So you’ve just started a new relationship with a great guy. He’s kind, funny, smart and maybe even your perfect match. Until you see him for what he truly is — a jerk!
Many young women have dated jerks and found themselves less confident, feeling unworthy and unloved. Despite this, few know how to avoid dating a jerk before it’s too late.
Regent recently presented two evening seminars for the female student body on how to avoid dating jerks. The seminars were hosted by Robbie Kuschel and Missy Horowitz of Counseling Services, and spoke on the important yet rarely discussed signs of “jerkiness” based on Stephen McCrea’s book, Jerk Radar.
How do girls unknowingly date jerks?
Society has romanticized the idea of “The One,” and done so through depicting guys with jerk attitudes in film and TV. Kuschel made an excellent point when he broke down the Disney veil in Beauty and the Beast. When looking at the situation realistically, Belle was essentially tricked, kidnapped and forced to live with the Beast, who was nothing but rude and cruel through a good part of the film. But what happens at the end? She falls in love with the Beast because he was simply “misunderstood.”
This is just one of the ways society has failed to explain the dangers of dating to young women. The idea of finding one’s perfect match is a lovely notion. However, it’s not realistic. Films such as She’s All That, Only You, and You’ve Got Mail all portray jerk men who, in the end, get the girl because he lied. This happens either because she believes that she can either change his bad ways with love or stays by him as she won’t find someone better.
The fear of not being able to find someone better is what often gets girls into abusive relationships — the fear of not wanting to end the relationship because he may be the first real relationship, and could be the last. Or making excuses such as, “he’s having a bad day” or “I did something to make him mad,” or the one many often believe, “he’s not always like this.”
A relationship is more than wanting to be with someone, it’s about give and take, talking and understanding, compassion, love, kindness, and consideration for the other person’s feelings. No one should ever be subjected to cruel behavior from a boyfriend or girlfriend. If the relationship is more fighting and giving into what the other person wants, then it’s not a relationship at all, it’s a dictatorship.
Here are a few tips to tell if a guy is a jerk:
1. If all his attention is focused on himself. This is called the “All About Me” attitude.
2. He’s only motivated by things that he is interested in. It doesn’t matter if you care or like something — if he is not willing to put forth effort into it, then he won’t help out or do anything for it.
3. He just doesn’t care. If he shows no interest in anything concerning you for an extended period of time, then he’s a jerk.
4. He is controlling. He tells you who to hang out with for how long and what to wear.
5. Yet somehow he usually gets the girl. How? because girls are not properly informed on how to avoid such guys.
There are at least two kinds of jerks. The first is the Obvious types, who are jerks, admit that they are and know it. And then there’s the Subtle types, the most dangerous ones who tend to hide it. The subtle types are the most common kinds of jerks woman meet throughout any relationship. Although most women know not to go out looking for their dream match, many strongly believe in the idea that their one and true love is out there, which leaves them vulnerable to the jerks.
Girls, before you pursue a relationship, get a general feel of the morals the guy carries. See if he will answer questions with a thought-out response instead of agreeing with you. Observe how he acts when around his and your friends. Is he considerate? Caring? Understanding? Respectful? Listens and doesn’t put you down? Good. That means he’s not a jerk but an all around good guy. These are the characteristics and behavior to look for before committing to a relationship. Keep these points in mind and avoid the jerks who try to come your way.