Once upon a time, little red riding hood was just trying to go about her normal day of visiting good ol’ grandma, when she is fooled by the big bad wolf who eats her grandma, and tries to eat her too. In 2018, not much has changed to be honest. Of course the Big Bad Wolf is a metaphor for a Fuck-Boy, and he doesn’t eat grandma, he eats our hearts instead.
Fuck Boy is a graphic way to describe the bad-boys that have been around for centuries. Think Elton in Clueless. Daniel Cleaver in Bridget Jones Diary. John Tucker in John Tucker Must Die. We love to hate them, but equally, we fall IN love with them. A bad-boy has an indescribable allure. They bring an edge and a thrill to our lives. Conformity is boring and while I can only speak for myself, there is something ferociously sexy about a man who doesn’t adhere by societies standards and lives a reckless, selfish life. As a self-confessed free spirit I like to presume I can be an equal contender in the games. I think I can stay calm, cool and casual in the face of a charming, intoxicating fuck-boy. Of course this isn’t the case. I am only human, and too many times have been reduced to an infatuated mess.
Now I don’t need to define fuck-boy for you. The reality is, a bad-boy is anyone who is bad for you. They are like a pistachio and double chocolate ice-cream on a hot day. Tempting initially. Wet, exciting, colourful; destined to make you salivate and your heart race from a sugar high. But in the long run, you’ll have a bad sugar addiction and a brain freeze. Whatever your bad boy looks like; he might be a tattooed cocaine-connoisseur, or a ruthless rugby player, or an introverted but mysterious gamer… either way there is one thing that remains consistent. You want to tie them down, and be the hero that tamed the heart-breaker. You want them to want you.
Instagram has become the weapon of choice, a playground for these breed of men (and women I should say). It endorses a new wave of cheating and infidelity, a way to keep side chicks safe from the prying eyes of your significant other. Provided she doesn’t go full force detective on you, you’re free to wander the realms of Instagram sliding in to DMs like it’s a sport. What has got my blood boiling this week, is that Instagram has blurred the lines for us between bad-boy and good-boy. It’s the nice boys throwing shade just as effortlessly, because why? Because it’s easy. Why would we commit to one ice cream flavour when you can stack your scoops ten feet high? The nice boys are learning the bad-boys game. The seemingly innocent, have sold their souls to the devils and are now wolves in sheep clothing. We’ve all been there haven’t we? Been dating someone wonderful. Someone we could take home to mama. We can’t believe we finally have someone normal and nice. In fact, we might even be semi-bored by their kindness, complaining to our girls that we aren’t sure how we feel. One minute, we have all the power with our bland but nice date.
Then, next minute, bam! You’re blindsided. You are left it total, utter disbelief, when plain old Peter confesses he has a girlfriend despite chatting to you for months.
My girl Shannon recently fell victim to this particular beast. Her story shook me to my core, because I had to face the fact that it’s no longer just the psychopaths and fuck-boys duping us. Shannon is seeing Mick from Tinder. She is the epitome of modern dating queen. She has the game down, and she should, she’s utterly gorgeous and confident enough. Tall and blonde with a decent pair of double d’s that can’t be contained in her shirt easily, tanned skin and a humorous personality filled with self-deprecating jokes and wild travel stories.
She captures Mick with her fantastic Tinder bio, that is no word of a lie; Just a cowgirl looking for a horse to ride. #neigh-hey-hey
Unsurprisingly, Mick is hooked pretty quickly. He’s down to earth with an office job, and a pretty mundane, safe life. He probably thinks dating Shannon is the equivalent of dating Harley Quinn with her fierce independence, crazy tales of orgies and solo travel around the world. After a few dates, he becomes a regular fixture in our lives. Shannon isn’t particularly interested in a long term relationship, but likes the casual, easy nature of Mick. Something she isn’t accustomed to after a string of awful dates and ex-boyfriends.
We discuss this over Calamari and Rosé (seems to be my regular diet) at The Lighterman in Kings Cross. The sun is setting, and we’ve substituted intelligent conversations about Brexit, Politics and Environmental issues for yet again, men.
“I told Mick all I want is casual but I’m i’m wondering if I’ve hit the jackpot with him. He isn’t the rough and ready cowboy I was initially looking for, but he is so lovely” She solemnly tells me, pulling a strand of blonde hair behind her ear.
“Because. He is smart, kind, pays attention to me tenfold and his downstairs department is an absolute gift from god”
“Right, all generic traits, but continue” I roll my eyes about her flavour of the month.
“No it’s more than that! He seems like a real catch. The only red flag is he came out of a seven year relationship six months ago. So I worry that he won’t be over his ex. But he is honestly the nicest guy.”
“Okay sounding positive to be fair” I say, munching on Calamari, being a supportive friend and all.
He does sound nice, and I want to give all my faith that bread-crumbing, ghosting and haunting will not be next weeks topic of conversation.
Over the next few weeks, nice-plain-old Mick continues to wine and dine Shannon. They are enjoying being intimate, and it’s far from casual considering neither are sleeping with anyone else.
So you can imagine our disbelief when Mick tells Shannon he wants to come over and talk. They sit on the roof terrace in the Angel apartment and his demeanor is a little stand-offish. I of course am cunningly knelt down by the bedroom window which overlooks the terrace. I peer over the ledge trying to witness the drama unfold.
“Shannon, we expressed being casual was important. But I honestly have developed real feelings for you. How do you feel about me?”
I stifle a laugh to myself as I see her face, it’s a sort of awkward gaping stare.
“Uh, Mick, wow. I mean of course I am enjoying our time together. Loving every minute of it. I think you would be the perfect partner. But I don’t know whether I want a relationship, and I’m just looking for casual at the moment like I said.” She confidently responds.
Mick looks crestfallen in his plaid shirt and corduroys. He looks like he’s been sucker punched in the gut. With that reaction, the sheep drops his mask, and the wolf appears, absolutely shocking both Shannon and I (who is still perched beneath the window like I have nothing better to do with my life).
“That girlfriend of seven years? We didn’t break-up six months ago. We broke up last week. I’ve been seeing her and you until I realised I have real feelings for you, and I want to make this work.”
THERE IT IS! The banger! Fuck-Boys eat your heart out because Mundane Mick is the new cowboy in town.
Signs of a Fuck-Boy
- When you first meet, the conversation is like an interview or interrogation.
Bad-boy aint gonna waste time chatting about the weather. He wants ammo to use later on, so he is going to get all your intimate details straight away.
- He’s hot and cold. Hot and Cold is not mysterious. It’s a very obvious game. He is hot when you are slipping out of reach, and cold when he has you conquered. Once you see the pattern, the fun can start and you can retaliate so I suggest you wise up and learn the game, rather than sitting back and taking it.
- He avoids talking about the past. That’s because his past is an X-Rated porno resulting in a string of broken hearts.
- He’s allergic to plans and promises. If he is flaking on calling you, or meeting you, then he is probably scheduling his dates around his next boner, rather than around you.
- You’re talking to your girlfriends like you’re trying to decipher the Da Vinci code. If he’s good for you, there’s no need to analyse him. Boys are transparent.
- He only wants to hang at his house – or yours. Firstly, bore. Find someone more adventurous. Secondly. houses have beds. Beds are comfortable. Beds are a good place for him to accidentally on purpose fall in to your trousers. He has no intention of getting to know you, except maybe your body parts.
- He doesn’t apologise. For anything. Don’t hold your breath on this one waiting for apologies. You will suffocate before he does.
- You find yourself clinging like glad-wrap, even though it’s not usually your style.
- He has already called you out for being a drama-queen. It’s not a cute nickname. It’s a trick of the trade, and it works. Feeling guilty for the drama? Yep, he’s won. He’s eating your heart.
Of course the sheep in wolf clothing is one kind of fuck-boy. What about the other kind? The wolf with no apparent mask at all? Like the wealthy London property developer who was dating my friend, flew her to Amsterdam for her birthday, only for her to find out she was crashing a lads trip and he had a live in girlfriend?
For me, bad-boys are a dime a dozen and plenty could play a role in this story. They roll in and out of my life like a factory – producing a constant stream of regret and heart breaks. Last night is a classic example.
I’ve returned from an extensive back-packing vacation in Europe, and have an hours journey on The Stansted Express. I’m scrolling through Instagram catching up on the lives of my friends, when a message pops in. It’s from a famous Cricketer, lets call him Axe. Axe has slid seamlessly in to my DMs a fair few times. We have had some casual conversations but not enough for any real interest to come from it. His last message went ignored by me, which was; How are you enjoying your travels? What’s your number by the way so I don’t keep sliding in here… want to go for a drink sometime? So pretty, your Instagram story.
He’s like a mosquito that you ignore until finally there’s so many bites you have to pay attention to it. This time knowing I have a long journey ahead, boredom prevails, and I engage with him. After ten minutes of standard small talk he says;
“So sorry sweets, I accidentally deleted your last message. What did you say?”
Anyone who knows me, knows I tend to have a strict bullshit radar and get suspicious at the best of times. I’ve been burned too many times, so I try to not easily fall for any glaringly obvious lies or tales (so if you’ve caught me before, you must be an exceptional level of fuck-boy). I write back unimpressed.
C: “Weird, why are you deleting messages?”
A: I didn’t mean to sorry. I was declining a request from a cricket fan, and accidentally deleted yours.
Lie. A bad one too. But I continue chatting to him, not really caring, knowing I have no intention of meeting him anytime soon. The next morning I wake, ecstatic from the eight hour sleep I’ve had. I feel well rested, and hope I have that post-Italy glow. I stretch out across the bed in my underwear pleased with myself, knowing that today will be a good one. Until I roll over and grab my phone from the nightstand. My day starts with a heart warming message, as seen below.
Honestly. Do I walk around with a tattoo on my forehead saying ‘If you’re emotionally unavailable, you’re perfect for me’? At least when Carrie Bradshaw, or Bridget Jones were being two-timed by their bad-boys, they were blissfully unaware until they caught their partners full-frontal naked in the act. Now, we are shamefully reduced to online liaisons where the deed is happening right in front of us, in real time and constantly. The anonymous message was of course, talking about Axe. I’m a strong advocate for girl code, so I assured her I wouldn’t be talking to Axe again. I then sent the following to Axe.
If there are any entrepreneurs out there looking for their next fix, I’ve got one for you. We need Social Media to adopt a filter system. A way to filter out the fuck-boys, the degenerates, the cheaters and the liars. I’ll put my hand up here and say games are fun. Teasing is fun. A little bit of push and pull can actually, surprisingly, be great fun. But blatant two-timing is something far more sinister.
There will be plenty of gals and guys out there, thinking how do I win over the player in my life? They will fall in love with me eventually right? Maybe after I buy the perfect birthday gift, or once we go on that dinner date they are always talking about.
Well honey’s, it’s time to dig out your self-respect. Take it down from the shelf, dust it off and wear it proudly. Become infatuated with yourself. There are plenty of fish in the sea, yes. But there are also mountains of trash and garbage, wafting along waiting to trap an unsuspecting dolphin who gobbles it up only to suffer from disease and illness. Stop picking up the trash. Stop being tempted by the ice-cream.
Save your Instagram thirst-traps and Reverse Cowgirl skills for the boy that will come along and appreciate it. Leave the fuck-boy to wallow in his pit of unfulfilling women. I promise you, as I’ve said before, he will come skulking back the minute he realises you’re moving on to better (and hopefully bigger) things.