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I Knew You Were Trouble When…

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Duke chapter.


Every girl loves a bad boy.  Every girl has dated, crushed, or kissed a few bad boys along the yellow brick road of love.  And those same girls have also fallen behind while their bad boys keep on keeping on.  Even Taylor Swift has to deal with the aftermath of a bad boy gone worse.  So let’s stop getting blindsided and start looking for the signs of a boy who has trouble written all over him BEFORE we get thrown out in the dust. 

Here are 5 signs that your guy was trouble when he walked in:

1. You always have to text him first.  This should become a red flag immediately.  If you have to be the one to open conversation every single time you text this dude, then he’s either not interested in you or likes the power of stringing you along on his troublesome ride.  He should always text you first.  It can be difficult when you really like a guy not to text him or want to see him constantly.  It should be just as difficult for him not to text you or see you if he really cares about you.  If he doesn’t text you and simply responds to your correspondence rather than participating in an ongoing conversation, odds are he’s never going to start caring.  

2. It’s his place or no place.  When he invites you over to his place it can be exciting because you might feel as though he’s letting you, and you alone, into his private space.  It’s romantic to get to know him in his natural habitat and to have him share his home with you.  However, if he consistently refuses to come over to your place and insists that you always spend time at his house with his roommates, his dirty dishes, and his video games maybe you should take a step back and ask if he means trouble.  As nice as it is that he loves having you around his personal space, if he doesn’t acknowledge that you have a personal place of your own that you might like to share with him, and him alone, then he might be trouble.  He should be willing to come pick you up at your place every once in a while.  He should be excited to stay at your place on the weekends or after a night out.   By always making you come to him he may not be valuing your time, comfort, and security.  What’s so bad about hanging out at your place anyway?  It’s probably way cleaner and inviting.  He should want to come to you in order to keep the playing field even.

3. He hates on your friends and interests.  It’s Friday night and you want to go to a party hosted by your best friend at her apartment.  You of course want your guy to be there. 

So you call him up or roll over in bed and say, “hey honey, wanna go to a party at Sally’s apartment tonight?  We’re all going to watch the Duke game and then go out.” 

Then he replies, “Sally’s? Again? I hate Sally and all those people and why would you want to watch the Duke game? Who cares about basketball? I don’t want to go out.” 

Now you don’t have to make him go out to Sally’s apartment every single time you ask but if this become a repetitive thing where he criticizes your friends and the things that you’re interested in, he is trouble.  Whether it’s going to your best friend’s house to hang out or going to an event that you helped to plan on campus for one of your extracurricular activities, if your boyfriend doesn’t support you then step out of his way because trouble is coming your way.  Your boy toy should always try his best to support you and be there for you even if he isn’t besties with your bestie or a huge basketball fan like you.

4. The joke is always on you. Whenever you guys have a rough patch or find yourselves in a fight, if the joke is always on you then you’re dating a trouble-packed loser.  Somehow he always twists things around to make it seem like your fault.  You didn’t remind him to pick you up.  You didn’t tell him how important something was.  It’s your fault that you’re angry.  He was totally innocent the entire time and it was you that started it all downhill.  If his joke is always on you that is a sign that your relationship is headed for trouble.  It is not fair for you to always have to deal with someone who won’t own up to their actions or care enough about you to admit they are wrong.

5. He has a wandering eye, wandering legs, or a wandering cell phone.  If your guy seems to be uninhibited about checking out other girls in your presence then he might have a wandering eye.  Sometimes there isn’t anything wrong with looking, as long as he doesn’t touch.  But if your guy also seems to disappear at times without warning or often loses his cell phone then these qualities coupled with a blatant wandering eye can make him trouble for you.  No one “loses their cell phone” as often as a troubled bad boy who, simply couldn’t respond to your texts and phone calls because he couldn’t find his phone.  No one “just drops off the map for a few days” as sneakily as your troubled boyfriend who just needed some space to keep his wandering eye (and he probably has wandering hands too) from scrutiny.  If you know your man has a wandering anything on his person when you fall for him, you heard it from me: He is trouble.

Not every guy is trouble and not every relationship you have will be troublesome but every girl has to kiss some troubled toads before she finds her trouble-less prince.  Use these 5 signs as your protection so that next time you won’t be saying, “I knew you were trouble when you walked in,” but instead, “I know you’re trouble and I’m walking out.”


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Sabrina is a Junior at Duke University, and is double majoring in English and Public Policy. A born and bred South African, Sabrina has traveled to the USA to pursue her higher education. As well as being a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, Sabrina is also Assistant Vice President for Recruitment for the Panhellenic Association at Duke. Sabrina has written for Duke's daily newspaper, The Chronicle and Duke's fashion magazine, FORM. After graduating, she hopes to attend law school preferably in her favourite city, New York. In her spare time, Sabrina vegges out to various fashion blogs, mindless TV (Pretty Little Liars anyone?) and online shopping (which borders on an addiction). If you manage to catch her in an energetic mood, she's probably on her way to cardiodance (or to the nearest mall).