The four men you shouldn't date in your 20s, according to someone who knows.

In this Instagram world of carefully posed pictures of perfection (try saying that 10 times fast), it’s no wonder nobody wants to admit they’re in the wrong relationship. Having found myself in defective relationships more than I care to admit, I once wrote myself a list of all the warning signs I should have taken heed of, long before I built the courage to do so.

The guy you have to apologise for.

“Mum, I swear he is normally so lovely and sensitive. He’s just having a hard time at work.” “Mum, I swear he is so kind to me, he just had a fight with his parents so he’s feeling stressed.”

“Mum… He’s actually just an arsehole.”

The moment you start making excuses to your family or friends about your man’s dodgy behaviour, #HeAintTheOne.

He only looks great on Instagram.

Haven’t we all been there? He’s the hottie with the body who makes you look at your friends like this…

You could stare at him like the total weirdo you are for months on end until… you realise that despite being really, really, ridiculously good looking, he is really, really, ridiculously boring.

He whinges about everything and mens health magazines are his go-to source of information. You thought you could deal with his personality in return for some beautiful couple shots (#shallow), but looking into yourself real deep, you know #HeAintTheOne

Listen: Osher Gunsberg and psychologist Leanne Hall discuss the importance of breaking from your comfort zone, and dating someone who isn’t your type. Post continues after audio. 

The guy who manipulates you.

If you haven’t come across this charming fellow, give yourself a pat on the back. Seriously, well done you for avoiding/escaping the clutches of the worst dude ever. In the beginning, he is Mr. Charming (Think Harvey Specter from ‘Suits’ but not as hot).

He sends flowers to your work, calls you 10 times a day, parades you around like a new toy. However, while he has you distracted by something shiny, he is working on his plan for ultimate destruction.

All of a sudden, you’re working out twice a day to lose those extra kilos you’ve been carrying around. Your hair is getting lighter and lighter to match the girls he is always ogling. You spend your weekend nights crying at 3 am because he’s not home and you just don’t understand why he hates you so much. You begin to doubt every thought in your mind because he has slowly been chipping away at your self esteem, and suddenly you realise…

When you break free of the spell you have been under, you’ll realise that his manipulative ways are a reflection of the broken person he is. Luckily for you, you’re free because #HeAintTheOne

The guy who moves wayyyyy too fast.

It’s been two weeks but you guys are definitely in love. It’s been three weeks but you 100 percent know that this is the right time to move in with him. It’s been a month but you should absolutely definitely get the eff out of therebecause this is a classic case of quick-sticks-itis.


Nothing real ever feels rushed. Be wary of anything that you get the urge to do in haste. Usually, it's your heart trying to move before your head catches up and tells your heart off for being so darn irresponsible and you know #HeAintTheOne

Look, I'm only 26 therefore my advice is purely based on my limited life experiences and the ridiculous precedent my parents set by having the world's most loving, romantic relationship, but these things I know for sure: 'The one' will be kind to the people you love. He'll listen to your Dad's long-winded stories and smile because he wants your old man to like him. He'll trim the hedges in your front lawn so your Mum doesn't have to pay to have it done. He'll help your sister with her uni assignments and he'll bond with your brother over sports.

He'll call you out when you're wrong but accept your apologies without holding things over your head. He won't rush your relationship because he wants to take the time to really get to know you. You'll laugh together and cry together and you'll hurt each other but never on purpose unless he does that annoying thing when he makes loud drinking noises and then you're allowed to pinch him.

Don't settle for anything less.

This post was originally published on Liv Loveless, and was republished here with full permission. 

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