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March 11, 2019 | by  | in Features Homepage Shit Chat | [ssba]

How to Spot a Softboi and Other Shit Chat

It’s our time, kia ora! Talofa! It’s our time, a special time of day. It’s our time, just you and me together, it’s our timetime to delineate exactly how to spot a Softboi™.

We’re all likely familiar with the Fuckboy archetype: a womanizer; a “Chad”; an often-times conventionally attractive bro-type who’s hornier than Hugh Hefner. He seems to hibernate during the week, only to leave a heart-eyes emoji on your IG thirst-trap or hit your DMs with a silky-smooth “wuu2” at 4:00am on a Saturday. He talks a big dick game, but is confident that relentless jackhammering is a one-way ticket to cum-town. He maintains a steady roster of girls, and will bail on plans at the last minute if something (read: someone) better pops up. He thinks unsolicited dick-pics are foreplay.

Softbois, by comparison, make one yearn for the bygone era of the Fuckboy. Frankly, I love Fuckboys. At least Fuckboys are honest about being exclusively motivated by the urge to get their dicks wet. Softbois are a special breed of philanderer: they’re manipulators, they’re liarsor at best, half-truthers; pertinent-information-omittersand they’re the magnum opus of Wellington City.


The Softboi is “emotionally arrogant”, to use the terminology of IG user @beam_me_up_softboi. He weaponizes vulnerability, exposing his “sensitive side” just enough to get into your pants, before ghosting you, ormy personal favouriteweaving a narrative that gaslights you into thinking you misinterpreted the situation; that you are the problem.

Like with any archetype, The Softboi™ manifests on a sliding scale: from mostly-harmless time-waster to sinister master-manipulator. Having dated many a Softboi in my time across both ends of that spectrum, welcome to my masterclass in how to spot ‘emin other words, a 1200 word sub-tweet directly referencing my exes.

In terms of physical appearance, the Softboi is unlikely to be ‘classically’ attractive. Speaking from experience, this ranges from slightly odd but undeniably beautiful, to straight-up downright ugly. He probably has tattoos that he mistakenly thinks are an adequate substitute for a personality. He’s probably in desperate need of a haircut. He probably has some ostentatiously quirky dress feature like intentionally mismatched shoes, or broken glasses that he can afford to fix but doesn’t for the sake of the #aesthetic, or excessive amounts of big-ass rings that he won’t take off even as he fingers you leading to a week of light vaginal bleeding. He probably stares at his own reflection a lot. Like, a lot.


The hallmark of the Softboi is that he’ll find a way to let you know he’s a feminist within three minutes of meeting you. He’ll have stickers from the Freedom Shop all over his laptop. He’ll have “intersectional veganism” or some such other performative bullshit in his social media bios. He’ll click “attending” to various activist events on Facebook, but you’ll never see him there. He’ll be desperately vocal as to how w0ke he is, because he can’t rely on his actions to demonstrate this for him.


Your Softboi will probably tell you he’s a “writer”, and carry around notebooks that you’ll never see him write in. He will, however, probably try and read you original poetry from his notes app in the wee hours of the morning on the ass-end of an MDMA bender. He might even be a self-proclaimed ~artist~ with absolutely no background in art. He’ll send you song lyrics, and will allude to Garden State or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with unnecessary regularity.


He’s probably constructed an impenetrable superiority complex around having read Infinite Jest.

The Softboi probably also has an inflated sense of superiority regarding his taste in music. He’ll make you a 14-hour long playlist to educate you because what you listen to is “trash”, or consider himself an elevated being because he listens to field recordings of trains.


The Softboi will probably talk a lot about how much he ~lOoOves~ eating pussy. He’ll probably exclaim some shit like “FUCK I love sex” after he nuts, and fall into a coma approximately 0.02 seconds later. He’s probably really into butt stuff.

The Softboi will probably tell you he’s polyamorous. Now non-monogamy is totally valid, don’t get me wrong, but the Softboi lacks the honesty and communication skills required to make it viable. Alternatively, your Softboi won’t tell you he’s non-monogamous in explicit termshe’ll simply sidestep any conversation that might establish labels, constructing your not-quite-relationship within the steaming-horse-shit parameters of “chill”. Let’s be clearno matter what your Softboi tells you, “chill” is not necessarily a state of being to aspire to; “chill” is a frame of reference implemented by your Softboi in an attempt at convincing you to make yourself convenient to him. Remember, dear ones, Alana Massey’s advice: “putting labels on things are how people find the exit during a fire and make sure they’re adding vanilla extract to the cake instead of arsenic”.


Despite the large amount of time you may spend together, the Softboi probably won’t tag you in any posts on his socials, so that other girls won’t be put off pursuing him by the fact that the two of you message each other almost constantly and spend at least three nights a week co-habitating.


Adding insult to injury, the Softboi will constantly be on his fucking phone. He might get a lot of calls from “work”, but has to leave the room to answer them. He might lie naked in your bed blatantly texting that really hot AND smart AND funny art-scene girl you met and hit it off with at New Years that one time. You might catch yourself getting little dopamine hits when, every now and then, he condescends to tear his eyes away from some other girl’s Instagram and treat you to a bit of eye-contact.


Your Softboi will probably exclusively call you by ostensibly endearing pet names“my lovely”; “babe”; “darling”. Again, let’s be clearit’s not endearmentit’s a safeguard against accidentally calling you by the name of one of the other girls he’s covertly fucking.


All of the Softboi’s exes will be “crazy”. Ask yourself this, my loves: is every single one of his exes crazy, or is he just a piece of shit? Alternatively, the Softboi will have a mysterious and ever-looming ex that he’s just not over yetwhich totally and absolutely justifies him treating you like you’re disposable, of course.


Last but not least, if you’ve got a Softboi on your hands, your friends probably fucking hate him. Cue the Bojack quote that made every cunt on the internet lose their minds: “when you look at someone through rose-coloured glasses, all the red flags just look like flags”. You may be under the shady little fucker’s spell, but my dears, I almost guarantee that your friends are not. They’ll see right through his charismatic bullshit, through his faux-feminist drivel and his knack for constructing a sympathetic narrative wherein he is always the victim. They’ll see how he treats you, while you’re busy doing mental gymnastics trying to rationalise why and how he somehow makes you feel like you’re too much and not enough all at the same time.


If you’re experiencing any of these Softboi symptoms, dear friends, you probably need 30cc of reality injected straight into your frontal lobe, stat. The modus operandi of the Softboi is the “pick me” schema: he knows you’ve been treated badly in the past, and he wants to convince you he’s not like other guys; he’s different.


He’s not.


Heed the words of this battle-hardened Softboi-connoisseur and let me leave you with this, cherished readers: you know you’re past reason when you start thinking this one might be different.


Love you more than he ever, ever will, xoxo


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