13 Ways Bad Boyfriends Are Exactly Like the Sh*tty Subway

So, let’s be real, everyone who dates dudes has had a shitty boyfriend. They always follow a similar pattern: They ghost you, forget to call when they say they will, never pay you back, say terrible things (to the point where you think your brain will break), are emotionally lazy (and then you get to do the emotional labor for them), etc. The list could actually go on forever.

The other day, I was on the subway (like I do every day), and I had an epiphany: Bad boyfriends are a lot like the subway (the D train, if you will). If you’ve ever lived in New York City or other major cities (or have passed through), you know the subways are kind of a mess. These days, especially, it seems like you’re always waiting around for a train that never shows up — just like that bad boyfriend!

Let me break it down for you:

1. They ghost you. Like just straight up stop showing up.

2. They’re always late.

3. They keep you waiting, even when you arrive on time (or early!).

4. They never really apologize. Sure, they may say sorry for “the inconvenience”or for “making you feel this way.” But that isn’t an apology or taking real accountability. Just own up to your shittiness guys/trains.

larry david apology

5. They smell, and it’s not the good kind of smell.

6. Speaking of smelling, they could always use a good cleaning.

7. Their sense of style is so retro, and not in the cool James Dean kind of way, but more like, you think white socks are OK with dress shoes?!

8. They can’t make up their mind. In the summer, the trains are way too cold, and in the winter, you’re so hot, you think you’re going to pass out. Bad boyfriends are the same, they just can’t get it together.

9. They aren’t comfortable. On the train, you’re just squeezed and contorting in weird ways, and someone is always manspreading. It’s a mess. With a bad boyfriend, it’s much the same, just replace the manspreading with mansplaining. It’s always about them and their needs.

10. They don’t understand the concept of space. Unlike the ghoster dude, the “I can’t live without you for a second” boyfriend is always up your tuchus. He’s always texting, eating your chocolate, wanting to know what you’re doing. You just can’t breathe, much like how you can’t breathe when your face is literally in someone else’s armpit.

broad city subway

11. They harass you, touch you in unwanted ways, possibly even assault you. Trains can be breeding grounds for all sorts of awful behavior, ranging from harassment and catcalling to assault. I don’t have to tell you how some men can be the same.

12. They’re unreliable. Whether it’s being there for you on a bad day or just actually listening to you, they just can’t seem to get it right. The train is the same, often making you late to all your appointments, making you look like the flakey one.

14. They’re terrible communicators. Between the mumbling announcements, or the lack of actual instruction and confusing service changes, it can be impossible to know what to expect with the MTA. Bad boyfriends are basically the same, saying one thing and doing another — and never opening up about anything.

But hey, at least the subway actually takes you places.

rat on subway


Image via Flickr/Jose Carlos Machado

Joanna Valente

Joanna C. Valente is the author of Sirs & Madams, The Gods Are Dead, Marys of the Sea, Xenos, and the editor of A Shadow Map: An Anthology by Survivors of Sexual Assault.

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