1. Not a red flag: He lives at home.
It's completely understandable to want to accumulate some savings by living with your parents for a while rather than spending hella bones on a new condo unit. You probably have some vaguely annoying thing your dates have to put up with, too.
Red flag: He lives at home, mooches off his parents, and acts like an ungrateful brat.
2. Not a red flag: He doesn't always pick up the check.
Look, if you wind up dating for five years, getting married, and spending 70 happy years together until you die together while sleeping in one another's arms, that's a LOT of dinners he's expected to pay for. He may be The Guy, but you're…a human? You should be rational enough to understand that it's important for you to pay sometimes.
Red flag: He never pays for anything or nitpicks the bill apart rather than splitting evenly.
3. Not a red flag: He talks about his ex a lot.
I realize all those "How to Find a Man Who Smells Good and Doesn't Make You Hate Yourself" advice books say that you should never talk about your exes early in the relationship. But aren't your previous relationships— and their endings— part of who you are? You shouldn't start off immediately censoring yourself, so you shouldn't expect him to.
Red flag: He says his ex is "crazy." This is a pet peeve of mine because we've ALL had a former boyfriend who probably calls us crazy when he tells his new girlfriend about us. But the unsung side of that story is that (1) the guy made us crazy, or (2) by "crazy" he means "had actual human emotions from time to time."
4. Not a red flag: He doesn't book dates a week in advance.
We've been taught to pretend we have tons of plans so that he books way in advance. Who really needs to follow these dumb rules? A few days in advance, yeah, sure, but I have found that the best relationships are those that involve two people who are honest, open, and game-free, so if a guy is like, "Hey, what are you doing two nights from now?" and you don't have plans, there's really no need to be like, "Oh, I'm going to this secret Kanye show with Sting and Gwyneth, and then the after-party on a cloud made of money, but maybe I can fit you in next month?" *yawns*
Red flag: He only makes plans with you the same day. Yeahhhh, this is bullshit.
5. Not a red flag: He doesn't text you back immediately.
Girls are way more expressive, articulate, and compulsive texters than guys: This is just real. Besides, he's probably busy at work or something. Calm down and stop Googling how many hours between texts is normal, and what it MEANS.
Red flag: He only texts you after 11 p.m.
In other words, when he's drunk and all his friends have successfully picked up girls at the bar.
6. Not a red flag: His computer requires a password to log on.
This in no way means he's hiding another person/some weird fetish from you. We all have harmless but embarrassing stuff on our laptops, right? I have bookmarked porn clips and terrible fiction from sophomore year of college on mine.
Red flag: Everything on his computer has a password and his history is automatically cleared every hour. Run!
7. Not a red flag: He has a lot of female friends.
This can actually be interpreted as a good thing: that he respects and enjoys the company of women outside of wanting to put his penis in them.
Red flag: He calls other women "sluts." Absolutely 100 percent no.
8. Not a red flag: He talks about you with his friends.
Kind of cute, actually! As long as it's not bad things.
Red flag: He conveniently manages to wiggle out of ever meeting your friends. Because we all know that meeting a girl's friends is basically asking for her hand in marriage. Or at least for her friends to approve of their BFF banging him on the regular.
9. Not a red flag: He likes substances, in moderation.
It's super normal to enjoy having a drink or two after work.
Red flag: He gets hammered a lot. The moment you find yourself, for the third time that month, holding his head in a cab and assuring the driver that he'll wait to puke until you can pull over is the moment you need to get your life right.
10. Not a red flag: He is unemployed and looking for a job or has a low-paying job.
As per No. 1, times are hard.
Red flag: He is unemployed, not looking for a job, and pursuing his Dream.
I don't care how many Moleskine notebooks he owns. Making bongs out of unexpected household objects and smoking weed at 3 p.m. on a weekday, and then expecting your hardworking ass to spot him for concert tickets is not a lucrative creative endeavor.
11. Not a red flag: He's one of those guys who's not on social media.
In fact, that might mean he's productive and has crazy willpower.
Red flag: He's one of those guys who brags about having no social media footprint and/or not owning a TV. Ugh, stunningly original, dude.
20 Guys To Avoid in Your 20s
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor changes have been implemented by Cosmo.ph editors.