Sometimes that great new girl seems too good to be true for a reason. Our twenty-first-century rogue tells you how to spot the difference between a woman on the rebound and one who’s just plain trouble.
Illustration by Celia Calle

Dear Scoundrel,
I recently met this girl at a bar and we hung out drinking. When she told me she was going to New Orleans a few days later, I said I’d always wanted to go. She invited me to come with her, then told me I was uptight when I said I had too much going on at work. To prove her wrong, I went online on my phone right there and bought a ticket on her flight. Of course, the next day I woke up wondering why the hell I had agreed to go to New Orleans with a total stranger.

Luckily, we hit it off, and the trip was amazing: boning in the boneyards, putting Mardi Gras beads where God never intended, screwing in the bathroom of a bowling alley—the whole shebang. This girl was beyond cool. On the flight home we made plans to go straight to my place and keep the party going, but get this: Her boyfriend surprised her at the airport. She acted like I was someone she had met on the plane and gave me a polite good-bye, then called me an hour later from the bathroom of the apartment she shares with the guy, explaining that she’s “in the process of getting out of a bad relationship.” She said she was too embarrassed to tell me about it during the trip. She wants to see me as soon as possible, but I’m thinking she’s trouble. And part of me is really creeped out by the fact that the boyfriend looks a lot like me! Should I just punt this girl away like I’m Thomas Morstead?

Dude, that is brutal. You got played like the piano at Pat O’Brien’s. (Great bar, by the way. I remember it fondly, though barely.) Here’s the thing: Y’all were probably severely daiquiritarded and she was probably too busy gathering beads to gather her thoughts. That said, this situation sounds stickier than fingers after … well, an order of beignets. She’s living with a guy who looks like you? My guess is the dude is a hand-wringing mouth-breather who stayed home because he had a PowerPoint presentation to prepare. (Surprising her at the airport? Who does that?) She’s into you because you’re the impulsive jetting-to-N’awlinson-a-whim version of him. Or so she thinks. The trouble is, the second you want to spend a Sunday watching the game instead of giving her a Big O on one of the big O’s of the Hollywood sign, she’s going to say you’re no fun. Then guess who she’s going to call? That’s right—the doting ex. If you really want to go down this road, here’s my advice: Tell her that for your first real date, you want her to make dinner for you at her house. That way you can make sure the boyfriend and his protractors really are out of the picture, and find out if she’s capable of having a good time on her home turf, not just choking your chicken in the bathroom of a Popeye’s.

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