A few weeks ago, a guy friend of mine told me a story about a girl he met on vacation. He’d recently gotten out of a fairly long relationship and, being on vacation, was looking for something fun and relaxing. This young lady, however, had decidedly other plans. Almost immediately, she was asking him to a wedding, texted him constantly, and while ignoring his lack of response she jumped straight into inappropriate texting. At first blush, this girl seemed to him, to be fairly normal. She was pretty, sweet and, he thought, emotionally stable. But clearly he was wrong.
Without delving into the delicate psychology that’s involved here, I’m going to go straight to avoidance techniques for our readers. There are some tell-tale signs to spot a women you want to avoid, and after living in a sorority with 140 other young women, I think I’m fairly qualified to help you gentlemen spot one:
1. She has a huge purse at the bar: If I’m going to work, I take a large purse/briefcase; this is because I carry a laptop, files, and a copy of The Economist to read on the bus. Exactly zero of these things ever come out with me on weekends. If a girl is lugging a gigantic purse around at the bar, it means it’s filled with makeup, hair products or a change of clothes; and as a general rule; all of those things mean she’s really concerned about how she looks physically, and as a general rule, a lot of physical baggage can also mean a lot of emotional baggage.
2. Her apartment is decorated entirely in pink: My room at my parent’s house is decorated in pink and has ballet slippers everywhere; this is because that room was decorated when I was six years old. The apartment I live in as an adult may not have the nicest furniture and some of it may be hand-me-down, but it still reflects an adult style, I own wine glasses that don’t have cat faces on them, and none of my rugs or pillow say “Princess” on them. A girl whose adult apartment is still decorated like a child’s bedroom may mean she hasn’t quite grown up yet, and also means that she hasn’t ever had a boyfriend long enough to give his input.
3. She knows more about the Kardashians/ Real Housewives of _X__ City/ The Bachelorette than she does actual news: All of us have a few TV shows we’re ashamed to admit we like; (for me it’s Miss Advised and My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.) However, if a girl can tell you more about what Kaitlin or Krissy or Kimmy Kardashian had for breakfast than she can about who’s running for President or her opinion on the economy; it might be a sign that she’s so concerned with a fake fantasy world that she won’t pay attention to her own life - or yours.
4. She can’t ever be alone: Guys need time to be alone, so do girls. Sometimes I like to go work out or eat strawberry shortcake and watch 30 Rock without my boyfriend, and sometimes he likes to go fishing or watch baseball games without me. It’s one thing if she’s so loaded with commitment like kids, taking care of a sick parent, or trying to not fail out of law school that she can’t ever find time to be alone; but it’s a very different, and very concerning thing, if she won’t spend any time by herself. A girl who needs to either be with you constantly or be surrounded by friends constantly may be trying to show you how popular and awesome she is all the time; something like emulating what Regina George in Mean Girls did. And, because none of the good readers of Bro Council should be chasing after teenagers or girls who still want to act like teenagers, it’s a good sign she’s either crazy or too immature to grow up.
5. She has a lot of frenemies: This is super-concerning; because crazy girls tend to know a lot of other crazy girls. They also tend to have a lot of girls they “really hate,” with a lot of either real or imagined wrongs they’ve committed against each other over time, and keep track of with odd scores and paybacks. It’s an exhausting circle that’ll involve you meditating late night crying sessions and girl fights over ridiculous things like who stole whom’s flip-flops two summers ago or who wore the same bikini to Jenna’s pool party last May. Save yourself the trouble and don’t get involved to begin with.
6. She snoops - physically OR emotionally: On a first date, obviously you both may be asking questions about hometowns, friends, families and colleges, but if it feels like an interrogation, or she’s really interested in the menutia of everything, it’s most likely because she’s thinking of how she’s going to Facebook-stalk and Google you later. She wants to know everything right off the bat because she wants to feel like you like her more than all of your exes combined, and in her head, she’s so fantastic, you immediately and obviously should. It’s a modern version of physically snooping through your trash or your phone, and sane people are secure enough to not do that.
7. She texts you repeatedly without waiting for a response: In her head, you’re as into her as she is to you, so you’re hanging on to every word she’s sending. If she’s texting you rapid fire and it’s not an emergency situation where she’s been kidnapped to somewhere where she can’t use a phone to call 911 for fear the kidnappers will hear her; it’s because she’s convinced herself that what she’s saying to you is fantastic and you need to know every word of it, without interruption because her prose is just as beautiful and wonderful as she is. Normal people can have sane, normally-paced back and forth conversations. Check out our text message etiquette guide for more info on this.
Finally, all the advice in the world is useless if (and when, because we have faith in you, dear Bro Council readers) you find the perfect person for you! So, even if she does seem completely bonkers, wackadoodle nuts, if you know she’s the right one, all of that other stuff will fade away.