How To Be A Terrible Boyfriend

Give them hope. Bad relationships run on hope, on the possibility that it can change, that you can change. The second you sense that you’re losing them and they’re giving up on the relationship, bring them back in with a sweet gesture. They can live off that gesture for as long as six months. They can live off the hope that it’ll all get better for a long time.

Be emotionally unavailable AND possessive. My, what a lovely contradictory combo we have here! Give off confusing vibes that seem to say, “I don’t really want you but I also don’t want anyone else to have you.” That’s always a fun vibe to give off! Your significant other will confuse your possessiveness and jealous nature for actual love which works in your favor. The truth is that you’re too much of an insecure asshole to love another person but, oops, don’t tell your boo that! This relationships runs on delusions!

Only be attentive in bed when you need to be, when you’ve done something truly terrible and need to right your wrongs with them. Otherwise, be lazy, be selfish, be positively useless in the sack. Exude ice when you should be radiating warmth.

Hate their friends. See them as people who are just taking your significant other away from you and make them feel bad for spending any time with them. Guilt trips galore! Anything to keep them closer to you and not with anyone else, even if all you’re doing anyway is ignoring them.

Make them feel weird about having a career and achieving things. Again, it’s just another thing that takes them away from you! Stupid jobs! Twist things around so they always feel like they’ve disappointed you. In actuality, there is no way they can do anything right but they don’t know that! Your job is to make them feel like there is a right way, there is a way they can make you happy, but they just keep screwing it up.

Crush their spirit slowly. Not all at once. Just subtly until you’ve been together long enough and can get away with all kinds of disgusting behavior. They’re trapped now. They’re committed to your mind games. They need your lows so they can get to the highs again. You’ve become their addiction. They live for your validation.

Get them in a position that’s hard to wiggle out of. This is an established toxic relationship that both of you need now. You’ve seen the weaknesses in your significant other and exploited them for your benefit. There are so many people like this. There are so many people in this world who only know how to have terrible boyfriends, that wouldn’t know a healthy relationship if it fell into their laps, and you live for these people. They allow you to continue on this path of being wretched. They allow you to indulge in your worst qualities without consequences.

In the end, terrible boyfriends can’t exist without broken lovers. It’s a cycle that’s dependent upon two fragmented souls.

It’s a terrible man getting into a relationship with someone who thinks they’re terrible. TC Mark

image – Scream

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


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  • H

    Oh wow, just the best picture illustrating this article. Skeet is such a babe.

  • S

    reminded me of my bf. wow. i know everything that’s wrong with him but still can’t leave. he seems to have ‘changed’ now. or so he says.

    • CH

      same. ugh. the sweet gestures used to work, but now i just see straight through them. worst part about that is, i still can’t do it

  • mellybeans

    Ryan, did you personally consult my ex for this one? You’re so on point it’s sickening.

    • Sue

      I know right – I totally feel the same way

    • CH

      seriously. the term “insecure asshole” is so on point

  • Iceman

    You just illustrated 90% of the douchebags girls love to run after to be their boyfriends. If you want to be a girl’s friend, be attentive to them. Be there when they need you (and their boyfriend isn’t available). Let them do what they want. Give them a shoulder to cry on. Make them feel good and compliment how lovely they look.

    Trust me, it works.

    • alicia

      will you be my boyfriend

    • mgtow

      Wow, clueless. Girls don’t really want the pansy, touchy feely shoulder to cry on. They say they do, but that guy is the friendzone guy they like to keep around while chasing the bad boys.

      You’re just there to be fall back when they get burned yet again. Or to provide the “stability” they start looking for in their 30’s after chasing bad boys for the last 15 years.

      • alphailium

        MGTOW wins the internet!

  • jesshett (@jesshett)

    I am seriously LOSING IT at the photo of Billy accompanying this article.

    would you settle for a PG-13 relationship?

  • Lauren Konefal

    so funny you tagged sociopath in this, cause i thought that the whole time reading it. i would know about that, lol. i was with one for a while. Im not sure if are one and know it??

  • thesugarray

    Bad boyfriends don’t think. Terrible ones think about being bad.

  • Only L<3Ve @

    […] Thought Catalog » Love & Sex Add a comment […]

  • musabee

    This reminds me of the D.E.N.N.I.S. system haha!

    • Jen

      Ahahaha. Best comment ever.

  • k

    oh man, everyone should read this. we’re always trying to make exceptions for people and stuff, but when you define it out all obviously, in this lovely little gift-wrapped package, it’s like “shittt, that sounds way too familiar”, and then we’re forced to re-evaluate our circumstances. thanks, this is good stuff.

  • jamie

    damn. just damn.

  • michelle lepori

    I typically read relationship articles, because I am crap at them. I have terrible, explosive, passionate bombs of relationships. Most articles are crap. This, however was very very good, to me. I felt it spoke quite well in a relatable manner to some of the deep shit that I have been going through. So, thank you for that. I love it when someone gets it. Good writing, the last line really really REALLY.

  • Ketsia

    Touché… “am broken, hammer on me some more, am lovin’ it” -.-”

    Does it ever stop???

  • Brandi yanez

    Best thing I have read in years!

  • nesteaise

    how to be a terrible thought catalog author:

    live, twenty some odd years, have your longest relationship be like 3 months and then fancy yourself as some kind of love/relationship expert

    • CH


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  • reesa

    Reblogged this on REESA and commented:
    this is terrible…

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