They’ve been living amongst us… judging our every move… wanting to change us… Nope, not Brexit voters, softbois.
By now, you’ve seen Instagram accounts about them. You probably have a couple in your friendship circles and you may have asked yourself, am I dating a softboi or have I * dated one.
It’s very easy to laugh at memes you see about these infamous softbois, but as you may know it is not all a laugh. These are people who could effect your day to day. For those unaware what a “softboi” is, they are a particular type of person (more commonly associated with men, but also transferable to other genders) you come across who have a superiority complex. This is based on their alternative interests that may include what they view as a niche taste in art, music or literature. Of course, they then proceed to judge yours. Sometimes, this can come across as endearing to people with interests often being more dateable than otherwise.
It may be easy to find yourself dating a softboi. On the one hand, you may be thinking “I could always learn more about culture” or “wow, this person seems to know their stuff. Hanging out with them could be interesting”. However, what could start as looking like a potentially hot version of a Bill Nye episode –
Could quickly become having to deal with Charlie from It’s Always Sunny.
Let’s breakdown 3 of the red flags associated with dating a softboi:
No one wants to get to know someone whilst feeling like they’re constantly waiting on Commodus’ thumb to drop.
Whether you’re dating someone for the mutual interests you guys have or you just both liking the look of each other, feeling constantly on edge or holding opinions back (within reason) is never a nice feeling.
You are more than entitled to have your own opinion and not have it critiqued by someone you’ve known for a few weeks. It’s fair enough that they have a diverse taste, but you don’t have to. You shouldn’t be made to feel daft because of that.
A feature of softbois that often makes them so appealing is their apparent openness to dealing with emotions. Whilst this is definitely a fantastic trait in a world, that is fortunately far more ready to publicly discuss emotions, it does mean that as a result, the situation can get very intense far sooner than usual.
Intensity is not necessarily a negative trait. It really depends on how the intensity manifests. If the person becomes over-reliant on you as someone to emotionally offload to, you may not be 100% comfortable with it. Likewise, everyone has their limits and you shouldn’t feel as if you have to be someones emotional pin cushion.
The use of emotional manipulation is a well known outcome of dealing with a softboi. Unfortunately, it ends up being a natural conclusion after the previous two red flags of judgement and emotional intensity. Once they have damaged your confidence with judgement, before then softening the blow with an unexpected display of emotional openness and “letting you into” their lives, it becomes the perfect time to start trying to change you.
This may be shown in them expecting you to fall at their feet because of their almost other-worldly level of cool. Or alternatively, them finding elaborate ways for them to talk you into bed.
Needless to say you don’t need to change for anyone, let alone anyone who’s going to try and mess with your head to get what they want. If you’re dealing with a softboi currently, the next time you tell them…
Of course if you are seeing a softboi and are enjoying how things are going and aren’t feeling any stress from them, then let it be. However, make sure to watch out for those red flags.