Sorry, Taylor Swift, but you were wrong. In my personal experience, females in a relationship often stick around through (and for) the torture. Your lyrics “boys only want love if it’s torture” may be relevant to you, but in reality something horribly twisted makes us gals stick around for the torture.
A recent conversation with my best friend got me thinking. Why do we let ourselves become tangled up—both mentally and physically—with the assholes? If they ignore us, why do we find them so much more attractive? If they cast us in these “crazy girlfriend” roles with the encouragement of their friends, why do we expend so much energy trying to prove them wrong? Why do we fight for the wrong guys who have riddled us with heartbreak, only to toss aside the gentlemen bowing at our feet? Maybe it’s the bad boy complex, and maybe it’s something deeper.
I’ve realized that I am only attracted to the guys that ignore me, lie to me, or cheat on me. The sad truth is that the only guys I’ve been in love with were the “has-an-active-Tinder-with-a-girlfriend-guy” because he knows that after I send the angry screenshot-text combo of his profile, he’ll be back in my arms with the help of an egocentric apology to do better, mixed with a clichéd love confession. But never fear—I’m not alone in this land of warped love, because I am surrounded by girls pining for the attention of the assholes.
And when our boyfriend, or the one we wish held the coveted title, crosses the border into Jerkland, our female instincts should shoot off deafening alarm bells to pack up and return home where it’s safe, but we are short-fused somewhere. Somewhere else in our brains we are making excuses for his bad behavior. If he was uncaring, blame it on a hard day at work. If he fails to answer our messages, then he must be busy or with family. Our attempts to feed these fictional excuses would be comedic if they weren’t so tragic.
Allowing these guys to treat us poorly shows how little we value ourselves.
I’m wondering where it all went wrong—where girls seem to most desire those who desire them the least. Growing up with fairy tales we would dream of being the princess, where our knight in shining armor would sweep us away for our happily ever after. Sadly, our attraction has shifted from the prince to the mysterious villain figure who finds more enjoyment in tripping us up rather than sweeping us away.
My best friend said it best: These asshole guys are like a challenge, and we need to conquer it. We need to conquer his heart to fulfill our everlasting desire to improve his flaws in order to mold him into the prince. Because what’s more enticing than being able to say you were the girl who finally changed him? What’s better than saying you made your own personalized prince? You cannot change someone into something they’re not, especially if they are an unwilling participant. Stop pouring your time into the bottomless pit that is the villainous guy; there are real princes out there.