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How To Stop Attracting Douchebags

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This week, we were so excited to get a message from a girl who follows us on Twitter asking for some dating advice. The fact that anyone thinks we are qualified to give such advice (particularly during this lull in our relationship lives) is both flattering and disturbing, but we digress. It was a great email with a lot of fantastically funny details, but in the interest of brevity and the word limit on these columns, we’ll get right to her main question:

What can I do to attract men who aren’t total douchebags?

Now, if we actually had the answer to this question, we’d be billionaires who would be too busy on the talk show circuit to be writing about it here. Maybe one day…anyway, through our collective dating experience we have, at the very least, a few tips for our dear reader and all of you.

Know That It’s Not You, It’s Them. The girl who sent us this email is absolutely gorgeous, and from what we can tell, intelligent, sweet, hard-working and well-rounded. (She sent us pictures of her at her sorority formal AND going hunting, for goodness’ sake!) So the question actually isn’t what she is doing to attract men who are douchebags – the answer to that is NOTHING. The fact is this: douchebags just exist and sometimes they come into our orbit. Odds are that nothing she, or any woman, is doing specifically attracts them. If you get nothing else out of this column, remember that. Therefore, the real problem becomes how to weed out the douchebags early enough that we don’t waste our time dating them or, even worse, getting attached to them.

Look for Early Signs of Douchebaggery. No guy is an obvious douchebag from the very beginning; if he were, we wouldn’t likely have agreed to go out with him in the first place. Fortunately, hindsight is 20/20 – there were probably signs from the beginning that a guy was a douchebag, and that’s something we can learn from. Among the usual early signs of douchebaggery:

  1. How he treats service people such as bartenders/waitresses/cab drivers. If he’s rude to them, he’ll eventually be a douche to you.
  2. How long he takes to respond to a text/phone call. There are a million explanations for why it takes him a day to respond to you, ranging from he’s secretly dating eight other people, he looked at it and then forgot, to the simple he’s just not into you. But all of them add up to potential doucheiness.
  3. He’s secretive about anything. No, it’s not sexy that he’s mysterious, it’s a sign that he’s a douche and has something to hide.
  4. He’s not focused on you. If you are on a date, his phone should be away – not turned over on the table, but AWAY. If he can’t focus solely on you for three hours at the beginning of your relationship, he never will.
  5. He asks you for nudes. Self-explanatory. Do not send them. We repeat, do not send them. If he can’t wait until you are comfortable enough to show him the goods in person, he isn’t worth showing them to at all.

Stop The Douchebag Cycle. Hard truth here: sometimes we wind up dating douchebags because, deep down in places we don’t talk about at parties, we actually like the doucheiness. Guys continue to be douchebags because we girls continue to date them. Life lesson: guys only do what works for them to get girls. For example, one of us was driving the other day when a guy in the car next to her in traffic made the universal sign for blow job at her, like she was going to pull over right then and there and service him. When she recounted the story to a guy friend later, he responded “He did that because at some point that actually worked for him.” If being a douchebag continues to work for him, he is going to continue to be one. So all of us ladies need to stop the cycle.

Recognize When To Walk Away. We put up with douchebaggery because: A) it’s better to have a douchebag than no one at all, B) we are too blind to see the douchebaggery happening right in front of us, or C) we (stupidly) believe that our love is going to change his douchebag ways. All of these are piss-poor reasons to stay with someone who doesn’t treat us well. Therefore, it’s up to us to recognize when it’s time to walk away. It could be when he reveals to us after two weeks that he’s 35 instead of 26, or when he tells us that he’s still dating five other people when we thought we were the only one. There’s no set time; it’s really about when you are no longer comfortable in the relationship. When that happens, it’s time to go.

Believe you deserve more. Being single isn’t easy and on weekends it pretty much sucks when all your friends are just staying in with their significant others, which means you’re staying in by yourself. But it’s a lot better in the long run than being taken advantage of, ignored, made fun of, lied to, or any other douchebag treatment. Trust us – there’s a reason we’re single right now. It’s because we choose to be. If you can look yourself in the mirror and recognize that you are attractive, put together, and have values and goals that are admirable – then you deserve more. And you’ll find it.

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Jenna Crowley

Jenna used to be known as 2NOTBrokeGirls, but then one of the girls actually went broke, so she's struck out on her own. Jenna spends her free time saving the world, one sorority girl at a time (usually while wearing yoga pants), questioning why she decided to get a doctorate, documenting her love of all things cheese related, and hosting the new PGP podcast Don't Take It From Us. You can ask her anything you want about football, using your boobs to get what you want, and pizza at @JennaLCrowley on Twitter or via email at JennaLCrowley@gmail.com.

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