You’re all familiar with my Psycho Ex—the one I had to get a restraining order against, that special guy who sent my naked photos to our coworkers. But I’ve yet to tell you about the guy after him. I waited an entire year before dating anyone else to ensure I wasn’t on the rebound and was capable of making healthy, emotionally mature choices.
This was 18 months ago, when I decided to give online dating a try and ended up in a condensed 2-month relationship that was equal parts Hell and “Oh my God, where are you hiding the camera?” I really didn’t see it coming– he was so damn charming on the first date, insisting we do three things completely new to me: An NBA game, ice skating, and sad drunken karaoke. It was enough to make me swoon and he only got better when I ended up with pneumonia and was home-bound for a month. He’d drive to my house every day and bring me soup, Gatorade, and DVDs. While I’d like to blame it on the fever, the truth is that I fell for him at a previously unrecorded rate of velocity. How could I not– he was perfect.
For a month.
It was right around the four-week mark that certain symptoms of Man-Childness became more apparent. I’ll have to save the epic story of our break-up for another time but for now I’ll leave you with these ten scientifically proven signs that the guy you’re dating is a Man-Child:
#1: All Of A Man-Child’s Exes “Went Psycho”
I’d never dated someone who was so willing to talk about his previous relationships. Somehow, none of them lasted beyond 3 months and usually ended with outrageous accusations and iPhones being thrown. His longest relationship was with his wife of two years, who’d eventually left him because she was so psycho that she couldn’t get over all the times he’d cheated on her in high school. Amazingly enough, I was just like her. How perfect.
#2: A Man Child Has Nothing But Pizza, Sprite, and Alcohol
We once went grocery shopping and this was the extent of his list. Guess how much weight I gained in those two months? You’ll need both hands.
#3: A Man-Child Has Illegal Hobbies
The Man-Child had an entire room in his house full of computer servers named after World of Warcraft characters. I’ll have to expand on this later, but his hacking abilities were beyond anything I’d ever seen. His other favorite hobby was going to every casino within a day’s drive and counting cards with one of his buddies. I didn’t believe it until I saw it and got to walk out with a pile of cash. Still, nothing compared to his ultimate hobby: Getting High. I didn’t find out about that one until the end, right about the same time I learned that he’d seen every episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians— which most definitely SHOULD be illegal.
#4: A Man-Child Can’t Complete Routine Maintenance
The Man-Child was the proud owner of a brand-new, huge-ass house that he couldn’t be bothered to maintain. His granite counter top was unsealed, his toilet was leaking, and half the light bulbs were burned out. I was warned not to use the water from the fridge because he’d neglected to change the filter for three years. He couldn’t manage to take out the trash until about six bags were piled up, and I had to literally hold his hand and help him replace the tires on his car. The lowest point in my life was the day I called and made a dentist appointment for him.
#5: A Man-Child Can’t Answer The Door Because He’s Playing Call of Duty
Seriously? Did I really just wait 5 minutes? Kill.
#6: A Man-Child Hates Bedtime
The Man-Child had a job that allowed him to set his own hours—meaning he was free to stay up until 4AM every night, smoking pot and playing Call of Duty. As his girlfriend, I was expected to keep these same hours despite the 45-minute commute to my 8-5 job. Nodding off before he was ready for bed was an act of war.
#7: A Man-Child Gets What He Wants
When the Man-Child found out I wanted to be a writer and that I had a manuscript complete, he insisted I let him read it. He was entitled to every aspect of my existence because he needed to know me fully in order to love me. I’d waited an entire year to let my best friend Sars read it, and Shleisel still hasn’t– there was no way I was handing it over. This led to our first real fight where he hounded me relentlessly for “keeping things from him.” I ended up giving in and e-mailing him all 400 pages of my story. He never bothered to read it. That wasn’t the point.
#8: A Man-Child Needs Lots Of Girlfriends
The Man Child’s “best friend” was one of those girls who likes to post ten selfies a day and tag a couple dozen people– just in case they miss it. I could have gotten over this if it weren’t for the fact he’d only met her about two months before we started dating and that he insisted on being in almost constant contact with her. And her sister. And all her friends. And a handful of other random girls. “Just trust me” doesn’t work when someone won’t so much as take a dump without their cell phone in hand.
#9: A Man-Child Must Be Catered To
The Man-Child suffered from a very unique phobia– that of jewelry. He refused to touch me if I wore any and would shudder at any photo of me in a necklace or a ring. Before I’d walk into his house, I’d remove everything and stow it in my bag. If I forgot, he immediately reminded me by stepping backwards until the offending accessory was out of site. The Man-Child was also allergic to pretty much everything, meaning I had to buy a new vacuum, an air-purifier, and change my air filters every 20 seconds. This was also his justification for only ever eating pizza… because he wasn’t allergic to it.
#10: A Man-Child Knows You’re THE ONE & Wants To Marry You & Make Babies As Soon As Possible
I was moving into a new house right around two weeks from our first date. The lease was a minimum of one year but The Man-Child was adamant that I needed to negotiate it down or prepare to pay the cost for breaking it. He already knew that he and I were destined to be together forever. He asked me to pick out new furniture for his house so that I’d feel more at home there when I moved in. His sad little Man-Child feelings were dashed when he learned that I hadn’t even started a Pinterest board to plan our wedding. He’d constantly tell me how perfect I was– as he criticized me, refused to touch me in jewelry, and texted other girls. But how could I not be perfect when I was just like his ex-wife? I wish I had some grand excuse for why I put up with this for longer than half an hour, but I don’t. The phrase you’re looking for is “WTF.”
Have you ever dated a Man-Child (or the female equivalent)? Do you stay in situations longer than you should, simply because they started out great? What are YOUR Red Flags for love interests, and people in general?
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