In the blog and book Stuff Hipsters Hate, coauthor Brenna Ehrlich and I delve deep into the hipster psyche, turning our field reporting (read: drunk nights in Brooklyn) into actual reports on indie philosophy. Some of our favorite posts over the years center on the stuff hipsters (mostly, but not exclusively, hipster dudes) hate about their love lives.
In this post-dating, tangled-web-of-emotions world, h-kids lead the pack in terms of obfuscation and downright bewildering behavior. If you’re thinking about joining the hipsterati mating pool (God help you), read on for our experiences with hater dating—plus a few tips for making it out alive.
Stuff Hipsters Hate: Breaking Up
Yeah, I don’t think I want to see you anymore. You don’t really need me and I’m kinda intimidated by your real job. I’m not gonna do that whole let’s-see-other-people thing though…that leads to all this fucking crying and I end up feeling like a total dick.
Instead I’m gonna just quietly withdraw and stop responding to your texts, occasionally emerging from the ether to send you cryptic, apologetic emails about my current bout of episodic depression. I’ll use figurative language like “buried under life” or “in a cocoon” or “I’m a fucking trainwreck” and make increasingly vague references to hanging out in the near future. Then you’ll have a chance to get used to the idea of not having me in your life as I gradually fade into nothingness.
(True, one time this chick sent me an email after I ghosted telling me she was all bewildered and furious, but she was crazy possessive or some shit.)
That way when I finally run into you at Brooklyn Bowl and I’m with my new girl (the one I started hanging out with when I started sending you those emails—chyeah, I dovetail babes), everybody’s cool.
Really, this is better for everybody.
This, like most posts, was inspired by real-life Brooklyn hijinx. First, the guy I’d been seeing apologized for his flighty jag, explaining that he sometimes gets “buried under life.” Then the dude who was ghosting on Brenna mentioned that “when life gets crazy I just hit stop.” Another quickly fading flame apologized, saying he’d been “in a cocoon these last few weeks.” A three-month mini-relationship came to an end when still another shruggingly said he’d had his “head up in the clouds.”
Ask the New York Times style section—three instances equals a trend, and we were working our way up to a half-dozen. Time after time, hipster boys have borne out our thesis: homme fatales cite dark times as an excuse to bail.
Here’s the thing: Episodic depression is the most fucking brilliant excuse of all time. We’re women, we’re empathetic and sympathetic and nurturing and our ventricles get all stir-y and we’re like, “Ohh, you sensitive and emotional creature, you.” I remember thinking through Buried Under Life dude’s inner turmoil during a long solo walk through Central Park, then meeting up with my girlfriends and triumphantly concluding, “Just think of the bravery it must’ve taken for him to tell me that, such honesty. If he was just blowing me off, he’d make some bullshit ‘I’m busy’ excuse.”
Of course, it wasn’t the latter either. He was apparently trying things out with another chick, one he finally deemed to tell me about a month or so later in a now-famous break-up email.
The upshot: Don’t buy it. Dark times or no dark times, if he’s really worth your time he’ll return a damn text message or invite you out for late-night autumn walks with him. Do you really want to be wasting time on Mr. Manic-Depressive, waiting for the pendulum to swing?
Stuff Hipsters Hate: Approaching Girls in Bars
Art: Dude, that girl over there is killing me right now.
Larson: Which one?
Art: The chick with the asymmetrical haircut and the librarian glasses.
Larson: Which one?
Art: The one in the red romper.
Larson: Aw, shit, man. She’s hot. You should, like, go ask her what she’s reading right now or something.
Art: No way, man. I never go up to girls in bars. That’s not my style.
Larson: How do you ever meet girls then?
Art: They come up to me.
Larson: No lie?
Art: Yeah. Totally. I figure a lady is only worth my time if she has the stones to hit me up.
Larson: That’s deep, man.
Art: Well, I’m pretty sensitive. I think it’s because I’m a Libra.
Brenna and I have grown so accustomed to this hipster more that when men do hit on us at bars, we’re bewildered and often quite horrified (especially when their opening line involves a poorly planned ‘neg’ that stinks of Mystery and Axe body spray). The guy friends I’ve asked about this shrug girlishly and say, “I dunno, I don’t want to be that dude hitting on girls at bars.” Which sounds pretty gentlemanly, until you realize it leaves the dudes skulking in any given watering hole’s musty corners, pouting and blinking thoughtfully – and if you want to talk to the cutie in a Team Zissou hat, you’ve gotta make the introduction yourself.
The upshot: Man (nah, woman) up. Saunter over and murmur something. If you think about it, the first line is only a three-to-five second commitment, and if you bomb it’s over like that. Smilingly making fun of whatever ridiculous accessory he’s sporting usually does the trick.
Stuff Hipsters Hate: Healthy Relationships
Dude, love is so much more meaningful when you’re fighting all the time. Love shouldn’t be easy—it should be a struggle. That’s why I date crazy girls/emotionally distant boys who will inevitably leave me broken and wailing into my whiskey, act aloof and unfeeling when stalking new romantic prey and frequently hook up with my best friends. I take all my relationship cues from books by Bukowski, Murakami and Salinger. Marriage is an illusion. (But I totally wanna get married some day.)
A hipster love story goes something like this: Boy meets girl. Boy and girl spend several weeks in a pissing context, demonstrating through any means possible that they are more bat shit insane than the other. Girl throws tantrum during a quiet afternoon at the waterfront, flinging things from her oversize purse about before running into the nearby alleys, screaming and bawling. In fact, the more fucked up they seem, the more attractive they become to one another. It’s exciting. It’s passionate. It’s like a fucking Bukowski novel.
Here’s the thing (cue the sappy learning-moment-in-Full-House jams): None of that shit is true of the couples I know who are in cool relationships, like actual happy coupledoms. Once they started hanging out for real, they just wanted to be together and lap up one another’s company and not exist in a state of perpetual turmoil. Sure, they still freaked out over misinterpreted text messages and wondered if they’d written back too quickly (well, the girl halves, anyway—obviously the population I’m more familiar with), but the blow-out fights, the dramatic exits, the screams that “I’m too fucked-up for love!” just seemed gauche, childish even.
Mutually supportive romantic relationships needn’t be boring. Yeah…they’re actually pretty goddamn fun.
The Upshot: Refuse to play. It’s that simple. Call out bullshit, demand honesty, and, most importantly, offer it up yourself. (That means being honest with a guy you’re not into, and—without being crazily clingy or demanding—not letting yourself be yanked around by a psycho.) By all means, knock yourself out with the occasional five-alarm fling, but when you’re really into someone, there’s no need to be a hater.
Order your copy of Stuff Hipsters Hate: A Field Guide to the Passionate Opinions of the Indifferent HERE!
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