“Women with low self-esteem love bad boys… women who love themselves love good men.” Tracy McMillan
My friend went through a divorce recently. She had found out her husband had been having an affair for the last few years of their thirty year marriage. When she first told me of the affair, this was so out of character for the man that I thought I knew. I mean, it’s not as if he was just some asshole who had been cheating on her from the beginning, right?
Wrong. It turns out my friend had been brushing aside red flags regarding her husband’s extra-marital behavior since they met. She was even warned about his behavior by others, but brushed the information aside. She now admits to even cutting off some of those friends who warned her.
My friend is terrific. She’s really kind, smart, creative, caring and fun. She’s honest and faithful. I told her that in the future, she could, if she wanted, meet someone else who is really supportive of her – someone who is really kind. I was stunned when she shook her head and replied, “Oh, I can’t be with a wimp.”
Whoa. I guess that is where the problem lies. A smart, confident woman winds up with a jerk because she thinks a “nice guy” is a “wimp”. Unfortunately, it turns out the view of ‘bad boys’ as wild, mysterious, strong and masculine is alive and well. Some view the quest for such an “ungettable” man as dramatic and exciting. It works that way in the movies, doesn’t it? Reality is much different, however.
The flawed logic that makes having a relationship with a ‘bad boy’ possible for anyone in pursuit is that the ‘bad boy’ will only be bad to other people but will treat the pursuer like gold. Unfortunately, that is never the case.
If someone has a problem with commitment before a marriage, they will have a problem with commitment after marriage. A man who cheats or who treats women badly is not a strong man. That’s the kind of guy who is a wimp.
I can hear the refrain of women attracted to ‘bad boys’ everywhere – “but I’m not attracted to nice guys! There is no chemistry!” Once these women figure out they are valuable enough to have someone who loves them and is totally committed to them, they will no longer find ‘bad boys’ exciting. Those kind, thoughtful and drama-free men will no longer seem like boring wimps. Whatever attraction they may feel toward the next ‘bad boy’ will quickly dissipate once they see his behavior for what it is – immature, selfish, dishonest, hurtful and… wimpy!
Being with a nice guy means you don’t have to live life on the edge, never really knowing what is around the next corner. Lack of drama in a relationship means both partners feel safe and solid with each other. There is nothing flashy, dramatic or glamorous about a relationship like that. Couples who are happy to snuggle up on the couch together on a Saturday night will never be considered the “it” couple – and they don’t care. They are focused and committed to what is going on between the two of them, rather than trying to get their excitement from outside the relationship (or drama within it). If a committed solid relationship is boring, I’ll take boring any day!
A relationship should be a couple’s very safest place, where each is free to be completely authentic. It is an amazing gift to know that, despite whatever else is going on in your world, your relationship is your soft place to fall. A ‘bad boy’ can never provide that.