If you are a badass girl with an insatiable thirst for adventure, it’s no doubt happened to you.
You meet a boy who’s cute, fun, shares your bizarre passion for stout beers, Henry Rollins, and shuffleboard. He kisses like a nuclear meltdown. He happily costars in your Instagram feed. In bed, it’s strictly ladies first. And HOW.
Your friends are charmed. Your dog wants him to throw the ball.
And yet, you have nagging doubts. Because as cool as he is, he also seems a little … safe. Seriously, could you really make it long-term with someone whose adventure dream is a weekend at Sandals Cancun buying Budweiser with U.S. dollars? But it’s so hard to see straight through the hormone-charged haze of early couple-hood.
If you’re worried your latest guy might be a little too boring for you, take heart. Pretty much every rad girl I know has been there with you. And god knows, we’ve learned from our experiences.
So in today’s post, let’s talk about some red flags that might signal a compatibility issue in the badass department.
Wait. Is This a Serious Blog Post?
Hell yeah, dude.
Lots of guys have written about how hard it is to find a girl who will go camping, field dress an elk, or sleep in a tent. They want to find a girlfriend who loves what they love.
Well, duh. Why wouldn’t girls feel the same way?
Now I’m not saying that a guy isn’t worthy until he’s had cerebral malaria and led a 5.12. Because that’s so not what being badass is about.
I’m a big believer that true badassery really is a state of mind. It’s about having an adventurous spirit, taking risks, cultivating courage, and being open to new experiences.
And then there are guys who are destined to work 60 hours a week, buy a McMansion in the suburbs, then have a midlife crisis and then attempt to solve it with a BMW. He may be a perfectly awesome human being. But seriously, how are you going to dislodge him when you want to travel the world for a year?
There’s no definitive diagnostic test for that sort of thing. But here are a few clues.
1. He can’t hike with you this Saturday, because he might miss something on TV.
They say there’s nothing more beautiful than a woman in love. And that includes a woman doing the things she loves. Seriously, is he really going to give up a chance to see you at your most blissful for a football game or UFC fight? Dude, DVR.
2. He works out strictly to look good.
We all want to be hot. But there’s something a little bizarre about a guy who spends hours at Crossfit purely for the sake of appearances and bragging rights. Seriously, doesn’t he think about all the mountains he could climb with those muscles?
3. He doesn’t take your interests seriously.
Representative conversation between me and an ex:
Me: Ever since I moved back from Asia, I get kind of bored sometimes. I miss speaking another language. I miss the expat scene and having friends from all over.
Ex: You just need some hobbies.
I kind of laughed it off at the time. But I also thought, What, my hobbies don’t count?
4. His couple vacation fantasy involves a cruise.
Having an adventurous spirit means being curious about other people and places. If the only way he’ll set foot in a foreign country is on a shore excursion, what’s he going to do while you volunteer for a few months in Nepal or climb all the 3,000-meter peaks in Java?
There’s a more extreme version of this one:
5. He doesn’t have a passport.
I don’t know about you. But when it comes to my screening criteria, that’s right up there with married guys, the toothless, and convicted felons on probation.
6. When you come back from doing something amazing, he doesn’t have much to say.
This is a big one. If you’ve just climbed your first Class 4 fourteener or spent a month trekking in the Dolomites, there should be a little more to the reunion conversation than, “That’s nice. Hey, I watched the new season of House of Cards while you were gone, and it sucked.”
7. You have to corner him in order to show him your trip pictures.
It could be that he’s just too self-absorbed to share your joy with you. But it could also be that your pictures remind him of just how different the two of you are.
8. He avoids you on social media.
Speaking of that class 4 ascent, you’ve got 238 likes and 75 comments on your summit pic. Many are from people you haven’t talked to since elementary school. But your loving boyfriend? He’s over on his own page posting his personal review of the new Drive-By Truckers album.
Maybe he just likes pretending you’re someone you’re not?
9. He absolutely forbids you to talk about the time you went to the sex show in Thailand or skinny dipped with your professor in college.
Censoring your stories are a sure sign he’s a tad sheltered — and probably going to stay that way. Hey, your life is your life. It happened, so why wouldn’t you talk about it?
Also, who’s to say your wild days are all behind you?
10. Outdoor nooky? Never EVAH gonna happen.
It would be so hot to sneak behind that rock in the middle of the hike and … yanno. But when you bring it up, it’s like you suggested doing it from a flying trapeze. Which is going to make things incredibly dull if you ever try to hike the AT together.
11. He’ll never break free of that rat race job he hates.
One of the great things about being adventurous: you’re not afraid to change the parts of your life that suck. If your job makes you bonkers, you find a new one. Or take an extended leave of absence. Or start a business.
You’ve got a freedom mindset. So why on earth would you hitch your star to someone who insists on wallowing in misery until the ever-increasing retirement age?
12. When he compliments you, it’s always about looks.
It’s nice that he thinks you’re a sex bomb in that cropped sweater. But what else does he see in you?
Personally, I prefer to be complimented on my brains, bravery, and kindness. Those are the things I work hard at.
13. He seriously doesn’t realize what a badass you are.
I think this one is key. Because it’s not always about liking the same things. I’m pretty sure I could have a deeply loving relationship with someone who never set foot in the mountains or applied for a passport — so long as he appreciated the badass in me.
At the end of the day, it’s about knowing what’s important to your partner and affirming that in them. Which, come to think of it, is what we should all be doing.