Pick-Me Boys Have Taken Over TikTok. Here's What This Trend Means

As if dating wasn't hard enough! Let's face it, modern dating is a minefield. Matching on dating apps seems easy enough, but then you actually have to go out in public? To meet them? Away from your cozy couch and pajamas? *shudders* If you can work up the courage to actually go on the dreaded first coffee date, you have to, like, talk to them. The torture is real.


Okay, we kid (sorta), but in reality, so many of us are looking for that special connection, and quite often we can quickly emerge from a first date besotted with the guy we met. He likes all the things we like! He supports equality and women's rights! He complimented us often! It's easy to get excited about a second or third date, but when they happen, suddenly he doesn't seem so great. Why does he keep saying no one really likes him? Why does he keep putting other men down? He seems like someone who doesn't take rejection well. Abort, abort! You may have heard of the "Pick-Me Girl," which refers to the type of girl who tries to assert herself as "not like most girls" in an effort to attain male validation, according to Grazia. But now, TikTok has picked up on the new trend of the "Pick-Me Boy," and if you're dating men, you do not want to sleep on this.  


What exactly is a Pick-Me Boy?

When an old clip of Meredith Grey from "Grey's Anatomy" begging McDreamy, "Pick me! Choose me! Love me!" went viral on TikTok, we should have known this audio would turn into a dating *thing.* The "Pick-Me Girl" was born, a version of the "cool girl" coined by "Gone Girl" author Gillian Flynn, where a woman internalizes society's misogyny to set herself apart from other girls in the hopes her date will like her. So, she eats buffalo wings and seems to love the Super Bowl and video games, whether she actually does or not, because that's what he likes. 


However, with the emergence of the "Pick-Me Boy" on TikTok, we're seeing that men aren't trying to survive the dating world under the patriarchy — they're just misogynists. Relationship expert Elaine Parker put it this way: "'Pick mes' [...] often use emotional manipulation and guilt-tripping to get their way and control the situation," according to Refinery29

What does some of that emotional manipulation and guilt-tripping look like? It could be anything from self-deprecating humor, or fishing for compliments, to attention-seeking and validation, with extreme reactions when their crush doesn't reciprocate. Here's a look at all the traits to look out for in a typical Pick-Me Boy.  

Pick-Me Boys want you to stroke their ego

PIck-Me Boys take self-deprecating humor to new lows. "Pick me boys usually have tragic, 'nice guys finish last' attitudes toward the personality traits they inwardly admire about themselves," says dating coach Blaine Anderson of Dating By Blaine. What that means is that they will talk about themselves in a denigrating way just to evoke sympathy, compliments, and validation from women. Metro UK advises that Pick-Me Boys will even call themselves "ugly" or "annoying" in hopes that women will feel sorry for them and stroke their ego. Urban Dictionary goes so far as defining a Pick-Me Boy as "a guy who uses self depreciation in a manipulative way so a girl will date him. They will say bad things about themselves to try to get the girl to oppose what they've said."


Pick-Me Boys fish for compliments as if it's a form of flirting. TikTok user @jackjos3ph makes fun of this pick-me tactic in one of his viral videos on the platform, where he approaches a woman in the park, compliments her, but tempers his attempt with, "You'd never go for a guy like me. I'm disgusting." The excessive self-loathing is just ... Ughhhhh.

Pick-Me Boys are fake feminists

We love it when men support women's causes, women's rights, and have progressive, inclusive views. But for the Pick-Me Boy, he's just saying what you want to hear in order to get in your pants. It's the ultimate manipulation. Talk about a fake feminist! TikTok user @rowleyy pokes fun at this Pick-Me Boy trait in one of his viral videos where he pretends to be a manipulative fake feminist just to get exactly what he wants. "Last night I just stayed up in bed crying and crying about all the sexism in the world .... can I get a bl*wj*b please?" In fact, this trait isn't that different from the go-to Pick-Me Girl tactic: putting down their gender in order to get what they want. While a Pick-Me Girl will say she's not like most girls in order to become that which she thinks a man wants, the Pick-Me Boy will be critical of his gender because of what *he* wants. 


By pointing out how different he is from others, he is not so subtly revealing that he is exactly like others. TikTok user @igotstinkyfeet satirizes this tactic in their viral Pick-Me Boy video, when they say to a girl, "I really like your personality. Notice how I complimented your inner beauty and not your fat juicy bum in those little jeans?"

Pick-Me Boys lash out when they're rejected

One of the main reasons to be wary of the Pick-Me Boy is they don't take rejection very well. If you don't play their game by stroking their ego or believing their lies, and ultimately tell them you're not interested, they can lash out in pretty nasty ways. The Narcissistic Life points out they may go so far as to say things like, "You should be grateful I asked you because you're ugly," or they will say some truly non-feminist things like, "You should get paid less than men because you're so stupid." This is a complete 180 from their original timid approach at seducing a woman.


TikTok user @hannah.montoyas makes fun of the Pick-Me Boys who decide to choose violence upon rejection. "I thought we had something special, you said hi to me in the hallway! You know what's funny? Your boyfriend probably doesn't treat you as good as I would!" As Yahoo suggests, it's best not to engage with a Pick-Me Boy at all: don't play their game and don't stroke their ego. Blocking them on your phone is always the best course of action.