“You like bad boys, don’t you?” When he said it, I believe I had my head on the pillow as he laid there across from me like a mirror image. He was looking into my eyes at the time, and make no joke about it, I intentionally stared him down. One of those looks I purposely do to let people know that I am in fact paying attention. I don’t have a name for it but I guess you could call it my “bad girl” look. Of course I quickly arose and let the sheet drop off my shoulder a little to turn away my gaze because at that moment I knew he was on to me. My intention was made known and while I usually use it to gain the upper hand he did a reversal on me and tried to armbar my vulnerability. He said something that I had heard many times before, “Your eyes are so warm and inviting. . . . so happy like you haven’t been beaten down by life.” Spoken like a man that listened to a lot of country songs and burrowed in the bosom of a number of “broken” women. And then the lightbulb went off in my head. It was that gaze that I had that indeed attracted the “bad boys” into my life. (Wishful thinking on my part.)
I quickly tried to pretend that I had no idea what he was talking about, but I had to admit that I did like bad boys. Yet playing with fire has already proven to be dangerous business and I have a lot of burns throughout my life to prove it. Beaten down by life? Yeah, I have a few battle scars. Rising from the ashes? That is definitely me. I don’t get broken, I get better! You don’t get to a point in life where you are 35 going on 36, a single mom with three kids from three different guys, a career woman, and an ambitious woman without getting “burned.” Here’s the thing about it, I could easily date nice guys. In fact when I first moved here, my boyfriend was and he still is a nice guy.
The “Bad Boy” phenomenon
One of my exes told me I need to be with a good man and he would go on and on about how women want bad boys. Eventually I got the hint and took his advice and left him. He was right I needed a good guy. Then again we all have a little bit of “bad” in us and some of us choose to unleash it at the wrong times or we selfishly hold on to it because we haven’t learned from our experiences enough to move forward. I’m a great predictor of when a man chooses to rock on with his bad self and I’ve gotten better at predicting it early. You see, men can control their “bad boy” behavior when they want to. The key is that they have to “want to” do it. I have a lot of great guy friends who grew up from their bad boy ways to settle down into great marriages. They are the exception, not the rule – always remember that. I’m glad I know them and I can respect them for that.
Bad boys are pretty easy to spot besides the obvious behavior. I applaud obvious guys that ask for what they want up front. I had a guy ask me to go check out his apartment and his curtains on the first date. Is he a bad boy? No. More like “Who Cares?” I didn’t take time to find out because that is behavior I’m not going to put up with. Many of you would say he is NOT a bad boy, just desperate. Do not defend the bad boy or give bad boys pedestal status – learn to look at bad boys in the same way you look at desperate guys and you will not “fall” for a bad boy again.
The “bad boy” predictor
I had to date nice guys to understand how nice guys work. I also had to think logically and critically while also enjoying the moment. I went out on a date with this one single dad of four. He was a nice guy and very smart. We had good chemistry during dinner and he wanted to kiss me. I was reluctant but I did anyway and it was a good kiss. One of the things that he said to me was “You must have been spoiled by your dad.” I asked what he meant by that and as he held me in his arms he said, “I’m a dad, I know these things. You want to be protected and feel safe.” I was hooked, but this nice guy quickly showed off some red flags or what I like to call “bad boy” ways. One of the first things I noticed was his self-proclamation that he dates “crazy” women. I’ve had my share of “crazy” guys but for the last 3 years I have minimized that. I don’t date guys that are so upfront about dating crazy women because I often feel that the common denominator is the person still talking to the “crazy women.” So why didn’t we hit it off? His kids are older and mine are young and we are at different points in our life that a match more than likely could not be compatible. One of the key things that single parents face when dating is looking at the long term future since your kids are involved in all of this.
Bad boys don’t know how to delay gratification: Bad boys have a history of dating crazy women. They fall for it because they have not taken the time to get to know these women very well. They have no sense of delayed gratification. It’s kind of like when you are studying for a degree and you know that you have to put in the effort to get that degree. Well a bad boy wants instant gratification – typically physical pleasure and he puts down the façade of perceived good guy behavior quickly and heavily. You can’t help but believe him. Now I know why they say to wait until you get intimate with a guy. I’ve been seeing this cop for awhile and he never touched me. I began to get insecure because of it. Eventually I put him in the friend pile but I could have quickly turned into a bitch to a perfectly nice guy all because of my own insecurities.
Bad Boys Disappear: Bad boys are non-responsive to simple questions. They just don’t bother because YOU are not important to them andthey will respond after they have landed back on planet earth. By which if you are looking for something serious don’t waste your time responding and its best to just let the messages die where they left them. Some disappear because they are afraid you will see them for who they really are. Show a little too much and you can see the ugly side and they are worried you will not put up with it.
Bad Boys are insecure: Bad boys will never admit to it. How do I know they are insecure? Well I’m a self pro-claimed “bad girl” and I’m very much insecure. I’m a fiend for attention and do a lot of things to make myself look good. I’m glad I have friends and family to let me know when I’m acting out. Like a bad boy I will rack up Tinder dates to make it seem like I’m coveted, I have hurt people’s feelings in order to satisfy my own selfish needs, and I will rationalize and justify reasons for not dating or talking to a perfectly decent guy because secretly I may think he deserves better. This does not describe me to a tee. It stems a lot from experiences, you either want to be a douche or you choose not to. Many times I would be a “bad girl” in response to what a “bad boy” did to me. Taking out my “hurt” on others is a not a good way to “learn” from my experiences.
Train your brain to disallow bad boy behavior
What makes Tinder great is that it is low maintenance and attaches to your Facebook. At first it was known as the “hook-up” app, now it looks like there are a lot of normal people taking the plunge on the popular dating app since everyone and their mom has a Facebook page. Every online dating site has the potential to be a hookup site. Only you can control whether or not you plan on serving “it” up on a silver platter – I mean we are all adults here.
Most people I have met on Tinder are pretty cool but since “ease of use” is the main benefit of Tinder I had found it unusual that so many people, both men and women don’t go out on a lot of dates. I have had the pleasure of hanging out with some great dudes, both bad boys and nice guys. It is possible to hang out with nice guys on Tinder and make a love connection. The thing about Tinder and any type of online dating service is really about the law of numbers and your general attitude about the whole dating process.
One of the things I had to learn was self-confidence. I don’t need to be reassured of my beauty, talents, knowledge etc by outside forces. I also can’t treat every date like a business meeting. I had to disassociate my self-acceptance from what others said about me or did for me. I had to learn that just because a guy sleeps with me, touches me, kisses me etc on a date that doesn’t mean he likes me or wants to have a relationship with me. I also had to learn that if a guy doesn’t do those things that doesn’t mean he’s NOT into me. I had to learn how to empower myself, pay attention to the details but look at the big picture. What they do is not a reflection of me.
The other thing I had to learn was “delayed gratification” in order to date nice guys. This is not a race, this is an experience so use your time wisely, be honest in your communications, and gather from the experience what you intended to gather in the first place. Don’t waste your time or the other person’s time. Learn to be in touch with how you react to date occurrences.
I also had to learn to prioritize personality treats and come to conclusions about someone all by myself. The nice guys are pretty obvious. There is no guessing game because they have accepted the reality of their lives. They respond in kind to that. I went on a first date to Dave and Buster’s and as we sat outside the establishment, a drunk couple was fighting in the parking lot. My date was kind enough to want to help the lady out who was abandoned by her boyfriend. In that moment I knew I was on a date with a nice guy – a considerate guy and expressed my appreciation of his knee jerk reaction to helping someone in need. While there was no obvious chemistry, I can learn to appreciate what a “nice” guy has to offer. Then you train your brain to tell yourself that it’s ok to date a nice guy. You keep repeating that and you allow yourself to indulge in all the cute things about his behavior. The way he cracks a smile on some of your jokes.
We all have a little bit of bad in us. We either choose to use it or not.