10 Guys Every Girl Should Date Before Getting MarriedAnnie Baria

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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  • Becky Hutchinson

    I think it’s possible to categorize some of the men I’ve dated in more than one category. (and I certainly don’t think she was telling me I need to date 10 men to get to the right one haha) The point of the article, I believe, is to more help some of us understand some of the situations we’ve all experienced in what can be a stressful part of life. Dating is hard. I found the article to help me put some of the former relationship into perspective as to why they may have not worked in the long-run anyway. Also, with the experiences that come with these guys you do start to develop an understanding of your own needs/wants in a life-long partner.

  • Kimberly Conner

    These sound about right. I’m dating the Perfect on Paper guy right now, but my gut is telling me get out, because he’s also the Mama’s Boy/Man Child, and an over-eager-people-pleaser who doesn’t really have plans of his own. He says I’m just like his mom, and he pretty much wants a woman to take care of him, but I already have a child to take care of! Ugh!! I’ve dated overly-clingy, cute-but-dumb, and way too many guys who do not respect my boundaries and try to go too far too soon. I’ve also been married before, to an abusive guy who followed the text-book abuse behaviors, he had all the red flags, unfortunately I didn’t know what they were until it was too late. He was so charming, he convinced me that he was in love with me, so I allowed myself to fall in love with him, then he flipped the switch. I’ve been happily divorced for 3 1/2 years now. I call that my practice marriage, because now I know what not to do.

  • Ale

    Thankfully my husband does not fall into any of these categories nor did I need to trespass many of them before meeting him. I knew (and still do know) he was Señor Right from of our first conversation. I was living in Argentina and had grown acustomed to guys chasing after me for being “interesting and foreign.” He was the first (and to this day only) guy who ever tried to get to know me, or even just talk to me, without ever once asking me about “life in the US.” I knew he wanted to see me for who I was as an individual and not a passport.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=703208505 Christy Williams Butcher

    Reading the comments here makes me laugh! I think the writer here did a very good job and the stereotypes were very clear, funny, and light-hearted. You can nit-pick at the title but who cares?! It was meant to be a fun look at dating life and frankly, after living a little bit longer than a lot of you – dating probably have the types described, I thought it was hilarious. I happen to agree that the people we are fortunate to share some time with before we meet our “match” help mature us and make us better people, While dating, I knew I could change only myself and that I should endeavor every day to become the kind of person worthy of the man I wanted to be with. I challenge anyone reading to think on that the next time they want a pity party because they don’t have a boy/girlfriend.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1095995971 Jayy Sanders

    Me And My Boyfriend Have Been Together For Six Years (Im 21) And We Have Our Issues But We Always Manage To Find Common Ground COMMUNICATION IS EVERYTHING ! Yeah We’ve Broken Up And Got Back Together But Sometimes Love IS All It Takes , When We Realize How Much We Love And Care About Each Other We Get Through It , Nothing Is Perfect And As Cliche As It Sounds You Just Have To Find The Perfect Person To Go Through Hell With .

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1204114935 Paula Alexandra Arce

    I got set free three months ago by a guy who was a five out of these ten. There was evidence near the end of it that he was cheating on me, but more came out a month or two after it was over. It’s been three months. My life improves with every month he’s not in my life, and last I heard he willingly lost the only friend he had, I’m sure his grades in college are in the toilet ’cause he lacked real passion for his degree in the first place and tried to blame me for his shitty grades ’cause I dared to ask for one hour a week of his time foe us to talk and hang. Supposedly, he was too busy to have that kind of time. I got off easy-I really did. I did my time, cried my tears, and I’m pleasantly surprised I’m largely over it two months before I thought I would be… @_@ And an old friend I always found attractive has been lookin’ at me funny, and I’ve been lookin’ at him funny… the potential here is aldo fun for taking my mind off things that needn’t be obsessed over. :3 It Gets Better, ladies and gents. :3

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1671660204 Hannah Marie Seeger

    I read this article just out of curiosity lol. I have been with my high school sweetheart and we will be celebrating our 7yr anniversary in a month…so yeah I guess you could say I got that fairy tale story haha…but we are yet to live together (school comes first, one more year) so we’ll see how that goes haha. The best advise I have is listen to your gut, never lie, and communicate. Talk about everything. If your looking for the one, you are going to share everything with and so should be able to communicate your feelings with. Even if it’s something small, the small things build up to big problems. Learn how to talk through situations without arguing or judgement. I hope that helps

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1101742748 Skyy Garcia

    I feel #5 on a spiritual level

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001641495973 Aaron Perdue

    Ladies, you shouldn’t have to date a numerous number of guys, just like guys shouldn’t pride themselves on the number of brainless women that they get to sleep with. If you will take the time to get to know a guy for his true intentions and interests rather than rushing in to a relationship with some cute guy you’ve “known” for a month (i.e. texted, met on facebook, ect.) you wouldn’t have to date such a substantial amount of assholes. Moreover, that cute shy guy who seems to be everywhere when you turn around might just be a rapist, this is a sad fact I have had more than a few friends fall victim to this, the damage done to these women is horrific. Furthermore, if you ever hear the words “I’m a nice guy” 9 out of 10 times he’s one of the biggest assholes you have ever met and believes every good deed he preforms deserves sex. want to be wifey and not pussy? get to know the man you are thinking of dating, “MAN” not “little boy”…

    P.S. Romeo isn,t in the back of the club, however, that guy who’s gonna flash money, get you pregnant, and have you find out he works at Mc Donalds is.

    Be Careful ladies,

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001569965672 Maity Careaga

    Ok, well I had a boyfriend like five years, the deal was that we were reeeally young when we get together, and we didn’t live very close so we never see each other in a long time (once a year). Last year I realised that I didn’t know anything about him beacuse every time we were talking and I asked him “What about you?” He said “I don’t matter, tell me more about you”. At first that was like “Owww he cares about me” but after a while it was like “Ok, what are you hidding from me? Why you never talk about you?”. One day a boy that used to be my friend stand up in front of me and said “If I were you I will keep my eye on your boyfriend, I’ve heard that we slepted in a friend’s house, a GIRL’s house” I didn’t pay attention to this guy, because every time he talks to me it’s to botter, but then I started to think a lot and I realised that the relationship was going no where, so I decides to break-up with him.
    In this case I think the kind of boyfrind will be “The one that hides from you” I do not recomend this kind of boyfriend.
    OH! Something I almost forgot, two months after we break-up a friend told me that we cheaded on me (imagine how I was after that).

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1425640823 Jonida Sanço

    this looks like it was written by someone who takes dating advice from rom-coms

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1431613086 Ashley Marie Wallace

    I think people are wayyy too hard on some of the writers here. Annie is clearly not insisting that EVERY girl needs to date ALL 10 of these guys. It is a joke. You cannot write an article that applies to everyone and that everyone agrees with. Maybe you’ve dated only one or two of these guys. Maybe you’ve dated none. Maybe you’re a lesbian and therefore can internally read this as “she” and not “he.” Maybe you’re a guy and again can internally read as “she” and not “he.” My point is, even if it doesn’t apply to you at all is it really offensive to you in any way that you have to write a degrading comment? It is meant to be taken light-heartedly so calm down.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000422275103 Hernameis Val

    Sorry, but this is a load of crap.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=544405792 Dena Lynn Rupp

    I feel like I fit into some of these categories as a woman! What does that mean?! I would love to read a version about women not to date, just out of curiosity.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1667032433 Vanessa Siliezar

    What about the short-term boyfriend? The one that seems perfect for you, as in he knows when to take control and when to give you control and is completely supportive for all your dreams, and it feels like you’ve been together for years. After only 3 months, the relationship is over, but still wants to be in your life but after 3 weeks he has a new girlfriend. 9 months later, I still don’t picture myself with anyone but him. :(

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=827350634 Nicole D’Aiguillon

      Narcissist…you won’t get help with proper closure from those types…you have to let it go on your own but you can do it :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=575756765 Glenn Olson

    Just as a nitpick to the title: lesbians, aka women who aren’t interested in dating *any* kind of man, do exist.

    I know it’s missing the point, but it just always bugs me when anyone makes the jump from a generalization (ie. ‘most girls’) to a universal statement (‘every girl.’)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=785274972 Katierose Donohue

    This is SO great! Funny and TRUE! Between me and my group of girl friends, we definitely have dated some of these TOADS!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1161074229 Sean Tilley

    I’m not any of these guys. :(

  • 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.

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