Finding Mr. Right has never been easy (just read a Jane Austen novel!). Indeed, for many it can be an exhausting, frustrating and, above all, time-consuming process. Should you choose the wrong man, there is also the messy, sometimes even traumatic, business of ending the relationship. The answer, of course, is not to date the wrong man in the first place. Avoiding the player, the kidult and the narcissist would be a good start.
First, there is the player. Such men claim to be seeking love when in fact they merely want sex. And once they have got it the excuses begin: "I'm not sure I'm ready to commit," "it's not you it's me," and so on (assuming, of course, that they stick around long enough to make those excuses).
So, how do you spot a player? This isn't always easy. After all, he is essentially a conman and doesn't want to be spotted. Observe the way he talks. Does it seem a bit too smooth and polished? Maybe the whole date feels artificial and rehearsed, as if you are acting in some third rate romantic comedy. The player will talk at rather than to you. This is a performance, one he has given before, possibly using the exact same words.
Make it clear that you are looking for a relationship, not a friend with benefits. Add that you never go to bed with someone until you know them well. Whether true or not, it is a good way of exposing such men. Watch his reaction. If he is after just one thing, there should be an immediate change. He may seem bored and distant. The jokes and charm will probably dry up as well.
Young women often complain that their boyfriend is "just so immature." And that may be because they are dating a kidult rather than a man. Of course, there is a difference between immaturity and lightheartedness. Someone can refuse to take life seriously without being immature. Equally, a serious and ambitious man may have the emotional intelligence of a child.
Does he constantly show off and try to impress you? If he does show off, note what he shows off about. An immature man will try to impress you with silly boasts: the record breaking fish he caught, the time he got so drunk he couldn't stand up, the tough guy he beat in an arm wrestle, etc.
As people mature, they tend to look for content over style. The immature and still impressed by surface dazzle - by confidence, attitude and cool. Take note of this as well.
What makes him laugh? The immature man still finds bodily functions amusing, and he will laugh at them with the glee of a child breaking the rules. Is there also an adolescent delight in other people's embarrassment and humiliation? Above all, can he laugh at himself?
Of all potential partners, the narcissist is among the worst. How can you build a relationship with someone already in love with himself?
Thankfully, they are easy to spot, mainly because they lack self-awareness. Most obviously, they will be completely uninterested in you. Note whether he asks you any personal questions. Does he pay attention when you mention your favourite movies, books and vacations? To the narcissist, other people are merely an audience, there to feed his ravenous ego. You could spend all evening with such a man, and by the end he will know no more about you than he did at the start.
Narcissists talk endlessly about themselves. And they do so in the most excruciating detail. They also bring every subject back to them. For example, you mention that you've always wanted to visit London. You like Dickens and the Sherlock Holmes novels, so it would be a kind of literary pilgrimage. Most people, if only out of basic politeness, would ask a follow up question: "what would you like to see while you're there?" for example, or "do you know anyone who has been?" The narcissist, however, would reply, "That doesn't interest me; I hate big cities." You didn't ask whether he wanted to visit London! In the end, you want to scream, "not everything is about you!"
Unfortunately, these three far from exhaust the list. The control freak, for example, deserves an article to himself. But avoiding the player, the kidult and the narcissist would be a good start.