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Wanted: unreliable, emotionally unstable guy for thrills
Women share an almost universal belief that the worst thing a man can do is BORE THEM. Admit it ladies, you know this is true--and that it is probably at the root of that all too common attraction women have to "bad boys." Then there are the cultural stereotypes that tell us sexy, desirable, and attractive come in packages like James Dean, Colin Farrell, Jude Law and Russell Crowe, to name a few. Add to these the age old (fallacy) belief that the only man worth having is one who challenges us, keeps us guessing, and causes us to have butterflies at the sight of him, even years into the relationship.
Men are completely mystified by this, as their interpretation of "bad" differs a bit from the ladies. Guys think of a bad boy as someone who mistreats a woman, is insensitive to her feelings and needs and requires her to do all the work in the relationship. While this is what can usually be seen from the outside, ask any woman who loves a bad boy what it is like from the inside. These are some of the things she would probably say:
* It will never be boring
* I can't push him around
* He makes me feel like a woman
* I love a take charge kind of guy
* He's so sexy
* He always says the right thing
* I know how to handle him
* He tries so hard not to be late or forgetful
* He's not like that when we are alone
* He's misunderstood by everyone
If you are a woman and find yourself thinking or uttering several of these about the guy in your life, you may want to pause for a few minutes and reconsider your attraction. Yes, he is interesting, fun and you feel so ALIVE when you are with him--but what about when this attraction turns into a relationship? What will it be like when you encounter the "worse, poorer, and sickness," talked about in traditional marriage vows? Perhaps you are only in the relationship for fun? But what happens if your heart begins to feel differently, yet you mind is telling you that this is not a guy who wants what you want from life and/or a relationship?
The ugly reality is that this attraction usually rests in the belief that strong men are aggressive (abusive), overly confident (cocky), unmoved by the opinions of others (insensitive), focused on their own goals/needs (selfish) - and are ALPHA types, (fearless, capable and resilient).
The reverse is true of a woman's belief about nice guys. They are solicitous (insecure), thoughtful (afraid make a unilateral decision), gentle (low testosterone), sensitive (insecure, wimpy) - and grovel to women because they are desperate and fear being dumped.
If the above interpretations sound familiar, consider evaluating potential mates in a whole new way. Think of this as looking for a new and better hybrid model. Perhaps you know some attractive, sexy, strong guys who are already taken who fall into this category. They are thoughtful, good communicators who push back when their significant other's views, opinions, and plans don't line up with theirs. They are ambitious in their careers, but their families are high on their list of priorities when allocating their limited time and energy. They are confident and self-assured but will concede to the ideas and desires of others. They are responsible, careful planners who can be spontaneous and unpredictable when the mood arises. They are both sexy and sweet, sensitive and strong, self-assured yet focused on pleasing the women they are attracted to. Years into the relationship, they will continue to have these nice traits and be mates that you can trust, love, and who have your back--no matter the challenges and hard times you are facing together.
No one is one-dimensional, and possessing one trait does not mean that a very different or opposite one can't be found inside that person. Open your mind and heart and the next time a seemingly nice guy comes along, consider trying him on for size.
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Toni Coleman, LCSW
© Copyright 2008 Antoinette Coleman. All rights reserved.
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