“Sure, he treats me like crap… but aside from that, he’s a really great guy.”


The other day, I met up with a good friend at Starbuck’s, and as we shamelessly sipped our ice caramel macchiatos, she told me about this guy she has been seeing for just a couple of months. Not too long ago, my friend was completely heart broken and utterly depressed, after ending a five-year relationship with a guy she thought was “the one.”  He ended up cheating on her with her old roommate… Gross, I know. It was a complete shocker to everyone since he seemed like a really good guy. Not mention, my good friend happens to be a total knockout- I mean, she has the whole package, and any guy would be crazy to cheat on her. Anyways, I was thrilled to hear she was finally moving on and seeing other guys. But then, she started explaining her new fling to me… Unfortunately, it sounded like she moved on from one asshole and onto another asshole.

Here are some of the things she said about this guy:

“He’s really cocky, which I’m not crazy about… and sometimes he’s can be rude, but I just laugh it off.”

“Many people think he’s a total jerk, but they just need to get to know him.”

“He put me down in front of his friends, but he’s like a totally different guy when we’re alone. I know he’s really not a jerk like that… He just tries to show off in front of his friends.”

… Okay, so now you can see why my douchebag-detector went off like crazy.

I just couldn’t understand it! My good friend is absolutely drop-dead gorgeous and she’s one of the sweetest and most wonderful people I’ve ever met. It’s not like she’s dumb either… In fact, she’s incredibly smart, a grad student with a bright future ahead of her. So why was she doing such a stupid thing by getting involved with an obvious jerk?

But then again, who am I to say anything? I’ve been guilty of getting involved with assholes, and being in denial that they were in fact terrible guys. Actually, I’ve been guilty of this crime – not once, not twice, but more times than I’m willing to admit. And I know my good friend and I are not alone… There are many, many girls who go for the assholes and are somehow willing to put up with all the bullshit that comes with it. It’s become somewhat of an epidemic, and it’s a topic I need to address right here, right now.

I would like to carefully point out that this does not apply to all females. I mean there are many women who refuse to put up with the least bit of bullshit, and I would like to applaud them because they are wise and the rest of us can learn a thing or two from them. But for the women who do put up with these guys, I’d like to share some insight on the subject… After all, like I said, I do have a history of being a serial asshole-dater.

So, why do we do it? Why do we find all these excuses for their bad behavior? Why do we go for these guys in first place- is it because nice guys aren’t as fun? Here are just a couple of important points in my theory:

 “Hard to Please”

These guys portray a form of “hard to get” behavior that many girls tend to be drawn to. Instead of acting all “hard to get,” they act all “hard to please,” and they do this by treating us like crap. It’s hard to please them, excite them, etc, so we go over and beyond to make them happy and get their approval of us. Psychology is the dangerous weapon they use to lock us into the relationship and take control. They basically take advantage of our vulnerability in the relationship so they can get what they want. Sounds like an asshole-thing to do, right? Well, that’s because they are A-holes!

“Beauty and the Beast Syndrome”

I’ve heard many girls, including myself, say: “I think I can change him and make him a better person.”

Why is it that we suddenly feel it is our god-given responsibility to help improve these assholes to become better human beings? For some reason, we believe that we can ultimately change them into soft romantic gentlemen. Ladies, it’s not our fault that our maternal/ caretaker instinct comes into play. We have this natural compassion that drives us to help the uncompassionate. Yes, we can’t help but to believe that we are capable of achieving such a difficult task. It’s what I like to call “Beauty and the Beast Syndrome;” the romantic idea that we could be like Belle and teach compassion and love to a big tough ferocious beast.

If you read my previous blog about Disney, you know how mad I am at them for providing unrealistic ideas of romance, love, and relationships. In real life, there aren’t any talking teapots and candlesticks, and most of the time-not all the time- but most of the time we can’t use song and dance to transform our terrible beast into prince charming. There are many beasts out there that will always be beasts. I’m not saying it’s impossible to soften and infect them with more empathy. It has been done- I’m sure. But what I am saying is that trying to transform a ferocious beast can be difficult and it can be dangerous; it’s just not worth it if it’s detrimental to yourself. Even if you think he’s a good guy deep down, you have to consider the fact that he is an asshole on the surface. That means you’ll have to deal with the asshole more than you’ll deal with the nice guy hidden inside.

Anyways, I will tell you what I told my best friend… Every girl deserves a GREAT guy, one that respects her, that’s loving, affectionate, honest, loyal and romantic. Basically, we all deserve a guy who will treat us like the incredible and beautiful women that we are.  Why should we spend so much time and effort trying to transform these beasts into our ideal man when we can just find someone who doesn’t require any alterations because he’s already our ideal man?

There is one final thought I must share regarding this topic…

After I gave my anti-asshole speech, my good friend said this: “Bree, I don’t know what it is… I guess I just like the “bad boy” type.”

Okay, there is a common misunderstanding of the “bad boy” type. The “bad boy” type is sexy; they have tattoos, piercings, ride motorcycles, and may have had a few innocent bar fights in their day. Yet, when it comes to these tough guys and their women, they are a big mushy pile of love. The “bad boy” type should not be confused with the bad guys who treat women like crap- those guys are just assholes.

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9 thoughts on ““Sure, he treats me like crap… but aside from that, he’s a really great guy.”

  1. Nic says:

    So glad you wrote about this topic. I have the biggest addiction to assholes, which I recognize is a direct symptom of low self-esteem, which they totally feed into. Vicious cycle!

    • brianablum says:

      Nic, thanks for reading! I’ve definitely been there… I’m sure many girls have. It really is a vicious cycle! The only way to break that cycle is to work on our self-esteem and realize that we deserve the best of the best- our ideal man… We shouldn’t settle for anything less! 🙂

  2. caitlinstern says:

    I’ve learned that lesson… if everyone else thinks he’s a jerk, but he’s sweet and charming to you… he’s probably just a cleverly disguised jerk.

  3. Silentgirl6 says:

    Half the male population are sociopaths. I too, have dated assholes—but not for long.

  4. FatSquirrel says:

    Men are instinctively driven to obtain what they can’t have–just like women are. He loves her, she doesn’t love him, and the guy she wants isn’t interested.

    • brianablum says:

      FatSquirrel, I definitely agree with you. Yet, there are some men who take advantage of that law of attraction so they can gain control of the relationship and get what they want from their girlfriends… and that’s a pretty asshole thing to do. Keep in mind: I’m only speaking from my personal experience… And as for women, I’m sure some are capable of being assholes, too. ☺

  5. scarletwilde says:

    Great book and site on the asshole subject http://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/

    WHY OH WHY do we do it? Thanks for the post! X

  6. Liza V. says:

    I really enjoyed your style of presenting and formulating this topic with personal stories and theories, you are logically engaging. I too have personally explored this and discovered that I may have unconsciously decided to inflict personal pain or a sense of unworthiness….attracting narcassist and developing masochistic desires. I hope people that experience this pain find the motivation to heal and free themselves of this destructive infliction.

  7. I strongly agree with your Disney assessment and refused to let my daughter watch Disney animations of fairy tales. I even got rid of any given to us. There was an exception – we had to read the original book first (and there always is, because Disney does animation and story re-writes, NOT original work) and then I had to be there and I would make “life observations.” I have seen too many women trying to live a Disney fantasy and it is destructive.

    If you read the ORIGINAL stories that they “Disneyfied” (and not those cleaned up children’s books you usually see in stores and homes) you will see something our culture just hates – reality. The real Little Mermaid was a foolish, disobedient child who gave up everything for a fantasy and died for it. In the original “Three Little Pigs” the two foolish pigs died and the wise one in the brick house tricked the wolf and later ate him up when he climbed down the chimney after the pig and fell into a big pot of boiling water.

    In the original stories in The Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen and the stories collected by Charles Perrault in his various “[colored] Fairy” books (blue, red, green, yellow, etc.) you will find a world of retribution, hardship (sometimes extreme), trickery and counter-trickery, unpleasant consequences due to a person’s decisions/attitudes/irresponsibility, sorrow, death, and more. Women (and men) would ignore warnings and do other stupid things and get dumped or exiled, suffer for years, lose children and family, have toads come out of their mouths, get dismembered or put to death, and so on, but there were rewards for positive behavior. In short, they were lessons on to benefits of patience, kindness, faithfulness, courtesy, intelligence, resourcefulness, personal responsibility and more. Sure, there are a handful where the story lines sound sort of familiar, but most are not that way.

    And so we have women (and men) with “sanitized” and “politically corrected” stories in the back of their minds who then live in denial, wonder why life isn’t “happily ever after,” becoming miserable, cynical, and maybe even embittered, or any combination of those. Oh, and how is my daughter? Seventeen, realistic, down-to-earth, happy and no stupid relationships, yet. I’d say that’s a good start. (Dang! I’ve gone and turned a comment into a post again.)

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