Relationship expert and author, Natasha Burton, reveals 10 red flags you should look out for in men to make sure you don’t get played like Ashley Hebert by the Bentleys of the world!
Last night’s episode of The Bachelorette has everyone talking about the cringe-worthy behavior of the deceptively charming Bentley Williams. Because most girls have fallen for a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’ like Bentley, we can empathize with Ashley Hebert and the pain and embarrassment she is going through. Viewers furiously spewed curses and warnings to their screens as they watched Ashley fall for every lie he fed her, ultimately playing into his nasty plot. But after Michelle Money, Chris Harrison, and producers all warned her, should Ashley have been so blindsided? We talked to MSN Glo’s Lifestyle relationship expert Natasha Burton about 10 signs that should have warned Ashley Bentley wasn’t the guy she thought he was.
“Women do this all the time—I know because I’m guilty of it too—we push aside red flags because we want men to be different. We want to believe they are good people, (and perhaps even our Mr. Rights) so we ignore the warning signs that they are anything but.” said Natasha.
Check out Natasha’s list of ten red flags that Ashley missed, so you can protect yourself from being fooled into thinking your Mr. Wrong is “the One”.
1. The Warning: Obviously, this was the big red flag Ashley shouldn’t have ignored from the get-go. Michelle Money told her that Bentley wasn’t there for her. She decided to give him a chance anyway. Bad call, Ash.
2. The Warning, Part II: I wouldn’t be surprised if Bentley stole Michelle Money’s phone and sent those incriminating texts to Ashley himself, considering the kind of guy he turned out to be. Any red-flag savvy girl knows never to fall for a “bad boy.” Bentley came in with an odd advantage: Ashley knew he was trouble, found this information intriguing, and was therefore almost predisposed to falling for him. This may actually be more of a red flag on her part, and the type of guy she’s attracted to.
3. The Name: I mean, come on. His name is “Bentley.” Sure, it’s also the name of an expensive car, but really, it’s a dog’s name. Seriously?
4. The Look: Not to be totally superficial, but the guy just looked like a douchebag. Mussed hair, flannel shirt, dumb look in his eye—he’s the type of guy who breaks college girls’ hearts … and marriage-ready women like Ashley should be seasoned enough to know to stay away from dudes like him. He looks like an overgrown frat boy. While leads me to my next flag …
5. The Frat-Boy Demeanor: Ashley seems like a smart, driven person. Bentley was (is, I should say) so below her intellectually. He was never really funny or insightful. She needed to look beyond how attracted she was to him physically and ask what he was bringing to the table mentally.
6. The Veiled Narcissism: In episode two, Bentley “revealed” to Ashley his “insecurities,” a conversation that was meant to endear her to him. And it worked. Instead of making their conversations about her, or even them as a potential couple, he crafted a half-baked story about his supposed “issues.” If she weren’t blinded by infatuation, she would have seen that his spiel just further proved his own narcissism.
7. The Lack of Effort: In all of their interactions, Bentley didn’t really make an effort to get to know Ashley or find out who she was as a person—a sure sign (as we mention in our book) that a guy just isn’t actually interested in you.
8. The Stereotypical Woo-ing: Throughout his three episodes, Bentley further solidified his player persona by pulling out Don Juan-like moves—a la “sweeping her off her feet” in episode two—that only seasoned womanizers perform. (Though, I will admit he almost had me fooled for a moment when he went to console her after the roast. However, I doubt he’s the only guy who approached her. The beauty of reality show editing, I suppose.)
9. The Excuse: While I know we don’t see everything that goes on (that pesky editing, again), I found it suspect that Bentley said he left the show to be with his daughter, when he’d barely mentioned her to Ashley during their interactions. Given how little he talked about his child, I can’t believe she bought his excuse.
10. The “Dot Dot Dot”: If nothing else, Ashley should have picked up on the fact that Bentley was leaving the show, voluntarily, but he wanted to keep the possibility of a relationship with her, as indicated with his “dot dot dot” line. In the real world, an open-ended move like that typically indicates that a guy wants to have his cake and eat it too: He doesn’t want be your partner, but he still wants to have the option to hook up with you. If Bentley was really interested in her, he would have either stayed or made a clean break, for her sake. But, of course we all know, he made it very clear that he doesn’t like her at all, which made this line of his even worse.
For more relationship advice about red flags you can check out Natasha’s book The Little Black Book of Red Flags co-written with Julie Fishman and Meagan McCrary.Tell us what you think! Should Ashley have known that Bentley was playing her?
Nicole Fukuoka with reporting by Lorena O’Neil
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