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Darcy Syndrome March 22, 2009

Posted by flightdeparting in Love, Relationships, Women (Venutians).
Tags: , , , , ,
The Mythical Pretend Asshole

Mr. Darcy

In high school I had a huge crush on this girl named Lisa.  She was tall, gorgeous, and most importantly intellectual.  She consumed books like candy, wove words like a needle and thread, and had me wrapped around her finger.  So when she told me to promise her that I’d read Pride and Prejudice, I couldn’t refuse.  She loved this book and always had it close to her heart so I assumed that it’d give me some insight into her mind, and hey, maybe a way into her pants.  But when I started reading it, all I could think of was, “How can anyone like this bullsh*t?”

I would only begin to understand this a few years down the road.

Almost every woman I’ve ever met has loved Pride and Prejudice.  Could it be the Victorian elegance?  The luxurious culture?  The fancy balls?  Nay, it’s Mr. Darcy. For those of you who are (thankfully) unfamiliar, Mr. Darcy is the book’s primary love interest.

Essentially the storyline goes like this: Mr. Darcy meets Liz.  Mr. Darcy is a dick to Liz.  Liz is pissed off by Mr. Darcy but is still intrigued.  Mr. Darcy continues to be a dick to Liz.  Liz ensnares Mr. Darcy with her feminine wiles.  Mr. Darcy reveals his true side and is actually a lovely, caring, nice guy and his dick personality was actually a protective facade.

Sound familiar?  It should.  It’s the same storyline for every chick flick ever made.  Pride and Prejudice is the ancestral origin of the modern romantic comedy.  And for good reason.  Mr. Darcy is the embodiment of the ultimate female fantasy.

Women always complain that there are no nice guys out there.  But of course, this isn’t the case.  [A: Most women know this, but most women also have the Cleopatra Complex–we’re queens of denial.] There are lots of them, it’s just that women prefer someone of a more inconsiderate nature.  Women ultimately want to change an a**hole into a nice guy through their relationship.  In a way, it’s a badge of honor.  If a woman does manage to find the softer side of a dickish personality (no pun intended), she’s done something that no other female has been able to do.  And people ask why the a**hats always get the girls.  The bad boys are their challenge to overcome.  The nice guys are supposed to be the end result — not the starting point.

Here’s the problem, though: Mr. Darcy doesn’t exist.  An a**hole is an a**hole is an a**hole.  Sure, maybe he used to be a nice guy, but now he’s an inconsiderate douche.  Guys don’t start out like this, nor do they spontaneously transform into dicks.  It’s a slow process of realization that leads them to learn that the nice guys really do finish last.  And when they realize that being an a**hole does help them gain the interest of women, there’s no turning him back to the nice guy.  It’s a one-way process.

So what now?  Are women doomed to forever be with either the nonchalant asshole or the undesirable nice guy?  No.  It’s just a matter of balance.  We all have a level of toleration for asinine behavior.  You just have to find the guy who has just enough of it not to be the pushover nice guy and still not be a full blown a**hole.  Happy hunting!

Term of the Day

Darcy Syndrome [dar-see] [sin-drome]
– noun

1. Wherein a woman mistakenly believes that she can change a man with a**hole-like behavior into a considerate gentleman



1. Audrey - September 1, 2009

Lol, your interpretation is very interesting, and yes, although there are various reasons, this is one of the important reason.

2. Jo Ann - September 18, 2009

Missed the point entirely of the transformation of both characters. I’m not surprised, you read what in your spare time? All of the Redneck dictionaries should be about your speed, no confusing character lines to follow. Darcy learned not to judge others by their status in life, Elizabeth learned not to judge others from tittle tattle. Darcy’s affection for Elizabeth was unchanging (try to get past the idea that all men call women B*****s, when they don’t get their way, put down the beer and focus). This unchanging love is what really draws women to Darcy’s character. The depth of his feelings were real because he did not stop loving her. Women see emotions as deep and abiding..from your article I take it that men see emotions as a way to get in someones pants. Men transform into A**holes because they are to emotionally lazy to workout their own feelings. Don’t lay a male transformation to avoid personal growth on the women in your life. Suck it up, grow up emotionally and then you’ll met all the women you want. Or you can become an A**hole, suck down beers while you and your buddies blame your emotional stagnation on women. From your article I can see why you always finished last, pretending to be a nice guy is not the same as actually being one. Personal accountability is the hallmark of emotional health. I’m not surprised you had to use a relationship from your childhood to illustrate your immature point in this article.

3. Elin - January 25, 2010

Sorry for bringing up an old post but I just had to say you missed the point.
He always had love for her but pressure from society kept him hiding it.
The reason she *thought* he was an a**hole was because of the stories Wickham told her about him – which turned out not to be true.

Actually the whole book can be interpreted also as a girl falling for the typical “shy guy”, because that’s what the Darcy guy eventually is… he hides his shyness behind arrogance (which you can see in the series very clearly because of how he looks during being “arrogant”). Now that might appeal to some males.

4. The Dr. Horrible Syndrome (Horribly Nice Guys) « The Slap and The Tickle - May 22, 2010

[…] the whole world adores Captain Hammer, Horrible’s nemesis and a handsome alpha-male jerk (see Darcy Syndrome), to Horrible’s constant […]

5. Annie - May 22, 2010

This is an interesting and, in many cases, true perspective, but to be fair, I believe you have misinterpreted the book and the characters’ development.
Mr. Darcy was always a fairly good man, but his flaws are that he is very proud, elitist, arrogant, and perhaps a bit shy. Elizabeth contains similar qualities, which is why they clash early (she mistaking his reserve for disgust and he mistaking her headstrong tendencies for… well, alright, Elizabeth is just headstrong). But these qualities, frustrating as they are to one another, also draw them together, and once Elizabeth discovers that Darcy was never entirely the hateful prick she believed him to be, she opened her mind to him more and discovered him to be a thoroughly tolerable fellow. It’s why the book is called “Pride and Prejudice”. His pride keeps him from instantly seeing her as a worthwhile companion, and her determined prejudice is what keeps her from opening her mind to him and discovering more about him.
The point of the book isn’t that Elizabeth changes Darcy, it’s that they are both inherently flawed human beings, while it nearly separates them permanently, it is also what draws them together and makes them so strangely compatible.
I agree, however, that it is absolutely the forerunner of every chick flick ever made. 🙂

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