dinner, you’re in trouble, straight up.

I mean, if you make sure you shave your legs first, and pack your teeny overnight bag in that way that he doesn’t really realize that you have it but it gives you enough security that you know you won’t have to do the walk of shame in the morning, then you can go out with him and have a really good time—like, a really, really good time

…sorry, what were we saying?

Oh yeah, it’s your call. We’re suggesting that if you want something longer term, weakened knees usually don’t lead to that. We’ve heard those urban myths about the couples that sleep together and have fantastic sex the first night and then they get married and it’s still amazing 20 years later.

We don’t believe them.

…Sleeps with his dog

A guy who loves his dog is adorable. It signals some sweet nurturing abilities, indicating that maybe he’d be a great father—or at least that he’d remember to feed your cat the next time you leave town.

Loving the dog, that’s great. But talking about it nonstop, photographing it nonstop, sharing a bed every day—will there really be enough room left for you in his life, let alone in his bed?

…You like more than he likes you

Especially if you just got out of a relationship. But this article might provide some useful tips for dating on the rebound.

Answers everything with ‘whatever’

This is much more likely to happen later on in a longer term relationship, but the point is to be wary of complacency.

This is a message to you dudes: we like it when you plan the date. Leave a little bit of room for us to let you know that we don’t particularly like seafood, but know that taking charge is one of the sexiest things in the world.

…Talks about how ‘crazy’ his ex-whatever was

Listen, if this is the case, you will probably end up on the crazy ex list too. Even if you are not currently crazy, he will drive you crazy and create a crazy ex out of you.

That’s how the last one got on the list, trust us.

Besides that, it’s just plain tacky behaviour.

…Is younger than you

A little younger is okay, but not more than eight years younger. You don’t want to end up being their mum, making sure they have enough lunch money as you kiss them goodbye in the morning and see them off to school (oh yes, we’ve been there). It’s tacky and awkward when you start talking about how much you loved New Kids on the Block, and then realize that he wasn’t even born yet.

Inevitably, after all the great sex (because yes, younger men have incredible energy and stamina, wooh!), there soon gets to be a bit of a generational communication break-down.

He just doesn’t get the things you think are important or are passionate about, and vice versa. (Unless you’re Demi and Ashton, of course, but we haven’t quite broken their secret yet). So at dinner, you ask him how classes went today and he’ll nod into his pasta and mumble something about them ‘being okay’; and you start feeling like his mother, so eventually you stop talking too.

Then soon it’s time for bed because he’s got to wake up early for college tomorrow morning.

…Doesn’t like to read

No, really, don’t. We’ve found that boys who don’t read get boring very quickly. They run out of things to say, take everything literally and have none of that heart passion that comes only of reading and dreaming and wondering and imagining.

Most horrifying of all, they’re actually okay about not reading and fail to understand why we think it such a big deal.

…Can’t hold a decent conversation

This is usually the cousin of the boy who doesn’t read. You know the sort—the ones who just sit there, staring into their coffee, quite oblivious to the fact that they haven’t had anything interesting at all to say for the last 40 minutes.

If I wanted to go on a date and be silent throughout it all, I may as well have just stayed at home and sat on the couch with my stuffed animals.

At least with them, I could play a sort of grown-up make-believe and create conversations between Belinda Bunny and Earnest the Elephant. It’s far more painful to sit across another living, breathing human being and get… nothing. It’s not sexy or aloof or Indie cool. It’s just a damned waste of time.

Is prettier than you

This guy—the one who spends more time than you doing his hair, deciding what outfit to wear, washing his face. You want someone to look good, of course, and to take care of himself. But beware the boy who is far more fastidious and finicky than he should be; who’s fussing and fluffing and preening beyond what’s really required for the occasion (like going down to the shops).

Nobody likes a fuss-pot, whether it’s a girl or a guy—it only signals a kind of anal-retentiveness and compulsive behaviour that will soon start to surface in other areas of the relationship.

…(Thinks he) is less than

This refers to the guy who is less attractive/less qualified/less financially able/less fit/less sociable etc. than you are—in short, the guy who believes that he’ll never be as good as you are and lives with the perpetual self-imposed curse of an inferiority complex. He’ll bristle when you pay the bills, weep into his coffee when your very sexy, handsome (but gay) friend comes over to say hello,  and constantly lament the inevitability of someone better coming along and taking you away from him.

Remember that every man’s evolutionary forefathers went out to club big bad mammals over the head and drag them back for dinner—so you can imagine how ridiculous and tiring it gets having to constantly reassure him of his worth. If whatever (imaginary) lack there is doesn’t put you off him, that sheer, draining, whiny lack of confidence surely will.

…(Thinks he) is better than

One of the most aggravating of them all is the guy who thinks that he knows everything better than you, from Obama’s most recent policy change to the benefits of cashews over almonds. There’s nothing you can say or do that he can’t say or do better; no story you can tell that he can’t top; no song you can sing in karaoke that he can’t do a better version of.

At some point, you’ll suggest that maybe you should both just agree to disagree.  But this kind of guy won’t settle for that. He wants the last, best word. Eventually, you start agreeing to everything he says, just so the b***ard will shut up so you can drink your coffee (which of course he disapproves of) in peace.

Conversations get tiresome, then frustrating, then boring. Your dates are turning into encyclopaedic discussions and heated debates where there is only ever one winner (it’s never you). You realize suddenly you don’t need to date a guy for all this when you could just have a quiet, peaceful threesome with Google and Quora.

So you see we’ve criss-crossed over a wide enough range of dating site profiles to know this: when it comes down to it, it doesn’t really matter if the guy is taller or shorter, older or younger, smarter or dumber, has red hair or black hair.

And there’s always gonna be crap because we’ve got all kinds of funky going on inside our own little lovely, complicated, beautiful, jumbled selves.

That last guy who drove us up the wall, round the bend and into near distraction—well, as much as we had to admit it, it wasn’t really all him, was it?

Know that he’s probably also out in a bar somewhere telling his friends of the time he dated this girl who…(and it will be everything we know we are and have done).

Still, we do not—and we repeat not—pick up the phone, call up all our exes and rekindle any fires. No. All those blunders remain blunders and have a comfortable enough space in this beautifully snug place called “the past.”

Having said all this, we don’t regret those past relationships. Every single one of them brought us good stuff too—things to learn from, things to laugh about, things to remember, things to tell stories of. Because, after all, for every damn misgiving he had that made us sob into our pillows and proclaim, “Don’t date a guy who…!”, he likely also had an equally sound quality that still makes us sigh and exclaim, “Oh, but do date a guy who…!”

But that’s another story, for another day.

*Disclaimer from Renee: I’m much more open minded about dating and relationship stuff than this article may lead the reader to believe (a message that I hoped I got across in this article). My point is that it’s a cruel, cruel world out there, folks: dating is not for the faint of heart! If you do not end up feeling like a bit of a loser/jerk at the end of a given date, chances are that the other person will. Sometimes the choice boils down to sifting through the weirdos in order to find someone decent (which can be freaking exhausting but at least makes for good stories), or stay in alone with a bottle of wine and a good film noir (lately I’ve mostly been opting for the latter, and it’s working out pretty well). 

*Disclaimer from Jamie: I know that much of what I’ve written is grossly caricatured and I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who have very happy, fulfilling relationships with shorter, younger, quiet men who don’t like to read (hah). And all the power to them, really—because at the end of the day, for all their eccentricities, they’re in happy, loving relationships while I’m spending the evening in alone again, with DVDs and a pint of ice cream. If, however, you’re up for the challenge, I won’t say no to coffee. 


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Editor: Bryonie Wise

{Photo: Hsing Wei on Flickr}

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