| January 17, 2017

I have been in many terrible relationships that sounded so promising when we first began to date, and it’s partly why I gave up on ever dating again. So often, a guy would seem like a dreamboat until s--- hit the fan.

Of course, people always asked me if I didn’t notice warning signs when we first started to date. And, in truth, in some of the cases that I experienced, certain qualities about a guy seemed off. Despite my gut feeling, many people told me that those were good signs he might be a good guy, and that those things would turn into perks.

READ: 17 Acts That Will Instantly Kill Your Chance at a Relationship

So, taking others’ advice, I gave those losers a shot — only to get horribly burned and blamed for not noticing it all later. Make no mistake about it, most of those warning signs contributed to our breakups.

While most people would tell you to run to a guy with these qualities, I’m going to play Devil’s Advocate and explain why you should take them as potential red flags when dating him:

#1. He pushes for marriage and commitment fast.

This seems great, but the fact is that a lot of guys I dated wanted to lock me down just so I could be their property. What followed with guys like this often included abuse, stalking and more.

#2. He’s all about chivalry.

Ugh, I really wish this wasn’t a warning sign! But, 99.999 percent of the time, it’s a warning sign. Guys who talk about chivalry often do so because they’re Nice Guys™ and they don’t see women as people. Rather, they see women as sex boxes that they must please in order to get sex to fall out.

#3. He’s got a very close relationship with his mother.

Oh, trust me, I like seeing a guy who’s on DECENT terms with his mom. But this isn’t about being on just good terms with her. When I say "close relationship," I’m talking about an inappropriate level of close, and a pride in calling himself a Mama’s Boy. With this issue, it’s clear that she exerts way too much force in his life.

After having dated way too many Mama’s Boys, I can honestly say that they make the absolute worst boyfriends and husbands imaginable.

READ: Is He Ready For Marriage? 4 Signs Your Man Is (or Isn't)

#4. He’s self-proclaimed "old-fashioned."

Do you want to be pregnant and stuck inside a kitchen for the rest of your life? Because that’s what most guys who claim to be "old-fashioned" want you to be doing. Guys who believe this stuff tend to be very misogynistic and controlling, and will usually mask their hate with their "old-fashioned" veneer.

#5. He makes a point of showering you with gifts.

We live in an age where most of the guys who do this basically expect sex in return. Is it sad that every gift comes with strings attached? Yes. It’s really, truly sad that so many men basically think they can buy love and sex. What’s sadder is that I’ve been guilted into relationships this way in the past, and they got so terrible that I feel squicky about actually accepting gifts at all these days.

#6. He had a tragic past with girls.

Funny thing about this is that I realized that most guys who talk about having terrible exes and "needing someone to heal them" are often the real abusers that should be vilified. Unless you want to hear smear campaigns about you in a year, you’ll skip this sad loser.

#7. He talks about how nice he is.

Well, this has become a de facto warning sign for Nice Guy Syndrome these days, but the truth is that some girls still fall for it. Girls who fall for it most frequently do so because others goad them into dating a guy because they should "just give him a chance," and because they want to avoid looking shallow. (Incidentally, I became OK with being a shallow b---- after one too many Nice Guys.)

READ: 8 Signs You've Met Your Soulmate and Not Just a 'Partner'

#8. He never had a rebellious stage.

I'm a true believer that a person needs to have a wild phase in order to get it out of their system and learn about themselves. If he hasn’t rebelled, he will resent those who got to sow their wild oats. That can lead to abusive behavior and a lot of condescension. And who’s to say he won’t want to sow them later on and drop you while he does it?

#9. He’s overly affectionate and always compliments you.

Though it could be his personality, this also could be a sign of "love bombing," an abuse tactic that basically gets victims attached to the abuser. Love-bombing works by making people feel good … then withdrawing that affection as a way to get you to do what he wants.

#10. He has a lot of cool stories where he’s the hero.

Of course he would. Everyone does. But the thing is that, in most cases, people who are actually decent human beings won’t feel a need to constantly talk about it. It’s classic narcissist behavior.