This isn’t just for women, because while some men can be real [expletive deleted]s, I’ve also met my fair share of women that could be described as such. It doesn’t necessarily apply to only dating, either – it could be How To Tell If You’re Married To An [Expletive Deleted], How To Tell If You’re ‘Friends With Benefits’ With An [Expletive Deleted]; it could even be How To Tell If You’re Hopelessly Chasing After An [Expletive Deleted] … you get the point.
A few years ago, I was out to dinner and drinks with some friends and one of them had canceled at the last minute to go out with her boyfriend. The group got into a huge conversation about the guy – his behaviors, how he treated our friend, and the like – and the consensus of the group was that she was still in her “[expletive deleted] phase.” Women and men, alike, all go through it, unless they are (of course) an [expletive deleted], themselves. Here’s a handy guide to the top three, unambiguous ways to know if you, yourself, are on the other end of an [expletive deleted] phase:
#1 Your Significant Other Constantly Puts People Down
There is a huge difference between constructive criticism and being blunt or honest, and just plain being an [expletive deleted]. A few months ago I was at a wedding with a group of our friends, and one of the attendees kept making derogatory remarks about the people there. The rudeness had reached its absolute worst when he said (loudly) of one of the bridesmaids, “jeez, could tub-o block out the sun anymore, there?” If the person you’re with crosses the line, time and again, with the comments he or she makes about other people, they’re an [expletive deleted].
#2 Your Significant Other Constantly Puts YOU Down
I’m not just talking about when your boyfriend or girlfriend puts down something you have done (although that is a definite sign of an [expletive deleted]). I’m also going on to suggest that if they are constantly telling you to quiet down, stop talking, or that you are just, plain wrong, it’s very probable your significant other is an [expletive deleted]. Another sign of this is that your significant other always responds to your “did you know…” attempts at having a discussion with “yeah, I know about it already, old news.” One of my friends right now (I hope she doesn’t read this!) is currently engaged to a guy that constantly tells her to stop talking. It’s happened in groups, when it’s just us – everywhere. If the person you’re with is continually talking down to you, chances are they’re an [expletive deleted].
#3 You Are OUT Of Your Significant Other’s Mind More Than You Are ON It
This is a big one. Your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife – whatever – thinks more about everything else than you. This one is usually subtle. Sometimes its masked as “busy at work” or “a lot of family things going on,” but over time (and especially as your relationship progresses), if you are in a relationship with someone that prioritizes all of their other relationships in front of you, they are very likely worth ditching. One of my cousins (that I know isn’t reading this!) is married to a woman that is constantly giving reasons for her absence: too crazy at work to call, too many family events to have time for just the two of them, too many other hobbies to even respond to emails. For some reason he continues to tolerate it, after years of waiting for his wife to come around. The bottom line, though, is that if you are in a relationship with someone that is always too busy to have you on their mind, they are most certainly an [expletive deleted].
There are a lot of other things that make a person an [expletive deleted]. Never doing nice things for their significant other, always acting like a cheapskate when it comes to romance, expecting you to sacrifice everything of yours for them, while giving nothing in return … the list goes on, but as it does gets a little more difficult to decipher whether it is a truly bad behavior, or circumstantial. That’s what the top three, unambiguous ways to tell above are for: all of them are the easiest, and universal, ways to delineate a true [expletive deleted].
If you recognize some of this in your own relationships, you should take a moment to pause and consider just what you actually get out of the relationship. Chances are, it’s very little. At the end of the day, life is just too damn short to deal with assholes.