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10 Signs You're Dating an Asshat—And 5 Tips to Avoid Them

Are you thinking with the wrong part of your anatomy?

Photo Credit: Mila Supinskaya/


Asshats. We've all been in love with at least one. Haven't we? If you haven't, do me a service and lie.

What defines an Asshat? (I'm going to refer to men, but Asshatism crosses all gender lines). My #AsshatCriteria:

1. He never does what he says he'll do. He doesn't call when he says he will. He doesn't show up when he should. You frequently think he may be dead, then want to kill him when he's not.

2. He is angry and grumpy for no apparent reason. He won't talk to you and you don't know why. There are long awkward silences that make you want to bash him in the face with your running shoe.

3. He secretly cheats on you. He overtly cheats on you. He cheats on you in a box, with a fox, wearing socks. He tries to make your feel crazy and paranoid when you offer your suspicions. When he is caught in the act he gets mad at you for being mad at him because he cheated on you.

4. You frequently try to break up with him, but you just can't quit him.

5. You suddenly get religion. You pray for God to make him faithful. When that doesn't work you pray for God to help you to stop loving him. When that doesn't work you think God might be an Asshat too.

6. You start therapy, a 12-step group, Kaballah.

7. You start wearing crystals to clear your chakras, reading self-help books on co-dependency. You become a regular at the Bodhi Tree on Melrose Avenue where you buy over-priced Buddhas and nausea-inducing incense.

8. You see a shaman, a psychic, a past-lives medium and a hypnotist.

9. You read Men are From Venus, Women are From Mars and try to wait for your man to come out of his cave and snap back like a rubber band. You decide that motherfucker John Gray doesn't know what the hell he's talking about.

10. You are unhappy all of the time. You feel lonely, desperate, grasping and fated to live your life forever dissatisfied or alone.

There's more, but I think these 10 will have to suffice.

Now here's the thing about Asshats. We don't have to judge them or revile them. They are, quite simply, damaged people. We don't know why they're damaged and even if we think we do know why, we must accept that WE ABSOLUTELY CANNOT FIX THEM.

Here are my five tips for avoiding them entirely:

1. Do not, under any circumstances, allow your vagina (or penis) to choose a relationship. Just don't do it!!!

There's a reason some cultures still insist on chaperones and on arranged marriages. Because they don't trust vaginas (if you're male just insert penis every time you see vagina) to make good choices.

My vagina can walk into a room, instinctively find the biggest Asshat there and pounce on him. My vagina has, historically, gotten me tied down for years with men (two of them) prone to all kinds of Asshattery.

By the time I met my husband Henry, who is the antithesis of an Asshat, I didn't trust my vagina anymore at all. True to form, when she met Henry she gave him the cold shoulder (yes, vaginas have shoulders).

She just didn't find him intoxicating because he was reliable, kind, conscientious, a gentleman and he wasn't swarthy.

Fortunately, I ignored her and decided to date Henry anyway. The irony is that in my previous relationships fraught with Asshatalism, the sex got worse and worse, whereas  the sex life with my loving husband has gotten better and better.