A good man accepts his woman despite her flaws. He understands her limitations and helps her to become a better person without being judgmental. Well, that’s more like the perfect man – most of us are dating decent guys who try to see past our flaws and help us where they can, but sometimes exploit us just a little bit. Your average guy is going to take advantage of your shortcomings to get you to do more than your fair share of the chores or trick you into trying an activity you’d normally have no interest in. Is that wrong? Yes, but if you call him on it he’ll have the sense to be ashamed of himself.
Unfortunately, there are manipulative men out there who zero in on a woman’s worst flaw and use it to satisfy their own needs. These men aren’t looking for a real relationship. They’re looking for someone they can groom into serving their needs. When they see a woman in trouble, they don’t see someone they should be helping – they see an opportunity. These men should be avoided at all costs.
A decent guy making a mistake or manipulator looking for a victim? Keep reading to see which one applies to the man in your life.
There are some men who see a girl walking along with her head down and shoulders hunched, and think to themselves that they’ve found the jackpot. Here’s someone who will change herself to fit his needs no matter how much he asks of her. A woman who doesn’t respect herself can be easily persuaded to ditch her friends and reframe her life entirely around his needs. He can get her to cook and clean for him, and she won’t leave him if he takes her efforts for granted. If you’re working on raising your self-esteem, watch out for controlling men who are out to keep you in a low. Remember that even if he tells you otherwise, you are someone who deserves real love. Once you find a way to love yourself, you’ll find a man who appreciates you for who you are.
You can’t seem to keep your attention on just one guy. They’re all so attractive, each in his own special way. You can’t help being a hot, single young woman who wants to fully sample the buffet of men competing for your attention. A savvy young man will realize that if he wants you all to himself, he has to turn your boy-crazy personality to his advantage. By playing hard-to-get he’ll make himself stand out from the crowd and give you a challenge: win his affections instead of waiting for him to come to you. You’ll focus so much of your energy on him that after a while, you won’t have time for other boys. After a while, your boundless energy and passion will be directed solely at him.
You haven’t cleaned your room since your mom nagged you to do it in high school. Your roommates have given up entirely on getting you to do your dishes. So when it comes to cleaning up your apartment for the new boyfriend, the best you can manage is shoving your dirty clothes pile in the closet and putting a portion of your massive dish pile in to soak. When he sees this, he’s not going to ask you to clean up the mess. He’s going to compete. You may not realize it, but you have a threshold for cleanliness just like any other girl, and your man will have a much higher tolerance for filth than you do. By the time you slip on his dirty socks for the tenth time, you’ll be doing his laundry as well as your own. As he planned all along.
There are men who will eat anything their girlfriend cooks, no matter how bad it tastes, and not utter a single word of protest. Then there are those that openly express their dislike for the half-burned mess you scraped out of the frying pan and covered with hot sauce in a desperate attempt at salvage. No matter what category your man falls into, there’s one thing you can be sure of: he’s going to look somewhere else for good food. This isn’t a bad thing for you. He’ll appreciate the excuse to eat out while he figures out how to handle the home cooking situation. Expect him to whisk you away for some delicious restaurant food while signing you both up for cooking lessons on the weekends. If you never manage to master any culinary skills, he’ll end up the chef of the couple.
You’ve driven a lot of guys away with your tendency to overreact. Sometimes the slightest thing can set you off. It’s something you’ve struggled with your entire life, and when you meet the man of your dreams you’re determined not to blow up at him. So, of course, you start yelling at him on the third date. And instead of turning tail and running away, things get heated… in a different way. After a few weeks, you find yourself kissing him every time he makes you angry. You start to think that he might actually be provoking you. He’s discovered what the guys you drove away were too shortsighted to realize: it only takes a little nudge to push your rage in a much more pleasurable direction. He isn’t the only one to benefit.
If you always oversleep, he won’t judge you – or help you get up any earlier. The longer you stay in bed, the longer he has license to do the same. The alarm goes off? You ask him to press the snooze button, and it’s ungentlemanly of him to refuse. He can even complain to his colleagues that you made it impossible to get out of bed. As long as he doesn’t go into specifics, that will really raise his status with the guys. There’s a downside to two late sleepers joining forces, and it’s that you are two times less likely to make it to work on time. Maybe you should get one of those flextime jobs? If you don’t watch out, you’ll find yourself staying in bed with him all day.
When you fight with your girlfriends, it’s tempting to vent to your boyfriend about how unfairly you’re being treated. Make sure you trust bae not to interfere in your life if you decide to confide in him. He could find it irritating to come home to an upset girlfriend and take matters into his own hands. If you don’t want your latest spat with your squad to lead to your boyfriend insisting you cut ties with them, you might want to keep your disagreements between friends. No matter how much you argue with your girlfriends, never ditch them at a man’s request. Make sure your guy understands that you love your girls even when they drive you crazy. You might need to complain sometimes, but it’s not his problem, and you’ll take your frustration elsewhere if it makes him upset.
You passed your driving test – barely. The local police know you by name because you’ve been stopped for speeding tickets so many times. And let’s not even go into your struggle with parallel parking. Most guys hate being stuck in the passenger seat, so if you’re still getting the hang of driving, he could use it as an excuse to be the one who takes the wheel. It’s not much of a jump for him to insist on the music you play in the car and your ultimate destination once he’s your designated driver. It’s nice to always be the one who gets to have a glass of wine when you go out for dinner, but it leaves you indebted to your man. You’ll feel like you have no voice in where you go on your next road trip. Don’t let your boyfriend literally choose your path for you.
When you’re dating a funny, interesting man, it’s easy to let him take the lead in new social situations. He takes care of all the awkwardness of meeting new people just by being his own charismatic self, while you stand by his side looking pretty and nodding in all the right places. This is a role women have fallen into from time immemorial. It makes things easy for him, too, because he gets to call all the shots when it comes to your social circle. Unless you want to find yourself known as your boyfriend’s nameless girlfriend, you’ll want to start putting yourself forward as well. There’s nothing worse than waking up one morning and realizing that all of your friends only ever talk to your man and that they wouldn’t blink if he replaced you with another quiet girl.
You’ve always been that girl who’s the first at the party to take a dare. When you’re at the beach, you can’t stand sitting on a towel; you’re either jumping in on the nearest volleyball game or exploring the water. Your vivaciousness and perpetually high energy can be a turn-off for some guys, but they’re boring anyway. It’s not worth tying yourself down unless your date can hold your attention for longer than five minutes. Men who have a nasty sense of humor will exploit this, presenting themselves as fun and fascinating so they can goad you into an escalating series of misadventures, and abandon you when it’s time to face the consequences. A bad boy can seem enticing at first, but he’s looking out for his entertainment first and your well-being last.
You’re the first one to admit that you can be irrational at times. You let your emotions guide you through life. If your feelings point you in the direction of a highly logical man who takes apart every problem with the thoroughness of a rocket scientist, then so be it! No matter the situation, he always knows what to do. When you can’t decide between pasta primavera and ravioli at the restaurant, he orders for you. Not sure where to go out on Friday? He knows you’ll love this one concert. It reaches the point where everything he says seems so reasonable, he starts making almost every decision for you. Be careful. He may have been going for this from the beginning. Start making your own choices again, and if there’s backlash from him, get out.
Are you always asking your boyfriend to validate the way you look? If you constantly come to him with your poor self-image, a good man will compliment you and talk you into loving your body as much as he does. A man who wants a woman at home and something on the side, however, is going to feed your body insecurities until you’re convinced that you’re the ugliest girl in your city. He manipulates you into thinking that he stays with you because he feels sorry for you. When your friends come to you with stories about him messing around with some girl at a bar, you don’t even feel angry. You just feel sad that you’ve driven him to this. Don’t ever let a guy get into your skull like this – love your body, and if your man insinuates that you’re anything less than s**y, ditch him.
How hard is it to resist that cute new top in the window at Zara’s? If you have a history of making impulse buys that stretch your budget to the limit, or if you often spend beyond your means, a man who is financially successful may see you as an opportunity to buy a woman by taking responsibility for her debt. It’s perfectly normal for your boyfriend to insist on paying for your dinner. When it comes to him buying all your clothes, covering your rent and paying your electricity bills, things have gone too far. Make sure that you take financial responsibility for yourself. You don’t want to be stuck with someone because he covers all your expenses. That’s a little too close to the oldest profession for comfort.
This one isn’t exactly harmful, at least in small amounts. It applies if you’re one of those girls who has a tendency to get addicted to those little smartphone games. Candy Crush, anyone? If your guy is into more advanced gaming, he’s going to slowly indoctrinate you in the ways of first-person shooters, Portal and Skyrim. Video game addiction is a real problem, and if you two are both prone to addictive behaviors then this flaw could lead to your downfall as a couple and as productive members of society. But if you are just a little bit addicted to gaming together, you’ll have a hobby that you both can pursue in the evenings. Rescue Zelda together and see what adventures you can get up to in Hyrule. Make sure to pause for cuddles.
From an early age, you’ve always been an overachiever. You made sure your grades were on point and always had a full-time job. Now your life is all about your career. It’s natural that you choose a partner who not only is on the same career path as you but is as ambitious and talented as you are. He and you make a total power couple. It’s everything you’ve ever dreamed of. But when you start having second thoughts about him as a person, you realize that there’s no way out. You work for the same company, your assets are tied together and your network in all the same circles. Even if you’re not married, you’re still tied to him financially and professionally more than anyone else in the world. Maybe it’s best not to mix business with pleasure.
You are, if anything, a little too generous. When you go out with your friends, they have to remind you that you’re as broke as they are when you try to cover the whole check. With your handsome, charismatic boyfriend, you’re willing to give him the world. You clean his apartment as well as your own, buy him gifts, and cook his dinner every night. In return, you ask for nothing. You’re worried that he’ll think you’re selfish if you ask him to cover dinner one night. Trust us when we say that if he’s a decent guy, he won’t mind forking over the cash for your burger every other time you eat out together. If he’s taking advantage of your generous nature, he’ll get angry when you ask him to contribute. Make sure that your next boyfriend truly appreciates your kindness rather than using it to get free stuff.
Men aren’t the only superficial gender. As much as you say you want a guy with a great sense of humor, you really screen your dates based on their shirtless mirror selfies. When the hottest guy you’ve ever met sweeps you off your feet, you start to think you’ve died and gone to heaven. This man is so incredibly delicious that you can’t imagine being with anyone else. Not even when he cheats on you. And cheats again. And leaves for five days with no explanation, showing up at your apartment drunk and begging for you to cover the rent this month. This is a flaw you need to address right away unless you want your kids to have a deadbeat dad who can’t afford to pay child support. A man’s personality and integrity should play a big part in whether you choose to date him.
When you love someone, you see past their shortcomings. You want to build a partnership, a family, and a home as well as a romance, and you know things aren’t going to go perfectly all the time. That means you need to be willing to forgive and forget. A good man who realizes this is eternally grateful for your forgiving nature and strives to improve himself so that there is nothing he must apologize for. A man who wants to take advantage of you is going to refuse to apologize for his mistakes and accept your forgiveness anyway. Manipulative men want to get everything they can out of a woman without giving anything themselves. Don’t keep forgiving him if he doesn’t show any signs of changing his behavior. You should accept your boyfriend despite his flaws, but you shouldn’t compromise yourself in the process.