About five weeks ago, I left school to head back to my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. As I speed-packed my whole room up, I tried to come up with a list of positives about this situation. The one silver lining I could think of was that we would be removed from f*ckboys. In fact, maybe f*ckboys would spend this time recovering, and just like nature, they too could begin the process of healing. They are the virus.
Fast forward five weeks and I swear to God, every fifth text I get from one of my friends is bitching about f*ckboys. Some have even gone as far as to pitch their stories to me as ideas for another article (and while I appreciate the help, I sadly have enough content from my day-to-day interactions). It seems like f*ckboys have taken quarantine not as a time to better themselves, but as a time to strengthen their ability to be the absolute worst.
Not to rip off Carrie Bradshaw, but all of these stories had me thinking, have the f*ckboys gotten stronger and bolder in the Q? Or, have they been like this all along and we are just now beginning to notice it?
Like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the Five F*ckboys of Quarantine have come riding in on pale horses, ushering in a new period of sh*ttiness in dating. But I would never dream of leaving you unprepared for navigating f*ckboys in these trying times, so here’s my guide to the five f*ckboys of quarantine.
The Ghost: Quarantine Edition
Definition: We all know what ghosting is, so you shouldn’t really need an explanation. The CDC is learning more about COVID-19 every day, and your f*ckboy expert (me) had the privilege of learning first-hand about how much of a blow to the ego it is to get ghosted while social distancing. Ghosting right now should be a felony—like, honestly it might be on par with murder. Here’s the thing, even f*ckboys know this, so ghosting in quarantine looks a little bit different than in real life.
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How to spot them: Unlike a guy who ghosts you like, in normal conditions, this guy is more of a flake than a straight-up Ghost. We all need attention, he just likes to float around and get this attention from different girls. Babes, I’m sorry to say this: but he isn’t too busy, he isn’t “bad at Snapchat,” and he certainly just “didn’t see your text.” Like all of us, he has nowhere else to go and nothing else to do. You know you’re being ghosted (quarantine edition) if:
⭐︎ Your snap is left on delivered or open for 20+ hours—he got the notification and is waiting for you to get the hint.
⭐︎Every few days, he comes back around. We call this haunting. You’ll exchange a few vague snaps back and forth. It’s because he wants to keep his options open. (I fall for this often, please be better than me.)
⭐︎If/when quarantine ends, he’ll probably try to resume his normal schedule of contacting you, as if he wasn’t shady for the entirety of this crisis, especially if you were talking before.
How to deal with them: As smart, self-sufficient, and socially distant betches, we have no time for being ghosted. As hot as he is, and as much as you enjoy texting him, all you’re doing by trying to keep the Snap streak alive is hurting yourself. It’s sad but very, very true. You’re locked inside and there’s no reason to make yourself more miserable than necessary. If you think you’re stuck in this pattern but can’t tell, stop initiating conversations and see what happens. You may not get the answer you want, but at least you know not to waste your precious emotional energy.
Definition: Quarantine has given us all a little bit of time to think about our behavior—even I have recently come to question some of the actions I have taken over the last few months. As someone prone to overthinking in normal circumstances, I know that the combination of stress + a lot of time alone can lead to regret and the urgent desire to make amends for past behavior. Adding in the fact that we are almost all drinking alone right now means that even f*ckboys (whom we previously thought incapable of remorse) want to repair what they have already broken. Enter: The Boomerang.
How to spot them: You know the guy who fell off the face of the planet and killed your Snap streak, but continues to watch your Insta story? This is him. All of a sudden, Mr. Disappeared-Into-Thin-Air is back, and more interested than ever—but don’t get used to his presence. You’ll know he’s a Boomerang if:
⭐︎ He sends you a text that says, “How’s your quarantine…” followed by one that says “I probably owe you an explanation” or any variation of that.
⭐︎ While initially it seemed like he was all in and willing to give round two a ton of effort (i.e., FaceTime dates, responding to you right away, ensuring that he is definitely not Snapchatting other girls), this behavior will change after a few days.
⭐︎ After about a week, the slow fade you’re familiar with may start, and this is how we know the cycle of ghosting is beginning yet again.
How to deal with them: Boomerangs are meant for mind games, and they absolutely aren’t meant to be around for a long time—that’s, like, the whole point of them. If this guy is someone who completely f*cked you over in the past, and you’re looking to start a little drama or you need some excitement, literally ask him why he ghosted you. Show him the receipts. Go the whole nine f*cking yards (and please send me screenshots). If he ghosted you and you didn’t really care, enjoy some light flirting, but as soon as you start developing feelings or this goes too far, send him on his way.
The Fake Boyfriend
Definition: As excited as I am for all of the rom-coms about our time in quarantine to be made next winter, we have to remember that our daydreams about meeting a boy over Ship in quarantine and falling in love are fiction. As lovely as it may be to have a pen pal or two while you’re stuck in the Q, there’s a slim chance that your new love connection will survive more than a week in the real world.
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How to spot them: A Fake Boyfriend goes way too deep way too soon, and maybe this is because we legit have no choice but to get to know each other for our personality but also, like, maybe not? You know you’ve got yourself a Fake Boyfriend if:
⭐︎ Like a Boomerang, he jumps right in with the FaceTime dates, virtual happy hours, and, if he happens to be quarantined at home, you may even be ~lucky~ enough to meet his family. However, all of this will probably happen at a way faster rate than normal, because like, what else is there to do?
⭐︎ He ensures you that you’re the only girl who is getting the girlfriend treatment, and there’s a chance he’s not lying, but you never know.
⭐︎ We are nowhere near this yet, but as soon as quarantine ends, you’ll get an “I’m just not ready for anything serious right now” text. Shocker.
How to deal with them: Listen, none of us are in the position to be rejecting attention right now, especially if you’re as bored as I am. However, I don’t advise investing a lot of emotional energy in a fake boyfriend. Talking is fun, especially in times like these, but don’t put too high of a premium on his behavior. If this does happen to be a guy you think you can have a real connection with and you grow to really like, maybe try to go out together one or two times once we are allowed to, like, be around each other again and see if your relationship can withstand the test of human interaction.
The One Who Doesn’t Understand Social Distancing
Definition: We always knew that some f*ckboys were not as smart as the rest of us, but this guy takes the cake. He may acknowledge the severity of the situation, but he without a doubt thinks he is immune to COVID, is treating this as an extended vacation, and “is really excited about being back with the boys” when he returns home. Dude, no.
How to spot them: On the surface, you can tell he might be, like, kinda trying to practice effective social distancing. He sure is all about it on Insta stories, which we love to see. However, he doesn’t fully understand that now is not the time to drink with your friends in person, even from six feet away in your backyard, and especially not if you are doing this with a different group of people every night. Example behaviors are:
⭐︎ Posting a picture of him holding a Corona on his story, because he is really witty, and captions it, “day four of quarantine.” As a bonus, this picture got posted on April 15th which is, like, five weeks after your state enacted stay at home orders.
⭐︎ Even more bonus points if the previous slide on his story is a picture of him and his bros, and they definitely are less than six feet apart.
⭐︎ When he starts to talk to you it might just seem like the normal quarantine flirting… until he asks you to come over… and is serious… and doesn’t get the problem with the request.
How to deal with them: In the immortal words of Meghan Trainor, “My name is no, my sign is no, my number is no, you need to let it go.” Every time he invites you over, respond with an emphatic no and send a link explaining the benefits of social distancing. If this behavior continues, you may want to explain to him—very slowly—why he is part of the problem and how social distancing works. IDC how good the sex is, if you’re reading this you are way too smart to put yourself at risk over (admit it) a mediocre-looking f*ckboy.
The Aspiring Influencer
Definition: I get it, when the only other people you interact with are your siblings it’s easy to think like you really have your sh*t together, but this doesn’t make you an influencer. I honestly thought that only basic girls (myself included—I’m not not wearing a tie-dye set rn) and the boys who take mirror selfies at the gym would fall into internet traps during quarantine, but I was wrong. Guys who seemed relatively normal before this started are acting like they think they’re influencers. And, if there’s one thing our society does not need right now, it’s a ton of frat guys with Dad bods promoting their TikTok-inspired SoundCloud remixes.
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How to spot them: It starts with that Bill Clinton record challenge exposing their super basic music tastes, maybe they even do a push-up challenge (not complaining about that one), but all of a sudden their social media usage has spiraled out of control. Weird, he didn’t post a picture of you together from your last date party because he “doesn’t really use social media,” but all of a sudden he is the most active user you follow. You’ve got an Aspiring Influencer on your hands if:
⭐︎ He started posting lame oversexualized attempts at doing TikTok dances and challenges. Guys, if any of you see this, I need you to know that it’s an app made for 15-year-olds. Please stop thrusting your hips and commenting on underaged girls throwing it back. It’s creepy and problematic. Thanks.
⭐︎ He genuinely thinks his vlog-style Snapchat story bitching about how he doesn’t have lukewarm beer/Vat/or pot at home is the height of comedy. However, these posts would only be funny if he was being sarcastic and that’s just not something that’s in reach of his mental capacity.
⭐︎ He’s posting more thirst traps than a girl who got really hot after a breakup. No shade, I just want to know where these guys’ ability to look normal/hot in pictures was when I was trying to show their instas to my friends and the best option I had was a picture of them from 2017 holding a fish.
How to deal with them: These f*ckboys are blatantly on the hunt for attention in these trying times, and, honestly, aren’t we all? While they are ultimately pretty harmless and funny to sh*t-talk with your friends, if you’re talking to an Aspiring Influencer, know that they are likely talking to other girls and that this new persona they have adopted will probably live on past quarantine. There’s really no harm in continuing to talk to them, but just remember that their ability to be genuine is comparable to their ability to do the Renegade dance: abysmal.
These behaviors could all be adapted to the real world. However, the constant ability for f*ckboys to surprise us just confirmed what we already knew: the devil works hard, but f*ckboys work harder… that is, when it comes to screwing girls over.
In any other situation, I would advise against engaging with f*ckboys. However, these are not usual times and we all deserve a little bit of excitement and drama in our lives. Especially when we have run out of trashy dating shows to live vicariously through. As always, I am here to empower and validate your actions while still providing you with the information that will help you make smarter choices when it comes to f*ckboys.
Everyone is super #stressed right now, and honestly, we don’t need the added hassle of toxic d*ck. Have fun, but remember to avoid the f*ckboys who make you feel sh*tty. Just because your ex is hitting you up doesn’t mean that you’ll feel good after talking to him. And of course, under NO circumstances am I giving you permission to violate social distancing in order to see a f*ckboy!
Images: Thom Holmes / Unsplash