The "Sad Boy"

A couple times in a row, now, each boy I’ve tried to date has been the same creature.

I have a serial need to be saving someone, a quality that will probably lead to my eventual demise. I cannot come across a boy with a troubled story and overlook it or make the choice (which would be a reasonable, educated one based on past life experiences) to leave him alone.

The Sad Boy.

The Sad Boy is most common, as you’d imagine, in artsier circles. He is a writer, an artist, a poet, but most likely a musician. He lures you in with a charm that he’s polished his whole life, usually some sort of self-deprecating humor, and the aforementioned artsy hobby. You are swept off your feet because he’s sensitive, caring, talented, and probably a Cancer, Virgo, or Pisces. Maybe a Scorpio. You might later realize the talent was overrated, but we’re not there just yet.

He talks to you like he’s going to date you. In fact, he talks to you like he’s already dating you. He’s so sweet and everything he says to you is about how pretty and nice you are and how excited he is to have found you. This situation is perfect.

Then, Sad Boy reveals to you that he has issues of his own. He’s depressed, has anxiety, has bipolar. Nothing is wrong with having mental illness or being sad, but we’ll get to the problems in just a minute. You begin to feel for him. Your broken wing syndrome sinks in. He tells you that you’re one of the only things that makes him happy when he feels this way. You feel honored, like you made a difference in his life, and become determined to never do anything to make him sad or upset because you feel so, so good and important when you can save him from himself.

Naturally, you start to have issues of your own. You decide to talk to your Sad Boy about it. You’re instantly brushed off to talk about his problems, which sound more significant than yours, at least with the way he’s putting it. You feel stupid for bothering him. This happens over, and over, and over again. He either doesn’t want to talk because he’s depressed and can’t handle your issues, or he ignores you for his art, which you’re starting to intensely resent.

In addition, if you ask for commitment, you probably won’t get it because he’s going through a “phase” where he’s not dating. He will, however, probably emotionally manipulate you somehow into being okay with this, and you will believe him briefly.

This is a tip-of-the-iceberg summary of how the Sad Boy will treat you. The worst part of interacting with a Sad Boy, ultimately, is he will convince you that it’s okay to have your feelings brushed aside for someone else’s. That’s total bullshit and I need all of you beautiful creatures to know this. He may not be doing it on purpose, but a common trait in the Sad Boy is that he is so not ready to be with you or anyone else. (Yes, even the girl that he complains to you about. He’s not ready for her either.) Unfortunately, he puts off a vibe that if you just take care of his gentle soul, you will be rewarded with love in the end. The love, however, is never coming, because what little he has, he is struggling to scrounge up to love himself.

Don’t ever let yourself feel like your problems are invalid because someone else has struggles too. It’s true. Everyone has problems on different levels, be it a starving child in a third world country, or a 20-something in America who has anxiety about school and work and their love life. But the fact of the matter is; the Sad Boy ranting about his existential crises when you’re having one of your own and can’t handle his, is the equivalent of a parent telling you that you can’t hate a food because there’s someone out there in the middle of nowhere who wishes they could eat it. It’s bullshit. (Olives are bad and if I could give them to the kid on the UNICEF commercial, I would, but they’re here, in my salad, or on my pizza, so it’d be kind of rude to pick them out and give them to a child, I think.)

You should never feel bad because your issues seem small next to someone else’s. You shouldn’t take on more anxiety when you’ve already maxed out for the day. It’s not your job to fix anyone. He’ll be fine. He was always fine without you.

You deserve someone who wants to fix you (or rather, support you), too. You deserve help and love and attention just as much as anyone else does.

To the Sad Boys; no, I am not trying to call out anyone by writing this. I just really, truly hope you come to a point where you love yourselves fully. But please recognize that not every time you’re down is a mushroom cloud-inducing explosion, and realize the fact that the people you talk to about it deserve a break to be heard, too.

Everyone deserves to be heard.


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