You've just started dating a man who, at least on the surface, seems to be your dream guy.
He's attractive, funny, charming, successful and his smile (let alone the thought of his caress) makes you weak in the knees. You go out on a date or two, and he's nothing short of PERFECT. He treats you like a queen, compliments your sense of style and tells you all of the things you've been longing to hear from a man.
So how do you know this guy's the real deal and not just some womanizer who's going to disappear after your first slumber party?
The only way to know for sure is to pass the test of time, but in the meantime, here are a few red flags that definitely indicate you have a potential womanizer on your hands.
1. His reputation precedes him. If your girlfriends have warned you that he uses women and throws them away, you need to listen to them and know he's most likely a womanizer. Granted, there's a small (not really) chance that you're the magical woman who can change him, but even if you do, you'll just wind up spending the rest of your relationship worrying he'll revert back to his old scoundrel ways. (And guys like that usually do.)
2. He moves fast. Before you've even met his friends and family, he's telling you that you're the woman of his dreams and he's been waiting his whole life just to find you. While this is certainly exciting and thrilling, how could he possibly know that this quickly? It's much more likely that he's just in love with love (best case), or he's just trying to get one thing from you (you know what it is). And this womanizer wants to reach his goal as soon as possible.
3. He's over the top with the romance. We all love romantic gestures, whether it be a hand-written poem or a bouquet of flowers delivered to our desks at work, but if your guy constantly wants to jet you off to the islands for a romantic weekend or often surprises you with lavish jewelry, then he's most likely had plenty of practice. While you might be thinking that you're just graciously accepting his gifts, to him, these come with surprise expectations on your part.
4. He only has eyes for you … and anything else in a skirt. If you notice that your guy is checking out other women, or worse, flirting with the waitress, hostess, barista, etc., then he's most likely a womanizer. As he's telling you how beautiful you are and that you're exactly the type of woman for him, you notice him eyeing the woman who just walked by who he's clearly admiring. He's not lying — the womanizer feels this way about every female who strikes his fancy — you're just one of the (very populated) crowd.
5. He seems too good to be true. He's just a little too smooth, a little too charming, a little too perfect, and that little voice in your head is telling you he's done this before, probably many times over. While you're likely tempted to ignore that nagging little voice and head upstairs to his apartment, just know that your instincts are more attuned to the situation than you think.
The next morning, as he's telling you over coffee that he has a busy day ahead and can't spend more time with you, you'll be hitting yourself wishing you had listened to your gut last night.
Of course, this isn't an all-inclusive list, nor should any of these traits be considered an immediate deal breaker. However, if any of the above are hitting close to home, your best bet is to take things slow and see if your guy survives the test of time. True womanizers rarely can.
Jane Garapick writes about adventures on the rocky road to finding Mr. Right. Download her complimentary guide "Find Your True Love: 10 Simple Steps to Getting the Love You Want ... and Deserve."