Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Boy Bashing

The other day we saw a commercial for a new dating site. The joke (we think—we were watching it on mute) revolved around a clumsy hookup, presumably the result of membership on said dating site.

The woman described each painful detail to a group of her friends, making sure the guy was the butt of all jokes, before logging back on to the site to find her next victim match.

But here’s the problem: the start of a relationship is always filled with uncomfortable, even painfully awkward firsts, seconds, and even thirds, but a rocky start doesn’t necessarily mean that the relationship’s doomed.

What happens if the hypothetical woman in the commercial decides to give this guy a second chance? And what if they hit it off on date number two and overcome all sexual inadequacies three weeks later?

The odds might be against this outcome, but one thing’s certain: if you bash a potential boyfriend in front of all friends and acquaintances, the comedic gains pale in comparison to the strain you’re putting on the romantic relationship.

If you’ve made this guy out to be a total loser, your friends are probably going to question your decision to be with him. And because the stories you told them were probably true (he really did order a Diet Coke after you asked for a Chardonnay), it’s hard to come up with a defense. Besides—it takes time to win someone over, which means your friends are probably armed with months of embarrassing anecdotes and minor character flaws. You don’t want to spend every girls’ night out countering each shortfall and trying to show them what you see in him.

We all value our friends’ opinions—especially when it comes to guys. And it can be therapeutic to give our friends a play-by-play of truly painful dates. We’re not saying you should give up this type of gossip all together, but it might not be a bad idea to limit the audience.

Pick a few friends whose opinions matter most. And when you’re with them, don’t hold back. But don’t talk about his flaws with other people. If people ask, keep it vague. Tell them that he seems cool, but you’re still getting to know him.

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