Disclaimer: I wrote most of this post over a year ago, prior to being a contestant on the Bachelor. It is an unfortunate coincidence that the Bachelor’s name is Richie. This post was in no way specific to Richie. I use ‘Richard’ as a reference term only. No offence intended to anyone who’s name is actually Richard. Enjoy!
I am an expert at dating dickheads, or Richards as I call them. I’ve dated so many Richards over the years and become familiar with their behaviours that I came up with a theory for identifying these men which I call the Richard Theory. But first let me introduce you to Richard.
- Name: Richard (asshole, dickhead, jerk, etc)
- Age: any guy until he matures. This can be early in life or maybe never!
- Appearance: generally good looking or at least confident/comfortable with his looks.
- Positive Characteristics: charming, confident, funny, successful, driven, adventurous, affectionate, outgoing, charismatic
- Negative Characteristics: lack of empathy, insensitive, unreliable, inconsistent, selfish, inconsiderate, blaming, does not take accountability, cannot handle emotion, lack of communication, manipulative
THE RICHARD THEORY IS FOUR-FOLD
1. Richard will Shawshank you.
If you’ve seen the movie The Shawshank redemption then you may understand this reference. In the movie, the main actor spends years in prison secretly chipping away at his prison cell wall until one day he is able to break free. I use this analogy to explain the way in which a Richard will chip away at your boundaries. Richard actually enjoys a girl with boundaries because this presents a challenge for him. The more you resist, the harder he pursues. He froths on a challenge. You see, the sad thing is that deep down you know he is a Richard but at the same time he is so damn charming and so peristent that resistance is futile. He understands how women work, he knows how women respond, he is used to getting the woman he sets his sights on. He can seem like the perfect guy; will hold your hand, give you a cute nickname, tell you you’re beautiful, make plans for the future, meet your friends and maybe even your parents – but as soon as he’s broken down your barriers, he will abort mission.
Shawshanking = chipping away at something
2. Richard will use a ‘get out of jail free’ card.
By this I mean that he will tell you very early on that he is not looking for anything serious. The exact wording of this will vary, ‘We are just having fun’, ‘I really like hanging with you but I’m focusing on other things’, ‘I don’t want a girlfriend’. BUT then he proceeds to treat you like a girlfriend, doing all the things I mentioned above that charm the shit out of you. The moment you start to get attached or show any signs of considering this to be a budding relationship, Richard will throw down the ‘get out of jail free’ card. He will say something along the lines of “I told you that I wasn’t looking for a relationship”, which effectively means that anything he said or did between the beginning and now is nul and void. He will not take accountability for the sleepovers, the cuddles, the movie watching, the breakfasts, the messaging, the late night phone calls because he misses you; the acting like your boyfriend. It was all irrelevant because you were warned and you’re left feeling the fool for believing it was anything more. OUCH!
Ah good ol’ Monopoly, teaching us the rules of life…
3. Richard will end things on his terms.
Richard will end things by telling you something along the following lines:
- “it’s just not the right timing for me” – why then did you get involved with me dickhead!?
- “you deserve better” – which is true and you know it.
- “I can’t give you what you want” – again, this is true
- “it’s not you its me” – a classic, *eye roll*.
- “I thought we were just having fun?” – oh so you can’t have fun AND be in a relationship?!
Richard’s have been around for centuries
All of which leave you with a false sense of hope that maybe at some point he will be ready and he could be the man that initially showed you so much potential. Sneaky Richard has succeeded in leaving the door open just slightly should he get bored in future and need an ego boost.
4. Richard doesn’t want a bad reputation.
You are not the first woman Richard has done this to and you certainly won’t be the last. Until Richard is ready to accept accountability for his actions and is prepared to show understanding and empathy, he will continue to go through life breaking hearts. He won’t want to be seen as the ‘bad guy’, in fact he actually believes that he hasn’t done anything wrong so he may offer you a ‘friendship’, the final nail in the coffin. Of course this friendship will be on his terms, as everything else has been, and he doesn’t really mean you will be friends…he means friends in title and maybe the occasional physical interaction if he’s desperate.
If you manage to muster the resilience to recognise that having him in your life, in any form, is not good for you and reject his friendship, he may get offended. ‘I’m offering you my scraps, don’t you care about my scraps, don’t you like my scraps anymore, are you too good for my scraps!??’ eerrrrrrr how about you take your scraps and shove them up your butt.
I’ve had my fill, do you want my scraps?
Having felt just the teensiest bit of rejection, something that you have been feeling in bucketloads, he will shut you out. You see at some point Richard was probably hurt and he doesn’t like rejection so instead he makes sure that he remains unattached and at this point he will probably block and ignore you. A cruel and cowardly retreat that leaves you with no way to express your feelings and blaming yourself.
NO RICHARD NO!
I’m pretty good at recognising a Richard, but from time to time they slip though my defences and I delude myself that I can be the one Richard stops being a Richard for; the girl he doesn’t want to lose, the one that’s too good to let go. I’m still learning and still making mistakes but what I do know for sure is that Richard’s won’t change until they want to change and no girl will be what makes them change. I just have to get better at listening to my gut that always let’s me know that something is off. When I see the red flags that I’ve met another Richard, I need to learn to say “no Richard, not this time!” and walk away because I know I deserve better, and you do too!
Until Next Time