Women and Trashy Men

Author: Yugal SehgalOriginally published on July 17, 2021

Disclaimer: The following is an opinion-piece by the author which draws on his personal observations and is not intended to be viewed as a research-based or factual presentation.

Artwork by the author. © Yugal Sehgal

“He was so different when we started dating, I don’t know what changed.” “How can someone become such a different person in such a short span of time?” “I feel so angry at myself that I noticed the red flags all along but kept giving him the benefit of the doubt.”

These are some common woes of women who’ve been afflicted by toxic boyfriends/partners. Why do so many well meaning, good hearted women fall for — and end up getting their hearts broken by — trashy men? And perhaps more curiously, why are so many women blinded by their love for such men that they keep giving them the pass to continue being trashy? I have some ideas.

But before we get there, who is a trashy man? What separates him from other, non-trashy men? What does he look like? There are some attributes that make him stand out, not all of which are necessarily bad of course, but it’s the combination of those attributes that makes him particularly … toxic. These are 18 of them:


With some of these attributes being so obvious and on the surface, it’s still surprising how women fall for such a man, but funnily enough, the very alpha traits that make him toxic are the ones that make him initially endearing. He generally:

While many of these attributes may put the onus on the man, the women are partially, if not equally, at fault when they get their hearts broken by such men. The biggest sign of it is that they choose to hold on to him just to protect their emotional/romantic investment in him, even after lengthy bouts of mental distress and uncertainty caused by him. The idea of walking away is often out of bounds for them. Better the devil you know than the one you don't, I guess.

The other is a 2 part reason that goes hand in hand; one, most women know when their man is toxic but continue to believe there’s goodness under the surface. They latch on to his few good traits to justify the many bad ones. Two, they believe they can fix him. It’s either their maternal instinct, or the pure faith in the power of their love, or simply their controlling tendencies (in some cases). Oftentimes, these very factors mislead a woman and entrap her in the vicious circle of toxicity that is their man. Or, perhaps, she traps herself.

Now, you can disregard this checklist and move on with your life, but if at the end of the day your man leaves you mentally drained, emotionally exhausted, questioning your self worth or simply wondering if you deserve better … chances are you do. Think about it. Oh and while you’re at it, give another thought to that boring nice guy. 

“He was so different when we started dating, I don’t know what changed.” 

As counterintuitive as this might sound, the change didn’t happen after you started dating him, it happened before you did it. He presented himself as an ideal boyfriend in order to get you and as soon as you were his, he just went back to being who he really was. Trash.

Yugal Sehgal writes about life, mindfulness, and people. He lives in India. Follow him and @drawcuments on Instagram.