This Backhanded Compliment Is A Major Red Flag, According To A Dating Expert

It's frequently been argued that men and women speak two completely different languages. And, although dating tomes such as the infamous "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus" have been widely discredited in recent years, per Esquire, there's still a huge amount of difficulty associated with getting on the same page as our potential romantic partners. Add to that the rise of so-called "men's rights" movements, which are little more than fronts for blatant, unchecked misogyny (via The Guardian), and it's often impossible to understand where the opposite sex is coming from. As smart, modern women we know the dangers of "negging," i.e. the idea of actively knocking somebody's confidence so she'll be more open to romantic advances. 

The Independent notes it's incredibly dodgy behavior that should send any woman running. However, as dating expert and matchmaker Alex Mellor-Brook clarified, sometimes it can be tough to spot negs. "Examples could include, 'You're really bright for a blonde,' 'You're elegant for your small size,' or, 'I don't usually like redheads but you're pretty attractive.' The common thread is that they all contain a secret poison that instills a moment of doubt about ourselves," he detailed. However, what happens when the comment in question actually reads like a compliment on the surface? 

The implication is that most women aren't good enough

As dating coach Ali, aka Finding Mr. Height, revealed on TikTok, one of the most prevalent backhanded compliments, or negs, that might go over your head if you're not paying close enough attention is "you're not like other girls." At first glance, it seems kind of nice, because the idea is that you're special. However, glimpse just underneath the surface and the implications are pretty worrying. As Ali wondered aloud, "What's wrong with other girls?" This so-called "compliment" is "putting you on a pedestal, while putting down everyone else they've ever dated." Surely it's much better to be appreciated for your own individual qualities, rather than being used to put other women down? Funnily enough, this idea is something actor and singer Hailee Steinfeld memorably contended with in her song "Most Girls." 

The music video actually starts with the line "you're just not like most girls" (via YouTube), which causes her character to essentially run screaming from the guy in question (rightly so). In an interview with The Guardian, Steinfeld explained, "I felt that we've been accepting the compliment 'You're not like most girls' for a very long time. I have. I feel like there's been this golden standard or rule that in order to be special you have to be different to other women." Thankfully, she sees things changing in real time with her generation, pointing out how women are "banding together" to fight back against such sexist norms.