A Compelling Case Against Dating a Bad Boy

Bad boys may be nothing but trouble, but they’re also hard to resist. While they are appealing, you deserve so much better. Let’s discuss that.

Let’s be honest: we’ve all basked in the warmth of a bad boy’s attention at least once in our lives. Many of us even have the emotional scars to prove it. The risks involved with loving a rebellious man often outweighs its rewards. Why then do so many beautiful, educated women find bad boys so irresistible?

Let’s talk about it.

A bad boy’s appeal

In order to overcome a bad boy fixation, you must first understand its root. As women, we are hard-wired to find hyper-masculine men more attractive than their counterparts. While a bit of bravado never hurt anyone, excessive impulsivity could make a man fall prey to the shameless acts indicative of bad boy behavior.

Bad boys know exactly how desirable they are, and they have the confident, dominant behavior to prove it. Those macho traits speak directly to a woman’s primal senses. Because the attraction is biological, our high tolerance for their careless antics is almost innate.

Some of us find a bad boy’s bravado to be intoxicating. Such infectious self-assurance effortlessly manifests itself in the women who capture the rebel’s fleeting attention. Many women are so enamored with the interest of a bold man that they overlook his horrible actions and attitude. [Read: 10 guys you should stop dating if you want real love]

Why do so many women, even when faced with blatant disrespect, tough it out with bad boys?

Why women stay with the bad boys

For many of us, dating a bad boy provides an adrenaline rush and boosts our confidence. Sadly, those perks rarely spare us the havoc his actions can wreak upon our mental and emotional health. So why do we stay? Simply put, we love a challenge, and many of us believe we’re ready to tackle the taming of a wild man.

We often convince ourselves that bad boys are nothing more than diamonds in the rough. We recognize their potential and develop the faith that they’ll eventually become men who exceed our expectations. We delude ourselves by thinking that the women in his past didn’t have what it took to make him change, then reassure ourselves that we do.

Worst of all, perhaps, is the fact that so many of us stand by our bad boys when they’re at their worst, then we rationalize that they’re a work in progress. Otherwise intelligent women assure themselves that they alone have the power to transform a rebel into the man he’s destined to become. There are so many excuses women make for their bad boys that it will take another article to discuss.

Ego-based reasoning may feel empowering in the moment, but it’s delusional and in some cases, it can even be dangerous. There are so many awesome men out there waiting for you. Stop trying to build one out of someone who has no desire to change. [Read: 10 common mistakes women make in their relationships] 

How to get the man you deserve

Attracting a new type of man can be difficult and overwhelming, especially when you aren’t quite sure how to begin. If you’re ready to break your bad boy habit, these five tips will help you find someone who can match your relationship contributions.

#1 Get real with yourself. We’re almost two decades into a fresh millennium. Primal mindsets attract primal men. Before you set out on your expedition to find Mr. Right, evaluate the qualities that you bring to the table. Embrace the traits you love, acknowledge and adjust your less admirable quirks, then use that info to complement the guy you deserve. [Read: 9 reasons your ideal man wish list isn’t working for you]

#2 Fight the temptation. While we desire rebellious men on a rudimentary level, our current focus is finding a good guy. That said, if you want better, you have to do better. When you find yourself falling for a bad boy, recognize the signs and bow out gracefully. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

#3 Look the part. YouTube natural hair guru NaturallyCandi documented her experience wearing her natural hair versus wearing hair extensions. In the clip, she divulged that she attracted earthier, artsier men when she wore her hair in its natural state. Conversely, she found that she attracted men who were more concerned with status and appearance when she wore a weave.

We often alter our esthetic in an attempt to attract our ideal partner. While this is a common practice, it’s important to remember that false presentations can attract the wrong men. Think about it: if you use a facade to attract a man, he will lose interest when your personality fails to live up to the hype.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with looking nice and taking pride in your appearance. In fact, a cute outfit and flattering makeup can always be used to play up your favorite features. An issue only arises when you drastically alter your appearance to look like someone you’re not.

Try to steer clear of heavy makeup, excessive hair extensions, and body-altering apparatuses. The goal is to find someone who appreciates you, inside and out. If the enhancements above are staples in your wardrobe, consider making some soft adjustments. [Read: 25 things guys find sexy in a woman]

#4 Location, location, location. The only good men you’ll find while you’re sitting home alone are the Nicholas Sparks heroes on your Netflix roster. Also, your odds of meeting a good guy in a bar or nightclub are pretty slim. If you want to find the right person, you have to put yourself out there. So where exactly is “there?” Where are all the good guys hiding?

Houses of worship, coffee shops, and bookstores are excellent places to find great men. If you’re into the philanthropic types, consider becoming a volunteer at a soup kitchen or animal shelter. Caring, philanthropic men can also be found at various charity events.

Many working professionals simply don’t have the time to find men IRL. If online dating is more your speed, consider investing a few dollars in a paid membership on a site like Match. Fee-free sites are often the online equivalent of nightclubs with no cover charge or dress code. You want to avoid places that will let just anyone in.

Let’s be clear: there is no such thing as a jerk-free environment. That said, you won’t have to kiss as many frogs in a library as you may in a bar. [Read: 33 best places to meet attractive and eligible men]

#5 Recognize a good guy when you see him. We’ve all let a bad boy’s affection cloud our judgment at one time. We’ve all let a good man slip away as a result. The worst part? The awesome guy who got away was probably someone who’d been under our nose for a long time.

People always tell you who they are. More often than not, their actions will speak louder than their words. If you’re lucky enough to find a guy with a positive attitude, who treats others well and speaks about them with respect, make him yours! If you don’t, another woman will, and she’ll be ready to show him the love and appreciation he deserves. [Read: 11 sure signs he’s a real keeper]

Bottom line: you’re way too cute to waste your time and energy on someone who won’t appreciate you. Be open and honest with yourself about what you want from your relationship, and know what you deserve. If a guy’s words tell you that he’s a great catch, but his actions say otherwise, recognize the signs and don’t be afraid to move on. The right guy is out there for you. Go out and get him!

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Lex Butler
I’m Lex Butler, a freelance LovePanky.com contributor based in sunny San Diego, CA, who is passionate about sexual freedom, health, and responsibility. When I...
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