Margaret Atwood wrote, in Lady Oracle,
My mother’s two categories; nice men did things for you, bad men did things to you.
And you hear a lot about how bad men are always being nasty to good women. Why don’t you hear those stories about how these supposedly good women gravitate to the bad men? One of my friends said to me recently, “If a woman is dating an asshole, she’s probably an asshole too… so they deserve one another.”
This stuck in my head, especially after today finding out that one of my old friends from high school is secretly dating 2 women at once. I have been basically stuck in single mode for the last four years (with only a few months out of that mode to show for my efforts) and he somehow lands 2 girlfriends at once.
It’s tempting to call him a bad man like the bad men out of the stories women friends tell me. It’s somehow easier to call people bad or good or crazy, and understand the stories of our lives that way, especially when people hurt us. But maybe these girls can’t tell what he is up to. Maybe they would be mortified by his behaviour.
The link above leads to an article discussing the reverse of this situation, how men keep getting drawn to women who are, well, “crazy”. I recognize this, in my own friends and in my past too. It’s an interesting counterpart to the “women date jerks” theory… men date crazy women. It’s not necessarily true, of course. I only was involved with one really crazy woman. But if many women really need to think about what they want, then so do many, many men.