The relationship started in the conventional way—a favorable
recommendation by a mutual friend, a series of lengthy telephone conversations,
an enjoyable first date, and four months of assimilation into each other’s
Then, says attorney Richard Blankenship, relations with his
now ex-girlfriend Tiffani Milstead-Kwock began to sour.
“It started after our first fight, although I should have
seen this shit coming,” said Mr. Blankenship. “She was fucking paranoid from the
day I met her, but fuck me, right?”
Their issues, according to myriad experts in the
relationship field, stem from the increasingly widespread practice among young
New York women of accusing their dating partners of suffering from serious
psychological disorders—especially during arguments where the male partner did
nothing wrong. This, Mr. Blankenship says, was Ms. Milstead-Kwock’s first line
of defense in any disagreement.
“Oh, man. It was never just a straight-up fight with that
fucking idiot. When I complained, I was ‘perseverating.’ When I got mad, it was
because of my ‘baggage,’ which meant I had to ‘talk to someone.’ That’s not the
first time a girl pulled this shit with me, either. Everybody’s a fucking
armchair therapist around here, right? What the fuck?”
It’s been well-documented that young Manhattan women far exceed
national averages in terms of active psychological ailments, yet in recent
years, it seems as though they’ve adopted something of a table-turning strategy
in dealing with their male counterparts, utilizing a form of “mirroring” in
which the unstable woman attempts to convince her male partner that he suffers
from a similar—or even more acute—condition.
One popular variation of this is known as the “apology
gambit,” where despite being completely at fault in a given situation, a young
woman will attempt to elicit, from her partner, an inappropriately timed
request for forgiveness. According to researchers, the young woman, if
unsuccessful, will eventually escalate this move into a full-blown diagnosis of
mental illness in her partner, with accusations ranging from dissociative
identity disorder (DID) to the Cotard delusion.
“Goddamn,” said East Village couples counseling specialist
and author Stephen Thorenstamm. “These girls are so fucking annoying when they
come in here. I can’t take this shit. They’ve all obviously been fucked over a thousand
times by dating assholes who’ve treated them like shit, so they turn around and
try to tell everyone else they’re insane in order to rationalize their
inability to get along with anyone when they can’t get exactly what they want
when they want it.”
In the case of Ms. Milstead-Kwock, such impromptu psychological
evaluations likely result from a condition Dr. Narjender Singh, a clinical
researcher, calls “entitlement syndrome”—an unfortunate mode of behavior that’s
typically augmented by a host of female “enabler” friends who perpetually
convince the subject that she’s done nothing wrong, and that her partner is at
fault strictly because of his gender.
“What we’re seeing,” said Dr. Singh, “is that unhappy young
women tend to gravitate toward one another, congregating in pretentious ‘wine
bars’ and the like, and comparing notes on what’s going wrong in their lives.
When one young woman is in a relationship and most of her friends aren’t, it’s
a recipe for disaster, even with the hot ones. They all have shit you have to
deal with, it seems.”
For Mr. Blankenship, it’s a gender equity issue, albeit one
with an unpleasant twist.
“She does something annoying, I call her out on it, she
tells me I’m bipolar and need medication, and if I tell her what’s on my mind
at that point, I’m the asshole because she’s a woman. How’s that fair? I’m a
lawyer, bro. I don’t have time for this shit.”
Editor's Note: If you think this is aimed at you, don't worry. It's not.