6 Dating Disasters You’ve Seen In Movies (a.k.a. 6 J.E.R.K.s To Avoid)

Whether we are binge-watching them on Netflix or repeatedly dating them in real life, jerks are par for the course. Why is it that we not only fall for these jerks on the big screen but life too? Well, my dating friend, it all comes down to one simple mindset shift.

J.E.R.K. stands for J.ust E.xperiencing R.epeated K.arma

Put that one in the ol’ noggin and let it roll around for a moment. YOU as well as the female leads in these movies are a victim of repeated karma until you, or they, learn the universal truth that is literally slapping them in the face.

Mr. Narcissist J.E.R.K. = Christian Grey from 50 Shades of Grey


Christian Grey is the man women love to hate. This twisted, dark, and brooding character gets the lady parts and your mind as twisted as he is complicated. While he masquerades as a rich bad boy, he should truly be labeled the classic Narcissist J.E.R.K. Grey takes this to the extreme in this movie with his controlling, dominant behavior of the nieve, innocent Ana Steele. He manipulates her into subservience by exerting his power over her. Ana is, of course, helpless to his charm, sexual promiscuity, and mysterious nature of an untold past.
So why is it that she and other women are lured into these types of toxic relationships? I have one word for you – manipulation. Dr. Elinor Greenburg, in her article, “Why Am I Attracting So Many Narcissists?”, helps us understand narcissistic attraction (a.k.a. manipulation). She writes, “Many people get seduced back into relationships with narcissistic people because the person pursues them in what feels like such a flattering way. They mistake the narcissist’s desire to win, for love of them as an individual.”
What you need to know, above all else, is that narcissists are the masters of manipulation. The thing about all narcissists is, at some point, you will feel as if you’ve gone crazy when you finally get wise to their game. They will gaslight you (meaning that they will intentionally confuse you and question reality) into thinking that you are the one who’s really the problem and that you need to change. They do this to detract others from being able to notice their flaws.

Mr. Aloof J.E.R.K. = Mr. Big from Sex and the City

Mr. Big from Sex and the City is the epitome of the Aloof J.E.R.K. when it comes to being in a relationship. Why so many women rooted for them to be together in the end is beyond me. Big displays all the traits of the “unavailable man” that pushed and pulled Carrie into and out of a relationship repeatedly. Just when she was finally moving on, he would show up to twist her into mental knots. The mystery of the unknown, and wanting to figure him out, drew Carrie back only for her to complain about his traits to her girlfriends.
So why was his aloof demeanor so damn attractive? Let’s bring in the good doctor to explain. Dr. Jill P. Weber shares in her article, “Why Are Emotionally Unavailable Men So Damn Desirable?”, “The attraction of the ‘aloofness factor’ as looking desirable, in control, yet not being fully present. “The unavailable man leaves the observer (typically a woman) feeling she has discovered an exotic jewel of wonder, and it leaves her wanting to come closer and to know more about him.”
Fat chance of that happening—the Aloof J.E.R.K. only leaves a love trail of breadcrumbs. You will never really know what they are thinking, let alone feeling. Their mysterious nature makes us want more—we want to figure them out. They have an air about them, a presence that is quietly removed. They interact just enough with us to keep us interested, but they still keep people at a distance, especially their romantic interests, aka YOU!
Check out the movie clip.

Mr. Manolesent J.E.R.K. = Tripp from Failure to Launch

Tripp, the main character in Failure to Launch, is the classic example of a man-child or better labeled Manolescent J.E.R.K. He portrays the classic traits of the boy who refuses to grow up or leave the house of his parents. His life motto is to have fun! Never taking on any responsibility, or feeling any real emotional connection, he lacks the ability to pull his weight in a committed relationship.
In Psychology, this is commonly referred to as the Peter Pan Syndrome. This disorder should not be confused with a guy whose issues involve things like being lazy or acting immature with his friends to blow off steam. While I am sure that is quite annoying, Peter Pan Syndrome goes far deeper than that. Warning: psychobabble alert! I’ll keep it brief.
Dr. Shannon Tapia explains in her blog post “The Real Definition of “Man-Child,” that “A Man-Child is emotionally trapped in the developmental stages of a young child, generally ages 2-6, but one that never learned empathy (usually because they didn’t receive the necessary love and guidance to learn it). They are stuck in their own feelings, often of hurt and insecure, and therefore can’t see outside themselves when they interact with others in relationship.”
This means they love to throw tantrums, unable to see anything from your perspective, let alone have an adult conversation about relationship topics. Worst of all, they act out the same way a child or a teenager does! Oh, and they have zero empathy for others.
Check out the movie clip for more.

Mr. Bad Boy J.E.R.K. = Patrick Verona from 10 Things I Hate About You

Who doesn’t secretly desire a bad boy? Admit it! Patrick Verona proved to Kat Stratford the Bad Boy J.E.R.K. charm wins in the end. While Kat hates almost everything about him, Patrick’s sole goal is to win her over. She falls for his manipulations and overlooks his selfish, self-serving behavior as this yet another form of narcissism. Poor Kat is obviously clueless about how this will turn out in the end.
Young or old our hormones – oxytocin and dopamine – run the show here. Brianne Hogan gets the mix of narcissism and hormones right in her Zook article, “Why Do Girls Like Bad Boys? Secrets from the Science of Attraction.” She writes, “In short, a bad boy makes a darn good first impression. This works well in his favor because, according to the research, when we find someone super hot, we tend to assume they’re also smart, kind, and confident (even if it isn’t true). No wonder bad boys are so irresistible.”
That said, if you want a good time with a no-strings-attached guy, he’s your man as he is not definitely about a real relationship. But no matter what you think, you will not tame this wild animal.
Check out this movie clip.

Mr. Player J.E.R.K. = Sebastian Valmont from Cruel Intentions

Sebastian Valmont is the definition of the Player J.E.R.K. as he seduces both movie buffs along with a host of other characters throughout the movie. This bad boy, narcissistic, player takes the cake in his role by going after anything in a skirt. And they all fall for it. Why?
Damn, if it isn’t body chemicals wreaking havoc on the rational mind yet once again. Katherine Wu explains in depth all about how body chemicals play a role in love in her article “Love, Actually: The science behind lust, attraction, and companionship.” In her Harvard graduates studies she shares, “High levels of dopamine and a related hormone, norepinephrine, are released during attraction. These chemicals make us giddy, energetic, and euphoric…”
Basically, this irrational attraction comes from high doses of dopamine that the player evokes, either consciously or—with his Casanova-like-cunningness—unconsciously.
The player is playing (or preying) on the need for emotional bonding. That’s why he feels like a drug—he gives you a dose of what’s missing, namely the need to feel close to someone.
Check out this movie clip.

Mr. Ghosting J.E.R.K. = Conner & Alex vs. Gigi from He’s Just Not That into You

The Ghosting J.E.R.K. is a newer twist on dating in the 21st century but a play on the age-old concept of waiting by the phone for him to call. Conner and Alex both play a role in Gigi’s misinterpreting the signs of love. I call this being in love with virtual-him. Gigi reads meaning into the texts that are not really there. When Connor begins to disappear/ghost without an explanation, Gigi is left wondering. Alex tries to help her with this, but he ends up, at a certain point, being the object of her misinterpretations.
So why is happening? It fundamentally comes down to fear of conflict in communication. We, humans, tend to avoid conflict and not wanting to let others down. Dr. Jannice explains this in her article “This Is Why Ghosting Hurts So Much.” “People who ghost are primarily focused on avoiding their own emotional discomfort and they aren’t thinking about how it makes the other person feel. The lack of social connections to people who are met online also means there are less social consequences to dropping out of someone’s life.”
It seems to me that by both experiencing and/or being a Ghosting J.E.R.K., you can learn a valuable lesson about yourself. Often, it’s not your fault this keeps happening—sometimes it’s just them, and that’s okay! Or being ghosted/doing the ghosting can be a sign that it’s time to take a pause in your dating life and check in with you.
Check out this movie clip.
These J.E.R.K.s will keep showing up in life until YOU or the main character finally says, “I’m Done!” Then spend time digging into the ol’ subconscious mind and find out why. Want to be J.E.R.K. proof and stop J.E.R.K. stands for J.ust E.xperiencing R.epeated K.arma? Then start with you! It’s too late for these on-screen ladies! Learn from these leading ladies mistakes and take the LEAD in YOUR life!