“But women never know when the curtain has fallen. They always want a sixth act, and as soon as the interest of the play is entirely over they propose to continue it.”It is a universal truth that when it comes to douchebags, women just can’t let go. This phenomenon, otherwise known as Doormat Syndrome, is as common as the, er, common cold. Now I’m not a man-hater by any stroke of the imagination. I visibly cringe at feminists' remonstrations to the sisterhood to unite against people who are not in the feminist sisterhood. Nevertheless, when I was recently stood up for the third time by the same guy and STILL wanted to call him, I did feel the need for a little girl-power pow-wow. So, this one's for the girls . . .
Lord Henry to Dorian, The Picture of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde, 1890)
Doormat Syndrome has many faces; Needy Girl, Naive Girl, and the Masochist are but a few. Personally, I'm your garden-variety Fixer, that being a woman who thinks she can save the world, one jerk at a time (no pun intended).
Fixers turn people into projects. They are the ones who say such ridiculous things as “he will change because he loves me,” and “ I think I should give him one more chance,” and “but underneath all the B.S he’s really a good person.” They unwittingly attract human train-wrecks and go to work at once on putting them back together again. The shittier the man’s behaviour is, the more necessary the Fixer believes herself to be to him, and the harder it is for her to down tools and move on.
Luckily Doormat Syndrome in all its manifestations is not terminal. He’s Just Not That Into You (in either book or movie format) is recommended in initial stages of recovery, as is vigorous discussion of the offender’s douchbaggery with friends over a glass of wine. If you lack self-control, deleting his number will prevent drunken texting. Ladies, take your cue from Oscar Wilde and let the damn curtain fall.