In the past week, you’ve probably seen the term ‘softboy’ (or ‘softboiiii’) littered across the internet, inserting its way into memes, podcasts, and general conversation. But WTF actually IS a softboy and how does it differ from a fuckboy? In fact, are they even in the same camp? We’ve (obviously) got all the answers…
WHAT IS A SOFTBOY?
Urban dictionary (where I go to for all my answers) defines the softboy as:
Similar to a fuckboy but without the cocky attitude. The Softboy will butter a girl up by appealing to her emotions and showing a “sensitive” side long enough for her to sleep with him, whether or not he actually cares about her or not. Then, like the fuckboy, he can’t/won’t commit. Differs from the fuckboy because he goes for the heart and emotions rather than just the body.
A softboy is essentially a fuckboy by a different name who sneaks into your life without you realising, because where a fuckboy will slide into your DMs with a not-so-clever take on ‘DTF?’, the softboy will lure you in with his seemingly intelligent and interesting conversation. He will not try to exchange dirty texts and you most certainly will never open your phone to find an unsolicited pic of his shlong.
If you live in Australia, the best way to understand a softboy is to think about the male species who brew from Sydney’s inner west. Stereotypically, if they tick one or more of the following traits, they’re probably a softboy:
- Staunchly an avid reader whose pile of books boasts titles from Jeffrey Eugenides, Roxanne Gray, and Paulo Coelho.
- Discusses his bucket-list with gusto, involving activities like trying ayahuasca in the Amazon and building a village in south-east Asia.
- Calls himself a ‘proud feminist’ and likes to heatedly debate ‘women’s issues’.
- Buys clothes from second-hand stores and lectures others on ethical resourcing.
- Carries around a metal straw and scolds you for any and all plastic use.
- Brews his own bloody kombucha.
- Expresses a sole interest in overly obscure music, films, mock/documentaries, and literature. Rolls his eyes at anything ‘mainstream’, deeming it lowbrow.
SOFTBOY VS. FUCKBOY
Softboys are regarded as the worst types of fuckboys, because while their traditional brothers are a bit, well… dim, the softboy is as clever as they come. Under the guise of being all ‘woke’ and ’emotionally vulnerable’, the softboy will insidiously sneak into your life when in reality, just like his cockier/stupider brother, this type of fuckboy is also just looking for a short-term car park for his man meat.
I’ve helpfully compiled a comparison graph of traits each offer:
ARE YOU DATING A SOFTBOY?
Watch out for any of these signs…
- They might ask your thoughts on a particular song/podcast/film and whether there is any feminist value to the subtext.
- Tells you that you ‘won’t get it’ when you ask him to elaborate on something wankerish he said. Further perpetuating that he thinks he is smarter than literally everyone else on the planet because he has an ‘independent, deep and unique thought process’ that others just ‘don’t understand’, #ShitSoftboysSay
- He will treat you like his girlfriend before all of a sudden needing time to ‘figure himself out’ or ‘work on himself’.
- He’ll disappear off the face of the earth, all the while continuing to watch all of your Instagram/Snapchat stories.
- Will often refer to how hurt he’s been in the past and how he doesn’t ‘easily let people in’.
- Has a pretentious vinyl collection. That he doesn’t even listen to.
- Often proclaims how ‘different’ he is.
Have you ever been victim to a softboy? I wish this term was around a few years ago because my ex was 100% a softboy, vintage sweater and all. Check out this insta page for softboy lols, you won’t be disappointed.
Softboy analysis by Kelly McCarren.