2.13.2014

What A**holes Have Taught Me About Love: A Feminist Revelation

ometimes people ask me why I'm single. As if to say I don't have a choice in the matter. I know that maybe I should take it as a compliment because they don't see why someone hasn't swooped me up yet, but instead of being flattered my defensive response is usually something along the lines of, "I don't know, I've been this way most of my life?" Like I need to reassure them that I'm not hiding a third eye under my bangs or something. Which in return they respond with the upmost pity, leading me to explain to said person that if I met a boy (excuse me, man) that could keep up with me and treated me right then maybe I'd consider stepping off my throne of solitude, however until then I am perfectly content being an independent career-focused female. 

It's like we're damaged if we don't have boyfriends or aren't busy going out on dates every weekend. While I'd love to leap at any chance I get to dress up and go out, I can't bear the idea of waiting by the phone for the next week like some maniac for him to call. The truth of the matter is that you have to kiss a few frogs before you find that prince (spoiler alert- there's a 99% chance he won't show up outside your castle window on a Clydesdale) and I've done a bit of that here and there but it usually results in me feeling frustrated with those of the male persuasion and at times a little off my rocker. Can't we just stop playing these mindless games and be real with each other? I think that if you're going to be with someone they shouldn't make you have thoughts (and occasional rage) that would only otherwise occur if you were on hallucinogenic drugs. It just ain't right. So, I decided I wasn't going to settle anymore because I had come to the realization that I deserve better than all those nights of being stood up, lied to and feelings of inevitable replaceability. It's about knowing when to say "I respect myself enough not to allow any more poison into my life", and "I will not let my past determine my future". 

Now, I don't usually chose to take time out on my blog to write about love/relationship advice, especially as tell-all as this post is, but after a recent (and rather irritating) conversation with an ex-whatever (who was considerate enough to remind me of his existence), I was inspired to break down the types of douche bags (excuse my French) I personally have encountered in my twenty-one years. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not here to bash on all men and I'm certainly not saying they're terrible creatures you should never trust. There are "diamonds in the rough", as they say. I believe there's someone out there for everyone, but it sure would be a lot easier to find that special someone if our vision was less cloudy. That being said, I've compiled a list of types of guys I have personally encountered (and watched others endure) and the subsequent lessons they've taught me. I hope this is insightful. 

photo cred: tumblr

1. THE HAUGHTY HOTTIE

Profile: He only cares about one thing- himself. That becomes very clear once you get to know him better. (Don't let his initial interest and ability to carry on a conversation for more than 10 minutes fool you.)  He practically has a patent on the 'sup' head nod. If a girl excitedly waves hello to him, there's a good chance he has no interest in hooking up with her. Otherwise she would be aware of his undeniable tool-like qualities that magically appear once a girl has opened up to him. And cue the emotional shut-down in 3...2...1.

Lessons:
1. Don't settle, you deserve better
2. Give 'em an inch, they'll take a mile
3. His respect for you should only grow, not diminsh

gif cred: tumblr

2. THE UNDERDOG

Profile: He's not exactly at the height of the local social scene or much of any scene for that matter. You're probably not even attracted to him at first, but he lures you in with his persistence. You decide to give him a try because he seems genuinely interested and like he would be sweet to you. Oh, but he's the king of manipulation. 

Lessons:
1. Don't fall in love at 16. If you do and things don't work out, write some good songs about it and only look back to reflect on how far you've come since moving on.
2. Listen to your friends and family if they suspect something fishy.
3. Don't stay jaded for too long, it will make you miss out on all the good that's out there.
4. Shake off the snake-- recognize the risk of poison the first time you get bitten and don't let it send you to the ER.

photo cred: tumblr

3. THE EROTICIST

Profile: He seems fun, daring, yet low-key and all together different from what you're used to. You're not looking for anything too serious so it's harmless, right? At first he seems very charming, but his biggest flaw is he thinks he's (as they say) 'hot shit'. When you don't comply to his expectations of you he believes making statements like "you know I could get laid anytime I want" is an acceptable thing to say to a woman. Who says that?! WAKE UP CALL!  I don't have a medal for you. That attitude couldn't be a bigger turn off and any bit of attraction had towards you is being permanently revoked. He's just waiting for the next girl to text, so unless you want to remain his #2 or even #3...or lord knows how many, get out before he sucks you in. 

Lessons:
1. Have fun (or just run) while you can, but don't expect it to turn into anything serious. Call me strange but I'd rather be alone that strung along for something that's going nowhere fast.
2. He'll give you the impression that he's capable of committing by seeming like a good listener and catering to your needs...but he's not. Lucky for you, he's not a good match anyways. So move on.

photo cred: tumblr
This is where I developed my strike three theory. Give the guy a couple shots (depending on the severity of his mistakes, of course) and if he's offended you more than twice say goodbye. No self respecting woman would stay around for any longer and he knows it. A girl's gotta protect herself and know her worth, there's nothing wrong with having standards.

The 'strike-three your'e out' theory-
Mistake #1- No big deal, we don't know each other that well yet
Mistake #2- Okay, not cool
Mistake #3- "See ya. Oh, and go ahead and delete my number, please."

4. THE BOOMERANG

Profile: You may only be acquaintances or have never actually dated but he likes to remind you of his existence every now and then, despite the fact that he completely ruined any chances he had with you a long time ago.

Lessons:
1. As far as your throw him, he'll find his way back...at the most inconvenient of times. Expect it or deal with it.
2. He'll probably never get the hint if you keep letting him down gently. Be confident and don't back down on your word.

gif cred: tumblr

5. THE ONE YOU'D LEAST SUSPECT

He's been there for years. You trust him with everything and can't imagine life without him. There are some things that bother you about your relationship...maybe a little more than you'd like to admit, but nobody's perfect, right? When you try to talk it out he'd rather ignore the issues and uses excuses to end the conversation. 

Lessons:
1. When you make a commitment, stick to it
2. 'Love' is not to be confused with 'lust'
3. Don't ignore the little signs
4. Communication and trust will make or break a relationship

photo cred: tumblr
I don't feel as though I need a man to be happy. In fact, I think you're setting yourself up to be miserable if you think that your happiness depends on others, yet so many of us fall victim of fearing solitude even for a moment. I'd much prefer the universe to work it's magic and something find me rather than going on a hunt for it. In the time that I've been single I've realized the importance of close relationships with family and friends. I've grown stronger in my faith. I've learned how not to let a man treat me and have become an expert on how to spot a liar. I've learned the secret to keeping a relationship strong for thirty+ years (thanks to my parents). I've even learned to love myself and be comfortable in my own skin, which is a skill so many people do not hone until much later in life (you could say I'm an old soul).

So, here's the bottom line. If you're going to be in a relationship, you should be with a person that makes you want to be a better you. It's a two way street and you are equals-- I guess that's what I'm trying to get at with this whole 'feminist' thing. Even if you think that the bad relationships were just a waste of time and heartache, they'll teach you what you're really looking for. Never compromise because you're afraid you won't find someone else. You will, you just haven't met them yet. And when it doesn't work out, there is always something better than you ever imagined headed your way. 
 

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