The dog ate my homework.
Yes, I was stuck in a traffic jam in the middle of the country at two o'clock in the afternoon and that's why I am late -- there MUST have been an accident somewhere.
No, those jeans don't make your butt look big.
Everyone doesn't, however, tell great big GIANT lies that are hurtful, disruptive, manipulative and/or sociopathicly disturbing and conniving.
I ain't never been married before, baby.
I'm just a hard-working single dad who's previously gotten the shit end of the stick when it comes to women and relationships.
I'm available and yours for the taking.
I can't be with you this weekend because my dad had a heart-attack.
I can't be with you (again) the following weekend because my dad will have another heart attack.
Turns out, the joke was on me -- courtesy of a Mr. Handsome turned Mr. Lying-Cheating-Bastard.
Since I found out that the fool is married and oh-so-NOT-available as originally advertised, I've not only reached out to his wife, but I've also discovered that she is in fact his SECOND wife, that he wouldn't know squat about being a single parent if the realities of that undertaking smacked him upside the head like a two-by-four and that no, his father never had a heart attack, never mind two of them. That's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the man's disgusting lies, but I digress ...
If hindsight is 20/20, looking back on our "relationship" were there signs that I missed that might have led me to the truth sooner? Where were the red flags? Did he hide them so well that I just couldn't see the warnings lurking beneath the murky waters of a new relationship; a new love? Maybe.
Let's dissect this together, shall we?
Taken on their own, each of the following red flags may not have amounted to much when testing out the waters of a new relationship ... but taken collectively, they sure raise an eyebrow or two.
Signs that He's Actually Married or Hiding Something Else Incriminating; Like a Felony.
In no particular order, so please ignore the numbers as indicating any sort of relevant or meaningful sequence to these red flags.
1. He lacks a reputable social media profile or he's sketch about the one he has. If your new beau doesn't have a myspace, Facebook, twitter, google+ or SOME form of social media communication (excluding such smut like AdultFriendFinder.com) he's either married, or he's hiding from someone or something. On the flip side of this, he could be hiding YOU and he could actually have any one of the aforementioned accounts, but he just doesn't want to add you to them. You can't friend your mistress on Facebook if you don't want your wife to find out about said mistress.
2. His attention is inconsistent. If you feel like the center of his universe sometimes, and then like you don't even exist at other times, and if this behavior goes on in an ever-fluctuating pattern that's not all that consistent it is probably because someone else is the center of his universe whenever you are not.
3. He resists sharing certain aspects of his life. If a man claims that he's so used to living on his own that he needs to learn how to share his life again, your radar should be on full alert. This sort of behavior only flies during the first stage of a relationship; and hopefully, like me, you'll find out the truth before you've invested too much time trying to move from this stage to the next one.
4. He pays for everything in cash. I don't buy the whole, "I'm trying to budget my money" load of bullhockey. It is 2012, people. No one pays for dates, lingerie or expensive hand-delivered flowers with cash unless they are rolling in dough, they're a waiter or -- the more likely scenario if they're not famously wealthy or waiting tables for a living -- they don't want the wifey to find receipts, credit card statements or other forms of a paper trail leading right to your front door.
5. He only can see you before or after work, he can't ever spend the night and weekends are off limits. Habitually restricting his availability or having to stick to any sort of weird schedule about when he can see you should raise an eyebrow. Or two. Especially considering the uber attractiveness of spontaneity combined with the theories that apply when a man is really into you; no eager, wanting man has to be home by ten o'clock because he has something "important" to do the following day. If he's into you and he's available, he's spending the night. If he can't spend the night or see you on the weekends he's either dating someone else or he's married.
6. Contact is limited to his cell phone and he prefers to manage you via text. If he only calls you when he's driving somewhere and then has to go when he gets where he's going, or if he only calls you at certain times of the day again, you should raise an eyebrow. You should raise them both if whenever you call, it tends to go to voice-mail and then you have to wait for him to call you back. Also, don't put up with being managed via text messages. It is the most insincere form of communication and indicates a lack of real commitment on his end. Oh and alarm bells should be ringing like a fire drill in a skyscraper if his cell phone number winds up mysteriously "no longer in service" and/or if he changes his number on you three times in less than five months.
7. He'll come to your place, but his place is off limits. Either he's secretly a hoarder (not very likely) or his home is a marital one (more likely). Even a hoarder will invite a chick back to his own place occasionally; men are hermits and they tend to feel the most at ease in their own environment or their own comfy little shell. If the man won't even disclose an exact location as to where he bunks down at night, turn your alarm on in full force.
8. Tall tales and far-fetched stories are fed to you to explain any periods of absence (see no. 2). Married men who are lying, cheating bastards do not want to get caught. The creativity to their scheming will get bigger, bolder and just a tad bit crazier each time he must explain why he had to either cancel "plans" with you or he just dropped off the face of the planet for a few days.
9. He resists introducing you to friends or relatives. If your man's family lives one town over from you and his recent tall-tale involves a family emergency (see no. 8), he'll probably entertain your offer to bring him and his family food and coffee in the midst of any crisis. If he's serious about you anyway, and if he's available. He'll love you even more for being so awesome and giving and he'll lean on you in his time of need. Or, if he's married, he'll disappear again on you and refuse to let you meet anyone he's related to. You know, because his wife is either with him and his family or the "family crisis" doesn't even exist in the first place.
So, there you have it.
Nine signs that, looking back, all stack up as evidence that Mr. Handsome was instead a Mr. Lying-Cheating-Bastard who was using me to gain some sort of sick manipulation high by screwing me and his wife over at the same time.
If a guy you're dating displays some of these behaviors, or even all of them, proceed with caution and listen to the alarm bells sounding off loudly ... you'll be less surprised if you end up finding out that you're the "other woman" to some poor, unsuspecting wife out there.