There are a few types of awful men you can keep an eye out for. Like pretty much anything else, they’re fairly easy to recognize if you know what you’re looking for. So I’ve selected my top 4 types of awful men, summarized them, and provided a handy guide of things to look for in each case. Check it out if you suspect you’ve been talking to an Awful Man™.
The knee-jerk asshole
This guy is acting like he’s sweet as pie, until he finds out he can’t have any of your pie. Then he’s never even wanted your pie, and he’s pretty sure your pie is so awful that nobody else will ever want your pie, ever, under any circumstances. Because these guys usually show their true colours after you reject or offend them in some way, it’s a little harder to spot them. But it’s worth noting that these guys also tend to be able to dish it but not take it. As in, they may make subtle jabs at you or pretend not to understand things that are important to you, as though to act unaffected and maintain an emotional distance. They will almost never say outright that they’re interested in you sexually or romantically, because if you reject them, they want to be able to say they were never interested in the first place.
What to look for:
- Will probably not overtly show romantic/sexual interest in you
- Tend to make little jabs at you and then tell you you’re overreacting
- May have a general “everything is a joke” attitude
- If you offend them in any way, they’ll pretend they were playing you the whole time because you’re extremely undesirable (even though they usually messaged you first)
The boundary pusher
This guy is all about putting “lol” after every sentence and trying to make like he doesn’t take anything seriously. But he’ll ask you to do something you’ve already said no to, and he’ll ask you more than once. Then when you call him on it, he’ll tell you that you’re overreacting and he was just showing interest and why are you being such a jerk? In reality, he’s done everything he can to be a rapey piece of shit without giving you any real “reason” to feel uncomfortable, so that he can later deny that he ever had any intention to pressure you at all. Run fast from these ones. They may be actual rapists because they know exactly how to push the boundary of what’s legally provable as sexual assault.
What to look for:
- Phrases everything as if it’s a joke (likely writes “lol” a lot)
- Will phrase the same request several different times in slightly different language, but basically asking for the exact same thing
- Will usually deny doing things he did if you call him out on it
- Will almost always tell you you’re overreacting and it was just a joke
- Likely to pretend he can’t tell the difference between harassment and respectful conversation
The poorly-educated kinkster
This guy doesn’t know anything about kink that he didn’t learn from 50 Shades of Grey (and trust me, that’s abuse, not kink). He will say messed up shit to you under the guise of “dominating” you and being into BDSM, but really he’s just a flaming misogynist that gets off on controlling his partners (especially women). In reality, they’re very dangerous and in my experience, one of the most likely to either physically or sexually assault you (or both).
What to look for:
- References to BDSM, 50 Shades of Grey, being a daddy dom or anything else related to kink very early on in the conversation–he may even phrase his opening messages like, “Most ppl can’t handle how kinky I am” as though it’s a challenge/dare
- Usually will not ask before trying to role-play/dominate you
- May directly go against boundaries that you’ve set “because he’s the one in charge” (because he’s “dominant”)
- Likely shows sexist/misogynistic behaviours in other ways (such as assumptions about gender roles, talking to you in a patronizing way, etc.)
- Often have an air of “if you don’t like it, you’re just not kinky enough” and trying to use shame as a way to get what they want
- May act offended/embarrassed if you say no to their advances, because they hope that you will feel bad and say yes to comfort them
- Tend to want to sext a lot leading up to any meeting up (roleplay, describing fantasies, etc.), and tend not to set up safety mechanisms (such as safe words) with you unless you insist on it
The negging “pick-up artist”
Some asshole told guys a few years ago that if you break down a woman’s self-esteem, she’ll run to you because she won’t feel like she has other options. So naturally, there are now a bunch of man-children on the internet that will send messages to women specifically intended to tear them down. Things like, “I hope you know you look awful in your profile pic” or “Lol who the hell likes [some movie you said you liked in your profile]?” And they’re not good people, so you’ll get tired of them quickly, no doubt. But just in case it needed to be said, they’re not worth your time.
What to look for:
- Negative messages right from the get-go, usually targeting superficial or trivial things like your physical appearance or the way you wrote something in your profile
- A general attitude of “I can get anyone I want and you can’t”
- Shows literally no interest in who you are as a human being, and will probably not ask you a lot of questions, if any at all
- If you speak to him for long, you will likely feel worse and worse about yourself, which is a sign that he’s compromising your self-esteem and you should try to create distance however you need to