Stopping the Rise of the F*boy
By Thao Nguyen
I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I’ve spent more time than necessary swiping through several dating apps. I’ve forayed into Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel, and Tinder (shudder). I tried to be as selective as possible while on these apps, not because I’m judgey (maybe a little), but because I was looking for something serious. I didn’t want to waste my time playing games with guys I had nothing in common with or chatting someone up just because I found them attractive. This was mostly successful. I ended up talking to quite a few good guys who kept me from being completely dismayed at my generation. But, more often than not, and despite how persnickety I was, I still found myself managing to match with the countless f*ckboys.
Before my time on dating apps, I truly thought that f*ckboys were mythical creatures. I believed that they only existed as fodder for memes and funny tweets. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The amount of tasteless, crass, and rude messages I received was enough to make me seriously consider becoming a nun. I became totally disenchanted with the boys of my generation and increasingly nostalgic for the fairy tale men that seemed only to exist in books, movies, and ‘90s pop songs.
At first, I was quick to blame these boys (they don’t deserve to be called men) for being the way that they are. A quick search on Instagram and Twitter of #f*ckboy proved that a lot of other women (and men) agree with me. It seems like these emotionally shallow boys who will shamelessly do whatever it takes to hit and quit it are everywhere. And supposedly the only ones to blames are the jerks themselves.
But, I’m here to say that this is partially our fault. The f*ckboys weren’t able to rise on their own (no pun intended). That kind of behavior wouldn’t continue if someone had bothered to call them out at some point. After all, only someone with absolutely no self-awareness would continue to carry out the same actions over and over again even when they get negative results.
Allow me to clarify by painting a scenario.
A misguided boy sends his first ever “wyd” text. The unlucky recipient has three options:
If she doesn’t respond, he’ll likely keep pestering her or give up and repeat the process the next night. Once this happens enough, he’ll eventually see that his methods aren’t working and he’ll change his ways.
Call him out
If she calls him out, telling him to stop being a f*ckboy and that he needs to learn how to respectfully pursue the connection he is looking for, he’ll likely be defensive or take the berating to heart. Let’s say the girl chastises this f*ckboy in the making, not only is he unsuccessful in his search for sex, he also gets to go to sleep knowing that somebody is disappointed in him and unappreciative of his actions. This happens to our potential f*ckboy several times and eventually, he gets the point and renounces his ways.
Play into his game.
A girl can either accidentally or purposefully play into a f*ckboys game. She might start off trying to brush him off, but f*ckboys can be masters of manipulation, and before she knows it, she’s replying to “you up” on a nightly basis. If she plays into his game, his actions are validated and he has every reason to keep up his degenerate ways. He is successful and continues to acquire countless craptastic traits, losing more and more integrity along the way, until he becomes a full fledged f*ckboy.
Am I blaming the people who put up with f*ckboys for their existence? Not at all. But what I am saying is that enabling them isn’t doing much to help them disappear either. Complaining about the f*ckboys in our lives will help us achieve no results. We can’t wait for them to reform on their own. We have to stop them before they become set in their ways, or make a concerted effort to make them see the errors of their actions.
But why? Why should any of us put any effort into assisting these depraved souls? It’s not like we have any moral obligation to them. It took me a long time to come up with a good answer to those questions. Every part of me wanted to just leave f*ckboys alone and let them flounder in the wild until they end up alone, unhappy, and unfulfilled. After all, I could scold them as much as I wanted, all the while knowing that it was very unlikely that I could convince them to give up the f*ckboy life. But then I remembered that these f*ckboys are people too. They are human beings with feelings and hearts that have been severely misplaced. Sure it’s all fun and games for them now, but they’re also really hurting others and their future selves with what they’re doing. So this is a call to arms. If you find yourself dealing with a f*ckboy, find the patience to give them some constructive criticism. But do be wary! It’s not your job to “fix” these stunted personalities by any means necessary. Changing the ways of a f*ckboy shouldn’t become your life’s work. Act with a compassionate heart, but be ready to move on if he is resistant.