Tag Archives: Red Flag Alert

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.

The Guysexual’s Guide To Ghosting: Vol. III

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Cutting something out of your life only works when it involves one of these four broad categories: complex carbohydrates, processed sugar, cheap vodka and bad vibes. But that’s about it.

I’ll let you in on a secret. It’s not the same when it involves people.

As Arvind learnt the hard way (in the first of my terrifying three-part guide to ghosting), getting left in the lurch can truly be a haunting experience. People like to see death and destruction in horror films, not necessarily their relationships — and while dealing with it can be a terrifying ordeal (only made better with these life hacks), it’s fair to say that it’s a whole new ball game when you are sitting on the other side of this Ouija board of online dating.

Continue reading The Guysexual’s Guide To Ghosting: Vol. III

The Guysexual’s Guide To Being Ghosted: Vol. II

 

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As Arvind learnt last week, being left in the lurch (in the middle of a hypothetical relationship) can be quite haunting. One minute Aarav was muttering sweet (and legal) nothings into his ear; the very next, he had disappeared into nothingness.

Poof. It was that simple. Just like that, he was gone — having retreated into the ones and zeros to haunt another corner of the digital universe (or according to Arvind’s worst fears, another boy).

It’s happened to the best of us. For the uninitiated and the ignorant, ghosting refers to the highly anecdotally pervasive act where someone ends a relationship by simply disappearing. The Ghost does not give any explanations, leaving the ghosted to wonder where he went wrong.

Which brings us to the single most important question (after you’ve asked yourself how many bottles of wine you’d need to get over that messy break-up).

Do you feel like something strange is happening in YOUR (romantic) neighborhood? Are you worried about facing these demons of douchebaggery all alone? Scared that someone will spirit your feelings away? Keep those phones back in your pockets (and I’ll keep the horror puns to myself); because you don’t need The Ghostbusters on speed dial just yet. What do you do then?

It’s easy. Just read through, and follow this five-step process to make sure you survive what I call the ‘Halloween Hijinks of Heartbreak’:

1. Recognise you can feel angry

Go break that glass. Tear out that book. Punch that bag. Write that scathing email (but don’t send it). Watch a romcom. Watch a dozen romcoms. Watch romcoms till you get sick of watching romcoms. Shatter that vase. Scream out loud. Go for a run. Cry. Get sad. Feel angry. You need to.

Repeat till you make peace with yourself and are whole-heartedly happy, because you deserve every bit of it.

2. Don’t blame yourself

Unless you killed his pet dog, had sex with the twin brother or set fire to his house, it’s not your fault (and it never will be), so don’t even go there.

Now write out a list of reasons why you hate him and learn it till you can recite it in your sleep. You dodged a bullet with this one, so go celebrate with some beer (and a few boys).

3. Call him out

Teachers, lawyers, policemen, landlords and mothers — everybody needs answers, and so do you. Remember that it’s better to reach out for answers than reaching out for that large bottle of wine (although if you want wine, just go ahead).

Make sure that you are okay, and if you can get yourself to, ask him for a reason(s). If he replies — hear him out and make peace with it, because that will only save you countless hours (and bills) at the therapist’s. But stop at that one time.

He doesn’t want to get back, and neither should you.

4. Cut him out completely

Delete those texts. Erase those pictures. Unfollow him on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat and Unfriend him on Facebook. Remove every trace of him, (virtual and otherwise) so that the no bits or bytes of him survive — compete to make it full and final, so that you can never get back in touch with him.

Because sending him a sloppy text message (or forty) at a quarter past three in the morning does not earn you any prizes.

5. Know that there’s still some hope left in the world.

Will it happen again? Should you ever fall in love? Why don’t you just delete Grindr? Take Tinder off your phones maybe? How about going on a dating detox? Who needs the right guy when you have your right hand? Don’t think about it. Just because it happened to you once (or twice), doesn’t mean that it will happen every single time. Sure, the graphic designer with the soft, wavy hair and twinkling eyes might have seemed like the One, but there are too many fish in this sea (and too many graphic designers with soft, wavy hair and twinkling eyes).

Now go fish.
Just make sure you throw back the ones you don’t need.