There is surely no guy or girl who dates men that hasn’t encountered a fuckboy in the last couple of years. Sometimes called fuckbois or fuccbois, both terms which annoy me and I refuse to use, this type of guy is truly the peak of the millennial experience.

They’re not to be confused with jerks. See, a jerk is easy to spot. They’re mean and behave shittily from the get-go. You’re a fool if you fall for a jerk, because they’re just blatantly terrible human beings who are expressly rude and the worst.

No, fuckboys are different. Sly. Sneaky. Little sly sneaky snakes who weasel their way into your heart and then rip it open from the inside, Aliens-style.

Sorry that gif is super intense. BUT SO IS GETTING YOUR HEART PUMMELLED BY A FUCKBOY OK.

Some fuckboys don’t even know they’re fuckboys. That’s how insidious this dating trend is. They think they’re decent guys, but actually their behaviour is piss-poor at best, and they’ll leave you frantically refreshing their Instagram friends list to see how many girls they’ve added in the last 0.3 seconds.

I’ve dated/hooked up with/cried over a literal smorgasbord of fuckboys and so have most of my mates and the PTV office, so I’ve pooled some intel for you. Next time someone starts pulling some classic fuckboy shit, you can get outta there with your soul still intact.

THEY TALK BIG GAME

Fuckboys will talk like you’re their moon and stars when you’ve only known ’em for a week. They will literally say all this delightful, wonderful stuff, but not in a “you’re the most beautiful woman on the planet” cheesy way. In a way that makes you feel amazing, like they’re being genuine and honest and specific to your personality and just really fucking LIKE you.

Thing is, they probably mean what they say in the moment. But a fuckboy doesn’t think beyond this exact minute. He has no care for whether he’s leading someone down a road he’s gonna bail on as soon as he’s bored of it. And he will get bored of it, because fuckboys have no concept of humans being, well, humans.

So basically – sure, this week you’re the coolest, hottest girl/guy he’s ever met. But next week, when he stops replying to your texts? It’s because you said one unfunny joke or got annoyed at him for 5 seconds because he was 40 minutes late to your date. You being human? Unacceptable.

THEY MAKE WILD PLANS

Fuckboys love to make advance plans. Really advanced plans. Like how they talk all these big, huge feelings early on, this is once again a sign that they literally don’t filter their brain through “hey, it’s early days, maybe I shouldn’t tell this person I’ll take them camping next month since I’m actually 25% keen at best”.

I’m in two minds as to whether this is because they’re sociopaths who like to stomp on people’s hearts, or whether they do genuinely mean this stuff when they say it,but they just have fickle feelings that are run purely on heightened emotion. So when things stop being so wild and wonderful they’re like “yeah, nah, bye”.

Either way, beware a wild future planner. They might be legit, but more likely they’re all talk no action.

THEY NEVER PLAN ANYTHING

On the other side of things, as far as regular old dating plans go they will NEVER MAKE THEM. You will always be setting up the dates. Sure, they’ll say yes. But they’ll never instigate. They also won’t sacrifice any personal time for you, so you’d best believe you’ll be cancelling on your mates because Wednesday is the only possible night your fuckboy can hang.

Eventually you’ll find yourself bending over backwards into a pretzel shape to negotiate one bloody evening where you can see this person.

Here’s a fun experiment – if you think you’re dating a fuckboy, try not making the next plan, no matter what. I guarantee you if they’re a fuckboy, you’ll just never see them again – unless it’s for a booty call. Speaking of…

THEY FUCKING LOVE A LATE NIGHT TEXT

Your fuckboy might seem like they never want to go out with you in a normal, datey sense but they’ll absolutely hit you up at 2am most Saturday nights with “U up”. We all know this. But sometimes when we’re blinded by love (read: a 6ft 3 frame with a beard) we start thinking any form of contact validates our romance.

Don’t be fooled – a 2am text is absolutely, unequivocally a booty call. Which is fine if that’s all you want, but   trying to reason that a booty call means more than just sex will see you crying into a bottle of cheap prosecco while your friend frantically lines up Queer Eye as a distraction.

BUT THEY’LL NEVER TEXT YOU FIRST

THEY’LL ACT LIKE YOUR BOYFRIEND

You know how I said they’ll talk big talk and make plans? Well, they’ll also meet your friends. Hell, even your parents. They’ll buy your dog a birthday gift. They’ll basically act like a boyfriend, except for one crucial thing – they will not officially call what you’re doing anything at all. Not even exclusive.

Beware of the guy who seems like a boyfriend because unless you’ve got him saying “I’m seeing this person” to his mates or literally calling himself your boyfriend, he’s absolutely not there mentally.

THEY’LL GASLIGHT THE SHIT OUT OF YOU

Oooft. This is a big one. See, most of the time a fuckboy is not a fuckboy in their own head. So they need to find ways to excuse their shitty behaviour so they feel okay about it, right? One of these ways is turning all their bullshit onto you. He never confirmed you were hanging out tonight, dumb-dumb! He didn’t say that one time during sex that he wasn’t seeing other people!  He said at the time he wasn’t. Etc etc etc til you literally become clinically insane.

Don’t let what your feel in your gut is about things become overthrown by their convincing words. If you feel like you’re being treated like shit, you’re probably being treated like shit, mate. Stick to your guns, love yourself and don’t stand for it, k?

THEY’LL BE FOLLOWING 3957402374 OTHER BABES ON INSTAGRAM

This one’s a little tricky because a) sometimes we follow people and they just happen to be hot but actually they’re our mates and b) it does seem weird to be using someone’s Instagram followers as a tell-tale sign but fuck me if every fuckboy I’ve dated or boned hasn’t had a list 400 people long of hot, single girls who’s photos he is double-tapping (I SEE YOU IN MY FOLLOWERS FEED MATE).

In short, you’re not his only s.o. You’re one of many. And then there’s even more he’s trying to get the attention of.

There you go. Now run the hell away from that fuckboy bc you’re a damn sight better than that bullshit, mate.

Image: HBO