Seriously: Cutting off men is self-care, so know the red flags

Bella Eckburg

Graphic of a silhouetted head with raised eyebrows with text that says "Seriously by the Collegian"
(Graphic illustration by Colin Crawford | The Collegian)

Editor’s Note: This is a satire piece from The Collegian’s opinion section. Real names and the events surrounding them may be used in fictitious/semi-fictitious ways. Those who do not read the editor’s notes are subject to being offended.

Ladies, we’ve all been there. It’s 4 a.m., and you’re lying next to a man that you’ve shared a probably unsatisfying night with.


He’s sleep-twitching with his mouth open; you’re sweating profusely because his room is 90 degrees for some reason and you’re wondering how to expertly contort your body to get out of the bed and find a phone charger.

It’s at this point that you’re locking yourself in the bathroom to gaze into the mirror, asking yourself, “How did I get here?” 

The answer is simple: You ignored the basic red flags. 

I’m not talking about the obvious ones, like controlling behavior or a secretive past. I’m talking about little things. It’s about the insidious red flags — easily overlooked but crucial to catch before you find yourself in another disheveled bathroom, having a one-to-one with Bloody Mary.

You don’t need to worry, though, because I’ve compiled a list of red flags that are your sign to run as fast as you can.

Basic hygiene issues

First, we’ll start with basic hygiene issues. If he has toothpaste residue in the sink, he already doesn’t take the extra three seconds to rinse it out, so he definitely won’t take those extra three seconds to respond to your texts. Further, if you see a three-in-one in the shower, he’s going to put about as much time into you as he does his shower routine.

The bed from Hell

Check his bed; a bed can tell you a lot about a person. If he has navy or black sheets, leave. If they’re fleece, literally jump out the window because that man is a serial killer. Also, if his bed doesn’t have a headboard or he has less than three pillows, he doesn’t care about proper neck support, so there’s no way he can support you. Next!

The “watch guy”

If he wears a “nice” watch in any setting that does not also include a formal outfit, run. Minus two points if he’s pairing it with basketball shorts of any kind. 

It’s even worse if he would consider himself or actually calls himself a “watch guy.” I promise he’d sell you down the river for a Rolex, and he also has a weird connection to time — which is arguably a fictional, capitalistic construct — so his ideals and values are not rooted in reality. 

When the man you’re talking to has more than 500 followers on Instagram, pack your bags. Why is he so present on social media? Who are all of these people?”

His Spotify playlists are questionable

Here’s a good one: If his favorite artist is Russ, who once said the most romantic thing he’s ever done for a woman is “mentally f*ck the sh*t out of her,” don’t even bother with him. Someone should tell him that mansplaining fake woke, empty quotes to women is not the mindf*ck he thinks it is.


His social media screams narcissist

When the man you’re talking to has more than 500 followers on Instagram, pack your bags. Why is he so present on social media? Who are all of these people? The only time that this rule is not crucial is if he plays college football, in which case you can go ahead and chase that bag. It may even be beneficial to do some social media stalking into his family at that point. Are you seeing a lot of vacation photos and luxury items? If so, you know it’s actually time to lock it down. 

A phone with the Tinder App
With the help of dating apps and direct messaging, finding your next significant other can either be a blessing or a curse. (Collegian file photo)

Look at his Tinder profile — if his bio lists his height followed by “if that matters,” just swipe left. He’s either lying or is trying to humbly flex.

While we’re on the topic of height, I’m going to give you some pointers on how to Nancy Drew your way to the truth. If he says anything under 5 feet, 6 inches, he’s telling the truth. If he says something between 5 feet, 10 inches and 6 feet, subtract an inch. If he says 6 feet, 1 inch, he’s 6 feet. Any height over 6 feet, 2 inches is the truth, unless he enjoys being called out in person, which is a red flag in itself. 

He’s a car guy

I’m not talking about your guy friend who is proud of keeping his car clean or is cautious because he purchased it himself. I’m talking about the full-blown, “my girlfriend and my car are the only ladies I need” type. 

His car always has a girl’s name, and it’s always one that causes you to think about all of the cooler, less-generic names that he could have chosen. Don’t act like you’re into it, just get out while you can. You can’t compete with 3,500 pounds of metal.

Knowing these red flags can really let you know what you’re in for, and more importantly, what you should run from. Commit these to memory and add cutting off men to your self-care routine, and you’ll see same-day results! No more heart-to-hearts with your reflection in bathrooms with broken toilet seats or hair in the sink — you deserve better, lady danger! 

Bella Eckburg can be reached at or on Twitter @yaycolor.