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"Ali, I've dated a 'Charlie' before. You need to know that it never ends well."


When you first meet this man, he bowls you over with just how impressive he is.

The perfect amalgamation of brains and brawn, he wants the white picket fence and the two kids, to chop firewood and fix the tap when it’s leaking.

Like a Ken doll made up of all the qualities you’re looking for in a man, he’s inherently masculine, but wants to respect you. Take care of you.

He says he doesn’t want you to make the same mistakes you’ve made with men before. He knows what’s best for you before you know yourself.

He’s not going anywhere, he says. You won’t scare him away.

Watching how Charlie Newling interacted with Ali Oetjen on last night’s episode of The Bachelorette, I recognised the type of man I unfortunately know all too well.

“This is a girl who’s fallen for [things] before in the past, and in my mind she’s falling for it again,” the 31-year-old builder told the camera before sitting her down to tell her she was being blinded by the other men in the house.

“That hurts me, I care about her a lot. She needs to be protected. It needs to come from me.” (Watch the moment below, post continues after video…)

Video via Ten

It felt uncomfortably familiar because, Ali, I’ve been there before. I’ve sat where you were sitting, with a ‘Charlie’ telling me I was wrong and he was right.

Telling me that I’m making mistakes and that I can’t trust my feelings, that he knows what’s best for me, and if only I would do what he says, everything would be better.


The thing about ‘Charlies’ is they only want you when you’re a damsel in distress.

When I met mine, my life was in turmoil. He made it his personal mission to rescue me. First, with heartfelt, thoughtful emails, followed by a flurry of supportive texts.

Then came the big bunches of flowers sent to my work. Thinking of you, the little white cards read. We’d talked on the phone for eight hours straight.

I don’t think there’s a woman in the world who wouldn’t be attracted to that level of attention. My vulnerability constantly made me wonder, What does he see in me? Why is he pursuing a damaged girl when he could have anyone he wanted?

It was only in hindsight that I understood the red flags were there from the start.

Eventually, I realised the lengths this man went to isolate me, to keep me in the position of vulnerability in which he’d found me. If I recovered and thrived, he’d be relegated from hero to boyfriend, and I don’t think that would’ve been enough for him.

He had White Knight Syndrome.

Listen: The latest episode of Bach Chat. Post continues after audio…

He didn’t want what was best for me, because it wasn’t what was best for him.

Part of dating is making your own mistakes, the very mistakes Charlie believes you’re incapable of learning from.

Whether or not Charlie is the man of your dreams or another mistake, it’s yours to make.

I just need you to know… dating a ‘Charlie’ never ends well.

If you or someone you know is experiencing emotional abuse or domestic violence, please seek professional help and contact 1800 RESPECT on 

What did you think of Charlie’s behaviour on The Bachelorette? Are you watching this season?