I won’t deny I’ve had my MEAN girl moments in my dating life. Let me elaborate a bit. There was the time I admitted to a guy that I was only trying to prolong our encounter so I could have a plus one for #zlotybaby’s wedding. On another occasion, I turned up to a date hungover AF and didn’t perk up until the date gave me chips and mushroom sauce (despite being on a fancy wine estate). Oh, and even made one of the hottest guys I ever dated question his self-worth because I wittered on about men with six packs.
But those were all moments, generally speaking I try my best to be a good human (and yes, sometimes I fail remarkably). Because most of the time I have good intentions, I’ve been lucky in that most of my most significant romantic encounters (perhaps except the time I wasted half a year with a sociopath) have been with decent human beings. Sure, all my exes screwed things up (not saying I didn’t play a part) in their own unique way, but on the whole they were at least fair and not out to destroy me. Sometimes things have to end (or not even get started) for legit reasons but that doesn’t stop you from treating the other party decently.
But how about when you are too nice? It’s one thing being decent towards someone you once loved but are we obliged to be overly nice to people we’ve never met or only had a fleeting encounter with? What happens when you are inclined to feel sorry for someone? Or they share certain things with you which make you feel like you need to be extra sweet to them in order to compensate for all the hardships they’ve suffered? Today, I want to discuss the topic of ‘Sympathy F*Cks’. Not simply occasions where a person feels the need to bed someone because they feel sorry for them but also other romantic interactions driven by the same sad motivation. And why these Sympathy F*cks (or similar) are well and truly a disaster on so many levels.
Why do Sympthy F*CKs (and the like) even happen?
I think social media has a lot to answer for when it comes to how much people like to overshare about their lives. To be fair, I am not in a position to talk. I’m sure no one cares left about the doughssant I smashed into my face, the fact that I ran a park run or my latest #activewear purchase yet I still like to share the minutae of my life with the people of the internet. In my defence, at least I try to stay positive to share the happier elements of my life. Unlike some of the folks who I’ve encountered while out dating. Sure, at some point in a blossoming relationship you’ll get to hear about the sad elements of a person’s life, but surely disclosing your financial woes, the fact that your parents never loved you or that are suffering from some horrific medical condition doesn’t need to happen on a first date. If you want to take things further take a look one of my recent Tinder conversations. Like WTAF? Do you expect me to run over to you and kiss it all better? Ugh. I cannot deal.
But the fact is there have been times when people have shared more than I ever asked them to disclose. Including the type of information that simply served to pull on my heart strings and make me give them more leeway, excuse bad behaviour and stick around way longer than should have. When what I should have actually been doing was saying : ‘I’m sorry you had a rubbish childhood/your parents got divorced/you dropped out of high-school but quite frankly it is not my problem’.
The Obsession with Political-Correctness
I’m one hell of a un-PC person and while actively try to censor myself in my professional life and around people I don’t really know, I still maintain that when it comes to dating everyone has the right to be as unapologetically un-PC as they want. The key for me is that you don’t waste anyone else’s time by trying to do what society would deem to be right. Naturally, I’m not a fan of white supremacists but when it comes to Tinder and the like, if you want to be one of those people that openly say that you only want to date a fellow member of the Aryan race, I’m not going to report you to the PC brigade.
Despite my gutter mouth though, I do (on occasion) have a conscience. Remember that incident with the ‘Hunk on Wheels’. Once he revealed his condition to me, I felt guilty for not wanting to real go out with him anymore but part of me felt like maybe I should still try for fear of being branded a horrible human. But strictly speaking, physical ability is a legit deal-breaker as any. And as a friend reminded me for me having an active lifestyle is a integral part of my life and something I wasn’t willing to compromise on. Luckily for me, he also turned out to be a ‘Pervert on Wheels’ which gave me a more socially acceptable reason to ghost the guy.
Because People Don’t Get A Hint
As I’ve recently come to learn friend-zoning, dumping or letting someone down gently isn’t always easy. Unless they’ve done something horrific to us, we shouldn’t want to cause anyone unnecessary humiliation. However, subtlety doesn’t always work in your favour either. Say for instance, if rather than telling someone that the real reason you don’t want to date they is because you think they are a boy not man, you try to friend-zone him by treating him as you would one of your best girlfriends and sharing stories about all your past conquests. But rather than realising a girl that had the hots for you would never disclose her sexcapades like so, he takes this as a green light to face-rape you! Talk about a plan back-firing.
So sometimes, you may need to be brutal and say it as it is rather than skirting around the issue because people don’t always get a hint, they hear what they want to hear and subsequently interpret your well-meaning words/actions in a way that suits them.
Will Such Things Ever End Well?
From my experience, any type of romantic encounter based on pity won’t work out well in the long-run. For a start, if you feel the need to use a sympathy card to get/keep a fellow human interested, well then I think you need to take a long hard look at yourself because that’s just manipulative and screwed up. Secondly, pursuing any sort of encounter, be it a one-night stand or marriage, because you think it’ll sort out your (or the other person’s) issues is deluded. Some such thing, may make you feel a bit better in the short-term but not properly dealing with the problems at hand are likely to mean that they’ll resurface somewhere further down the line. Finally, what happens when the person on the receiving end eventually finds out about your ‘good deed’? Is it really going to do anything positive for their self-confidence knowing that you only screwed/kissed/dated them as a form of community service because you felt sorry for them? I doubt it.
So, there you go. My views on sympathy f*cks (and the like). While its natural to feel sorry for people who may not have been dealt the best hand in life or are going through a tough time, and you might feel like you are doing a good-deed by getting involved with them, you are probably not. In fact, you are likely to be causing more long-term damage not just to the other party in question but to yourself too. Of course, you should try to nip things in the bud as a painlessly as possible (yes, sometimes that may mean ghosting) but remember you are under no obligation to do anything if it doesn’t work for you. There are times in life where you have to be cruel to be kind. Feeling sorry for someone is human but acting out of pity isn’t a good thing. Sometimes the kindest thing you can do is walk away. And if the situation calls for it, be brutal.
So Rinsers. What are your experiences with sympathy f*cks? Have you ever acted out of sympathy? Did your deed do anyone any good or did things just end in disaster? Do you think that getting involved/staying involved with someone just because you feel sorry for them is ever a good thing? Or have you been on the receiving end of a sympathy f*ck? Share your tales in the comment section below.