I’m unabashedly taking a cue from fellow lovesite, Tango, and their 10 Men to Run From – Not After, because the man-on-man dating landscape is just as treacherous, and filled with traps. If you like to date just to date, and screw, consider this a walk down memory lane, and congrats. You’re probably better at the delineation between tricks and boyfriends than I ever was. If you date with an eye to commitment, monogamy, and a Crate and Barrel registry, take heed. Here’s a list of whom not to do, based on my own experiences.
- The Closeted: Apologies in advance, but dating a closeted man is the funny uncle to dating a married man. It even feels pretty much the same, especially around the holidays, no matter how good and kind he is, or how he tries to make it seem otherwise. (See also 2, and 3.) Come out boys, it’s 2008.
- The Married: I know of only one, unique situation where dating a married man is the right thing to do, but only one. Dating a married man (whether he’s married to a man or a woman) is a train wreck waiting for a text message and sure to result in all three of you being solo… unless, you’re dating a married man and his spouse – another thing entirely, but also rife with dangers.
- The Freshly-Out: Men are already genetically inclined to swing it anything that moves, without the added incentive of a brand new ballpark to play in. If he’s new to the game, let him play a few (dozen) innings, play a few double-headers, and check him later. He’ll know better what to do with his bat and glove, and after he’s been running the bases all day and night, your stable dugout will look like heaven.
- The Cross-Country: Long distance doesn’t work, especially if monogamy is important to you. Someday your Prince will come, but he shouldn’t come in a U-Haul after a short online courtship; it places way too much pressure on a budding relationship. If you’ve spanned the miles for a while, and actually spent most of that time actually in the same room together (not just on the phone), one should make the move, but otherwise, hunt in your own back yard.
- The Pizza Boy: They’re so hot. They’re so young. They’re so grateful. Get your fill of pepperoni and extra sauce for a night or two, and then get back on your diet.
- The Urbanite-to-Be: Someone who is moving to a major metropolitan area within 6 months, especially when point A is small, and point B is a gay mecca. Point B changes the rules of the game in terms of selection, qualifications, and sheer quantity. You’ll both be inclined to buyer’s remorse.
- The Bartender: Don’t date the bartender – any bartender – unless you’re too poor to pay for drinks, (and he’ll only let you work that for about a week, so drink up). Bartenders are incredibly intuitive, and good at saying/doing exactly what people need to hear/see/feel. It’s his job to be sexy, flirty, easy even. Rejigger your strategy.
- The Borrower: Never has his wallet? Never quite makes it to the ATM before a night out? Everything is Prada. Everything is charged. “Mr. White” is calling his phone and he never answers. Let him do his banking elsewhere.
- The Doppleganger: A cadre of pale-colored contacts to constantly hide his baby browns, fleeting foreign accents, and a physical comfort that seems to come only from being someone else. He looked just like his ex, and just like his ex before him, and they were as different as McCain and Obama. Unless he’s John Malkovich, you’ll never know who he is.
- The Car-less: There’s just no excuse, unless you’re carless too, and you live in London, SF, or NYC.
- The Entangled: If you feel like the third to him and his ex, he needs more time to cut the cord. I know. I was there, and it almost cost me dearly.
- The Model Stager: His five-year-old car looks showroom new, and you can only bring bottled water into it. His home looks like a model, unlived-in, unwelcoming, and theatrically lit. There’s a formal living room with or without a velvet rope and plastic covers. He’s likely more about appearance than comfort. This might work for you if you’re a set decorator, and if you are, that might be what he likes best about you.
So who do you avoid?