We might like to think we’re more evolved men than we were last century, but there’s still plenty of archaic dating clichés that continue to haunt us in 2021.
Wait three days before you text. Love means never having to say you’re sorry. Whoever cares less, wins. But the most enduring one might be ‘nice guys finish last’. It’s one of those hackneyed pieces of conventional wisdom that’s continued to endure well into the 21st century, even though there’s a mountain of evidence to suggest that it’s not the case, as The Conversation relates.
But maybe 2021 is the tipping point, if one Australian relationship expert’s recent revelation is anything to go by.
Dating advice columnist and podcaster Jana Hocking, who describes herself as being “cursed with an attraction to bad boys and bad boys only,” relates how a recent scary medical episode – which saw her pay a visit to the emergency ward, where she was looked after by a rather compassionate doctor – opened her eyes up to the virtue of good guys.
“When a bloke helps you in a vulnerable moment, it’s a pretty big turn on. Who needs oysters as an aphrodisiac? Just offer us help with our taxes when we’re freaked out during the month of July, or offer to fix our car when we are stuck on the side of the road. Seriously, is there anything sexier than a bloke coming to your rescue?”
“…As someone who has always been the ‘fixer’ as opposed to the one that needs fixing, I took away from this scary hospital moment a new outlook on the ‘good guy.’ Turns out he can be actually pretty darn sexy.”
And if there’s something that we need more of in 2021, it’s nice guys.
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“Many women [are] attracted to the bad boy because they feel as if they can ‘change’ him. We have often seen this play out in many rom coms where the right girl is all that guy needs,” Dr Nikki Goldstein, sexologist, relationship expert and host of the podcast Sex & Life shared with DMARGE.
“Inherently, many of us do want what we can’t or shouldn’t have. It’s a challenge of authority and we all started doing it when we were small children. This is a version of that except no one might actually be saying ‘you can’t have him’ or ‘you shouldn’t be with him’, but that person knows they shouldn’t due to the internal disproval of others.”
“[But] COVID has changed how we date. We have gone from the hookup era to the relationship era. People are wondering when they can get out and travel again and if lockdowns will be the new norm. So, they are also assessing who they want to be locked down with. People don’t necessarily want a bad guy but a guy that will be with them through the hard times and support them through a pandemic… The good guy.”
“COVID has shown us that life is unpredictable… There is enough so-called ‘bad’ in our lives right now that people don’t want to make it more complicated with the ups and downs of dating the bad boy.”
Judging by the ever-increasing popularity of toxic behaviour exposing accounts on Instagram like @lalalaletmeexplain and @violetclair (not to mention classics like @beam_me_up_softboi and @dudesinthedm), it appears both men and women are finally ditching many of the cultural hangups we have been all been brought up believing and instead embracing a zero bullshit policy.
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Our take? It’s about time.