Cosmopolitan June 2018 - Page 92

love & lust Let’s Agree to Stop Falling for Mr Jerk L isten up, ladies! It might sound obvious, but you should date someone who makes you feel good about yourself. Yet all too often, women ignore off-colour remarks or actions from a man because he’s good-looking, charming, funny, or great in bed. Well, he can be all those things...and still be a jerk. Does he listen to you? Respect your feelings? Or does he flirt with you on Friday and ignore you on Saturday? “We’re trained to be attracted to meanness,” says Whitney Wolfe Herd, who started the dating app Bumble to try to change this. “Watch any Disney show—the little boy is mean to the little girl because he has a crazy crush on her. Then he goes home and writes her love letters at night.” “The challenge is that what we tend to see first in a potential mate is confidence,’ says psychologist W Keith Campbell, PhD, co-author of The Narcissism Epidemic. Women are often so attracted to self- assurance that they might pursue a relationship hoping a guy’s kindness will eventually kick in. “As a result, you could find yourself with a man who’s assertive...but also mean,” says W Keith. 92 COSMOPOLITAN JUNE 2018 Plus, subtle A-hole behaviour can be intoxicating in the initial stages of dating. “It can put you in a stage of anxious alertness or arousal, which may fuel the sense that you’re attracted to him,” says Robin Stern, PhD, author of The Gaslight Effect. “You get so caught up in trying to get into his mind that you stop thinking about how he’s making you feel.” A nice guy, by contrast, won’t take you on a rollercoaster ride. “His actions will actually meet his words, leaving you with a more even feeling inside,” says Robin. That said, “We’ve all heard, ‘Oh, he’s too nice’ as if it is a bad thing,” says Whitney. “Why is that part of our culture? We should all be so lucky to end up with someone who’s too nice. That would be a beautiful life.” She’s right. Nice and kind don’t have to equate ‘boring’. Nice is always not bland. It’s curious and interesting. It’s listening to you, treating you well, and making you feel valued and cared for. And study after study reveals that kindness is key to a healthy and happy life. “When dating a nice guy, you’ll likely experience less anxiety and depression as well as greater sense of FOR MORE GREAT STORIES, VISIT COSMO.IN 6 SIGNS HE MAY BE A JERK He can’t nail down any plans with you. He doesn’t seem to listen when you talk, or he changes the subject often. The only compliments he dishes out are backhanded. He gets irritated and snaps easily. He can’t bring up his ex without insulting her. He won’t meet your friends...and doesn’t ask about them either. self and wellbeing,” says Robin. So this is the most fundamental and straightforward rule to follow: seek out kind partners and be kind to yourself. By doing so, you may wind up being in an even more delicious relationship than you n could’ve imagined. Dating a great guy isn’t a luxury. Here’s why...