Meet Amanda. A twenty-something, career-driven feminist who’s hopelessly single and weighed down by the memories of, you guessed it, a shitty boyfriend. Sound familiar? Melissa Hunter stars in Refinery 29’s hilarious new web series Shitty Boyfriends, which, in its self-awareness, captures the desperation and superficiality of millennials today. As a single twenty-something, the show, executive produced by Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky, really got me thinking: why is everyone around me putting up with such shitty boyfriends, and hell, girlfriends?
In the first episode, Amanda admits to her friend Lyric that her ex-boyfriend, whose name I can’t even remember, royally sucked. His “gifts” were almost insults, the words “I love you” only came from getting a blowjob, and Amanda’s showers of thoughtful presents went completely unappreciated. But, he had like, really nice ab lines. Amanda reflects the behavior of us desperado singles, and it’s pretty on-point.
1. You know you’re not getting what you deserve.
2. You’re flat-out settling for the sake of having someone.
3. You ration with yourself, accepting that you can’t be happy with each other “all the time.”
4. But here you are, staying in it anyway.
A line I haven’t stopped thinking about since watching is when Amanda poses the question: “Besides, who would I be if I didn’t totally over-give to people who didn’t deserve it?” Her friend nonchalantly replies: “A man.”
It may be a stereotype, but you know it’s one that is true AF nonetheless. And can I just say, finding someone as eager as you are to get them presents or get them off shouldn’t be considered god-sent, this is how they SHOULD BE. I’m just saying. We’ve accepted that men, while I love them, can be total unappreciative shitheads.
For one, we’re over-saturated with social media, and if I see one more engagement ring picture I will legitimately throw my laptop out of my speeding car on the LA 405. Also, we’re killing it at work, but that isn’t enough. For some reason, we feel pressure to have everything, and a well-rounded life means getting validation from a man as much as getting a promotion at work, I guess. Not to mention feeling the constant anxiety driven from family members asking if you’re seeing anyone and watching your friends get taken off the market, one by one. But the bottom line is: maybe we’re terrified of being alone.
After considering all of these reasons, though, I think it’s fair to say we only have ourselves to blame. Boyfriends are shitty because we let them be. We shouldn’t accept that guys in our day in age are shittier and unromantic, but we shouldn’t try to change them, either. Maybe if we changed our mindset, stopped settling and put our foot down every once and a while, we would, shockingly, get what we actually want and deserve.