Ok, now I can’t get the theme song of “Cops” out of my head!
This week the post will be from a single guest blogger and friend, Alanna Scully. She is a fabulous wedding photographer as well, (check out alannascully.com). She candidly reveals her weakness for bad boys, the type who don’t always wear leather jackets.
“When I was younger, I had a vision of how my life would turn out. I thought that by 30 I would have a career, I would have a family, and I would have a clear picture of who I was. I certainly thought I’d have this whole dating thing done and behind me. Or at the very least, I’d have it figured out and I’d be rocking it. Oh, how silly my predictions for the future were. Almost nothing happened the way it was supposed to, and I still have no idea how things are going to turn out. Sometimes that’s the fun part. Sometimes that part SUCKS. Still, I’d like to think that I learned a lot about dating, men, and relationships in my twenties. I’d like to think that I’ve grown into a more assertive, confident single girl who knows what she wants and what she won’t tolerate. But I’ll be honest, there’s one bad dating habit that I’ve found almost impossible to break. I’m talking about the age-old conundrum every girl out there has found herself in at one time or another: being attracted to the bad boy.
Now, I’m guessing you just had an image of a man pop in your head. Maybe it was Vin Diesel in the movie The Fast and the Furious. Maybe Brad Pitt in the movie Fight Club. Maybe it was your ex in the movie How The Hell Could You Do This To Me I Still Love You and Want to Have Your Babies You Selfish Prick. Whoever you pictured, I’m willing to bet that he’s sexy, he’s smoldering, and he’s completely wrong for you. Maybe he was your college frat-boy boyfriend who was cheating on you with his TA (totally hypothetical, this did not happen to me). Maybe he was your high school boyfriend who was the captain of the football team and oh-so-irresistible, but he wouldn’t admit in the hallways of school that you two were together (unfortunately not hypothetical, this ACTUALLY happened to me). Whoever he was, he was impossible to ignore. He IS impossible to ignore. Because he has that indefinable something that keeps you coming back no matter how horribly he treats you.
In the movies, the bad boy is always wearing a leather jacket, riding a Harley and smoking Marlboros. His hair is sometimes longer and unkempt, or he’s the true rebel with a shaved head (in reality this is probably just to cover up the onset of hereditary baldness, but I still wouldn’t throw Jason Statham out of my bed for a ham sandwich)… nonetheless, he has a certain look on the silver screen. But in real life, the bad boy I’m talking about is much harder to identify. I’m talking about the bad at texting guy, the bad at making plans guy and the bad at following through guy, the bad at giving clear signals guy. The bad at being a good guy guy. He could be clean cut, with a college degree (or several), a great job, strong connections to his family. He probably doesn’t own a leather jacket and maybe he’s never smoked a Marlboro in his life. He’s harder to spot because from the outside, he’s everything you want for yourself, and so it’s easy to overlook the warning signs. Who cares that he takes a day to respond to text messages, or that he never initiates plans with you? Who cares that he’s not that nice to you, doesn’t open doors for you, doesn’t like your friends or want to meet your family? He’s got that one thing that you fool yourself into thinking you won’t find in another person, the thing that lines up in your head with what you think you’ve always wanted. For some girls, it’s the right job. Others might place a lot of importance on physical appearance. For me, it’s simple: tall and funny men are the end all, be all. I would probably fall over naked if Conan O’ Brien walked by right now. Yeah, I said it. Conan O’ Brien. He’s tall and he’s hilarious and so he fits my criteria. Don’t judge me.
I think as women, we always have visions of what we want in our heads. And I do not think that’s a bad thing in the least. It’s good to know what you want. However, I know many single girls who have actual lists of what they are looking for in a mate, and refuse to settle if a guy doesn’t have certain qualifications for their list. Here’s the problem with that: if you’re so fixed on the fact that this totally-wrong-for-you guy has some very key and very superficial characteristics that are on your list, you’re overlooking all the characteristics he might be missing. Don’t get me wrong, I think compromise is good and I think sometimes we need to lower our high expectations. But if you are compromising romance, love and support for someone who meets your height requirement or makes six figures, the person you need to be taking a look at is yourself.
We are all deserving of someone great in our lives. Someone who lifts us up instead of putting us down. Someone whose word can be trusted because when they say they’ll do something, they always follow through on it. Someone who is as interested in who we are and what we’re about as we are in who they are and what they’re about. The bad boy might be appealing in the beginning, but don’t be fooled for long. Don’t waste your precious time chasing someone who doesn’t want to be caught. No girl should have to spend weeks or months sitting by the phone, waiting for a scrap of his time and attention. No matter how good he looks in that leather jacket.”
Thank you Alanna for your heartfelt and hilarious take on bad boys. It really got me thinking about how do we know if a guy is a good guy or bad guy? You can’t just judge these days on superficial characteristics such as tattoos or dirt bikes. And you can’t really ask him either (unless your in the movie Caddyshack).
We have to look at what his behaviour is. Here are some good signs that a guy is in it for the right reasons (bachelor reference intended!)
-He introduces you to his friends and family
-He talks about future plans and includes you in them. He’s not afraid to use the word “we”
-He doesn’t rush sex or intimacy and respects if you want to wait
-Random acts of kindness- think modern day chivalry. He doesn’t need to woo you with roses and fancy jewelry but he might wipe down your bar stool at a pub if there is beer on it, open your door for you, walk you home, make sure you cross the road safely.
-He asks you questions about yourself and is interested in your passions and opinions
-He enjoys taking care of you
-He shows respect for all women
-He loves your quirks and doesn’t try to change you
-You are a priority in his life, not second place to work, sports, substance use or friends.
-He wants commitment
The thing is, there is no guarantee and sometimes nice people do shitty things. Can you still remain open and look for and appreciate the positive traits in men? Be honest with yourself about why bad boys or unavailable men are appealing to you. What are you hiding from? How can you be more selective and date men that are truly good for you? When you have a good man, you don’t normally need a list to prove it, you feel it. If you are questioning whether he is good for you or not, then talk to someone you know and trust about your relationship. Sometimes it’s hard to break old habits and you can’t help who you are attracted to, but you can decide whether to date them or let them go. My sister had a great strategy for me you might use if you find yourself going for the wrong guy….She coined the term “good guy, bad friends”, observing that sometimes good guys and bad guys mix. She suggests that when you are out find the guy in the bar you are attracted to. Now find his nice friend and go for him.