On chemistry with assholes

If I frequently have chemistry with assholes, does that mean I’m probably an asshole?


Not necessarily, but it does mean something.

Do you frequently have chemistry with people you know up front to be assholes, or people who later turn out to be assholes? Those each mean something different.

If you frequently have chemistry with people you know up front to be assholes, that is to say, you are consciously attracted to them because they are assholes, that speaks to the environment in which you were raised. Specifically, your dad was probably an asshole. If you were raised by a single parent, then that parent was probably dating assholes around the time when you were 11 or 12 years old. Your family environment during that bridge from childhood to adolescence plays a tremendous role in your future relationship patterns. Take a hard look at how you were raised, and if you recognize any repeating maladaptive patterns, fuckin’ fix that shit before it ruins your life.

Now, if you frequently have chemistry with people who later turn out to be assholes, it could mean any number of things. Often it just means you’re a bad judge of character, but it could also mean that you’re a bit vindictive. (If everyone you date suddenly becomes an asshole the moment things end, that means you’re the problem.)

Of course, there’s always the chance that you have chemistry with assholes because you’re an asshole, but if you’re self-aware enough to know that you frequently have chemistry with assholes, you’re probably also self-aware enough to already know if you’re an asshole.

Whether you’re an asshole or not, if you frequently have chemistry with assholes, you gotta go deep and figure out why no matter what the reason, because I promise your life will be fucking miserable until you get that mess out of your system.


28 thoughts on “On chemistry with assholes

  1. Daffodil says:

    If you keep getting into relationships and then discovering they’re a familiar type of asshole, that can also mean that you’re repeating an abuse cycle, probably from your childhood. That shit usually takes professional help to straighten out, and it is absolutely worth the time and pain to do so.

  2. B says:

    I’m the one that asked this question and I’m so pleasantly surprised at thus thorough response! I think that I don’t see the guys I have chemistry with as assholes right away, but when it dawns on me that they are in fact assholes, that doesn’t stop me from still having chemistry with them. It doesn’t turn me off the way I think it should. Does that make sense?

    • The Coquette says:

      That sounds like a good old fashioned case of you not having learned your lesson yet. You’re not a good judge of character (yet) and you don’t have enough self-esteem and/or self-control (yet) to drop the assholes when they reveal themselves. You’ll get there.

      (Chemistry is still chemistry. It doesn’t shut off just because a dude turns out to be an asshole. What you need to develop is the strength of character to walk away even if you’re still turned on.)

      • N says:

        I’m in a similar situation and I’m not entirely sure he’s an asshole. He’s a grumpy gamer dude- self proclaimed “neckbeard”. -_-‘We began texting (but not flirting really… just casual banter with a hint of some tension) when he was in another relationship, we continued talking for three years after, he broke up with his girlfriend after they graduated college together (they’re too cynical about long distance and he has said goodbye to exclusivity for an indefinite amount of time- his words), we finally hooked up at a *really 80s* concert this past November and then had a casual scene until New Year’s because I wanted a relationship or something (yikes. drunken stupidity is the worst.). He’s apologized for being an asshole (he admitted it actually) early on in our “friendship” and says he “doesn’t want to screw shit up with me again” but yeah. We always seem to have crackling tension when we text or meet. We have similar interests and opinions and share the same sense of humour. I’ve never gone through this before. WTF. WTFFF. Clusterfuck.

        • WilhelminaMildew says:

          You might want to check in over at questions like yours are really common. Two things I learned from there which might help you- “When someone tells you who they are, believe them” and “When someone says they don’t want a relationship right now, does it always mean ‘with you’? Answer: Yes”

      • WilhelminaMildew says:

        Yes! Coquette hit the nail on the head. If I only had a buck for every friend of mine who thought that “but I loooove him” or “we have such good chemistry” was a legit reason for staying with some asshole, like it was going to magically fix whatever problems he caused. NO NO NO. Just NO. Go into it clear eyed and knowing exactly what to expect if you must, but better still to just walk away.

    • Silvz says:

      I was in this situation for a while too. I then dated a couple of nicer guys and I realized how much more pleasant it is. Good guys can be interesting too. Just not in a roller coaster drama kind of way. I probably still have chemistry with assholes (there’s just something about their dominence and lack of giving a fuck that I like) but I seriously just do not have time for their bullshit. I only have so much time in a day, and babysitting a relationship is not something I want to waste it on. The assholes I dated never wanted to take responsibility for their own shit, and their constant guilt-tripping and argument acrobatics just get tiresome after you start to recognize that they use the same strategies over and over again. Like, gimme a break. It’s way more refreshing to be in a relationship founded on mutual respect, where you can be happy companions without as much power struggle and dishonesty.

      Trust me, I learned my lesson.

    • The Coquette says:

      It’s not Freud. It’s Bowen. In other words, I’m not referencing Freud’s psychosexual theory. I’m referencing Bowen’s family systems theory, specifically his multigenerational transmission process. If you want to know more, google that shit. It’s fascinating stuff.

  3. Nerdlinger says:

    Asshole chiming in. What kind of asshole? Really, this can be anything from feeling guilty about a blunt communication style once someone is warmed up to you to hanging around with petty to worse criminals.

    • GOAT says:

      I feel like people with “blunt communication style” are assholes just looking for a cover for their rudeness, which stems more from self-doubt and bitterness than just being a straightforward person. It’s not that they’re not nice, because being not nice is fine. They’re just assholes.

      • Impulsive ADHD Asshole. says:

        It’s totally possible for people to have blunt communication styles because they’re impulsive, not because they’re bitter or self-doubting. Take a look, for example, at people with ADHD.

        I say this because I have ADHD, and I am a blunt asshole, but it’s because I literally can’t control a thought from escaping my lips once it enters my consciousness. Sometimes these thoughts aren’t even fully formed, and come out like a more sensical version of Finnegan’s Wake. Those are usually the most harmful because it seems like I mean one thing, when I really mean something entirely different. I don’t object to being called an asshole for being one, but these problems don’t always stem from a genuine desire to hurt others.

        • Strangely Rational says:

          We “people with ADHD” are all different. We’re not all ruled by impulse, nor are we all unable to control what comes out of our mouths.

          I have ADHD and Bipolar, and I’m not any more impulsive than the average person; in fact, I’m known for being very careful about my decisions, even to a fault. While I can be blunt and on rare occasions assholish in debate online, that’s not the way I am with people in real life, which implies a choice.

          I don’t know your situation or how severe your illness is, so I’m not directing this at you specifically. But when it comes to mental illness, I figure that we’re just like everyone else. Our personality traits affect the ways in which our illnesses manifest themselves. While I agree that an inherently good person can appear to be an asshole when ill, some people are inherently assholes, and they can’t blame that on whatever mental illness they might develop on top.

          So I think it’s more accurate to just say, “people who are impulsive.” There’s no need to call out an entire population with an illness, when many of them are perfectly pleasant – if scattered – people.

          In any case, in determining whether someone is an asshole vs. just putting their foot in their mouth, I look at how they react afterwards. If they seem embarrassed and apologize, I don’t hold it against them. If they don’t seem to give a shit or worse, take pleasure in upsetting others, they’re an asshole.

  4. Mel says:

    Holy shit you just described my youth. Dad was an asshole, mum remarried an asshole when I was 11. I find it increasingly more difficult to relate to anyone.

  5. The Derpy Bear says:

    I can relate to attracting assholes in my life and it was also because I had an asshole dad. Counselling and self care are important. Appreciating and loving yourself is the best way to repel douchebags. It sounds cliche and hokey but it is true.

    Trauma has a profound impact on a person’s life. It affects both mental and physical aspects. It is 100 % possible to break the cycle and be in healthy relationships though!!

    • Strangely Rational says:

      Because you’re still getting something out of it.

      (At least, that’s the answer I came up with when I asked myself the same question about certain patterns in my life.)

  6. Silly One says:

    Oh God. I read the title, I read the question, and got halfway through Coke’s answer until I realized this had nothing to do with chemistry class.

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