Love and Romance / Relationships / Women and Dating

Please Be Kind to Frogs

By Bobbi Palmer

Think about the clever line we women often use: it takes some form of “I’ve kissed so many frogs I’ve got the warts to prove it!” or “How many frogs do I have to kiss before I find my prince?”

You know what I’m talking about.  It’s cute, and although we don’t really laugh at it, it tends to ease some of our feelings of disappointment and rejection. Let’s face it: after years of dating with no spectacular man to show for it, we have to tell ourselves something to help explain away the fact that we’re still “alone.”

So who are these frogs we keep talking about? They are all those guys who wasted our time because they ended up being boring or unattractive or unintelligent or just plan jerks. They are the men we were interested in but didn’t turn out to be quite who we expected them to be. They are the ones that lied about their height and their hair in their online profile, acted like they were interested and never called, talked about themselves incessantly and never asked a single question about your life. You know these guys. Croak, croak!

So here’s what I want to share about this: this frog thing has to stop.

Men Are Just you.

Granted, there’s always a jerk in the bunch. Larry (my spectacular husband) says “remember those idiot guys you met in bars when you were 22?  They’re still out there; just now they have gray hair.”

Yes, there are losers and jerks out there. But if you’re being completely honest and objective, weren’tmost of the men you’ve met over the years just normal nice guys?

Looking back on my 30 years of dating — with some perspective and without the bad feelings — I see that most of the men I met were looking for affection, fun, and human connection…just like me. Like me they were sometimes insecure, secretly fearful, trying to avoid rejection, pained by past experiences, and disappointed in the people they had met so far. And, like me, they sometimes reacted to their disappointment with callousness and selfishness.

These guys were all just like us; out there hoping to figure out how to find someone to love and to be loved.

I know the frog thing is helpful when we feel rejected, or when we try to find an explanation for why no man has yet to be The One. But the sooner you break down your protective walls, throw away the blame and judgment, and just see them as nice folks out there navigating the dating waters Just Like You…the sooner you’ll start having more positive dating experiences.

As long as you see these men as frogs, and not as nice guys who weren’t or aren’t your match, my guess is you will continue to feel like you’re meeting those jerks that hung out in the bars.

So here’s some advice: knock off the frog nonsense and go out in the world with your kindness and compassion front and center.  Approach every man you meet as a nice guy who, like you, is out there looking for a good time, and hopefully love. When you do, I promise you’ll meet more nice men who meet your positive expectations.

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  2. Question re jerks: I recently learned that my beau of 6 months (who is European) watches the old X-rated movies from 50s, 60s, 70s, thinks there is nothing wrong with the rape of an 8-year-old and her subsequent suicide by hanging and the rape by the son of his mother in The Damned. Violence against women in any form is abhorrent to me–I have been a victim of many forms and have explained to him how it hurts me to have him to continue to watch these. And occasional short clips of porno with his tea in the morning before going to work. He stares at women’s genitalia at art exhibits and museums. Am I overly sensitive, is the guy a sex addict or what? I care about him, but this is driving me into depression, anger, and bitterness toward since I cannot seem to explain to get through to him how painful his watching these movies containing misogynistic elements in them. I would appreciate responses.

  3. Marina, Thanks for writing. Let’s talk about you…not him. You describe him as a misogynist who objectifies women and has no interest in meeting your needs or respecting what is very important to you. He might even be someone who accepts, even enjoys, violence against women. When you’re with him or think about him you feel depressed, angry and bitter. So I ask you: do you really care about this man? Is this a man who can make you happy?

    I’m going to challenge why you care about him. Is it him that you care about or the idea of having a man in your life? Often we don’t escape a bad relationship because of our fear of being alone or being unworthy of finding another man. Give this serious thought and keep this in mind: he is not going to change. It is up to you to change the situation and the longer you are with him, the worse you will feel about yourself and your life, and the harder it will be to leave. You deserve better. Change your life. Best of luck to you.