I have an absolutely wonderful and amazing ladyfriend who is getting back into the dating game after ending a relationship that lasted for more than a decade. Well, she’s not calling it “dating” just yet. She’s agreeing to speak to members of the opposite sex in a flirtatious nature. She’s warming to the idea of getting drinks or catching a movie or maybe even making out in the back of a bar.
I’m really excited to see my friend, let’s just call her Ann*, start to consider relationships and men and the possibility of someday finding another person that she can be happy with. Right now she just refers to it as “hanging out,” but I think that’s understandable.
So, yay for Ann, right! We should definitely sign her up for The Gloss Dating.
There’s just one little problem. As we sat over lunch talking about her big step forward, Ann whipped out her phone to show me the picture of the first guy she’s considered “hanging out” with. She pulled up his Facebook profile to show me his picture. That’s when I did a quick double-take.
“Why doesn’t he have his shirt on? Why would a grown man have a picture of himself shirtless as his profile picture?” I was amazed that anyone out of college would consider this appropriate.
“I wondered that,” my friend admitted. “I guess he really likes to work out,” she explained.
In that minute, I started thinking back to any man I knew who would do such a thing. I started to get a little worried about my dear friend’s new flirting partner, the guy who was texting her nonstop into the wee hours of the night. There’s something juvenile is posting a half-naked picture of yourself to show off on Facebook, and keeping the thing as your profile. It’s like when my friends and I came back from spring break in high school and posted bikini pictures. We knew we were doing it for attention, we just didn’t care. How many grown men need that immature kind of attention?
At my surprise about the profile picture, my friend started relaying some other troubling information. “He really wants pit bulls,” she said nervously. Ann fosters dogs that have been rescued until they can find suitable homes. It’s a great program run by a local kennel so that animals aren’t euthanized at the pound. “Like, not rescue pit bulls. He wants to get pit bull puppies. That made me a little nervous,” she admitted.
So now we have the muscle show-off and a propensity for traditionally aggressive animals. (I realize that pit bulls are awesome dogs that have been misrepresented. I know that the dog is what you make it, it’s not naturally vicious at all. But some people still get pit bulls specifically because they believe that they are aggressive.)
Then came the real coup de grâce for me. “He’s also has something else going on with another girl at work.” This time Ann sounded a little embarrassed to admit it. She knew how the whole picture sounded. To be fair, their company employs hundreds of people. “How many people at work has he dated?” I asked. “A handful,” she replied.
So half-naked Facebook profile, pit bulls, and dating multiple women at your place of business. Call me judgmental if you must, but at that point I felt like I could sufficiently label him a douchebag. In fact, I felt like I knew he was a douchebag from the minute I saw that stupid picture of him flexing but trying to look like he wasn’t flexing. After all the other information I was given, that seemed like a pretty good indication of the person we were taking about here.
I made a face that immediately told Ann I was worried. She said, “So you’re saying I shouldn’t go watch Fight Club with him, apparently it’s his favorite movie.” Of course it was his favorite movie. Of course he had a poster from the movie in his apartment. Just of course.
“I don’t know darling…” I stumbled. I was really excited for Ann to be getting herself back out there. Ann is amazing and her ex, who seemed really great, turned in to a huge douchebag. Where was all the judginess back then to say that her thoughtful and intelligent ex was going to morph into a really terrible human being? “I should keep my mouth shut.” That’s what I kept thinking, “Just keep your mouth shut.”
But I didn’t. I couldn’t. “Ann, I feel like there’s so much better out there for you. And if he’s dating someone else in your office, won’t that make things awkward?” That was probably my most legitimate objection. It felt like the safest to go with. I tried to stick with the workplace dram angle.
“I’m not looking for a committed anything right now either though,” Ann said. It was true and I knew it. There was a possibility that she would start talking to someone else at her company, given that there are hundreds of them. That wouldn’t make her a bad person.
“He’s not wearing a shirt in his Facebook profile and he’s over the age of 22,” I ended up blurting out. “You can’t date someone who wants to represent themselves to the world with no shirt and what looks to be a tanning bed addiction.”
I want my friend to be happy. I’m excited for her to go out and meet people who make her happy. But as a friend, I still feel protective of her. I still feel like it’s my job to make sure her heart doesn’t get broken again, no matter how ridiculous that is. I love her.
The douchebag has now changed his profile picture.
(Photo: Johnny Louis/WENN.com)