Tag Archives: Dating 101

The Guysexual’s Guide To Every Heartbreaker In The World

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Sumit, an illustrator, met Zishaan, an interior designer, at a friend’s bring-a-single mixer.

It was a classic meet-cute.  A match made in architectural heaven, he would tell his kids one day. They had mistakenly picked up each other’s glasses (double vodka sodas with a hint of lime juice) and then bonded all night over their mutual love for the Big Little Lies Soundtrack. Before the party had ended, they had (consciously) picked up each other’s Instagram handles.

After a whirlwind first date at a local bistro, Zishaan had texted Sumit telling him that ‘he wanted to see him again. And again. And again’.

After the second — an indie movie at a derelict single-screen — he messaged with a stream of endearing heart emojis.

After the third, the designer made an in-joke about the chocolate chip sundaes they had just shared, just after he kissed him goodbye under the starry sky. He’d use that one in his wedding speech, Sumit had gushed to himself later that night.

Sumit had met a lot of men in his life: there was the It Boy he had spent months chasing (who dumped him for a socialite prince), the Gym Freak he had joined the gym with (who believed in free weights and free love), the Hipster he had gone vegan for (who sold him out for Alt-J’s concert tickets), the Sapiosexual who made him do crossword puzzles (and realised he was not as good), and lastly, the F**kboy who said he wanted to give Sumit all his love (but gave him genital crabs instead) — so many men, but none had felt the same way.

With his broad grin and broader shoulders, Sumit rightfully thought Zishaan was the One. He was charming, he was funny, he was full of those soul stirring words that made Sumit dream of Disney musicals. Plus, he didn’t have genital crabs.

But the one thing he was not?

Available.

Five dates in, Zishaan was always busy. He was always swamped with work. He was always attending a friend’s birthday. He was always a ‘let’s just chill next week?’ text away.

In retrospect, Zishaan was the quintessential heartbreaker — and like many others like him — he eventually pulled a Houdini, and disappeared without a trace from Sumit’s life. The Disney musical sadly couldn’t even make it to its second act.

Like Zishaan (and other self-diagnosed misunderstood men), the heartbreaker is the junk food of the dating pool — the Big Mac, the Whopper, the Crunch Taco Supreme — he’s good for a quick bite, but bad for your long-term health.

But can you really tell your Disney prince from the douchebag?

It’s simple. Wave away all that fairy dust, and scroll through this list before you start planning your tropical Bae-cation in Aruba: if the object of your affection checks five items on this list, he gets a yellow card; if he checks seven, he gets a red card, and if he gets more than 10, stop reading this list and send him a goodbye text right away.

Because there’s a chance he never will:

The heartbreaker wears his own line of perfume. It’s clean and invigorating, and has notes of cypress combined with hints of cardamom, cedar wood and a base of vetiver root, resulting in a blend that’s ‘comfortingly familiar and mature’.

He calls it Heartbreak, by ‘Me’.

*

The heartbreaker will look at you endearingly, and tell you that ‘he’s never felt this way about anyone else before’.

He’s also said this to three other boys in the past week.

*

The heartbreaker is quick to christen you with a pet name. It’s usually a variation of his favourite dessert.

It’s also usually a tactic because he doesn’t remember your name.

*
The heartbreaker disables his read receipts on Whatsapp, because it’s so ‘exhausting’ to keep a tab on all the conversations.

But he mysteriously won’t reply to your messages on Facebook Messenger.

*

The heartbreaker flakes like he Instagrams.

Incessantly.

*

The heartbreaker is a seductive blend of witty one-liners, intuitive pop culture references, heartwarming texts and dimples that run deeper than the Marina Trench.

All four have high success rates.

*

The Heartbreaker’s favourite adjective to describe himself is also his most-searched word on Google.

Misunderstood.

*

The heartbreaker has built his walls up so high, he’s thinking of selling them to Donald Trump.

He plans to do so at a profit.

*

Over bite-sized bits of cheese, he tells you all about his exes. Ishaan wanted to move in too early. Rohan would never stop calling. Ameya decided to tell his friends why they broke up. Atul begged to take him back by standing outside his apartment all night. Vaibhav called him a cheating scumbag. Anuj threatened to set his house on fire. Paarth asked his mom if she knew her son was a psycho. Ram stole his wallet. They were all so crazy.

He conveniently forgets to tell you their sides of the story.

*

The Heartbreaker calls himself a ‘lone wolf’. The Alpha of a one-man army. He never talks about his family, friends or anyone really significant, and seems committed to keeping it that way.

But yet, he’s always hanging out with them when you try making a plan.

*

As he hand feeds you breakfast one day, he’ll laugh and tell you how ‘everyone will warn you that he has a bad reputation’.

Only he’s not joking.

*

The heartbreaker doesn’t roll up his sleeves, because that’s where he ‘wears his heart.’

Only this time, he’s joking.

*

The heartbreaker only wants to ‘hang out’.

*

The heartbreaker leaves a breadcrumb trail of likes through three years’ worth of your Instagram pictures.

But he still won’t ask to follow you there.

*

You spend more time talking about the heartbreaker, than to him.

*

The heartbreaker doesn’t like to ‘plan’, he’d rather just ‘live’ the date.

In the confines of his living room, with pre-mixed cans of gin and tonic.

*

The heartbreaker flits through relationships like you flit through magazines at the dentist’s. In fact, he ended his last relationship just while you were ending your workout for the day.

*

When he asks you to come over for some #NetflixAndChill, that’s all that he wants to do — binge-watch a Netflix original and chill with canapés and a bottle (or two) of expensive wine.

Bonus points if it’s a bottle of York Sparkling Cuvee Brut.

Even more bonus points if he makes the canapés himself.

*

The heartbreaker is too conflicted/ too damaged/ too busy to be ‘in a relationship’. He wears it like a badge nonetheless, and uses it to introduce himself at mixers.

It works like a charm, especially when he mistakes your vodka soda for his.

*

See, but that’s the thing about our guy. He’ll tell you he’s not a heartbreaker.

And that’s exactly what makes him one.

So pull out those Band-Aids. You’ll need one.

The Potential Boyfriend Test

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Here we are.

It’s Valentine’s Day.

Things are going well, and you’ve finally managed to sink your claws (and your teeth, if you are lucky) into that perfect guy, just a few days short of Hallmark’s highest grossing holiday.

In fact, it’s never been better. You’ve had half a dozen great dates, with half a dozen happier endings — he’s clean behind the ears, dresses well and can even sustain a conversation (and more) well until the wee hours of the morning. What can possibly go wrong? He’s the opposite of every Taylor Swift single.

But hold on, you have to test drive the goods before you get onto the much-discussed boyfriend bandwagon — is he the ‘One’? Would he mind being called the ‘One’? Most importantly, is he the ‘One’ you want to get ‘one-on-one’ sangrias with on Valentine’s Day?

Don’t have the answers to any of these questions yet?

Well, just wind up your paramour through these 10 tests before you seal the deal (or book the table), and decide to change your Grindr status to ‘Committed’:

1. Ask him to eat a submarine sandwich in front of you.

Is he fast, sloppy and unaware that the mustard relish is dripping down his front? Choose wisely – because, if you’ve still not sealed the deal with the boy, this is an exclusive preview of what it’s going to be like when he goes down on you.

2. Switch off the Wi-Fi when he’s working.

His level of irritation is inversely proportional to how essential it is for you to date him in the long run (unless of course, he’s in the middle of a very important presentation, in which case, you are the one no one should commit to).

3. Tell him to joke about your best friend.

 This is a trick question: no one makes a joke about your best friend.

No one.

4. Get him to drive.

Does he speed through signals? Drives in a zigzag as if he were in an arcade game? Is he a honker? (That was another trick question: No one should be a honker!) It’s time to zip off in your own car.

While people who can’t drive are of the sexiest variety, you can still check up on him by sharing a cab – if he backseat drives and complains about how the air conditioner doesn’t work, he’s probably not the right guy for you. Why?

Because he’s a downright d**chebag.

5. Ask him to make a cup of coffee.

Pours the milk last? Doesn’t beat the coffee? Makes it that dull milky brown that you’ll never touch? No, no and an extra no. Plus, if he can’t even make a simple cup of coffee, he’s not ready to be in a real relationship yet.

6. Go on a weekend trip.

There are a thousand things that can go wrong when you spend 48 (or more) hours in each other’s company away from home. From flat tires, delayed flights to overbooked hotels – you have the potential to fight about anything from who sleeps on the right side of the bed to which one of you takes the cheap shampoo bottles back home. Well, think of it this way, if it doesn’t work out, you can always leave him behind.

7. Make him meet your most annoying acquaintance.

If he makes it through the night without rolling his eyes, nudging you or giving you the blank stare, then he’s someone you should sign up for right away. Any man who can see you at your worst (at making friends) definitely needs to see you at your best every day. Just make sure you tell him that he doesn’t need to see your awful friend ever again, otherwise he’d be the one reading this guide to replace you.

8. Take him to a restaurant with really bad service.

If he doesn’t roll his eyes, talk rudely to the wait staff, make faces at the food or tut loudly whenever the manager passes by; he’s the well-mannered guy you’ve been waiting for all your life.

9. Ask him what he thinks about feminism.

If he goes on a rant about how women already have equal rights, and how he could do with a seat on the bus instead; I’ll go on a longer rant about why you shouldn’t pursue him any further.

Because like his opinion, he’s clearly not worth it.

10. Call him.

Don’t judge him if he doesn’t pick up your call – he could be driving, at work, in a meeting, using the washroom, saving a baby from a burning building or even worse, dead. Reserve the judgment for when he doesn’t call back.

But then again, it probably means he doesn’t want to date you either.

The Guysexual’s Guide To Decoding Dating Bios On Every App In The World

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As you might have realised, your dating profile is your window to the world. It’s your 4’ by 6’ advertisement in the personals section of the newspaper. So it’s only obvious that you’d spend more time on it: Being your witty, charming, and fun self – that’s where you get your right swipe, your woof and your clandestine tryst for Wednesday night.

But we don’t.

Instead, we look at every profile with an Instagram filter – there’s the computer analyst who’s mug shot is spruced up with Aden, the graphic designer from seven hundred metres away shining bright in the Maldives with Valencia and finally, the architect across the street, basking on the beach with a healthy dose of Amaro. While pictures gain priority, our bios get rehashed in different versions of the same fifteen or so things — all as pointless as trying to get the barista at Starbucks to spell your name correctly.

Here are a few template (but very real) dating bios, decoded just for you:

What he says: ‘Sane and sorted.’

What he means: ‘I will block you if you ask me something that offends me even slightly.’

 

What he says: ‘No hookups please.’

What he really means: ‘I am into hookups.’

 

What he says: ‘Looking for a reason to delete this app.’

What he really means: ‘I am waiting for my Prince Charming, but if I have to kiss a few dozen frogs on the way, I am not complaining. My flat mate is out this weekend.’

 

What he says: ‘Looking for a gym buddy.’

What he really means: ‘I have a boyfriend, but I don’t mind doing the dirty deed on the bench press. Lay out the yoga mat, will you?’

 

What he says: ‘I really don’t bite…unless you really want me to…’

What he really means: ‘I am really not that good in bed, but if you want, I’d moan out your name as we have mediocre sex. And then if I am really into it, I’ll even bite your nipples.’

 

What he says: ‘Only faces can start a conversation’

What he really means: ‘because I don’t want you to be as ugly as you sound on text.’

 

What he says: ‘Sapiosexual, looking for the same.’

What he really means: ‘I like the word; it sounds really cool.  But hey, now that we’ve got that out of the way, you’re place or mine?’

 

What he says: ‘Please don’t waste my time!’

What he really means: ‘I don’t want to waste my time text-flirting with you over a week. I am top, muscular and raring to go. How about calling me over right now?’

 

What he says: ‘No pic. No plc.’

What he really means: ‘don’t catfish me, please?’

 

What he says: ‘Looking for some NSA fun.’

What he really means: ‘I really am looking for some NSA fun.’

 

What he says: ‘I get HIGH on life.’

What he really means: ‘I am coming right over if you’d let me snort cocaine right off your ass cheeks.’

 

What he says: ‘I don’t really know what to say here. Haha.’

What he really means: ‘I really don’t know what to say when all they need are only 250 characters about myself. I try not to come across as boring, but I really am.’

 

What he says: ‘I am discreet and looking for the same.’

What he really means: ‘ I am married and don’t mind something on the side, as long as you don’t take pictures and send them to my wife.’

 

What he says: ‘I am discrete and looking for the same.’

What he really means: ‘ I am married and I also don’t know how to spell.’

 

What he says: ‘I prefer men over boys.’

What he really means: ‘Only tops, please.’

 

What he says: ‘Not into fats/femmes. Uncles and aunties please stay away!’

What he really means: ‘I am a douchebag, and I expect you to be one too.’

 

What he says: ‘Classy people only.’

What he really means: ‘I want to do dirty unimaginable things to you, but I will not pay you money for any of it.’

The Beginner’s Guide to Finding (and Becoming) Great, Gay Men

 

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We’ve already established the world is littered with boys that you should never date.

It’s full of deplorable narcissists; self-obsessed gym freaks, dubious know-it-alls and the select few who never call back (and never give a reason for it). But hidden between the bad tastes and the bad manners are a few good men, the same ones who shine bright and right. They are the diamonds in the rough. The needles in the haystack. The gemstones on the beach. The evens in the odds.

When you do find one of these boys, pull up your socks and take them (and make some space for their toothbrush in your shower cabinet if you can) before someone else does.

Because they will. Here are twenty such boys that you need to go buy a wedding band for already:

1. Knows that if there’s no condom, there’s no sex

Even if you insist that it’s better when there’s nothing between you, which you shouldn’t. Always cover those troopers, kids.

2. Insists on splitting the cheque instead of letting you pay

The men who don’t feel like they are entitled to free drinks and a meal, just because you asked them out on a date are the best kind of men in the world. Now split your life with him, as you split that cheque.

3. Tells you his Netflix password

Without expecting you to chill.

4. Might be passive in a fight, but not passive aggressive

Leave the passive aggression for the parents, not the pretty boy sitting across you at the dinner table.

5. Doesn’t get scared of double messaging

The world would have a lot more romances if men weren’t afraid of messaging twice in a row.

6. Is honest about the way he feels

But not in the way that it’d make you cry – so you can continue eating your double scoop of chocolate chip ice cream, without worrying about the fact that he’ll tell you it’s going to make you fat.

7. Thinks that the only glass that is half empty is your glass of gin and tonic, and orders you a repeat

On the other hand, he’s a glass full of amazing.

8. Every once in a while, he also finishes your sentences

 …but will not finish your food (unless you really want him to.)

9. But at the same time, also shares his French fries with you

Why order for the table when you can order salad for yourself and guiltlessly share his fries?

10. Doesn’t think twice before telling you how he feels about you

And you shouldn’t think twice about dating him either.

11. Believes that the only games people should play are board games

He’s got his Cards against Humanity right.

12. Can hold his alcohol just like he holds your hands at the movies

Just like a whiskey baron on his ninth measure, nothing less.

13. Knows all your close friends on a first name basis

But knows that they will always be your friends first.

14. Messages you right after a date to tell you he had a fantastic time

Because if someone waits for three days to tell you they had a great time, they’d wait even longer to tell you that you are the one.

15. Holds the door open

And his mind too.

16. Respects your virtual relationship with Ranveer Singh (or any other celebrity)

Even though Ranveer Singh has no clue that he’s in one.

17. Knows that being protective and jealous are two different things

But doesn’t tell you their dictionary meanings every day at breakfast.

18. Can make a baby giggle

The only thing more attractive than men who can make a baby giggle is a baby who can make a man giggle.

19. Knows how you like your coffee

A tall Java Chip Frappuccino, with whipped cream and a hint of cinnamon and brown sugar. Can I have some extra cream please?

20. Calls you out for being an a**hole when you are being one

As he rightfully should, you d**chebag.

What Does Your Grindr Picture say About You?

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Have I told you that a display picture isn’t that important for your Grindr profile?

 Yes. I am a liar.

And I am also a hypocrite.

See, it’s simple – sometimes you won’t have time to read someone’s profile bio – and we all know that your picture is all you’ve got to get him to say hello. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that the photo in question needs to be clear and recent (unless you still look like your charming 2010 self) – just make sure it’s not a mug shot or a scan of your passport picture, and you are ready to go.

Remember, the focus of the picture should always be on the star attraction: YOU. Because while a panoramic shot of the Eiffel tower or the Great Wall of China in the background can make for a great conversation starter, a selfie with a butt-plug on the shelf behind you can only lead to a lot of awkward questions.

They say that everything you need to know, you can learn from a person’s picture. Want to know more?

Here’s what different pictures say about you:

  1. Mr. No picture

Being discreet about your identity can seem enigmatic, but don’t complain when you can’t seem to earn any brownie points, in bed or otherwise. Unless you can charm your way into someone’s heart (or their pants) with some well-timed words, not having a picture up on your profile only leads to not having any game.

  1. Mr. Shirtless

Sure, you might say that you are ‘looking for your one true love’ but you don’t need to be shirtless on your path to romance. It’s really difficult to fall in love (or even be friends) with someone who doesn’t seem to have a face. When was the last time you made a new friend over how well proportioned your abs are?

Never.

Unfortunate as it may seem, it’s very difficult to be taken seriously when you think that the most endearing part of your personality is your sexy, sculpted chest.

  1. Mr. Smiling face

Smiles are sexy. You might want to come across as a brooding, yet beautiful ‘I-am-too-good-for-you’ rugged man, but smiles always gather the most attention (and hellos on Grindr). Plus, no gay man can ever resist a full set of pearly whites. It’s the easiest route to your ‘happily-ever-after.’

So smile away, boys – you won’t need a fairy godmother to find that fairy tale ending then.

  1. Mr. Blurry

It’s 2017, so the only reason you have an out-of-focus photo as your profile picture is because you used an artsy Instagram filter. Otherwise, you need to delete those scanned pictures back from 2007 from your phone as soon as possible.

  1. Mr. Gym selfie:

Yes, you care about fitness, love to exercise and spend about ten hours every week working on the various muscles of your lithe, supple body, but there’s a catch (and it’s got nothing to do with your warm-up at the beginning of your workout).

Generations of (less fitter, more sour) gay men have unanimously looked down at their gym-going counterparts in their quest for love, simply because they’d presume that the men in question would give precedence to HIIT over matters of the heart. Don’t want to turn a potential love interest away?

It’s sad to say that having a gym selfie as your profile picture will only give out the impression that you care more about your post-workout protein shake than the person you are talking to.

  1. Mr. Sunglasses

You might be gorgeous enough to grace the cover of GQ Magazine, but when you’ve got monster sunglasses that cover more than half of your pretty face, people will only assume that you are wearing them because you are ugly.

Yes, even if they are from Calvin Klein.

  1. Mr. beach bod

The shirtless, beach picture is the ultimate way to show off. How so?

It shows that you work out (your banana hammock leaves very little room for the imagination), are confident (because anybody with body issues would have a problem with being half-naked in public) and travel a lot (who else would be at a beach in the middle of the year?) Want to amp up those little red notifications of love on Grindr?

It’s time to find the nearest exotic beach and plonk yourself on a recliner.

  1. Mr. Suit

Maybe you are a professional. Maybe you are a model. Maybe you are a tycoon. Maybe you are an out-of-towner in the city for work, and looking for a friend to ‘show you around town’. Maybe you are none of the above, and just trying too hard.

Remember that this is Grindr, and not your LinkedIn profile. Stick to the basics; but just make sure you aren’t too basic.

 

Fantastic Men And Where To find Them


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Like I’ve said before, the list of places to not go looking for your next boyfriend is endless.

From the gym, to the gourmet supermarket, to your neighbourhood park — each place (and all the ensuing boys who frequent it) needs to be given a wide berth when you are trying to go from zero to Hallmark movie in the romance department.

Is it a depressing world?

Yes.

Does that mean you need to give up on the idea of finding true love?

No!

See, the list of places to not go looking for your next paramour might be a bottomless pot, but so is the list of places where you can find your next big summer fling — and I’ll tell you something — it doesn’t need to restrict itself to your neighbourhood watering hole or the local gym.

Want to know where you can find your next big (and hopefully, final) happily-ever-after? Here are my top four places to go scouting:

1. Your daily commute

Remember how they say that the journey is more important than the destination?

For most of us, commuting to work can be quite boring — travelling from point A (home) to B (work) can take almost two hours every day, which is time that you’d rather spend lifting weights at the gym, or chugging down shots at the bar.

It’s time to leave those cars at home, cross over to the public transport lane, and make things less taxing, and more relaxing. Whether your eyes sympathetically meet over a co-passenger who’s digging deep into his nose, sigh at the same instant at a delay announced over the train’s disembodied speakers, or bang into each other accidentally (of course) because of your metro’s faulty braking systems, there are potential mates lurking everywhere — and they have an open seat waiting for you right next to them.

Now, how about using your daily commute for something more meaningful — from point A straight to your new ‘B’eau’s heart?

The next time you take the train, or metro or bus to work, look up from your phones. You just might spot your next date. Hold on to the railings (or him, whichever is more convenient), and let your body do the talking. You’ll be taking the last train back (to his arms) in no time.

So are we all aboard?

Side note: If that doesn’t work for you, think about all the fuel (and money) you’ll save taking public transport to work. That’s where your gym memberships and shots at the bar come from.

2. At your work place

Anyone who says business should not be mixed with pleasure has clearly not felt the thirst as they make eye contact with the hot colleague at the water fountain.

They say that falling in love with someone at work might jeopardize your professional ethics, and might potentially make everything awkward — but isn’t everything in life awkward anyway? From tripping on your birthday cake when you turned twenty-three, to having a visible wine stain down your trousers’ front that one time at an office party, life has been one awkward marathon. So why stop there?

Being in a relationship at work only makes you work that much harder — no one likes to be given the cold shoulder by a colleague or a Wednesday morning yelling by the boss in front of someone they share an apartment with. This is not only work, it’s your relationship working out.

And the perks?

You get to carpool every day, spend boring meetings secretly texting each other across the table, and roll your eyes unanimously as your b*tch manager chomps away on his sandwich a little too loudly. It’s everything that makes a Monday morning at work seem like a Saturday night at home.

Plus, any chance you get to make your co-workers jealous is a chance well earned.

Side note: Is steamy ‘after-work hours’ sex in the pantry, a part of your bucket list?

Consider it done. Just beware of the hot coffee.

3. At the bookstore

Yes, bookshops still exist and meet cutes still happen — like they say, if it can happen in the movies, it can happen in real life. Plus, if you like to read books (and boys), it’s always best to go the source. Can you imagine cuddling with a book (and your future soul mate) and a hot cup of coffee all evening long (till the store’s working hours, obviously)?

You obviously can. But how do you meet your book-loving bibliophile for that to happen? Maybe you share a sneak peek at each other as you exchange side-eye glances at Chetan Bhagat’s most obvious plot twists, or gasp out loud together at Agatha Christie’s less obvious ones. Your hands could reach for the same Haruki Murakami masterpiece, or unanimously brush away another one of Jackie Collin’s potboilers. But what’s the best bit?

It doesn’t even matter if you are not on the same page (pun intended), because you clearly are going to be on the same book.

He finally walks over, and asks you whether you would recommend the book you are reading (Erich Segal’s Love Story, from the beginning of this chapter). You smile, and he sits down next to you. And there, as you coo about how you absolutely love the vanilla-like smell of old books, and passionately explain why a real, physical hardcover is always better than a PDF, he’ll nervously ask you out for dinner. How can you be sure?

Because, he obviously will (it’s Erich Segal’s Love Story, after all). What if he doesn’t?

Well, there’s always a discount on the bestseller’s section.

4. At a Volunteering Op

Volunteering can be amazing. For starters, you are giving back to society, and secondly, you are also teaming up with other like-minded individuals, who like you, are clearly the nicest people that make up a mere 1 percent of the world.

Take up a cause that actually matters to you (apart from your sole purpose of shacking up with a saint) so that you have a chance of ending up in Santa Claus’s list even if you don’t end up in someone else’s bed. Teach underprivileged kids. Help out at a community kitchen. Sign up for a pet adoption service. Join a beach cleaning drive.

Maybe as you clean up the shorelines of your city, you can clean up the mess your life is at the moment, by meeting someone who could be the much-needed positive influence on your life.  How about giving a chance to the wavy-haired gentleman with the deep tan and deeper dimples who’s picking up the plastic bags?

Sign me up, please. Plus, if you get to rack up some good karma as you build a ‘Habitat For Humanity’ for your heart, what’s there to complain about?

The Guysexual’s Guide To Red Flags

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So you’ve found The One.

He’s charming, handsome and well read, and is a hit with your family and friends. He laughs at your jokes and feeds you bits of his pudding, but most importantly, he:

– doesn’t message you only past midnight. Check.
– is not commitment-phobic. Check.
– is not mysteriously secretive about his life. Check.
– does not bring up his ex at all. Check.
– doesn’t get drunk every second night of the week. Check.
– is definitely not cheating on you. Check.
– is always available to talk. Check.
– loves you. Check.

You’ve personally scoured his life (and all his social media profiles) for a red flag, but you can’t see any. It seems like he’s perfect. But something still seems off. Do you give up?

Nope, because here are 10 home-tested ways to spot a red flag when you can’t seem to find a red flag at all:

1. He has a sense of humour that is cruel

While the occasional laugh at a stumbling child (or a man walking straight into a glass door) can be harmless, if someone finds humour in other people’s misfortune more than three times a day, it’s something to be scared of. Because at some point in the future, you may end up being the joke. It could be your hyena-like laugh or the way you slurp your noodles, or that one time you (almost) peed yourself through a re-run of The Ring.

Be with someone who makes you laugh all the time, not someone who laughs at you all the time.

2. He love-bombs you

What do you do the next time someone uses the L-word three minutes into the relationship? Pack up and head to the break-up bunker, because anyone who falls in love that quickly also falls out of it with equal ease (or sometimes, just deals with too many deep-seated insecurities about love, or lack thereof)

He might say that you are perfect and tell you how ‘he can’t believe he’s landed you’, but it’s a template he’s grown used to: it’s his defense mechanism to speed through what he thinks has potential, but more than often, it usually ends with a crash and burn. When someone says they love you early in the relationship, there’s a very high chance they are trying to direct it with their own terms, and if it doesn’t – things might only take an ugly (and a more resentful) turn.

3. You both have different life goals

You want to be animal rights activist but he wants to start his own barbeque restaurant? If you aren’t on the same page professionally (or financially), the chances of having a happy ending are next to nil. Clashing life choices aside, the last thing you want is for someone to hold you back from where or what you need to be – even if it means letting all the chickens go free.

4. And different sleep schedules

While it might seem like it’s not a big deal, the fact that both of you run on two different schedules will only run you into loads of problems (in terms of your social life, your careers and who drives you back home when you are passed out right next to the bouncer) especially when they are perking up to rage all night, just as you pull on your favourite clown jammies at 11 pm.

5. He doesn’t respect your boundaries

Does he tickle you jokingly even when you laugh and beg for him to stop? Call incessantly when all you want is a quiet day? Prod about your problems when you tell him you need time to think about them on your own?

If you are with someone who doesn’t respect your physical boundaries (even innocently), you are only two steps away from not having him respect you.

6. He says he hates conflict

You’ve heard the same sob story over and over again, over drunken fights at home or between arguments at dinner. He dodges all your accusations, and ignores all your pleas to come to a peaceful conclusion. And just when you are about to prod him for a reason and put an end to your couple-fuelled misery, he tells you he ‘absolutely hates conflict. It’s happened before with so many boys, and he can’t deal with it anymore’.

But don’t fall for it. He might as well as say: don’t confront me about anything in life, because I will ignore you or leave you. And somewhere down the line, he’ll tell all his friends how you were ‘just like the rest of them.’

7. He thinks all his exes are crazy

Ravi wanted to move in too early. Shyam would never stop calling. Rajeev decided to tell his friends why they broke up. Kunal begged to take him back by standing outside his apartment all night. Ahmed called him a cheating scumbag. Karan threatened to set his house on fire. Ryan asked his mom if she knew her son was a psycho. They were all so crazy.

Do you see the pattern? You obviously do. If a boy spews venom about an ex or two, it’s fine – we all have relationships that sour out. But if he badmouths every boy he’s ever been with, chances are he’s the problem.

8. He gets upset when you have to go back home

Could the movie last just ten minutes longer? Do you really have to leave after two ice creams? Can we walk around your block one more time? Must you leave right now? Can’t you stay the night? The morning? The day? The week? The month?

Makes you go aww? Naww, push those romantic aspirations back in your pockets, sir, because it’s not long before his ‘Don’t leave me so soon’s and ‘But we just met!’ turn into ‘You are leaving so that you can hook up with your ex right now, right?’

9. His sex drive doesn’t work for you

While there’s no wrong amount of sex that two people can have in a relationship, matching libidos are important for one to work. What if one half of the couple wants to get it on every three hours and the other thinks thrice a month is fine?

There’s no place for sexual chemistry in the sack when it’s already brewing with resentment, hurt egos, and an urge to get on Grindr and message the gorgeous man who texts from 800 metres away. At the end of the day, do you think you have different libidos?

It’s time you look for different partners.

10. He’s passive aggressive about tiny things

‘Your hair is a little too long.’
‘Try making it to dinner on time?’
‘Do you really need to go for a drink with your friends?’
‘I would have loved to see you yesterday, but it’s OK, I guess.’
‘Can you please send it to me before I have to remind you again.’
‘Just call me when you can.’

You know that little voice at the back of your head nagging you to end things? You should probably listen to it, because it’s not going to be passive aggressive like your paramour here.