"Where are the hopes?
Where are the dreams?
My Cinderella story scene?"The Best Damn Thing (2007) by Avril Lavigne
I find that a lot of girls who have never been in a relationship with a guy before to have very unrealistic ideas about what sort of animal a boyfriend should be. I blame the fairy stories which their parents read them when they were little, the crappy dramas they watched on the telly daily and the generic romantic comedies which Hollywood rolls out every other week to appeal to dickless movie-goers who forced their boyfriends, who unfortunately have dicks, to watch with them (probably thinking that their men would pick up a thing or twelve from those impossibly suave and cute douchebags who play the male leads in these drivels). So from an age when a girl is still wearing diapers to about the time they go through their first breakup, the Dogma is consistently hammered into them by all these media. I call it the Dogma because it is the indisputable standard-operating-procedures which all girls seem to think all relationships ought to follow in order for it to be successful - at least, what the girls consider to be a success anyway.
So what is this Dogma anyway? The short answer is that it's a belief system which involves the expectation of a boyfriend to be.... oh, I dunno, perfect? The long answer is; he is never thoughtless, always has time for his girlfriend, knows precisely the way to act on any given occasion (particularly PMS) and says the most appropriate stuff at all the right times - which means that a guy has to be able to read minds, given the fact that girls are almost never straightforward about the things they want. Case in point; when a guy asks a girl if there's something wrong, the answer is usually "nothing" and if the poor bloke takes her word for it and continues blasting zombies on his Playstation 3, oh boy is he fucked. I really don't need to elaborate on this. If you've ever read one of those stupid, retarded, rainbow-fonted e-mails circulating about which details a list of things a guy should do for a girl, you pretty much know what I'm talking about already.
Most boyfriends are thickheaded, insensitive morons, which is just another way of saying that they are male. I'm sorry to report that they lack the ability to cause orgasms in women with their every action and every word like those romcom guys because they simply don't come with a script already built in (sorry to quash that misconception ladies but there it is). They are humans too and have their own needs and wants, and the instincts which determine how they act in every situation is wildly different from what the female sensibility expects. When a girl fails to distinguish a real live guy from the fictitious, one-dimensional ones before she gets into her first relationship, she'll almost always definitely suffer from The First Boyfriend Syndrome.
Of course, the one who actually suffers is the first boyfriend himself. For the sake of argument, I'll use a fictional couple to explain it. Let's call them, um, Sue and James.
Sue has this preformed idea in her head of exactly what her boyfriend's going to be like and how he's going to show his love to her. Throughout her childhood, she had thought up elaborate fantasies of how her first love's going to be; how he confesses, how their first date's going to pan out - y'know all the usual clichéd etceteras and their whiny distant relatives. So you see, there is already a boyfriend sized hole in her life long before she actually has a boyfriend.
Along came James and Sue hooked up with him. Well, James is shaped like James and there is no way he can fit into Sue's
This, ladies and gentlemen, is The First Boyfriend Syndrome.
The first and prime sign of a girl succumbing to the Syndrome is her perfectionist obsession with how her relationship ought to be like and (especially) how outsiders see it. She insists on comparing her own relationship with all the couples she knows. A simple way of putting it would be to say that she wants other people to envy her and her relationship with her boyfriend. She felt that she must, at the very least, put up an enviable front for everyone to see. This is when the relationship becomes more important than her boyfriend and the love itself. A girl once told me how men need to be trained using Pavlovian conditioning, just like dogs. Say if he doesn't give her flowers every other week, she'll throw a hissy-fit (cue the "What's wrong, baby?" and "Nothing!" dialogue here). The well-meaning, clueless boyfriend would then try his best to find out precisely what "Nothing!" means and after much pain, she would reveal that it's because he hasn't been giving her flowers lately and she thinks that he doesn't love her anymore. When the boyfriend finally goes out to get her a bouquet of
That's just an example, by the way. A girl can conceivably apply the same formula to anything she wants her boyfriend to do. She can make him talk to her in a specific way in front of her friends, have him perform preordained rigid rituals which gives an illusion of thoughtfulness to onlookers or even (I'm speaking from experience, this) stop him from slouching when he stands or walks just because she thinks that it looks ugly. Yeap, you bet that the perfect boyfriend she 's been dreaming of has perfect posture. I agree that there's a certain level of performance which can rightfully be expected from all guys by their girlfriends but think, where is the line? At which point should a girl stop manipulating her boyfriend's free will? At which point does a boyfriend cease to be a real person and become just a shoddy Pygmalion project with etiquette prostheses glued on? More than that, does she love him for who he truly is? And most of all, is he happy?
This is the danger a lot of girls can run into in their first relationship - the preference of a fantasy over the real thing. In their dream of an amazing, flawless, scripted first romance, they lost sight of what love is really all about. It's selfish and mean. And it hurts.
This is why a lot of first loves don't work out. They stop working when the guy goes, "Fuck it, I'm ditching this shit."
And somewhat related, how many girls actually care about what a guy wants, instead of just giving him what they think he ought to want and then expect him to give them what they think they want? Mull on that a little for me, will you?
P.S. Girls who suffer from The First Boyfriend Syndrome share some eerily similar traits with Bridezillas; brides so obsessed with her wedding as her perfect day that she disregards the feelings of the family, bridesmaids and even her groom in her quest for the perfect wedding. There are some really good horror stories about bridezillas in this site HERE.
P.P.S. Not every girl will suffer from this. My first girlfriend was pretty delusion-free. There's a First Girlfriend Syndrome for guys too but that's another post (if I feel like writing it, that is).
Was first boyfriend twice,
k0k s3n w4i