How to Avoid a Dating Horror Story

A Halloween-themed list for ladies searching for love

Dear Monica, I have had no luck recently with dating. I keep meeting guys who end up being jerks. How can I quickly figure out which ones to avoid so I stop wasting my time? — M.H. Glen Mills, PA

With the number of werewolves, goblins and witches popping up around Philly, I’m reminded that the dating world can be a horror show rather than a storybook romance. Not that we’re pointing any severed limbs or meat cleavers at guilty parties, but  left to their own devices, guys can be downright scary in their attempts to woo women. In order to make this all a little bit less frightening, I have categorized some scenarios to be wary of.

The Einstein/Frankenstein: Brains are sexy and there’s nothing more attractive than a guy with something smart to say. While we love an intellectual challenge, few want a know-it-all boyfriend who is constantly spitting out data. Take your head out of your textbook and stop trying to make the woman you’re talking to feel like a dummy.

Momma’s Boy Mummy: His mother is the center of his universe. She stops by to do his laundry, calls, e-mails & texts him hourly just to check-in. His mom is never afraid to offer up ample relationship “advice” What’s worse is that he actually picks up every time she calls (no matter what he may happen to be doing). Sever the umbilical cord!

Blackout Zombie
: His favorite word is “Shots!” followed closely by “Hit me again!” The moves that made him the coolest guy in college don’t fly anymore when he’s looking for action. As our zombie stumbles around the bar grabbing every girl in sight, do yourself a favor and hail a cab home. Scary how all it takes is a few drinks, and a guy who seemed perfectly normal in daylight turns into a nighttime monster!

Cutesy Ghoul: It could be he’s nervous and just trying to impress, but does he really expect you to fall for that cheesy routine? Give him a few dates to mellow out, but if the act continues it might be time to loose the fake laugh. If only he could understand, women enjoy insightful conversation just as much as a good chuckle.

Preppy Count Dracula: Aviators, popped collars, and madras shorts can be fashionable, but the accompanying frat-boy mentality should have ended with college. We’re weary of guys with nicknames that reference past sexual conquests or who spend their free time organizing beer-pong tourneys — who knows if or when Drac will grow up?

Best Friend Ghost: Are you friends? Are you more than friends? Does he even like you? Best Friend Ghost is the king of mixed signals. He acts like a brother, then a boyfriend, then a best pal. Sometimes a girl needs a bit of clarity and Best Friend Ghost leaves us analyzing his every move.

Competitive Werewolf: He’s competing against everyone. He has a better bar trick, knows more about major league sports, can afford the better car, and has a lower golf handicap. How can you help but feel like you’re under his scrutiny at all times? Stop living in fear that he will trade you in for a better girlfriend. If he doesn’t want to lose you, Competitive Werewolf needs to realize when it comes to women, winning isn’t everything.

Player Warlock:
We won’t stand for a man who eyeballs other girls while he’s on a date with us, or flirts with the bartender while buying our drinks. Player Warlock has a reputation for dating multiple girls at a time. Don’t believe him when he tells you otherwise. Listen to the rumors and bypass this heartache.

Commit-a-phobe Goblin: Everything’s fine until he freaks out because you slept over without sex, met his parents, or he realizes he actually likes you. Commitment is his kryptonite. One small realization that you’re important to him, and Commit-a-phobe Goblin escapes with nothing more than an utterance of “I’ll call you.”

Be on the look out to avoid these dating horrors. If you find your date is one of these Halloween tricks and not a treat, give him a fist full of candy corn and send him on his way! Gentlemen next week we will go over the scary women of the season so that your date does not become a mischief night disaster.

Monica Mandell, Ph.D. is the Director of the Philadelphia office of Selective Search, the premiere (off-line) upscale matchmaking firm for the most eligible singles.
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