How to Tell if You’re the Bad Boyfriend in a Rom Com

Now men, be honest, where do you get all your smooth (or what you think are smooth) moves? Romantic comedies, right? But let’s face it, in rom coms there are the good boyfriends, and there are the bad boyfriends. Let’s examine in which camp you reside.

First things first, if you are married, you are certainly considered a bad boyfriend. Really, this is about as bad as it gets. Take a cue from the relationship of Ben (Bradley Cooper) and Anna (Scarlett Johansson) from the bluntly (refreshingly) honest romantic comedy, He’s Just Not That into You. Unhappily married Ben pursues a relationship with Anna, a yoga instructor and sultry aspiring singer. At the end of the film, Ben finds himself without a wife and without a girlfriend. Sure, a woman who looks like Scarlett Johansson would be difficult to resist for almost any man, but let’s try and be above reproach, shall we?

Second, watch out if you’re wealthy, you might be a bad boyfriend. Of course, being wealthy is not always a bad thing, yet the wealthy boyfriend seems to always be the bad boyfriend in a romantic comedy. We all remember John Hughes’ 1980s teen film Some Kind of Wonderful—the classic tale of the unpopular boy pining for attention from the popular girl. But then there is Hardy Jenns (Craig Sheffer), the Corvette-driving, spoiled slimeball who is unable to understand that his popular girlfriend is over him. And like most romantic comedies, the ending is predictable: the good guy gets the girl. But hey, Jenns still had his money to keep him company.

Third, if you’re in it for a bet, you might be a bad boyfriend. Though the romantic comedy How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days ends well, we watch as advertising hot-shot Ben (Matthew McConaughey) almost loses savvy journalist Andie (Kate Hudson) when she finds out that he has to win her heart to win an esteemed diamond account. (Yes, she too has a bet riding on the relationship, but this article is for the men out there.) Now this might be difficult to swallow, but most of you men are not Matthew McConaughey, and life is not as predictable as a romantic comedy. The reality is that a relationship based on a bet usually means you are a bad boyfriend, no exceptions.

Fourth, if you are in it for the money, you might be a bad boyfriend. Though 1990s Shakespearian adaptation 10 Things I Hate About You has that classic happily-ever-after ending as an updated and edgy version of “Taming of the Shrew,” the fact that the mysteriously charming Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger) is paid to date the feminist shrew Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles) makes him a bad boyfriend. Once again, most men are not Heath Ledger, and life is not as predictable as a romantic comedy. If you are paid to date a woman, you are probably a bad boyfriend.

Fifth, if you are power hungry, you might be a bad boyfriend. John Beckwith (Owen Wilson) and Jeremy Grey (Vince Vaughn) of Wedding Crashers know weddings are where men find the best women and free booze, and with women and booze, bad boyfriends abound. While attending a wedding for the daughter of Secretary of the Treasury William Cleary (Christopher Walken), John falls hard for Claire (Rachel McAdams), the maid of honor and the bride’s sister. But Claire is dating Zach ‘Sack’ Lodge (Bradley Cooper, again), the preppy, philandering and power-hungry boyfriend who turns out only to be dating Claire for her father’s political power. And it pretty much goes without saying that John and Claire end up together, and Zack got the sack.

Men, if any these attributes apply to you, take heart, there is still time to change your wayward ways. Unless you’re Bradley Cooper.