The new Beauty and the Beast hits theaters today, and girls from age 5 to 55 can't wait to see the beloved fairy tale retold on the big screen once again.
In addition to Belle's obvious girl power, we have Beauty and the Beast to thank for teaching us a powerful lesson about what our prince should look like. The contrast between our hero, Beast, and the story's antagonist, Gaston, is striking. One, a monster on the outside but a reformed man who learns that love is self-sacrificial. The other, the most handsome and popular guy in town whose capacity to love extends no further than his own reflection in the mirror.
In real life, however, the Beasts and the Gastons are not always as easy to distinguish, no matter how high you have scored on your Belle aptitude test. Chances are you have found yourself on a date, or worse, in a relationship with one of these modern-day Gastons.
01. The Selfie-Taker Guy
In the online dating world, a proliferation of selfie shots says a lot about a guy and it typically doesn't add up to anything very good. We aren't talking about selfie group shots, we are talking about selfie-selfies, as in guy taking a picture of himself and only himself—too often. What a propensity toward selfies tells you about a guy is that he is really into himself...his six-pack, his face, his biceps...his face at an even more flattering angle...you get the picture. It's easy to find yourself on a date or even in a relationship with a guy like this. Why? Because you don't want to assume so much about a guy just from his pictures. But when it comes to selfies, too often you really can judge a book by it's cover photo.
That being said, context always matters when it comes to identifying a true selfie shot. For example, a guy photobombing his own picture of the Grand Canyon is not really a true selfie, there are two subjects in a photo like this: the guy and the Grand Canyon, something that inspires him or that he finds beautiful. That's different.
02. The It’s-Clearly-Not-Confidence-It-Must-Be-Arrogance Guy
Some guys put on a show of confidence because they know chicks dig it. Trouble is, confidence is not something you can wear like a jacket. Confidence comes from somewhere deep inside a person, and it shines through best in the way he treats other people. When you try to wear confidence and flaunt it around like a big shiny badge, what you are really doing is being arrogant. You know the kind of guy I'm talking about, the guy who talks about his pedigree, makes a show of his intelligence, and who uses his body size to belittle or boss people around. It's okay if you have fallen for this act a time or two, it often takes knowing a Gaston to be able to distinguish between confidence and showy arrogance.
03. The Guy Who Seriously Never Asks You Questions
We all know guys like this; it's an epidemic in the dating world. Girl meets guy, guy and girl meet for drinks to get to know one another, guy talks the entire time never once asking the girl about herself, and girl goes home feeling confused and depressed. If it happens once you might be able to chalk it up to nerves, but it happens twice it's safe to assume the guy your with has very little interest in you as anything other than a sounding board for his own clever thoughts. Check please!
04. The Guy Who Asks You Questions So He Can Talk More About Himself
While very similar to the guy who never asks you questions, the guy who only asks you questions so he can continue to talk more about himself is a sneaky one. Yes, he dominates the conversation, but he does ask you questions...and he listens impatiently for you to finish your response so he can talk about himself again (the real reason he asked in the first place). The line of conversation tends to go like this: "Do you enjoy underwater basket-weaving? No? That's interesting because I happen to be an expert underwater basket-weaver. In fact one time . . ." And you are sitting there wondering if he even heard what you had to say and why he even asked you about underwater basket-weaving in the first place.
05. The Guy Who Is There for You Only When It’s Convenient
Sometimes it's hard to spot this guy early on in the relationship, but after a month or two you begin to notice a pattern. Your guy is super busy, but he is willing to drop anything for you . . . if it's also mutually beneficial to him. He doesn't put you first, he keeps you hanging on as a convenient plan B. Trademark moves of a guy who is more interested in you as an option? Late night "booty calls," emotional dump and ditch (you know when he opens up to you and you're there for him...and he feels so much better so he doesn't need to hang out quite so much anymore), and secret dating (so the other girls he likes to flirt with at parties don't get skittish). He might also have a perpetually ambiguous calendar. Like when you ask him what he's doing this weekend and he says something like, "I'll keep you posted" or "text me closer to the day of and I'll have a better idea." This guy is waiting to see what other options present themselves. Don't let yourself be one among many.
Watch out for these Gastons, and hopefully you’ll find yourself a real prince.
Photo Credit: Louis Blythe