We Need To Stop Dating Losers

You heard me. I don’t want no scrubs! I’m officially tired of the whole “I have no career aspirations but my penis is seriously beautiful!” schtick. When I dated in high school and college, it seemed like my only criteria for the perfect mate was: 1. Mexican 2. Make me laugh 3. Have a nice butt. And oftentimes, I settled for someone who fit only one of them. But no more! As I get older, I find myself being attracted to people with goals and convictions and other grown up things. What a concept!

When you’re in school, everyone is pretty much on the same playing field. “Oh, you work at Starbucks? That’s cool ’cause I’m a waiter at California Pizza Kitchen! You have no money and just want to lay in bed all day boning? Awesome, me too! I’m broke as a joke.” But this starts to change when you leave the comforts of school and enter something that resembles the real world. It’s not like you suddenly get gifted with loads of cash when you graduate. On the contrary, you’ll probably be more broke than ever before, but you watch your standards raise a little bit. Suddenly dating a starving artist seems totally unappealing. You know that they don’t have any money, so if you want to leave their Bushwick loft, you’ll have to pay for everything. And, yeah, they can paint a pretty picture but when’s the last time they’ve held a job? Unless they’re considering work as a porn star, giving you multiple orgasms a day doesn’t pay the bills.

In college you could date a stoner who smoked weed every day and liked to talk about UFO’s and still be like, “OMG, look who hit the boyfriend jackpot. Jealous, ladies?” But now that kind of behavior isn’t going to cut it. You don’t want to date a Patrick Bateman-esque investment banker (because ew) but you do want to be with a person who’s going somewhere other than the dollar store. It doesn’t even matter if they’re making a lot of money. (After all, who is these days?) It’s just important that they have drive and passion. “Drive” and “passion” are two things that could one day translate to a successful career and financial stability.

It’s weird to see your standards raise because it feels like it happens almost involuntarily. Like 21-year-old me would’ve totally slept with a “freelancer” named Teal who had a bunk bed but 25-year-old me says, “I’M A CELEBRITY, GET ME OUT OF HERE!” Even if my penis is DTF, my brain is like, “No, Ryan. Go to the library or something. This dude has crabs.”

It sounds dickish to say but working as a barista at the age of 27 with no immediate plans to change your occupation does not turn me on anymore. Having to pay for everything while knowing I’ll be getting repaid with a glorious BJ is not enough these days. I want someone who’s no longer blacking out or getting stoned 24/7. It’s not chic. Make some professional and emotional progress in your life and then we’ll talk. My penis/mouth/butthole is no longer accepting scrubs. TC mark

image – No Scrubs

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


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  • http://twitter.com/CarmellaOsborne Carmella Osborne

    bit pretentious… in this economy, any job’s a job. Personally someone’s personality matters more to me. 

    • sarah

      “It doesn’t even matter if they’re making a lot of money. (After all, who
      is these days?) It’s just important that they have drive and passion”

      • http://twitter.com/CarmellaOsborne Carmella Osborne

        “It sounds dickish to say but working as a barista at the age of 27 with no immediate plans to change your occupation does not turn me on anymore. Having to pay for everything while knowing I’ll be getting repaid with a glorious BJ is not enough these days”

      • Guest

        I see what you are saying, but I understand not wanting to date someone without goals to improve their life/career beyond the present.

      • .....!

        Did someone just learn the copy and paste quick keys?

      • sarah


      • Asdf

        xvxv? To be more precise, I suppose it’d be cvcv. But that’s just not nearly as clever.

      • Guest

        so that’s where the drive/passion part comes in, i suppose if someone was driven to be a lifelong barista that could be different..?

      • eleanor

        says the girl who works as a barista at the age of 27 with no immediate plans to change your occupation. 

  • LizzyLoo

    Was this written for me?  Because I’ve recently been texting a 30-year-old, unemployed guy who says he has a pretty penis!  Gah!  Run away! 

  • Mila Jaroniec

    Perfect timing on this article – just the dating slap in the face I needed ;)

  • http://www.vview.co.za/ Glenn Kisela

    I gave a bitch money. Bitches love money. – Seemed appropriate, sorry!

  • AnnieGirl

    Love this article! It’s so true! 

  • Guest

    Agreed – A guy recently was telling me how he got so black out he puked on his shoes, etc. He is 29. Not cool.

    • ..well

      probably drinks because he hates his job.

      • future gopher

        hes probably an auditor during busy season

  • http://twitter.com/literalhuman Miles Vine

    your standards should “rise” rather than “raise”

    • Anonymous

      do you feel better now?

      • http://twitter.com/literalhuman Miles Vine

        of course

      • Asdf

        Do you?

      • Guest

        I feel phlegmatic

  • http://twitter.com/scruzz Shawn

    It just occurred to me that you’re the same author who wrote “How to finally makeout with your Crush” or something, in which you totally drop a guy after your little fantasy expires.

    “Chic”. Yeah, right.

    What if that starving artist/barista gives you something more than a “glorious bj”? What if he makes you happier than you’ve ever been? As someone who’s graduated from a prestigious  university (I don’t mean to brag or anything, just wanted to make clear I’m not a “scrub”)  i’ve had access to and have dated lawyers, doctors, engineers… and by far, a college-drop-out-waiter made me feel bigger, stronger, and more enriched than all of those self-entitled douche bags combined.


    • Guest

      ryan is a self-entitled douche bag. without the large salary..

    • oneriver

      But why didn’t it last? I think the reality sets in as we get older. The illustrious feeling of invincibility does not withstand the test of what lies ahead. I too have only felt my absolute best with someone with no drive, but soon my own goals and passion got in the way. 
      I don’t think Ryan is addressing the career title, so much as the passion, which, as I get older, I sadly  realize is not in every one of us. 

      • http://twitter.com/scruzz Shawn

        Because at the end of the day, we had different priorities. The point is our relative financial/educational played very little as to whether he was a “loser” or not. And what’s to say starving artists aren’t passionate about what they do?

        I mean come on, if they weren’t, they wouldn’t be a “starving artists” in the first place.

      • Guest

        id rather fall in love with someone that has a passion for life rather than a passion for a boring career. then again, money allows an easier life. hmm

      • Asdf

        You’re definitely on the right track. Passion and drive aren’t exclusively tied to career motives.  Though, see, the problem that one’s occupation often eats up a lot of said person’s life. There is always a balance that needs to be struck.

        Just as I’d dislike seeing someone exclusively have “passion and drive” for their career, I’d dislike seeing someone who exclusively lacks it. In the end, however, we should all desire to make our own lives — along with those we care about — better. And, maybe, if we all can learn to do that, we can make the world a better place to live.

  • http://www.facebook.com/antoniowatson Antonio Watson

    “Suddenly dating a starving artist seems totally unappealing. […] And, yeah, they can paint a
    pretty picture but when’s the last time they’ve held a job?”

    You realize most starving artists actually have dreams and aspirations, yes?  I don’t think it was your intent here, but you kind of just shat on a whoooole bunch of art majors trying to find jobs in competitive fields.  Just sayin’.

  • CUinNYC

    You mean boys will start working towards being rich and successful just so they can one day have sex with lots of (wo)men??

    • beatrice

      bankers.. Though their sort of sucking nowadays

      • CUinNYC

        *They’re….and there are other lucrative careers in finance outside investment banking, let alone other professions…

      • beatrice

        ahh yes they’re, sorry bout that. Agreed there are other lucrative careers and professions but I was merely quoting a stereotypical example

  • yy2k

    i read the first line and immediately went to youtube to listen to TLC’s song, so uh, thanks for that! 

  • http://twitter.com/joysteeq joysteeq

    I think people tend to associate specific standards of living and attitude to specific age limits and I find it disturbing. Nobody knows what is inside each person’s head.
    Some people may be over 30 but decided that the “now” is more important than “tomorrow/yesterday”. So what you may find as “lack of motivation for the future” could be his “carpe diem” version.
    My limited experience says that what you can’t control what your heart desires and next time you fall in love with an unemployed fool try to make an argument and see if your heart listens… :p

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1442436527 Carlos De León


      The concept of success varies from person to person. Life’s too short, we shall invest our time in what makes us happy, not what “we are expected to do”. Money is important, we get food with it, but it does not equal happiness.

  • Guest

    Thank you Ryan, I needed that after I recently dumped my 25 year old aspiring artist and his mom.

    • ..well

      ew. you dated a dude and his mom? sick.

      • MD

        The person was most likely referring to the fact that the artist had baggage and one of those bags was his mother…

      • Asdf

        Still. Ew.

      • ..well

        yeaah..I know exactly what they meant, it still just sounds bad.

      • a.

        Or lived with his mother..

  • ..well

    So what are you defining a loser as?  Someone with no college degree?  Someone that works at Starbucks? Because someone could have a college degree and not be able to find work in their field, then decide to work at Starbucks. Doesn’t  really make them a loser…but thanks for your judgmental and unnecessarily bitchy attitude.

    • Jay

      Way to miss the point. Someone without “drive and passion” is a loser. Ryan’s not saying all baristas or starving artists are losers, but those without any ambition to grow and better themselves are. This article probably just struck too close to home for you.

      • Ryan O'Connelll


      • ..well

        No. This article just attempted to label people as either motivated or unmotivated and failed miserably at providing a sound description of either label, which lead to confusion among readers and made Ryan seem like an arrogant douchebag.  Either way, he probably is an arrogant douchebag.

  • Eric V

    pretentious babble from an East Villager. 

  • Anonymous

    well, im going to say it. ryan, you had a good year about your work. you kind of act like  you got your life all figured out, which is not even funny anymore. but as we all read (and you wrote) your love life is shit right now. So, the thing is, dont try to justify ‘being too single’ with ‘oh but i dont do losers im so sophisticated and all’ please because even though its a good writing piece, people may not buy it. the truth may be more poetic sometimes.

    other than that, know that i love your work and i like your personality.

  • hisserenity

    Man, lots of haters up on here. I’ve never read any of this stuff before, but this was posted on FB and I think it makes a whole lot of sense. 

    A point that is missing though is not that these baristas and starving artists is that without an aspiration to grow or to be better, then that person isn’t very much worth anything. A relationship is something where two people grow together because two together is better, stronger, and more well rounded than just growing alone. There are starving artists who have passion who actually create art. And there are those who create very little or created back in school days, but have not really focused on it seriously since then. There are lofty dreams but not initiative or drive and many times the idea of rejection keeps people in arrested development. It happens to a lot of people. It’s not a bad thing, but it happens, and those people need to find themselves by themselves.

    Either way, if you’re not growing, you’re dying, and a person who always looks to grow in any new direction is a person worth opening your heart for.

  • AC7761A

    what happened to kat george?

  • Yup

    Starving artists can’t afford Bushwick lofts. This moderately successful young professional lives in a basement with three roommates in Bed Stuy. Bushwick lofts are for middle-managment “creatives.”

  • Jacqueline Brenner

    I think this is completely true. My best friend is a fairly successful girl who got a degree, is applying to grad school, interns and works, but somehow always ends up bringing home “club/ rave photographers” or bartenders, who might be cute, but are almost 10 years older than her still doing the same shit they were doing at our age. I think more than anything people who don’t have drive to find a career or have stability are immature – they can’t accept challenges and responsibility – it’s such a turn off for someone you might get serious in dating. Although I guess I’m biased because I’ve been incredibly persistent/fortunate to find a job mostly in my field after I graduated. I also have many friends though that went the route of blue collar work and actually make more money than I do and have a much more established career; I don’t think “artists” want to do something a little blue collar to make some cash while they pursue their dream on the side…I feel like they think they’re above it, in my experience.

  • Anonymous

    Oh please, this is shit you should have known from the moment you got you ass out of high school. I’m tired of women with this trash, you dig your own hole, and if you’re dumb enough you’ll fall into it. Yeah, as you got older you realized that you needed the security and now you’ve set your standards high for mister 6 figure, the same guy who you passed on because he was goal oriented wanted something out of life. Fucking a man for penis size and such is a pretty stupid thing, you’ll grow up from the 16 year old stage soon enough and learn that trying to fuck the ‘bad boy’ is stupid and immature.  Not saying that bad boys are bad, and that they’re useless, because I pretty much hate those pushovers “nice guy” assholes who’d throw their coat in a puddle, and live their life as a substitute for a door mat.

    • Benjy

      Women? Did you see the name of the writer? Besides, he mentioned that he’s interested in neither extreme of rich or poor, he just wants someone who has their shit together. That’s totally reasonable and the same opinion I have dating girls who are too immature to have a job and take care of themselves.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=13003781 Jacqueline Rae Shuman

    Can’t breathe…too funny.

  • Jess

    I get both sides – he doesn’t want to date people that can’t provide a real, stable future but you art majors are whining because you think at one point you might have one.  At the end of the day, some people need stability and some people don’t. I don’t like the idea of not knowing where my next paycheck is, and I wouldn’t want to date someone who was in that boat. It doesn’t mean my dreams are bigger or better but I think I care more about what I do in my spare time (travel, activities, hobbies) than in my job — and so I have a job that pays me a good salary so I can afford those extra-curricular luxuries. It’s all personal preference. His frame on it is just a bit harsh.

  • johnny b.

    im a 23 year old bartender making roughly 55k a  year. I have been able to travel freely (four-six times a year) without having to worry that my precious “career” would suffer. My significant other is a college graduate working in his field making nearly half that. I get to enjoy the beauty of my twenties, and maybe one day (I say 26) I’ll finish up my bachelor’s, work on my masters, and then become a “real” person. Until then I can work on art, mindlessly serve people, see europe, and party until sunrise. Your 20’s are a time to not have your shit together.

    Generally I like your work but this is just an epic fail.

    • beatrice

      Whatever floats your boat mate, but cos i’m a success hogging individual, being “real” and being “20” can coexist at the same time.  Just depends on what you want with your life, happy that you’re enjoying yours

  • Molly

    Ryan, you’ve done it again.

    “In college you could date a stoner who smoked weed every day and liked
    to talk about UFO’s and still be like, “OMG, look who hit the boyfriend
    jackpot. Jealous, ladies?”

    had me cracking up.. so true

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