As long as there’s a good headline, I will read literally anything. Yes, I fall victim to clickbait. Sue me. So, it should come as a surprise to no one that I clicked and read the recently published Wall Street Journal article titled, “A Good Man Is Getting Even Harder to Find.” As someone who has dealt with and even dated men (condolences, please), I was obviously intrigued. Anecdotally, it does seem like finding a good guy is nearly impossible. So, if I could find something empirical to back up my “all men are trash” sentiments
so I can school my therapist? Even better.
The WSJ article was written by Gerard Baker, former EIC of Dow Jones. The second line of the story reads: “Girls go to college to get more knowledge/Boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider.” I mean, the article could end there and win a Pulitzer for journalism, as far as I’m concerned. While the article begins with anecdotal evidence concerning Baker’s daughters, and how they grew up believing girls were smart and boys were stupid, the real meat of his argument comes from analyzing the gender gap in higher education. Baker explains that his daughters, who are currently enrolled in liberal arts colleges, used to say that they are often told that women are superior to men, especially when it comes to intelligence. In other news, the sky is blue. So, the absence of “good men” is due in part to the fact that more women are getting educated and less men are keeping up. So by this logic, good, smart men literally are getting harder to find because there are literally less of them. Yes, I said “literally” twice in the same sentence, but only for emphasis.
To back up this assertion, Baker cites the growing gender gap in bachelor’s and master’s degrees every year. He writes, “According to the U.S. Department of Education, more than 57% of the class of 2018 who graduated with bachelor’s degrees were female. The gap for master’s degrees was even wider: 59% to 41%.” Claps for all the women in the world. Y’all are killing it. But like most problems in the dumpster fire that we call the U.S., the issues goes way deeper than we think. How, you ask? Studies show that men say they want to date smart women, but they actually don’t—they just like the idea of smart women. Cool. Cool cool cool cool cool.
It’s times like these that I really wish sexual orientation was a choice so I wouldn’t have to put up with this sh*t. To be fair (to smart women), the study, published on a site called Sage Journals, had a sample pool
of idiots that only included 105 men. I don’t think 105 people is a great sample size to represent all men’s views on romance, but that doesn’t change the sad results of said study. The findings read as follows: “When evaluating psychologically distant targets, men showed greater attraction toward women who displayed more (vs. less) intelligence than themselves. In contrast, when targets were psychologically near, men showed less attraction toward women who outsmarted them.” In other words, they were only attracted to smarter women in theory. Great!
Julie Scagell, a Babble writer who reported on this study for an article called “Depressing Study Found Men Love the ‘Idea’ of Smart Women — They Just Don’t Want To Date Us.”, summed it up pretty perfectly. She says, “Apparently ‘pretend’ smart women make perfect companions for self-proclaimed smart men,” but actual smart women are a huge turn-off. And here I thought I was single because of the way I ate pizza, but it’s just my college degree. Lol, classic mixup. Can we just agree that these self-proclaimed smart men are actually pretty stupid and call it a day?
Here’s the thing, though: no matter how dumb these findings seem, they’re based on real people! Real men are admitting that smart women are unattractive to them. I scoured the internet for some answers on why this is, and I landed on Washington Post writer Lisa Bonos’ book review for The Love Gap by Jenna Birch. Bonos says, “Until men can provide for a family, they don’t feel comfortable dating seriously or making a lifelong commitment. And no matter how much men say they want an equal partner, a woman who’s smart and independent, studies find that such women often make men feel emasculated or inferior.” Wow, I’m both blown away and not surprised at all. How is that even possible? If I was writing this article in the 17th century then I would totally get where men are coming from, but in 2019 I don’t really understand this psychological reasoning. Why is it so humiliating to be romantically associated with a smart woman who has her sh*t together? Someone, preferably a man, please explain this to me. (This is the one instance where I allow mansplaining.)
But before you get discouraged and throw your phone in a river, this unfortunate situation is not a reflection on us, smart women. Studies are literally telling us it’s not us, it’s them, the men. While we may never understand why men are the way that they are, we can agree to not let these proven idiots influence our own self-worth. Not that there’s a silver lining to this official realization that men are trash, but take comfort in knowing that getting an education is just one more thing to add to the list of things women are doing in greater numbers and faster than men.
Images: Giphy (2); Unsplash
Every time a relationship ends before we even got to really date officially, a friend always tries to console me by saying something along the lines of, “the timing just wasn’t right.” And, until now, I genuinely believed them. So what happened that made me call bullsh*t on this whole “it’s all about timing” phenomenon, you ask? A few months ago, my work crush gave a presentation at my department’s monthly meeting and then we all went out for drinks after. Let’s just say our night didn’t end when happy hour did.
Anyway, we’ve been seeing each other pretty consistently since then and happily agreed to be exclusive, but something still felt a little off. So in the most cool girl way possible, I finessed a regular conversation into a DTR talk and, two weeks later, I still don’t really know where we stand. I know he likes me, I know he isn’t seeing other people, and I know he’s great. But here’s the thing, we aren’t dating-dating because he’s still reeling a little bit from a relatively recent breakup. In other words: bad timing.
For the first time in my life, I don’t feel weird breaking out my existential Carrie Bradshaw voice and asking, “Is timing really everything in a relationship, or is it just an excuse?” So I asked Jenny Taitz, clinical psychologist and author of How To Be Single and Happy, for her professional thoughts on the subject.
Is Timing As Important As We Think?
I hate myself for saying this, but yes and no. If you’ve ever seen Sliding Doors, the only point at which Gwyneth Paltrow has ever been a relatable human being, you know that the timing of life’s random series of events can define the course of your entire life. Of course, when I ask if timing is really all we’ve cracked it up to be in this article, I don’t mean it so literally, but that movie is kind of applicable to real life. Dr. Taitz says, “My take is: rather than mull over if it is or isn’t a thing, ask if analyzing this or fighting for something to work is helpful? If someone tells you that the relationship won’t work because of timing, why fight that? You deserve more.” She definitely has a point, but I can’t help but think my—and a lot of other people’s—situation is a little more complicated than that. Of course, if someone I wasn’t that into said timing is an issue, I’d be more than happy to part ways without giving a single sh*t, but nothing is ever that easy with someone you like. So, yes, timing is important, but it shouldn’t be the thing making decisions in the relationship.
What’s More Important Than Timing?
I’m only asking because it’s human nature, for me at least, to focus only on the bad and push the good aside. So even though everything is pretty perfect for me right now, this one little thing sucks and that’s the only thing I can think about. Dr. Taitz reminded me that there are two other things that matter in the beginning of a relationship more than timing does: emotional availability and maturity. Okay, so this makes sense, and I think the former is definitely tied to timing. A guy can like you and only you, but his recent breakup is keeping him emotionally closed. Dr. Taitz then read my mind and offered, “A person could have just ended something yet have peace of mind and heart space.” So that’s why I’m not throwing in the towel just yet. Just because things aren’t perfect right now, they’re close enough that I am hopeful he’ll gain the peace of mind and heart space to slowly change his mind about not wanting to be in a relationship right now. Am I being too optimistic here? Time will tell, I guess.
What Are Other Factors That Can Determine Whether Or Not A Relationship Will Work?
Dr. Taitz says that being able to manage your feelings and having good communication is paramount, and I definitely agree. We’ve all gone out with someone we thought we were dating, but turns out we weren’t and we didn’t find that out until months later because their communication skills are worse than those of a newborn. We have to remember to appreciate a person’s ability to communicate how they’re feeling even if what they’re saying isn’t what we were hoping to hear. Like, if they are saying, “I want to take things really slow because I just got out of a relationship,” it doesn’t mean they are a terrible person for not being in the same place emotionally as you. It may be disappointing to hear, but it takes maturity to say that, rather than to just give a vague answer and lead you on for months.
What Should People Feeling Lost In A New Relationship Do?
Unfortunately, there’s nothing specific you can do to fix things. If there were, everyone would wake up and go to sleep smiling instead of weeping into a bag of SkinnyPop while watching Sleepless in Seattle. At the end of the day, the only thing you can really do is be cool, collected, and communicative. So many people—myself included—get caught up in saying and/or not saying something because it’s considered taboo, but you know what? It’s 2019 and there are a lot worse things we could be doing than double texting, so I say f*ck it and say what you want to say. Dr. Taitz agrees and adds, “Remember that a relationship doesn’t define you and your happiness doesn’t hinge on the person you are with.” That sounds so obvious, but it’s definitely true. It’s really easy to lose sight of all of the great things going on in your life because some guy isn’t giving you what you feel like you want, need or deserve. Don’t let that be you!
Look, at the end of the day, there is no perfect start to a relationship. It just doesn’t exist. For instance, two of my friends met while both properly blacked out, had drunken sex that night, and are now adding a heap of crap to their Bed, Bath & Beyond registry. Another pair of lovebirds met and started dating while one of them was fully in another relationship and now they are engaged. My point is, just because a relationship is a little unclear in the beginning does not mean the whole thing is doomed. More importantly, timing is not everything, and all you can do is communicate openly and honestly.
Images: Giphy (4); Unsplash
You’re on a date with a bro you met online and three Moscow mules in, you’re actually hitting it off and considering making out with him if he leaves a decent tip. That is, until he fucks it up by saying something dumb like “Crazy girls are just more into me” that sets off the fuckboy alarm in your head. Fuckboys are like pimples, once you see the warning signs of one, you can’t ignore it’s there because sooner or later it’s going to ruin your night and make you feel like a worst version of yourself. So to save yourself a lot of cover up (for the angry tears when he doesn’t text back) here’s some top things fuckboys say that should set off literally all your red flags. If he’s said all of these, maybe it’s time to block that bro.
1. “I’m not looking for anything serious.”
This is so classic fuckboy that if it were a record it’d be a Beatles song. This is strategic because saying this traps you into sounding crazy if you don’t agree. Can you imagine if you were like “Oh, not me, I’m looking for a very serious commitment right this very moment” on your first date? This is a shitty thing to say because saying it early on in a relationship is a way to excuse all future bad behavior, and he’s banking on the fact that you don’t care about him yet since so early on that his announcement will just fall on bored ears. Literally run if he announces this to you early on, it doesn’t just mean he wants to keep things casual, it means he wants you to feel bad about him not wanting to date you.
2. “My ex was crazy.”
When a bro tells you his ex is crazy, it usually means he did something really messed up that she was rightfully very angry about. Every betch has it in her to go full Swimfan on a bro if he behaves badly enough. But more than likely, if a bro is telling you how crazy his ex is, he’s trying to make sure you know that he took no responsibility for how the relationship ended, even if it was totally his fault. If his ex was literally psycho, like she murdered his dog or broke into his house, he’s probably just as crazy because he dated her in the first place. Plus you don’t want to be with him if his ex is actually crazy because she’ll probably figure out you’re dating and murder your pets too.
3. “I like you so much as a friend I’d hate to ruin that by dating.”
By the way, we’re not talking about a bro who wants to keep you in the friendzone. If he says this to you and he’s still happy to fuck you, he’s a fuckboy. You know what friends do? They hang out. They are there for each other. They don’t fuck. If you’re fucking and still acting like friends, you’re dating. He’s not afraid to lose the friendship, he’s afraid to lose the Bumble dates. Just remind him that not dating is just as likely to ruin your friendship as dating you is.
4. You ask him about another girl and he says “We’re just hanging out.”
Instead of telling you you’re the only one or being honest about dating multiple people, he just says “We’re just hanging out, it’s nothing” and then doesn’t respond to your next text until noon the next day. For a bro who’s not hooking up with another girl, he sure acts very defensive. When was the last time you described your friendship with a platonic friend as “just hanging out”? Never, that’s when. You would say “we got ice cream” or “we got drunk and snuck into a house party” but in any case you’d be specific because you’re not fucking guilty.
5. After a week of not responding: “Sorry I just saw this. Wanna hang out?”
He decided he’s bored and wants to hook up but realized he needs to do some recon because he has been ignoring you for the last week. So he says something super sweet and you forgive him because you want to see him. Fuck that noise. Don’t fall for this.
6. “I just don’t know what I want right now.”
You’re not a burger on a menu for him to decide if he’s in the mood for. Sorry but being indecisive does not apply to dating you. If he doesn’t know what he wants, then he doesn’t want to date you. If he wants to date you, he’ll figure it out fast enough when you leave him and he realizes he fucked up. Don’t stay with a fuckboy that leads you on with this statement. He just wants you to hang around and be allowed to treat you like shit because he can’t make up his mind. If he’s walking into a five star restaurant and acting like he’s at a McDonald’s because he doesn’t know if he wants to get anything, that’s on him, not you. Move on and let him enjoy his dollar menu because that’s all he’s going to get.
7. “I don’t want to hold you back.”
If he says this what he really means is he thinks you’re holding him back. This is the dumbest shit because nobody who proposes to their girlfriends ever prefaces it with, “hope this doesn’t hold you back forever”. If he’s actually into you, he will want to lock it down You’re always going to be able to walk away and leave him, and he knows this. So there’s no such thing as holding you back. In fact, he just feels like you’re holding him back but he can’t say that to your face. Ironically more girls want to fuck him because you’re dating him, because hot girls see other hot girls dating a fuckboy and assume he’s chill because he’s dating a hot girl. So you’re technically helping him more than you’re holding him back.
8. “Let’s not put a label on it.”
Ironically he probably buys shit and doesn’t take the tags off either, because he can’t commit to anything. Not putting a label on it is his way of putting space between you. Any betch who loves shopping knows that labels are the shit. How else will anyone know your bag is designer?
9. “I think we should slow things down.”
Unless he’s Mormon and he’s talking about waiting to have sex, this is bullshit. If he’s comfortable putting his dick in your mouth, then telling you he wants to slow the relationship down is a fuckboy move. Sorry but talking about your parents and going to formal together is supposed to come BEFORE butt stuff, not the other way around. If he says he wants to slow things down he should have mentioned that before he tried to take the condom off.
10. “I just don’t see myself in a relationship with you.”
If he can’t see a relationship with you, then he shouldn’t be allowed to see you naked. Not to say you’re looking for a relationship necessarily, but if he can’t even think about dating you as a possibility, he’s a fuckboy. Because not only are you somebody better’s type, you’re literally a dream betch for probably every bro that’s not him and your type is guys that are into you so tough luck, bro.
Read: If Disney Princes Were Fuckboys From Your Past
Social media is like putting on makeup on but for your entire life—it’s not exactly lying but it’s definitely not the full truth. Have you seen what wonders highlighter can do to your face? Gramming your date night with a #bae hashtag does to your image what Diorshow mascara does to your lashes. Aka it makes everyone jealous but behind the perfection there’s definitely something missing. So as a public service to you, here’s what’s actually going on whenever you see your friends post about their relationships. If you see your friends post one of these types of relationship posts, they’re on the rocks. Consider this the #NoMakeup of relationship posts. You’re welcome. Please note, this is 100% accurate even though I totally just made it up.
She Posts A Picture Of Him From The Back Or Side Angle
Your friend posts a picture of the guy she’s dating from some angle other than the front. It’s artistic and sweet, like a Renoir painting. They’re probably at the beach or in the mountains or somewhere that looks romantic AF. Don’t be fooled by this post. This means that one of them is clearly more into the other. And obvs it’s the one that’s taking the picture. Have you ever seen Kanye West take a picture of his audience? No. It’s always pictures of him onstage. Plus, it’s no coincidence that they’re in the middle of nowhere—they prob only hang out without other people around because he’s not even sure if he wants to be seen with her. The sweet romantic getaway you think is happening is really just him hiding her from his actual friends. Sorry, but this is more of a sidepiece announcement than a wedding announcement.
They Both Post The Same Photo At The Same Time On Date Night
They both write some gushing post about how they’re hanging out at a concert/dinner/party and basically have the exact same photo up at the same time. This doesn’t mean they’re so in love that they just happen to think alike. If they were really into each other they would forget to post the photo until later, or not even take a photo at all because they’re so busy getting lost in each other’s eyes. This post means your friends are either 1) narcissists (probably) or 2) hate each other but love the image of being together. They’ve probably been on the rocks for a while, but they’re one of those couples that everyone loves, so they have to maintain their image.
She Posts One Of Those Pics Where He’s Holding Her Up In The Air Like In ‘Dirty Dancing’
This might look like the sweetest moment in history, but when was the last time you casually had someone pick you up in the middle of a sunset and there happened to be someone snapping a picture of the moment? The more elaborate the post, the worse the relationship is. It’s just like seeing someone with too much makeup on, you know they can’t be covering up a beautiful flawless face under all that foundation. They probably have a terrible sex life, and she’s probably considering doing anal just to get him to stop talking to Bianca from work. This post is definitely so Bianca from work knows to back the fuck off, also to tell the world that she gives better head than Bianca so please leave her man alone, thanks.
She Posts A Screenshot Of A Convo They’re Having
Nothing ever good comes from posting a screenshot of a convo. If she’s posting a screenshot of something sweet he said to show the world how he he just “gets her”, she probably hasn’t seen him in days and is trying to lure him out of hiding. Like, why would you post a screenshot of a conversation when you could be having actual conversation? He’s probably cheating on her, and she probably knows it.
Picture From Vacation Standing On A Beach With A Sunset In The Background
She wants him to move in with him but he can’t commit. She’s hoping the vacation will remind him how much fun she is to live with 24/7. Unfortunately he hasn’t come around yet, so now she’s posting a picture of them on a beach, which is almost like moving in together, except instead of saving money they’re both spending too much money so they don’t have to be sober around each other on this vacation that’s already feeling way too long.
She Posts Long Text Status About How Great He Is
Uh oh, this means that she’s about to tell you they broke up. You must intervene before she posts an underwear pic, or worse, gets bangs. A long public status about how great their relationship is always code for “help, I’m trying to save our relationship”. If she really felt all those nice things about him, she would just tell him directly. Can you imagine proposing via Facebook instead of directly in person? Yeah, exactly. Point is, these two are not going to last. Better get ready for a rebound girls night out.