Red flags: From pets to porn

Print

by Cyn Collins | 4/16/09

Dear Cyn,

Help me out here. I’m a single woman, and my girlfriends talk about “red flags” that should warn you a guy is not a promising prospect, but it seems like just about anything could be a “red flag” if considered in a certain (red) light. Really…when I go over to a guy’s place for the first time, what should I hope to see and what should I hope to not see?

Thanks—
Jill


Dear Jill,

It’s true that just about anything could be a “red flag” if considered in a certain light. It’s really mostly about personal preference and what you can or can’t tolerate. So I’m providing a list of things you should hope to see and not to see, so you can go in with a mental checklist while you snoop over his stuff with a fine tooth comb while he’s in the biffy. Please note that some of the following are not things I’m against or judgemental about—just things that may bother you.

life of cyn is published each thursday as part of the arts orbit weekly newsletter. click here to subscribe. have a question for cyn? submit it, anonymously if you’d like, as a comment on this post. if we don’t get ’em from you, we have to make ’em up ourselves.

First, what you hope not to see:
• A wedding ring in a cup by the sink.
• Toys—does he have kids and he didn’t tell you? Do you want to be an instant mom?
• A picture of another woman. It had better be his sister. If its his ex-girlfriend, he’s having trouble letting go, and won’t be there for you. Might even cry on your shoulder from time to time. I’ve been there, and it’s not fun. (But of course, in that case he was also a psychopath.)
• Speaking of which, meds for mental illness. It’s still fine to date him…as long as he stays on them.
• Women’s underwear. Either he didn’t get rid of the remnants of the last one, or he’s into wearing them. If you’re fine with this, then proceed.
• Bondage equipment—unless you may be into that sort of thing. If so, you’re in luck!
• A sinkful of moldy dishes, and a floor covered with clothes. If he didn’t bother to clean these before you came over, it will only get worse. (And you won’t change him.)
• A cat, if you’re allergic. Otherwise, great!
• Signs of obsession of any sort—a knife or gun collection, a huge stack of video games…all these are fine, but you just need to know in advance that sometimes (if not often) the focus will be on the latest new toy and not on you.
• Massive amounts of new electronics and not much by way of food, clothing and necessities. Begs the question: is he seriously in debt with the credit card companies? If you manage to see large unpaid bills, run, run!
• Holes and dents in the walls and broken glass. Ask how these happened, just to make sure it wasn’t from a former occupant, or his crazy best (?) friend, and see how he responds. If evasive, or seems like he is lying, you know what to do…run!
• Lots of religious materials. Unless you’re into that sort of thing.
• Inordinate amounts of porn. Even if you’re into that sort of thing.
• His book collection. If the subject matter is questionable to you, e.g. about holocaust denial, ask why he has it. Unless he’s doing a research project of some sort, this is going to be a problem.
• The following are okay only if he is an artist: toenail clipping collection, small roadkill, hair clippings, dangerous chemicals.

And as for what you hope to see…it’s obvious, but it bears repeating.
• A relatively clean environment.
• A kitchen well-stocked with food and equipment. It’s a bonus if he cooks.
• An ordinary amount of electronics.
• Some art and pictures show he cares about people and aesthetics.
• Candles, objects d’art, rocks, and other things from nature show he’s well rounded and a bit of a romantic.
• Some nice beverage to treat guests such as yourself to. If he’s not thoughtful in the beginning, he never will be.
• Bookshelves and record collections. I cannot stress the importance of checking these, to see how your tastes match, or if not, at least if he is interested and interesting.
• A cat, if you’re not allergic. Men with cats generally treat women pretty well, I’ve found—they seem to understand us better.

Okay, hope this helps. Go forth into the unknown territory!

Sincerely,
Cyn

Photo by Jug Jones (Creative Commons).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.