10 Guys Every Girl Should Date Before Getting Married

Life would be so much simpler if the first boy we ever kissed was our soulmate, and then we got married and were in love forever and ever, and lived happily ever after. (This has actually happened to two of my friends, and looking from the outside in, it appears to be as dreamy as it sounds.) But, alas. For those of us who don’t live in a fairy tale, it takes the kissing of some freaky frogs to get to a prince (or a princess) charming. If, you know, finding someone to share your life with is your thing. (If it’s not, mazel tov, and also please write the secret to happiness in the comments section below.)

Real talk for a minute, though: heartbreak is the worst — but, it’s also an opportunity for growth, and it gets you one step closer to the right relationship as you learned what worked, what didn’t, and what you need to be happy. Falling in love with the wrong guy can simultaneously be the most painful and best thing to happen to you. As I prepare to walk down the aisle toward my own personal Disney hunk, Prince Tony, I can’t help but be grateful for the guys I didn’t marry, but dated. So, as a follow-up to my last blog, here’s my super scientific algorithm for the exes every girl should have in her back pocket, in order to find her Mr. (or Mrs.) Right (ie the guys who shattered my heart and taught me a thing or two about love):


1. The Mama’s Boy. He’s got his mother’s name tattooed over his heart. He asks you to go out on Sunday morning, and you think you’re going to brunch, but then he drives you to church and his mother is there, and you learn this is how he does all his first dates, so his mom can help him decide whether you’re getting a second date or not. LESSON: There are three people in this relationship: Him, his mother, and you. And you’re the third wheel. Run, don’t walk!

2. The Best Friend. He’s totally down to binge watch Nicholas Sparks movies and eat cookie dough on the sofa with you, even though March Madness is happening. He holds your hand and lets you cry when your ex gets engaged. He creates a Pinterest profile, because you told him to. LESSON: You’re the selfish jerk in this scenario. He loves you and is doing whatever it takes to make you happy, and you’re taking advantage of him. Learn to be as careful with someone else’s heart as you’d want them to be with yours.

3. The Grouper. Much like Grouper fish (from the family Serranidae, thanks, Wikipedia!) this one needs to travel in schools, i.e. he needs to constantly be surrounded by friends. He loves to hang out, but only in packs. He gets real quiet when you’re alone, and just when you think you’ve got him pinned down for something romantic, three of his buds show up with their lady friends! LESSON: Unless you want your relationship to be a constant bro-hang, leave the group dates to junior high.

ryan and kelly

4. The Selfish Jerk. He forgets your birthday three years in a row. He asks you to move to another state for his job, but when you do, he resents you and tells you he only asked because he “didn’t think you’d actually come.” None of your friends know him, because you only ever hang out with his friends. When he talks about “the future,” you’re not in it. LESSON: You got so busy trying to get his attention and win his heart, you forgot to stop and ask yourself if you really want him. Just because he’s hard to get, doesn’t mean he’s worth getting.

5. The Level-10 Clinger. When you ask him what he wants out of life, he replies “You.” He takes you on a date Thursday night, and somehow he’s still at your house on Sunday night, and he wants you both to call in sick to work on Monday so he doesn’t have to leave your side. On your birthday, he wrote your name + his name inside a heart with gasoline on your driveway, then lit it on fire. LESSON: All this romance is suffocating! Valentine’s Day comes once a year for a reason — because you’ve got to get sh*t done on the other 364 days! Set him free to find a soul who wants to recite poetry for hours on end in the bathtub with him, and go find someone who subscribes to the age-old adage “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” You want a boyfriend, not a Siamese twin.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003155104591 Natalie-Jane Harrison-Fullerton

    Is this in order?
    Because I feel like the previous was number 10 and 9 in one go!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1139220297 April Aksoy

    Why should you have to go through this if you’ve found the one you love already? More than half of these men sound awful. The title should really be “The 10 exes I had to weed through,” cause I do not want to date a man-baby, nor a workaholic. That would be a waste of time, especially since these personality traits are easily perceivable in a person before you get serious with them. This has nothing to do with marriage and experiencing all different types of men, it’s solely about the author’s escapades.
    I’ve already met the man I want to most likely marry and he’s my first serious boyfriend. He’s great to me. I wouldn’t stop dating him just to go out with a series of idiots, that’s just dumb.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=681270668 Mariana Azevedo

      April, I guess you didn’t read the introduction before you commented. She states it pretty clear that life would be easier “if the first boy we ever kissed was our soulmate, and then we got married and were in love forever and ever”, and that those types were her personal experience.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=765389408 Melanie Moir

    My ex was 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 at various points over our relationship, or for the entirety of it. I was 16-18 at the time though. I don’t think a lot of mature people would touch the people on this list with a 10 foot barge pole. Its a waste of time and energy, and you’d have to be a bit stupid to go through it as an adult. (I say as an adult, because most teenagers will go for the wrong guy, thinking they can change him for the better. Its what I thought at the time as well)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1663208689 Ray Hudson

    Would you like me to write the equivalent article for 10 gals every guy should date before he gets married? Or would that be too harsh of a reality toke? 😉

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1463760030 Amanda Christianna

      I’m totally number 9. I’m like the female version of Good Luck Chuck. Every guy I’ve dated (quickly) gets married to the next girl after me.

      Yes, there’s a lot of fluff in this, but I think a lot of the commentators over analyzing it and some of them just sound jaded. We’ve all dated certain “types” of guys and it is nice knowing that we’re not the only one.

      There’s a subtle solidarity message that we all have to date the wrong guy to learn what we don’t want in a partner, so that when we do find the right guy, we’ll know what he looks like.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001391262055 Jay Rabian Beltran

    This is pretty stupid. Women say men are bad… Listen women, chances are your not that great, and you should settle for what you can get… Seriously, if you hold that high of a standard fora relationship, you really dont deserve to be in one because your a bitch.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1046400170 Angela Vessey

      I think “Standard” is something you choose for yourself that nobody can really put into a pretty box and give to you. A standard can be the equivalent of finding that perfect person for you, without necessarily calling someone else less perfect because they don’t fit your idea of “your perfect standard.” I have unfortunately gone through heart-aches like many have and I can’t say that those relationships didn’t change me for the better. You have the choice to be positively influenced, or fall victim to the morose feelings that will stay with you until you choose to push them out. I enjoyed this article because it shows us how we sometimes try to make it work with the wrong people and as a result both people have the potential to come out looking like the above (including yourself). Personalities are different and when they try to mesh together it often times gets messy and from depending on whose point of view you take can make someone look pretty crazy (some people are crazy- and should seek professional help, but those are not the people I am talking of) Love makes our perspectives skewed at times and I think it’s important to have a set of standards that keep your mind straight on what takes top priority in what you know will make you happy in your life alongside your present or future partner. I would most certainly agree with your comment that men are not the primary offenders and that women alike have similar subcategories. I can speak for myself in saying that this was a “funny” article and although it shows some truths in my own life, I don’t think it was meant to be a holy grail on how women should nit pick at men and who to avoid- but was actually meant to encourage women so they may know they aren’t alone in their struggles and finding the right person. Have a great day!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=25319130 Mallory Shepherd


    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=793019464 Rachell Blair

      And you’re such an arrogant jerk that no woman would want to go within 100 miles of you, so maybe that’s why you’re assuming that we aren’t that great, because, well, who would want to put in all the effort with someone like you?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=505594284 Aaron Kostuch

    “But if he was really that great, he would’ve realized how lucky he was to be with you.” Ha ha ha… that statement would make me run also. You sound crazy…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1356580869 Ashleigh Joppie

    Does it count if my ex was 8 of the 10 combined?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1423590094 Emma Olivia Sedam

    4 and 7 out of the way. But I think you did forget the “ex” guy. The guy who doesn’t get over his ex until he has to get over the next one. He might even seem over her, but brings her up at weird moments, and even when he’s saying you’re “better” it still manages to sound like he misses her.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528666602 Roxanne Marie Maddox-Guillen

      Amen !!!!! I married one like that… Obviously one of the many reasons we divorced….. :)

      • sztukmistrzyni

        I was with a similar guy too. The fricking sick thing was that at first he mentioned only one ex-girlfriend of his that had dumped him long time ago and after 2 years time – miraculously just after me and him bonded – she started a fight over him to get him back. At least that’s what he told me. And then, when I began to feel worse and worse he started mentioning his another, later, ex of whom he started thinking ‘if it could still work with her’… that made me sick of pain and showed how much this guy wanted women to make up for his ego.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1201501032 AJ Kellison

    This is a pretty good analysis of how people mature through relationships, and can be helpful for gentlemen too! For example, in my past relationships I’ve been many of these different kinds of guy. I’ve been number 2, 3, 6 (which I’m totally ashamed of, but didn’t realize I had done it until just now!), and number 8 (which I’m less ashamed of.) It’s nice to read an article that I can use to evaluate the mistakes I’ve made in the past, maybe it will help me to become Mr. 11.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=562414910 Bart P Malfliet

    It’s funny how, when describing “the perfect guy on paper” The only things noted about him are pretty much his 6 figure job, not much in there about what the guy would actually be like…

    This entire article told me more about Annie Baria and why she wouldn’t be a keeper

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1076333155 Eden Piotrowski

      Did you miss the “doctors without borders”, “saving puppies”, and “breakfast in bed” parts?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1069774300 Tara Snider Leikness

    This was kinda cute, but mostly somebody’s list of what wasn’t right for them. The guys she’s describing, she’s putting a negative spin on most of them. Some of them are being described as a “guy” when it was just an unhealthy relationship, not necessarily person. Somebody might find the “man-child” charmingly endearing and the extra lightness they need in their life. Someone might want a “workaholic” because of the very comfortable lifestyle they provide along with a lot of independent time. We could all make a list of what wasn’t a right fit for us, but with a little spin sounds perfect to someone else.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=571452654 Valorie Hakola

      Well said Tara.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=735558627 Christina Rodrigues

    so what happens if your current guy manages to fit into all ten at some point or another?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=728315251 Carolina Schäfer Adriazola

      Uh-oh… I’d say run toooo the hiiiills !

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1041150480 William Gonzalez

    This is a very accurate list, there might be a few archetypes left out ut still this is “the list”.
    How do I know? From my friends boyfriends and ex boyfriends, You always notice a thing or two in each person that fits in the pattern. I.e. Many of the things I do and interest fit I think in Manchild but at the same time I am in the transition to 9 and/or something else. Very good and funny list. Might come here more often.

    PS. Dear congender readers: don’t feel attacked. Your evil grinned responses in the comments only reinforce the stepping stone archetype. Only A.J. Kellison gets the point here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1125185189 Daniela Wilner

    Great list 😀
    You forgot The Flirt and The Bum!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1114064779 MiMi MuMu

    I absolutely loved this article, it’s true like 100%! However, I think you forgot “Mr. Lackluster,” the guy who you get along really well with, but he’s always slightly elusive, and he never has any real goals or ambitions. He has a lot of talent, he’s very intelligent, and he has a lot of great ideas. But he never follows through on anything because he has no idea what the hell commitment is. He’s a free spirit who disappears on you whenever he wants, not because he’s chasing some other broad, because he went looking for his identity. And when he got tired of looking for who he is, he comes back for a short time, and gets up and leaves again… You know, whenever. Lesson: the truth is, he is never going to know what he wants, and he’s never going anywhere, and if he is, it won’t be with you. So waste your time on someone who knows how to facilitate tangibility to their own prospects.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=787784181 Nicole Mazza

      You just described my ex perfectly! I wonder if we dated the same guy!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1010630803 Brynn Carlson

    This article is tried and true!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001179995037 Tuti Armando

    I think your totally wrong with your number 2: best friend. If he wanted to date you he could totally ask, if the girl likes him as a friend is not her fault either, it’s just she doesn’t sees you that way, and perhaps you should try to seduce her instead of being her bitch! Or perhaps you tried and she refused: well it’s ok, not everybody can love you, but she can still be your friend.
    LESSON: if you like the girl dont be her friend, she will trust you so much info that she wouldn’t feel comfortable dating you, and it will be awkward for her if you tell her: i was nice to you just because i wanted to nail you. HORRIBLE. JUST ASK HER OUT.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=645865277 Stellakos Kokomo

    Erm i got a problem though…I do not apply to any of these stereotypes…Is there something wrong with me?
    Also the list is nice but i dont think a woman has to suffer all of that to get to the end…I am not of the opinion one should suffer in order to learn…Just figure out what you want,and well,suffering is on the play since it has a thin line between it and pleasure…Mostly i believe that in all our heads,men and women,the opposite sex will suddenly change for us…Because we deserve it…Chances are that we do not…At least not for him….

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=606428312 Stephanie Lynn

    uh why should every girl date one of these guys before supposedly coming across the right guy, not everyone lives the same life, or will met the same type of person and to classify guys into this 10 type is bull shit and insulting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1681676845 Julio Jua

    Rename the title to “Dating these guys helped me realize what I want in a husband”, and you will at least sound a bit genuine.

    • Guest

      I figure a girl who’s had 10+ boyfriends doesn’t value the right things (character), and is probably focused on the superficial… And I’m a liberal atheist, not some conservative Christian! Snapchat/tinder use is also an instant red-flag to me. Ugh, I think I’m destined to be alone until I’m 40…

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