Thursday, January 17, 2013

Bad guys

Women are attracted to bad boys. It's been the plight of nice guys since...well, forever.

You meet a guy. He's probably very good-looking. He talks you up about how beautiful you are, how lucky he is to have met you - yet he's non-committal. 

On the surface, he seems to have his act together. When you dig deeper, you find that in a lot of ways, he's really a mess of issues. He's obviously using you for money or favors - or at the very least, taking advantage of your kindness. 

He always has an excuse, a "reason" for being late or not showing up or canceling. He'll always pay you back, or "get it next time." 

He's always just got to get through this one rough patch and everything will be OK.

No, it won't. 

He's playing you. If he's good, he's subtle. He hints around how he knows you've probably been rejected by others, but he appreciates you. He lets you think that paying for everything is your idea - because you suggested dinner, or you wanted to see that movie, or he has important bills coming up. 

He offers to pay or to be there for you, when he knows he won't need to follow through. So he can say, "Well, I did offer...." He apologizes when he knows he's upset you - and he knows the signs to watch for, so he can do it before you get really angry. This makes him seem sensitive and as if he really pays attention because he cares.

A guy that good has been at this a while; he could try this on anyone, and even the most put-together woman would probably fall for it - at first. (Beginner players stick to younger women, or women who already have low self-esteem - easier targets.)

The thing is, any woman at the right moment is vulnerable to this guy. Freshly rejected, going through a rough time at work or financially - anything that challenges how you feel about yourself can make you ripe for a bad boy's picking. 

The good news is, if you are confident, and good to yourself, and honest, and have good friends - you'll figure it out. By the time you do, it might still be tough to pull yourself away. He knows the signs. When he feels you slipping away, he'll put on the charm. He'll convince you that maybe you're just not giving him enough of a chance. He'll have you questioning your own choices and how they've affected the relationship. 

He'll tell you that if you just hang in there, the two of you will be great together. You're meant for each other! Really, he'll say whatever he thinks you would most want to hear.

Plus - you like the guy. He's cute, he's smart, he's funny, he's sweet. 

The thing is - those things aren't enough to make a good friend/boyfriend/husband. Sure, they're part of what attracts you to a person, and it's nice to find someone who has those qualities. But there are more important things to look for, especially in someone with whom you hope to eventually share a life. 

Honestly, integrity, thoughtfulness, responsibility.... All much more important.

But back to the bad boy. How to get rid of him? It's hard to say for sure. Walking away is easier said than done. You know you should - but you really need to find a way to make - and stick with - the decision. Maybe you're afraid to miss out on something that could be good. Maybe you're worried you'll hurt him if he really does like you.

You need to find a way to put yourself first - which is tough, because he's convinced you that's not what's best. Think about how he really makes you feel. Sure, when you're with him it's probably great. But what about the rest of the time? Are you upset? Worried? Nervous? Do you enjoy your time with friends, family, when he's not around? Do you feel like yourself? Do you like yourself?

Maybe ask yourself this: If your friend came to you and described your situation as her own - what would be your advice? 

If he makes you unhappy, and brings out the worst of your personality, his good qualities don't really matter. He's clearly not the best person for you. Don't you deserve the best?

Just for a moment, forget what you think you want, and remember what you know you deserve


  1. You are so right! Happened to me twice already. I'm not proud for realizing earlier, but they've been just as you described, so cute and smart and they knew exactly when they'd succeed...

    xoxo Cent4urThoughts

  2. I have been a regular victim/willing participant in these types of relationships in the past. Now I know I'm better off with my friends. I don't need this guy in my life. It's just too expensive- financially and emotionally.