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I’ve dated some real turds.

However, it’s only after I’ve binned them that my parents will say something like, “Oh, I never liked him” or “Oh, I knew that wasn’t going to work.”

They’ve always said I needed to find out for myself, which is true, but when it comes to people of my generation, I’d highly appreciate an ample heads up that someone might not be who they said they were.

Interestingly, there’s a new dating app called Helium that lets you do exactly that, allowing you to tag other users as things like Ghost, Sleazy, Funny, Cute and so on so that you can proceed with caution.

Of course it’s up to you and how you use that information, but when things might go a bit eggplant-shaped, at least you’ll know you were moderately prepared for it. So how can we look out for one another in real life without crossing a line that’s spiteful or jealousy related? So glad you asked. Below’s how we can be actively helping one another so we’re never as blindsided as a reality TV contestant.

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Be open and honest about relationship experience

Sometimes it’s not even about the person someone’s dating, but more or less what the person and situation could eventuate into.

Say, for example, a friend’s keen on someone who’s just gotten out of a relationship. Perhaps they’re about to go overseas for a year. If you’ve experienced anything even remotely similar, you should be upfront and honest with them about the hurdles and roadblocks.

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But it’s a fine line. Just because your relationship might’ve ended badly, it doesn’t mean theirs will and vice versa. However, it’s important to keep their expectations in check.

The same thing can be said if you’re in a long-term relationship. Please don’t sugarcoat the ups and downs – it only creates unrealistic goals for others. If you aren’t being raw about fights, feelings of doubt and less-than-perfect behaviour (which can be normal and healthy), it’ll make others think something’s out of order when they’re experiencing similar things. Feel me?

Communicate norti behaviour

This one’s difficult because there are a few variables when it comes to telling someone that the person they’re vibing is a cheater, liar etc.

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Did the person in question wrong you? First, ask yourself whether or not their behaviour was situational or a one-off. You know deep down whether or not they’re actually a shit person, if they were genuinely remorseful, and what the level of your relationship actually was.

Secondly, do you know the person ~at risk~? If not, I can’t imagine they’ll take your information with anything more than a grain of salt anyway. Speaking of salt, they’ll probably just think you’re salty – which is also something you should ask yourself. Just because it didn’t work out for you, it doesn’t give you the right to ruin their relationship with another.

Sometimes taking a step back can be just as helpful as stepping in.

If you’ve heard this information on the grapevine and have no prior relationship with the person they’re dating, make sure you have your story straight, sources verified, and are not planting seeds of doubt for no reason. Then you can assess whether or not you would expect your friend to tell you the same information – if it’s a yes, you know what to do.

Be mindful of other people’s involvement

When someone’s hanging out with someone they really like, it can absolutely be hard for them to focus on anything, or anyone, other than the relationship at hand.

And while I’d like to say that no one would continue hooking up with someone that they know is hooking up with someone else, we’ve all been in situations we’re not exactly proud of. If you know someone else’s feelings are involved or invested, you really should help a brother or sister out and let them know they’re hooking up with someone who’s got their finger in a few pies.

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Whether you’re one of those pies, or someone told you that the person your friend’s dating hit them up on an app, you kind of have a responsibility. If they already know or take this information and continue to keep seeing them, that’s their prerogative. But imagine finding out the person you liked wasn’t treating you as exclusive, even though you had fucked off your Plan D? You get what I’m saying.

At the end of the day, sometimes you can polish turds and sometimes you can’t.

But what you can do?

Give people a heads up that crap’s incoming.

Image: The OC