10 Women On What They Learned After Dating A Major A$$hole

Flickr Courtney Carmody
Flickr Courtney Carmody

1.

“Trying to change an asshole is like trying to eat your own head—it can’t be done. It took me three long, horrible years to realize this. The asshole first has to realize he’s an asshole, which almost never happens. Then he has to work on fixing it, which assholes are, by default, almost never wired to do. But you can’t fix him, girls. It’s his problem. Asshole, heal thyself!”

—Jamie, 24

beetlejuice

2.

“Pretty simple, really. I was attracted to assholes because I didn’t think I was worthy of anyone better. But the moment I could look in a mirror and like what I saw—not only physically, more that I liked the person who was looking back at me—I ghosted that asshole so quickly his balls probably retracted back up into his lungs.”

—Jennifer, 25

beetlejuice

3.

“My therapist cut to the chase and made me realize that we all seek out people who remind us of our parents, and we almost always do it unconsciously. My father was a mean alcoholic who could send me into tears with one glance. When I first hooked up with my asshole boyfriend, I thought I could change him. I didn’t realize I was the one who needed changing—I had to quit re-creating my relationship with my dad and trying to fix it. It won’t ever be fixed. But now I’m better just realizing it.”

—Sarah, 32

beetlejuice

4.

“There are two types of people in this world—those who appreciate kindness and reciprocate it, and those who see it as weakness and exploit it. My fucked-up shithead loser no-dick blazing flaming screaming asshole ex-boyfriend was the latter sort—if you were kind to him, he smelled blood and went for the jugular. The more I gave, the more he took. But if you want to see them really act like an asshole, stop giving. That’s when the mask comes off and the true, uncut, sociopathic asshole emerges like a beast with ten heads, all of them ugly and with bad breath. So what I learned is to pay close attention to how a guy responds to your first act of kindness. If he asks for more, he’s an asshole. If he responds with more kindness, he’s a keeper.”

—Maureen, 23

beetlejuice

5.

“I know that most women aren’t going to want to hear this, but most guys who treat women badly do so because they were somehow hurt or neglected by their mothers. A little boy is completely dependent on his mom for the first few years of his life, and if she was mean, cruel, abusive—or especially if she wasn’t even there—that is a wound to his heart that might never heal. To try and regain some sense of himself, he’ll spend the rest of his life stabbing women in the heart. I only learned this after dumping my asshole boyfriend and he became a sobbing, pleading mess. All along I thought it was my problem—nope.”

—Amy, 21

beetlejuice

6.

“Part of the reason I’m attracted to “bad boys” is, holy FUCK are most guys whimpering little oversensitive diaper-boys these days. NOT sexy. Absolute vagina-dryer. I want a guy who’ll just push me over the kitchen counter and fuck me from behind until I pass out. That being said—ha!—I never learned to distinguish between a strong man and a cruel one. A strong man has no need to be cruel, since meanness is a cover for vulnerability and weakness. So the one good thing I learned from a Titanic-level shipwreck of a relationship with that asshole is how to distinguish strength from meanness. So I’m looking for a man who’s strong and kind, not mean and weak. Buh-bye, assholes!”

—Angie, 24

beetlejuice

7.

“I dated an uninterrupted string of hot, strong, aloof, dismissive, and sometimes verbally abusive Grade-A USDA Prime Cut Assholes. I thought I loved each one of them and I begged each one of them to stay when they inevitably dumped me. Then when I finally met a nice guy—not a boring or weak or unattractive guy, mind you, just one who wasn’t a six-foot phallus with ears—I realized what was going on. True love is complicated and frightening and deep and scarring, and it takes every fiber of your strength not to run away from it. I realized I dated assholes because I never truly loved them—it was just infatuation and attraction. I knew they’d dump me sooner or later, but in a weird way that was safe. I chose men who were unlovable because you can never get truly hurt by someone you don’t truly love.”

—Julie, 27

beetlejuice

8.

“Here’s the thing about assholes—it’s not you, it’s them. Sure, they’ll convince you that you’re too fat or too lazy or too dumb for them, but they don’t believe that or they wouldn’t be with you in the first place. They only come off hard because they’re so vulnerable. I found a way to wriggle out of my last relationship with an asshole that played right into his script. I told him that it wasn’t him, it was me—that I AM fat and lazy and dumb, and I don’t think I’ll ever change, and that he deserves far better than me. So I played the “it’s not you, it’s me” game even though the opposite was true. He was speechless—especially after I blocked his cell phone and got a restraining order against him.”

—Chante, 24

beetlejuice

9.

“I learned how to tell when someone’s lying to you. They don’t make eye contact, they speak quicker than normal, they pause a lot, and here’s the huge huge HUGE red flag—if you ask them a probing question, they’ll repeat all or part of the question before answering. It gives them time to make up a lie.”

—Kelly, 26

beetlejuice

10.

“There’s really no difference between an asshole and a bully. They’re cowards who are operating from weakness. The minute you act like an asshole back to them, they’re crying harder than they ever made you cry. Try it—it works!”

—LaRhonda, 23 TC mark

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