I recently talked to a friend who had gone on dates with no less than 50 men during a six-month period. That's a lot of men and a lot of dates. She'd challenged herself to date a variety of men, from different backgrounds, so she could have more clarity about the kind of man she wanted to settle down with. At the end of the six-month dating marathon, she had significantly less clarity and felt very defeated.
My friend had identified some traits that were important to her. But she was beginning to feel she couldn't trust her own judgment. She was noticing that men she was very attracted to tended to reveal themselves as jerks after just a few dates. After this active dating period, her biggest fear was that her "jerk-o-meter" was broken.
It's not uncommon to feel like you can't trust your own judgment when you've been in more than a couple of failed relationships. However, the reality is, failed relationships are actually quite common. Most relationships do fail. Very few people find “happily ever after” with the first person they date. It’s common to have several relationships, and some quite serious, that come to an end, and some don’t end well. It’s not just normal, it’s appropriate, and quite possibly healthy. Failed relationships aren’t really a failure, they are just relationships that end.
There are very few rules when it comes to finding Mr. Right. In a lot of ways it’s easier to spot Mr. Wrong. Sometimes eliminating the bad eggs straight away can make finding Mr. Right a lot easier. You aren’t wasting a lot of time on dead ends. Below are some pretty good indicators the guy you’re dating might be a jerk.
1. He might be a jerk if he talks crap about any of his ex’s. It doesn’t matter how compelling the story is, if he has a habit of talking about previous women in his life in a bad light, that’s a bad sign. A gentleman doesn’t do it. Period.
2. He might be a jerk if he doesn’t have a circle of friends. Relationships require skill. Although friendships and romantic relationships require a slightly different set of skills, they are actually very similar. If he can’t keep friends, it’s unlikely he will be able to keep a girlfriend.
3. He might be a jerk if he’s never had a relationship that lasted longer than six months. Sure, he might say he’s been waiting for “the one”. However, if he’s older than twenty, never having had a long term relationship indicates an unwillingness to really do what’s required to get through challenging times.
4. He might be a jerk if he openly admits he’s cheated on girlfriends before. You’d be surprised how often men will confess previous infidelity early in a relationship. People do change, it’s possible, but the most accurate predictor of future behavior is past behavior.