Date Smarter: Three Ways to Identify a Jerk

Date Smarter: Three Ways to Identify a Jerk

Wouldn’t it be easier to date smarter if all jerks (men and women included) had to wear a “scarlet letter J” on their chest? I chuckle as I say this to myself, as if that would take the fear completely out of dating. However, it would be a start to making dating smarter! 

Many of my clients are left feeling sad, hurt and heavily confused as to what went wrong when their relationship ends. Anger then surfaces when they realize they’ve wasted more time on yet another jerk. You can date smarter. According to Dr. John Van Epp, in his book,How to Avoid Falling In Love With a Jerk, there are three ways to identify a jerk: 

  1. Habit of Boundary Breaking
    • The Player Type – having an insatiable appetite for attention and the intoxicating excitement of infatuation. This person may feel trapped with any sense of commitment and is addicted to the frequent fix of new love. This person may often try to keep one relationship burning while igniting another.
    • The Space Invader Type – Their motto is “what is mine is mine and what is yours is mine.” Space invaders have a never-ending entitlement to your attention, interest, money, time, and emotional support. But a relationship with a space invader is never a two-way street. You must conform to their agenda or you will be left behind.
  2. Inability to ever see anything from anyone else’s perspective- After a person fails to recognize your perspective several times, a pattern emerges, and you realize the occasions of oversight are actually related- in a long strand of similar self-absorbed omissions. This pattern is what becomes so difficult to handle in a long-term relationship. You feel a void- of never being understood or validated. In time, you realize that you are invisible to your partner.
  3. Dangerous lack of emotional controls and balance- People afflicted with this characteristic most likely are either immature and emotionally turbulent, or emotionally flat and unexpressive. The range and fluctuation of emotion can be described as a pendulum. The midpoint, or area of rest, represents emotional calm. A swing to the right side indicates extreme emotional reactions. A swing to the left represents little to no emotion.

However, the most fundamental identifying feature of true jerks is their persistent resistance to changing their core jerk qualities.

If you find yourself wanting to explore even more about dating, GROW Counseling is offering a unique program focused on encouraging individuals to date wholeheartedly. We want to help individuals understand the core components of healthy relationships, the way their individual traits are reflected in their relationships, and the techniques for applying core components and individual traits to the modern dating world. To learn more, please visit our website!

Written by: Porsha Jones

Originally posted on 

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