Today we’ll be looking at a guy I’ll call “King Vulture”.
King Vulture was another guy I knew in college. Like most Nice Guys, King Vulture was of the belief that women purposely made themselves perpetually unavailable to him an only wanted to date assholes. To find out where he in particular got that idea, we need only look at his sample selection. Of all the girls he hovered around being a Nice Guy, 100% of them already had boyfriends 100% of whom he already thought were assholes. Some of the guys really were assholes. With others, His Bald and Feathery Majesty had to do some serious imagination yoga to think of them that way. In either case, what he did was seek out relationships he perceived to be failing and hovered around being nice, being friends, listening to all the venting of problems and faithfully taking the relationship’s pulse while secretly hoping to hear it stop. If there wasn’t a particular couple whose doom he was invested in seeing, he’d take the more opportunistic route of suddenly showing up with a candy bar immediately as soon as it hit Facebook whenever a girl in our social group happened to break up with her boyfriend. Kinda like a skeezy personal injury lawyer leaving his business card at the scene of a grisly accident. Spoiler alert: I, fishcraft the queer got no breakup candy.
Lots of people have done this at some point at least for a brief moment, but no one I’ve ever seen used this method as consistently as he did. In this way, he routinely treated women like dead gazelles. Being a vulture and too wimpy to take one down himself, once that douchebag lion bagged one, he’d stick around and wait for the lion to finish eating and go away; confident that he’d have dibs on what was left. Unless of course hyenas showed up. Or jackals. Or ants. And then his prey would suddenly poke its supposedly dead and passive head up and ask what he’s doing there and reality would set in. This is not the savannah and women are not roast beef at a buffet that you can just wait in line for a cut of. That made him pissed. For years, this was literally his only dating strategy. Naturally, King Vulture stayed King Virgin for a looooooong time.
Vultures in general share most of the core features of Nice Guys of all varieties with a strong flavoring of White Knight Syndrome. It begins with a series of rationalizations that spell out “I can’t/won’t ask women out like a normal person so I need to try this other wacky thing instead.” . They have a sense of being owed and/or being in the process of earning the girlfriend of their choice. They begin to see their alternative date-seeking method as the more righteous choice. They become the main characters in a self-written narrative set in a world that’s black and white, good and evil, made of Nice Guys and Assholes. But what makes serial Vultures like our main character here stand apart from other Nice Guy types is that behind that Nice Guy righteousness lies a deep sense of weakness, ineptitude and inferiority. It’s a sense of inferiority that can’t be soothed by merely waxing snarky about being better than theoretical Assholes. Oh no. He’s got something to prove. And he can only shine in contrast to a real live, truly despicable Asshole. To get the girl, this guy surmises, he must be the hero! He must be….
….that is, if heroes and saviors just kinda hung around the tower the princess is locked in making conversation through the window while waiting for her to rescue herself or for her villainous captor to die of natural causes. She’s then supposed to run into our hero’s arms because…well he so happened to be the nearest male who’s not as bad as THAT guy. What more does a guy need to be the hero and get the girl, right?
The Vulture hangs around what he sees to be dying relationships between Evil Assholes and Damsels in Distress because he needs a foil to make his general okay-ishness and not-so-badness look and feel saintly and heroic. In his mind, he may not exactly deserve to have any girl he wants and he may not exactly be the greatest guy, but he’s better than THAT guy and therefore deserves to relieve THAT guy of his girlfriend. It’s practically a duty. More of the rationale goes:
“Besides, if she’s dating somebody THAT repulsive it must mean she’d date anybody which means she’ll date ME! It must also mean she can’t find anybody else and there are literally NO other competitors which means if I make sure to stick around long enough to see them break up, she’ll practically HAVE to date ME! It’ll be easy! And if she doesn’t choose to leave her boyfriend for me, that just proves that women really don’t want to be saved and would rather be with Assholes than with guys who are good for them.”
Because Baldy McStinkfeather is just such a great guy and thinks so highly of this woman.
Now if this sounds like you, consider the following:
The woman you’re waiting around for is not braindead.
If she is, then why are you friends with her? Why do you want to date her? She can and should think for herself. In fact, women make decisions for themselves all the time without needing any rescuing by you or by anyone. You may not agree with her relationship decisions at the moment but she is an adult and those are hers to make. They’re hers to make even if they turn out to be mistakes in the end. Even if she really doesn’t know what’s good for her, you have no authority to try to teach her what is, especially if your lessons have a clear self-serving bias. You can’t save someone from a bad relationship. One of them has to decide to end it. Whether you think it’s confusion, emotional issues, low self esteem, brainwashing or black magic keeping this girl with a bad boyfriend (or just one you don’t approve of), do not confuse any of these for things that are keeping her from being with you. They are not the same thing so don’t try to posit one as if it were the other. If you don’t respect her reasons for not dumping him to be with you, you are not treating her like a full human being with agency and desires that are independent of yours.
Have you considered how shitty it is to set yourself up to benefit from people’s misfortune?
That’s totally what this is. Don’t believe me? How would you feel if the couple you’re circling worked out their issues and were verifiably happy and stable? If you’d feel butthurt, bitter and angry, you’re in denial kid. If this is all under the guise of friendship that also makes you a supremely shitty friend. Supremely. Turdly. It also makes you totally not as white knighty and awesome as you fancy yourself to be especially when Gaston LeDouche isn’t awful enough to make you look good anymore. I’ll give you another hypothetical. What if she broke up with the Asshole and then dated a perfectly decent guy who is not you? Resentment and butthurt? Grasping at straws trying to find reasons to declare that he too must be an Asshole? Then you were wishing they’d break up for your benefit not hers.
You may be setting yourself up to be taken advantage of.
This is actually a word of caution for the Vultures’ protection. (See? I’m looking out for everybody here.) I’ve actually seen this happen way too many times to Vulture guys to leave it out of the post. If the woman you’re Vulturing on catches onto your intentions and gives you “dibs” for when they break up or otherwise promises to dump their partner for you at some unnamed time in the future, RUN! Especially if she makes these kinds of promises and leaves you basically no return apart from a vague feeling of hope, chances are she’s using it to string you along for money, favors and/or attention. She’s extracting boyfriend-size investments out of you by making you feel as if you’re practically her boyfriend already, except for the part where she has to have sex with you and care about your feelings and stuff.
The worst example I’ve seen of this behavior involves our hero, King Vulture once again.He’d been circling this one particular relationship where the girl he was after was actually MUCH more of an asshole than her boyfriend was (he totally wasn’t). KV had already been making dozens and dozens of small investments of time and money in the normal Nice Guy fashion. But when this lady decided that small bursts of free stuff wasn’t enough, she decided to give our guy “dibs” and then ask for bigger and bigger things; bigger chunks of money, pricier lunches, “Help, I’m in crisis and need an absurd chunk of cash.”. Being insecure in his status as boyfriend-to-be, to try to keep his position, KV did pretty much whatever she wanted. Little did he know, half the other guys in our social group also had “dibs”. She dated none of them.
NOTE: DO NOT accuse every girl you’re Vulturing on of doing this to you. NOTE WELL that I am not referring to women who simply stay with their partners or date other people. NOR am I referring to girls you’ve made huge monetary and emotional investments in without their asking. Wanting to fuck someone doesn’t negate your right to say no to doing a favor. You can have boundaries too! Exhausting your resources to try to earn a reward nobody ever agreed to giving you for that will only leave you broke. The trap here is that the manipulating she-thieves in question are explicitly promising WITH WORDS to be your girlfriend someday and lying about it. You’ll be vulnerable and the bait will be tempting. Don’t take it.
And finally, if the female friend in question really is in an abusive or otherwise dangerous relationship and could quite possibly be in need of legit rescuing, she needs to find help, possibly in the form of serious things like counseling, shelter and legal advice.
In which case, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT YOUR BONER FOR???