Dating a bad boy?

Some of the guys wearing this think they’re projecting a bad-boy image.

Most of us women love bad boys. There’s something terribly attractive about a guy who oozes confidence, sex appeal, and lives his life without caring what other people think. Dating a bad boy means a roller coaster ride of emotions, which can be fun and exciting. You never know when you’ll hear from them or what they’ll do next. Sexy, right?

While I dated my share of bad boys – I knew in my heart these relationships would never last. But I couldn’t help being attracted to them. There was a sense of freedom and confidence they displayed which I wanted for myself. So against my better judgment, I hopped on the back of their bikes, willing to risk my emotions for something – thrilling. I followed the same pattern for each new relationship – I thought this bad boy was different – that he really loved and cared for me despite the cool indifference of his actions. In truth, each one made me insecure, frustrated, and depressed. Not exactly the emotional high I was originally going for.

I hosted speed dating events for many years, and one of the complaints I heard most often from guys was, “why do women date jerks when they say they just want a nice, decent man? That’s never what they want.” The fact so many men said the same thing gave me pause. They were right – and I’d been guilty myself.

Are you dating a guy who’s – well – not so great for you? Are most of the men you find attractive bad boys? Do you think you can change them? Do nice guys make you feel bored and uninspired? Well, unless you’re 22 or don’t want a real relationship, it’s time to start changing your ways.

I’ve put together a few easy steps to help break you of the bad boy habit. Start with these, and you’ll be on your way to healthier and far more fulfilling relationships:

  1. Understand your bad boys. Take a good look at your history. How were you treated by your previous loves? How did they make you feel? Do you see a pattern in the types of men you choose? If you understand how your bad boys operated and how they made you feel, you can see the difference between your initial fantasy (what you wanted them to be) and who they actually were.
  2. Understand yourself. Were you trying to “fix” your bad boys, thinking that somehow you could change them and make them kind, loving partners? Or were you afraid of commitment – running away from anyone who might be a good catch in favor of someone who assuredly wouldn’t work out?
  3. Stop having sex with the bad boys. Can’t get over him? Try deleting his phone number. Don’t be tempted to text him, and don’t fall for his charm. Remove yourself physically. If you keep going back, especially if you’re still having sex, you’ll keep your emotions tied up and you definitely won’t meet a great, available man.
  4. Open yourself up to guys who aren’t your “type.” This means giving nice guys a chance. Even if you don’t feel that instant chemistry like you did with your bad boys, spend time with nice men (who will likely surprise you). People aren’t stereotypes – we all have something unique to bring to a relationship. So get to know a man before you dismiss him. Bad boys haven’t worked for you so far, so why not give someone else a chance?

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