It’s hard to realize who’s a jerk and who’s your soulmate sometimes. Dating is almost like a war zone filled with broken hearts and crippled self-confidence. Sometimes I even feel the need to begin my sentences about dating with, “Well, when I was in the war…”

The screening processes for significant others are just so few and far between, and believe me, I’ve seen my fair share of unfortunate dates and significant others. For example, once I went on a double date with my best best friend and everyone decided to get drunk before dinner without telling me. I ended up having to feed my now-ex’s best friend sushi from across our table. He promptly threw it up in the parking lot and proceeded to pee on my car’s tire.

If one can judge by this ex-man’s friends, there’s a reason we no longer perform the horizontal – and sometimes vertical – tango. They were both complete jackasses. He didn’t take the good with the bad the way you’re supposed to in a relationship. Sorry I didn’t fake being perfect; I’m a real person, not a trophy.

You never have to fake being anything other than your complete and total slutty self with a significant other. I’ve developed some new tactics to get rid of those dates that just want a blow up doll versus the sparkling, capable, and astounding person you are!

The first is choosing one to three imperfect items about yourself and just letting them have it.

Here’s how:

You: I doubt you can handle all this. *motioning to yourself*

(Naturally your S.O. will rise to the occasion to prove you wrong.)

S.O.: I can totally handle you/Why’s that?/etc.

You: Well underneath my glittering exterior, I [insert 1-3 super real human things here].

And from there the ball is in their court to show whether they’re a keeper… or a jerk.

But what kind of real human things? Well, I would insert, “I have herpes, suffer from anxiety and depression, and probably pee in pools too often” but it’s up to you just how honest you’d want to be. I’ve coupled this tactic with dressing down for my first one or two dates, so I seem less eager and more aloof (I’m also ten times more likely to be incredibly comfy), but to each her own!

If for some reason this doesn’t work or you’d prefer to remain a little more mysterious, there is something else that’s pretty foolproof. People are assholes all the time to you right? They ignore you, or blow you off, or make derogatory statements, and you sit idly by. Sometimes because you think you deserve how they treat you, or maybe you don’t believe you deserve it, but you want to give them the benefit of the doubt and you’re too afraid to say something that will cause confrontation.

Whatever your reasoning, change it, and be an asshole right back! Call them out for all of the things they say that you don’t agree with. Question them, challenge them, and don’t sit by like a piece of meat. No longer will women be demure creatures– it’s the age of New Wave Feminism for crying out loud. We should only submit ourselves to someone else and compromise when we know that we’re in a relationship built upon trust and respect, and of course only if you want to. Dishing it right back to someone boosts your self confidence because you’re taking charge and putting yourself first. We were always taught to treat others how we want to be treated, right?

Be real with yourself for a second. You know exactly what you want in a significant other and you can feel when there’s a legitimate connection with someone. Don’t settle for a jerk and don’t fake it! You are a real person and you deserve to be treated as such! Your opinions and thoughts matter. They shouldn’t be suppressed because you’re afraid that someone will end a relationship with you. If they do, they obviously don’t deserve you, and someone better is just around the corner.

These tactics get rid of jerks who aren’t going to treat you like the complete goddess you are. Remember that no matter their response, you deserve love and lots of it – for all your imperfections! And while it may seem incredibly scary to expose some of yourself or possibly get rejected, it definitely pays off when you find someone who sticks around. Then you know they’re definitely there for you, absolutely all of you, and being yourself with someone is one of the greatest gifts we can ask for.