Entertainment, Love, Relationships

10 Must-Know Ways He’ll Never Be Boyfriend Material – Matthew Fam

Is he into you? Is he not? And if he is, does he only see you as a one night stand? The madness ends NOW. Whether you’re dealing with someone out of your league, a playboy or complete sleazeball creep, the telltale signs are undeniable. Here, the 10 must-know ways he isn’t boyfriend material.

1. The Picture Sender
Rule of thumb: if a guy is totally into you, he’d want to share as much of his life as possible. This means sending snaps of anything under the Sun- his new haircut, the new GoPro camera he’s tricked out with, or even a meal that he whipped up (pssst… your cue to suggest a dinner date!) On the flipside, if your Whatsapp media folder has been flatlining, you know he’s a real dud.


Shut up now.

2. Emoji Overload
And just when you thought emoticons were bad enough. Emojis teeter on the date-defining line between adorable and totally nauseating. So imagine if your sweetie signs off each and. Every. Single. One of his texts with a parade of monkey faces. You’re dating a man- not babysitting a teenage kid.

3. Hanky Panky
Touch is essential for intimacy, no doubt. But having it five steps ahead of the game gives the impression that he’s only in it for your lady bits.

Signs to look out for instead? Eye contact, mimicking of body postures, and his pelvic region facing you (sounds insane, but seriously). Sometimes, subtlety does it.


4. The Phantom Menace
Text. Flirt. Disappear. Repeat.  Sound familiar? Unless you’re settling for a flirtationship, you should find a chap who won’t string you along. Perhaps you could switch things up and make him the one to wait instead! Just remember: no crazy text spamming or instant replies that scream ‘psycho girlfriend’.

5.When the ‘L’ word is said FAR too soon
According to this article, men take 88 days on average to say ‘I love you’ to their girlfriends. And over 39% of those surveyed take the verbal plunge during the first month of their relationship. While this isn’t a compulsory guide, it should give you a fair gauge if your man is just saying romantic mush to appease you.

tumblr_mvocecDQXV1slj24go1_500 2 6. Payment In Kind
Let’s get one thing straight: him paying for your date is NOT an excuse for a free pass at you. And you absolutely shouldn’t feel obliged to entertain his advances. I mean, hello?? It drives home the message that you’re a commodity to be bought… and ain’t nobody got time for that!

7. Repeat Offender
Now, this technique requires some next-level snooping skills (and a sliiight breach of his privacy… just don’t get caught!) If the way he treated his past girlfriends fall into a pattern- same breakup excuse, same bad habits- you know he’s not likely to change his spots anytime soon!

Total. Deal. Breaker.

Total. Deal. Breaker.

8. When He Secretly Films You During Sex!
Ever wanted to be a YouTube celebrity? Well, the only kind of internet sensation you DON’T want to be is this!

Sure, sex is supposed to be fun, but this here is a major deal breaker. Aside from having a total lack of respect, recording lewd acts without consent is just way too creepy. Spot a suspicious red dot floating in the darkness of his room? Congratulations- you now have liberty to go apesh*t on his MacBook.

9. Phone Fiddler
We’re all guilty of the occasional phone checking- even during dates. But if he’s busier than a Bangalore call centre, dump the dude. Actions speak volumes, so if he can’t even commit that little bit of time for you, what more a longer-term relationship? If text replying is a must (could it be that he’s chatting up other ladies too??), how about having a 5-minute timeout instead?

10. Bad Body Odour
Deodorant; cologne; instruct man to scrub pits with Clorox… Or seriously, just don’t go out with him.

So, how do YOU judge if someone is boyfriend material? Share with us in the comments section below!


About the Author: Matthew Fam is a contributing writer of Material World, and has worked at Cosmopolitan Singapore as an intern and Contributing Beauty Assistant. He writes, teaches, and performs for the stage. Matthew enjoys museum visits, Singaporean Theatre, and spends too much of his undergraduate allowance on magazines.


If you liked this post, you might also like:

1. The 8 Times You’re A Total Biatch Without Knowing It – Matthew Fam

2. [Love In Lines] Why You Should Date Widely – Vanessa Tai

3. [Love In Lines] Is It Acceptable To Flirt When You’re Attached? – Tan Lili

Love In Lines, Relationships

[Love In Lines] Sharing 101 – Deborah Tan

On the day of our first anniversary, the boyfriend and I finally decided that we were ready to live together. I own a one-bedroom apartment and, because I had bought it when the market was good, my monthly mortgage is less than $1,500. He was renting a bedroom with two of his colleagues from work and was paying $1,400 for a tiny room that could fit only a super-single bed. It simply did not make sense to waste that money. So we decided that he would pay for the maintenance, the cable and internet bills, and split the gas of the car with me.

That was two years ago.

Even after living with each other for two years, I think we are still learning about sharing every day. At least I think I am.

It’s hard sharing your personal space with someone. When he first moved in, I was happy. Then the honeymoon period ended, and soon, we were wrestling each other for space on the couch. That was the least of my problems, actually. Some of the things we still fight over:

"Let me watch my TVB series already!"

“Let me watch my TVB series already!”

1. The TV
What channel should we be watching? I can’t live without my TVB drama series, he hates the weeping and the crying. He likes to watch movies on repeat, I don’t understand why anyone would even want to do that. He seems to be hard on hearing, often turning the volume up to deafening levels. I, on the other hand, have such sensitive hearing (no thanks to my huge ears, really), I’d scream at him to turn it down.

Have we come to a compromise after two years of trying to control the remote control? Not really.

I have settled for watching my Hong Kong series at one go on Saturdays and Sundays. Although it isn’t good enough for him, he knows better to change the channel so he either plugs into YouTube on his laptop or, he goes for a long, long run.

Lesson here: If you stand your ground, someone’s got to give way and run away. Haha! I’m kidding. Well, maybe it’s more, “If you love each other, you will allow him/her to indulge once in a while.” I do compromise, okay? He’s now watching Thor for the 56th time and have I uttered a single word of complaint? No!

2. The Car
We argue over the car – who should use it, what is allowed and not allowed in the boot – all. The. Time. I really think storing 28kg worth of kettlebells in the boot is environmentally unfriendly, but every time I raise my protest, he retorts, “I topped up the gas!” AARGH. He leaves his sweat-soaked running clothes on the backseat, I have half my shoe collection there. When friends (read Denise, Lili and Vanessa) need a lift, they always have to place their feet in awkward angles. It’s embarrassing but neither of us want to do anything about it because we refuse to “lose”.

Yes. I think we are The Couple From Hell.

I used to go ballistic when he gets a parking fine or gets into an accident in my car. These days, I have learnt to just deal with it calmly.

That’s not the end of the Car Dramas. There’s an even bigger problem: who drives?

I hate it when he drives. He’s the worse driver but insists we both have the same way of driving. Hello!?!? I don’t zoom-jerk-zoom! I glide. And my driving is really so much smoother. Lili said so!

Lesson here: None! If I could seize complete and absolute control over my car without causing a breakup, I would. But apparently, guys “need to drive” in order to feel like they are in control of the relationship. The “experts” say it makes them feel more assured and when men are “assured”, they make better boyfriends. WHATEVER. I just don’t want to have a pouting boyfriend in the car, alright? If relationship advice had a place in automobile issues, Top Gear would have talked about it. But Jeremy Clarkson hasn’t, has he???

3. The Duvet
The duvet is called the cover for a reason. It COVERS you. But what my boyfriend does is sleep on top of it. Yes, let me repeat this one more time, he COVERS the cover.

Every night, at bedtime, there is a tug-of-war going on in my bedroom because somebody doesn’t get that he should go beneath the duvet.

There is no sharing. Instead, the lesson here is …

Lesson here: Get to bed before he does so that I can safely ensconce myself inside the duvet before he throws himself on top of it.

As much as I complain about the “pain and annoyance” caused by “sharing” things with a lived-in boyfriend, I think the most important lesson I’ve come to learn is this: see the funny side, whenever you can. It helps when one party constantly tries to diffuse every tensed situation with some humour. One of the things I’ve come to realise as well is that one shouldn’t be too possessive over the material things. I remember when he got into his very first accident in my car. I was so mad that I didn’t speak to him for an entire day. Finally, he burst out in frustration, “I was in an accident. Have you asked me if I was okay?”

That was a revelation. I was so obsessed with my car that I had failed to do the decent thing as a girlfriend and asked if he was alright. I saw how selfish I had been in the entire situation and that led me to remind myself constantly to be more accommodating towards his idiosyncrasies and strange habits (like parking the car head-in first!).

He, on his part, has learnt to sit through my long-drawn, melodramatic TV dramas, accepted that I’m just a moody person in the mornings, and am bad with replacing the toilet roll.

Living together as a couple is like a tug-of-war that never ends … both sides pull for their right to live life the way they want, but no one really crosses the line. And that’s kind of like a good thing.

Love In Lines is a special under the Relationship section of Material World. The four founders each takes a week in a month to talk about dealing with love from different perspectives. Founder Deborah Tan talks about the trials and tribulations of living together with a partner. Stay tuned for more! 

About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, Suits, and knows she can be a bit too shameless for her own good. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

Love, Relationships

The Girlfriend Report Card – Deborah Tan

I pride myself on being great in many areas of my life.

Many of the people I’ve worked with have said I’m a supportive boss who leads by example. Over the years, friends describe me as a loyal person who would not hesitate to stick my neck out for a pal. While I may not be the best sister or daughter, I definitely value family ties and make it a point to be present at gatherings and important dinners.

The one thing I don’t actually do very well in – to be honest – is being a girlfriend.

No. I’m not being harsh on myself.

One of the most common complaints my boyfriend has of me is that I’m a “miserable git”. You see, he’s one of those “annoying” people who wake up in the morning with a big, bright smile on his face. He really jumps out of bed with his arms wide open, as if ready to embrace the day ahead. I, on the other hand, would moan, groan, roll out of bed with the duvet tangled around my legs, crawl to the bathroom, and let out a cry of agony at the sight of first light.

“Good morning!” He never fails to greet me cheerfully each day. Then he would smile and look expectantly at me.

“Urrrrrghmmm …” would be my reply.

“Oh, c’mon!” he’d say. “SMILE! Don’t be a miserable git!” And proceeds – laughing – to the kitchen to make his morning smoothie.

How does someone muster up so much cheerfulness in the morning?

I tell myself – and sometimes him – every day that I’d be more pleasant after I’ve had some food inside me. Or, that I’ll be able to smile once 12pm rolls around. I tell him that I’m not a morning-person.

Actually, I’m not a morning-person, an afternoon-person, and an evening-person. He would skip and hop to the car as we make our way to our respective morning appointments. I would skulk. He would meet me for lunch and talk about stuff. I would nod and grunt. When I get home in the evenings, he would be contentedly playing on his Playstation and upon seeing me, ask, “Hello! How was your day?” What do I do? I look at the kitchen sink, and I go, “Why are there so many dirty cups?!?!?!”

Don't let Love slip out of your hand

Don’t let Love slip out of your hand

On the Girlfriend Report Card, I fully deserve my fail-grade.

It’s not that my boyfriend makes me unhappy. Or, that I’m unhappy with him. Sometimes, when he isn’t looking, I would be observing how he seems so capable of amusing himself with antics like peeling a sticker off an apple and pasting it – with meticulous care – over my fridge magnets, and I would smile.

He has an almost childlike disposition about him that never fails to lift the grey clouds over my moods. And to top it all off, he is affectionate and never fails to want to give me a hug or a kiss. I, on the other hand, would go, “Leave me alone! It’s very hot today!!!” And, to make me feel even worse, he would good-naturedly say, “Be nice! At least one of us is being affectionate in this relationship.” Then proceed to try to drown me in another bear-hug.

I really wish I am not such a miserable git.

I’m not even going to try to make any excuses or attempt to explain away why I’m such a lousy girlfriend. I’ve never been the sort who likes hugs and cuddles. The first thing I think about once I am fully awake is going to my computer to write. And really, once I’m in my zone, I resent any attempt by anyone to drag me out of it.

Of course, I feel guilty.

And I make it up by letting him “torment” me every couple of hours. Whether it be allowing him to practice rugby tackles on me, or allowing myself to be dragged to the playground for an hour of kettle-bell workout, I try my best to do something with him.

I am lucky to have a man who doesn’t stop trying to make the relationship work. I count myself blessed to have a boyfriend who is so good-natured, who has such a great sense of humor that he sees the funny side of my not-so-good side.

With the launch of Material World, I’m definitely working longer hours and the worst thing is, the line between home and office has blurred even more now that I have a workdesk set up in my apartment. Where does work end and home-life begin? How do I stop being an overachieving workaholic and start getting my act together as the under-performing girlfriend?

I realize that I have to buck up.

Because, if I continue to take this man for granted, I will lose one of the most important things in my life and, I will regret it.

About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of  Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, Suits, and hopes to meet Steven Tyler in person one day.