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Automatic Red Flags?

Dear Guys,

This question was inspired by your post on misogyny, but I don’t think it quite fit into the comments section for me to ask there.

I started talking to a guy that I met through a mutual friend.  Nothing serious.  We were just talking and he let me know that he finds me attractive.  He’s quite a catch what with the curing cancer (he’s a PhD candidate), being super nice, musically talented, and a little bit of a hottie on top of it all.  It had come time to do the big friending on facebook.  This is where I found out the guy is a Tom Leykis fan.  Dun dun dun!  No judgments if someone happens to be a Leykis fan, but I know what he thinks of women and how he instructs others to treat women and quite frankly…I don’t know if I should be heading in the direction of a “dating” relationship with someone that thinks it’s okay.  So we haven’t talked in a couple of weeks.  I kind of pushed him away after finding out that little piece of information.  My question is…was that fair of me?  I’m almost certain that I have interests that could lead people to make the wrong assumptions about me, but should some interests be automatic red flags?  I don’t think there’s any going back now, but for future reference I’d like to get The Guys’ take on this.

Lovy

Dear Lovy,

This is a great question.

We will admit, the first thing we did was look up more on Tom Leykis. It seems he’s made quite a name for himself and garnered quite a following.
And for those of you who aren’t familiar with him, he’s online at Tom Leykis Blog and Tom Leykis on My Space. We’re not promoting him, just giving you a sense of some attitudes toward women that are floating around on the web and on the air.

Lovy, let’s first address your specific situation and then discuss the broader question. At first glance your new guy meets all the criteria many women want in a man. He’s smart, good looking, interesting, cultured and motivated. However, herein lies the problem. Evaluating with a checklist is difficult and not very accurate.  When it comes down to it, these qualities pale in comparison to character, values and outlook on life. Luckily you know that.

We don’t know Tom Leykis personally, so it’s hard to judge what’s truly in his heart. Is he a misogynist? Certainly his on air persona would suggest that he leans this way. And even if he’s not, the fact that he’s willing to take on this persona for ratings and fame is telling enough. So we could see how you would want to tread lightly when seeing a guy who is a fan of his show.

However, you’re reaction was a bit knee-jerk. We think you know that, thus your question to us. Let’s say this same guy was not a Tom Leykis fan, but instead he was way into porn. And you didn’t know this about him. So after dating for a few months, you found an extensive collection-by accident- at his house. How might you view him then? Would you see him as someone who objectifies woman? Or would it be okay with you? Or maybe after getting to know him for a few months, and liking him, you might see it as one small facet of his personality.

Each situation is different for each person. Some people could never date a person affiliated with an opposing political party. Some people get stuck on religion, others on ethnicity. Some people don’t like swearing, other people are uncomfortable with someone who likes to go out a lot. It’s all what people can stomach and feel comfortable with.

It’s clear that this just didn’t work for you, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  And frankly, having said all of the above, this guy’s interest in Tom Leykis would cause us to pause and reevaluate as well. The only thing we might have done differently is had that conversation; if you truly thought he was worth it. You could have always bolted AFTER the conversation too, with a bit more understanding about why he enjoys this guy. And that information might have proved very useful in future encounters and relationships.

Everyone has their automatic red flags. We do. Obviously you do too. And that’s a good thing. It says that you are not willing to settle for the next cute guy. It says that you respect yourself and want to be with someone who respects you. No one should compromise their values just because they feel lonely. Because there is nothing lonelier than being in a relationship with the wrong person.

Thanks for writing.

THE GUYS

ps. TO OUR READERS: Check out Lovy’s writing at: www.bibliophile.sayrawr.com (She’s a talented lady!)

17 Comments on Automatic Red Flags?

  1. I am a firm believer in paying attention to those red flags. When I see one, I keep my distance in a polite way. If I didn’t see one at first, but later feel it creeping up the flag pole, I start backing away slowly and deliberately.

    However, some people refuse to take a hint, in which case I simply pull out some George Will words that send them hopefully running to the dictionary to find out just what the hell I have called them.

  2. I do pay attention to those red flags. Well, actually, I pay too much attention to it that people say “you’re too cautious.” Oh well. That’s me.

    Awesome advice you gave her. I’d totally write to you when I need one. 🙂

  3. I think it’s premature to claim the red flag.

    I’ve heard Lykis’ show myself. I found it entertaining, and not a bad way to kill a mind-deadening drive. However it had zero effect on my day to day life… I’m still the same schmo I’ve always been.

    I think what’s more important is what the guy actually does and how he treats the women around him. If he embodies the ideals put forth on the show, then by all means, raise the flag and run. But unless that happens, I think Lovy may be depriving herself of a shot at a very successful relationship.

    I’d recommend just taking the direct route… ask the guy why he listens and what he thinks about it. His answer should tell you a lot about what you need to know.

  4. I agree the conversation may be the “right” way to go. However, I also agree that sometimes we have our own personal reasons why certain things make us run screaming in the opposite direction. 🙂

    In this case though, the conversation would have been worth a shot. You can always run screaming in the opposite direction later.

  5. Guys, your answer was excellent. If “character” is lacking in a person, all else is fluff. Take it from one who dated a very public “personality” for a long time. He had all the appeal that Lovy described, but when I later learned some things about him, I realized I had wasted far too much of my precious time with him. I would tell her to run—-fast.

  6. @Judie……..It’s all about knowing exactly what your Red Flag is. Funny!

    @Gnetch…….Thanks. Being cautious is good, unless it prevents you from exploring. Doesn’t sound like that’s what’s going on. Some calculated risk taking is always a good thing.

    @Bluzdude……You’re a guy who thinks for himself. That’s the way it should be. So Leykis doesn’t impact your life. We think many guys who follow certain radio or TV celebrities like to be told how to think. That’s scary.

    @Elisa……Nothing ventured nothing gained.

    @Askcherlock………….It’s fun to learn something new about you. Although, it doesn’t sound like it was that fun for you.
    Thanks for your feedback and advice!

  7. I think our choices say something about us, at least beyond just checking out a show.I’m with Cher – run!

  8. I have to agree. I think her reaction was a little bit knee-jerk too. Opening up a dialog and asking him how he REALLY feels about Tom Leykis’s point of view might have been a better idea than just assuming the worst and bailing!

  9. Dude I had to go look up this guy because I had no idea- but now that I do I have to say that I would have done the same thing. I don’t know if I could date someone who thought this guy and his ideas were a way in which to view the world- and I think eventually you would have found that out- but I do think it’s a red flag.

  10. My view is that a lot of things can be said online that often cannot be taken seriously. There are a lot of people who have different online personalities than they do in person. Personally, I think that if she felt that the guy was a real catch and really liked him, she should have asked him about it before simply brushing him off. Communication can’t work when you close the door at the first sign of a red flag.

  11. @Chrisj……….It certainly is a red flag. But it’s always good to gather information for the future.

    @Meleah……..Hopefully she’ll do that moving forward.

    @Mountainmomma……….We had to as well. We must be missing more than we think. Yeah, it does say something about him, but the question is what. That would be interesting to find out.

    @Liggy…………Communication is the key. Although, we can’t imagine he’s too different in person, but it’s possible and worth checking out.

  12. Ah! Thanks for answering the question and all the comments. Now I don’t feel so weird for giving the cute almost-doctor the brush off. In hindsight, I should have talked to him about it, especially given that he hadn’t treated me with any disrespect. Who knows. Maybe we’ll see each other again and pick up where we left off…after a good discussion on Mr. Leykis.

  13. @Lovy……….You’re welcome. For some reason we don’t doubt you’ll run into him again and pick up where you left off. Or at least have that discussion. And if you do, PLEASE tell us how it goes. We’re damn curious!!

  14. I think that you need to go with your gut when it comes to red flags, but I don’t know that I’d call this one a red flag. If he posted extensively on the fan page and indicated that he agreed with the point of view, that is one thing, but to merely show as a fan doesn’t say much to me. People send those fan page suggestions all the time, and I hope that I’m not the only one who has hit yes on something that I really didn’t care about. I think that this is a definitely a situation where I would have asked for a clarification.

  15. @Tina…….Yes, that seems to be the overall sentiment with this thread. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Hey guys, i’m a bit confused about a guy i previously dated. It’s been about 5 months since we last talked. It wasn’t the good kind cuz he backed down but we both agreed to just stay friends and now he has a girlfriend. What bothers me is the fact that he never called or texted ever again but now he is chatting me up whenever i am online and in a kind of flirty manner mostly. It onlu happened when I added one of his friends since we work in the same company. Please shed some light as to why his actions are like that even though he has a gf which everyone knows. Thank you.

  17. @Ally……Who knows. He doesn’t sound like much of a friend to you or a boyfriend to this other girl. Sometimes there isn’t some general explanation for a guy’s behavior. Sometimes it’s just that particular guy. Move on.

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