In desperate times, it can feel like any girlfriend is better than no girlfriend at all. Don’t be lulled into a toxic relationship by this attitude.
- The Neighbor You wave and exchange niceties every day. You pet-sit for each other. You crash each others’ parties. This is an easy trap in which to find yourself. She’s cute and convenient…why the heck not? Think back to your last girlfriend. Would you want to live next door to her after you broke her heart? Probably not. It would not only be awkward to see her every day, but think if you were to bring a new girl home sometime. Yikes.
- The Rebounder She’s just had her heart broken and is looking for a pick-me-up. Or maybe she did the dumping, yet her emotions are still scattered. You may feel like you’re rescuing her, doing her a favor by providing a distraction. In reality, she is likely not ready for any kind of relationship. It is bound to be tumultuous and emotions will run high.
- The Wife This seems like a no-brainer: don’t date married women, right? However, this is another situation a guy can easily find himself in. Maybe she doesn’t reveal her marital status right away, or maybe she promises you she will divorce her husband. Either way, don’t go there. Affairs rarely end peacefully. And the last thing you want is to wind up in the middle of a domestic dispute.
- Just One of the Guys Awesome! She hangs out with guys, so she must be cool. How could this possibly be a bad thing? It isn’t necessarily a bad thing if she is genuinely into sports, armpit-farting, or any of the other things guys may like. She might just be a tomboy. However, beware of the woman who has no girlfriends at all, despite being fairly feminine herself. She will claim that chicks are catty and she just likes being around men more. But more likely, she surrounds herself with guys who will make her feel attractive and desirable. Given the chance, any one of them would love to hop in the sack with her, and she knows it. It’s a manipulative move, and one that will ultimately leave you feeling insecure.
- The Babymama Danger Will Robinson! While it is not set in stone, it is a safe bet that a woman with three or more kids—each with a different father—is not interested in your heart so much as your child support. Veer away…or at least make sure you’re in charge of the birth control here.
- Friend of an Ex / Ex of a Friend The words, “friend” and “ex,” should never go together, especially when talking about relationships. No matter how you play it, someone gets hurt. Will that person be your friend who is still pining for your (now) girlfriend? Or will it be your ex, whose input to her girlfriend could very well destroy your budding relationship? No matter how you handle it, there are bound to be awkward moments, uncomfortable conversations, insecurities, jealousy, and possibly even ruined friendships.