Your Guide To Recognising a Villain.
Dear Past Self,
This is a letter from your future. It’s almost 2020 and things are good here; all flying cars and silver jumpsuits. Just like you imagined. Before you get here though, you’re going to have to navigate your way around some garbage. Some of these piles of garbage will be human shaped.
Real life villains aren’t like canned goods; they’re not clearly labelled, so trusting your intuition is vital if you want to avoid one. However, because I know you, I also know you can’t yet tell the difference between intuition and indigestion.
And so, because you’re going to run into one or two villains in the coming years, I’ve compiled a handy checklist of things to watch out for.
Think of it as a guide to recognising a true villain.
- He’s (tactically) vague
If someone asks you what music you like, most of us wouldn’t have trouble coming up with an answer.
Our villain is different. He prefers vague statements on his dating profile:
I enjoy lots of music.
I like all kinds of movies.
Favourite shows? Too many to mention!
You might read this as ‘easy going’ or ‘eclectic’ or ‘not too good with words n stuff’, but that’s not it at all. This guy doesn’t have any interests, until you do. Then, what do you know? All your interests are also his interests. Amazing!
What are the odds of finding someone who loves Mongolian throat singing as much as you do?
Then, once a connection has been made, the levee breaks and
2. There’s a wave of information coming at you
Far too much to take in, and that’s by design. An information dump is hard to process and retain.
When you try to make sense of it and put in some kind of chronological order, you can’t. It’s disorienting, overwhelming. It’s too much. Come to think of it –
3. It all seems like too much.
Too much too soon. You meet his parents too early. You meet his friends too early. There are too many presents, compliments, text messages and 4000 words emails on the things he likes – the things he LOVES about you.
You’re flattered, but you can’t help feeling like something is a little off. You’ve only known the guy 10 days. If you question it or tell him to cool it, it gets turned around on you.
“You just don’t think enough of yourself,” he’ll say.
He knows it’s true; that’s one of the reasons he chose you.
4. He’s a country and western song in human form.
When he talks about his past you’ll notice a common theme; all his songs are sad songs.
There’s been so much heartbreak and misery in his past; women who left him, trucks that were stolen, dogs that died. He tells you these things and, because you’re a human being and not a stone, you feel compassion and sympathy.
Poor guy, his life sure has been dramatic, which is weird because…
5. He insists he hates drama, but it just seems to find him.
Yeah, it’s funny how, when you’re engaged to one woman but still sleeping with your ex, drama tends to sniff you out.
Speaking of his former partners –
6. He has nothing but negative things to say about his exes.
Those crazy, drunk, liars. Don’t even get me started. He has no kind words for any of them. Which raises an intriguing question; were they nuts to begin with or did he make them that way?
More importantly though, he doesn’t seem to have learnt anything from or developed any sense of perspective on his previous relationships. He can’t even bring himself to speak their names. It’s like he dated Voldemort or something.
Again, you’ll be compassionate. There are a lot of psychos out there. A lot of liars too.
7. There is a LOT of lying
This guy lies about everything. He lies by omission, he lies to cover up bad behaviour, he lies to make himself look better and then there are times he lies just…because.
When you catch him in a lie, he’ll sulk and blame you for his deceit. It’s your fault he has to lie. If you weren’t so disappointed every he disappointed you there would be no need for deceit.
Then, amongst the mendacity –
8. He’ll throw in a few truth bombs
He might admit he used to be a serial cheater, or that, while his then wife was in labour with their second child, he was in a 7-11 parking lot eating a pie, because it wasn’t like she really needed him at that moment or anything.
This will turn your stomach and make you wonder who exactly it is you’re with, but you’ll stay, because he’s way more responsible and trustworthy now. I mean that’s what he keeps telling you, so why would you doubt him?
9. He turns from a person to a project.
It might take a few weeks or a few months but at some point it becomes clear that he’s a walking disaster.
Maybe his finances are a mess. Or he hasn’t paid his rent in months and is under threat of eviction. Or he’s never completed a tax return. Or he lives in a hovel amongst ankle-deep piles of garbage.
Or he ignores his health, his diet and his hygiene.
Or, if you’re a really lucky girl – it’s all of these things!
Unfortunately, by the time you realise all of this you are well and truly ‘together’. And what else can you do but put your life on hold to try and sort out the tangled mess of Christmas lights that is his life?
You think if you just work patiently through one issue one at a time, eventually you guys can get on with the business of living. But no sooner have you fixed one problem, than three more spring up in its place. It becomes overwhelming, yet you stick with it.
Why wouldn’t you? You’re getting something out of it too.
Plugging the holes in the USS DEADBEAT gives you purpose. It gives you an excuse to procrastinate in other areas of your life and deep down, you KNOW you can fix him.
I know, gross.
Look, I admire your dedication to a cause but there’s no light at the end of this tunnel. You need to get out now before real damage is done.
Before you start to believe that this is what relationships are; frustration, pain, disappointment and deceit.
Before you’re left financially and emotionally drained and completely resistant to the idea of ever getting into a relationship again.
Trust me, you CAN do better.
Best of luck,
You in the year 2019.
P.S. Buy Bitcoin!