There he is…something about him catches your attention, but you’re not sure what it is. You catch yourself glancing in his direction throughout the evening. Then it happens. He notices you and smiles. But this isn’t just any smile. This smile is attached to a look. You know the look. The look says, “I’m going to take you on an adventure.” The look that makes you feel like you will spontaneously combust at any moment. And, it just so happens that you’ve always wanted to go on a love adventure- full of passion, love, freedom, every day being new and magical, never knowing what it will hold. So, of course, you smile back. And your smile says, “Yes, take me.”
A few months into the relationship you realize you are absolutely on an adventure, but it is totally not the adventure you thought it was going to be! You find yourself acting crazy, insecure, jealous and not at all like the human you were before you met him. What happened to you? You know the relationship is not good for you, but every time you put one foot out the door to leave, he comes running back with that sexy smile and those eyes….damn those eyes! He apologizes and suddenly, you remember why you went on this adventure. You think, “Maybe he finally gets it.” So you give it another shot. Because nobody has ever been able to pierce your soul with just a look. And this is how the cycle goes….on and on, but each time you move through the cycle, you can feel yourself losing a little more and a little more of you. Eventually, you become unrecognizable to yourself and you second guess everything you thought you knew.
Women love to be swept off their feet. We love adventures. We love to be the damsel who needs rescuing. We dream from a very young age that our prince is coming and he will take us on the most magical, love affair adventure of our lives and that we will live happily ever after. (Thanks, Disney) He will know how to care for us when we are sad. He will provide for us and keep us safe. And he will make love to us like only a real man would know how to do- to bring us to new heights in the bedroom. And you know what? Men love to take us on these adventures! They love to feel like they are the great provider, protector and lover. After a while though, the “new” wears off. Lists of laundry, work, finances, well, they get in the way. Marathon love-making sessions turn in to 5-minute quickies. Bad boys begin the chase again – with a new woman. It’s not the girl they want, it’s the feeling. The feeling of being the best a woman ever had. When they cheat, we feel used and unloved. I’m going to be a bit harsh here, but I have to tell you. You are as addicted to the “feeling” as he is. I know this because once the mundane kicks in, you know longer feel as though you are on an adventure. You’re tired of picking up his dirty underwear. He’s not a prince, after all. You begin to nag and pick fights because you want your prince back. You want the feeling of adventure and newness, just like him. You’re just as addicted….
I could write about how to begin to look at yourself and fix this, but that’s not what this article is about. So, now that you understand what Bad Boy Syndrome is and you understand why you like bad boys, let’s talk about how to spot them. Remember, the look? That’s the BIGGEST and FIRST red flag. That look. That smile. Second, bad boys are always to good to be true. They listen to you intently and they pick up on hurts and pains that you’ve experienced. Shortly after, they begin to tell you all the things you want to hear like, “You shouldn’t have to put up with that. If I was your man, that would never happen.” Or (here’s a good one) “You’re so beautiful. I can’t believe he did that to you.” All he’s really doing is mirroring back to you what you’ve said. Another huge red flag is their energy and vitality. Are they over the top? Showing up daily to take you to lunch, presents that are clearly too much at the early stages of a relationship, and again, the lovemaking – is it always earth-shattering? Listen, I know these things are awesome. I’ve been there. And I’m not saying they shouldn’t exist in a relationship; however, is it too much, too soon and too often? If so, take your rose-colored glasses off and take another look. Chances are, you aren’t the first girl who’s fell for him. Ask yourself, why didn’t it work out with the last one, if he was so amazing? He’ll tell you it’s all her fault, but honestly, how often is that true?
So, is it possible to have a committed relationship with a bad boy? Yes! Sometimes. But you have to know how to play the game. And, you have to be willing. And, there has to be something inside him to work with. Quickest way to lose a bad boy? Do these things: Stop being someone he wants to chase. Give him everything for free. Forget how amazing you are. Remember, he likes adventure. He has to chase and he’s going to chase the prize. If you’ve lost yourself in the relationship, find yourself. If you’ve forgotten how to do that, read these articles. Here and here. It takes a strong woman to remain in a relationship where the scales are being tipped back and forth, daily, but remind him why you are THE ONE for him. Keep some mystery. Keep your boundaries. Be that amazing woman you were when it began. The one who believed in herself and knew that she was worth loving.
When is it time to throw in the towel? Are you being abused emotionally or physically, or worse, sexually? Get out. Does he show sincere remorse or is it “just to get you back”? Is it always about him and how you’ve affected him? Does he twist things and manipulate? If you are dealing with a narcissist or sociopath, get out.
There are so many variables that can affect the relationship and even with this information, it can still be confusing. If you find yourself relating to this, but feel like you need further help and guidance, please contact me. We can work through it together.