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How to Stop Dating Bad Boys

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Posted by Jenn Clark on June 20, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Are you one of those women who go from jerk to jerk and from heartbreak to heartbreak? Do you feel like you have “a-hole magnet” written on your forehead? Are you convinced there are no good guys out there because you never seem to meet any? If this sounds like you, it’s time to admit you’ve got a thing for bad boys.

Why do so many women fall for the bad boy? While you might believe it’s the insane chemistry and intense attraction, their appeal has more to do with the psychological than with the physical. Through their behavior, bad boys create an intense emotional trigger known as the random interval reward system. This means the glimpses of sporadic affection, attention, and love – amidst the neglect and improper treatment – creates an addictive cycle which mimics the feeling of love. Are you really in love with your bad boy? No, you’re not. But you are absolutely addicted to him.

If you’re tired of the heartbreak and pain that always comes with a bad boy, it’s time to swear off of them once and for all. Here are the steps to getting rid of the bad and bringing in the good.

Build up your self-esteem. Why do we like the challenge of trying to tame the beast? Because we believe we will feel special if we are successful at it. Unfortunately however, taming him rarely happens. Instead, the beast usually ends up biting us in the ass. Women with healthy self-esteem, self-respect, and self-confidence don’t go for bad boys. They don’t need to prove themselves worthy, attractive, and valuable by trying to change him. Instead, they know what they deserve and only become involved with men who treat them well.

Redefine “excitement.” While the emotional roller coaster ride of a bad boy can certainly feel exciting, it’s not the type of thrill you should seek. Healthy excitement is found in the building of a solid, loving relationship, not in dysfunctional drama. It's also important to stop thinking that nice guys who treat you well are boring. They’re not. Once you are able to differentiate real love from the addiction to a bad boy, he quickly loses his appeal.

Watch for the warning signs. Bad boys are typically narcissists who lack the ability to be emotionally intimate and physically monogamous. They fear real commitment, yet will string you along out of their own selfish desires. Their interest in you will move from hot to cold and back again and you’ll be unable to feel secure and stable. He’s probably a chronic cheater and chances are great his past relationships were stormy as well. Yes, he will – on occasion – be wonderful and you’ll be tempted to see this as a sign he’s going to change. Don’t be fooled, however. This is merely a manipulation to keep you hanging on. 

Be prepared to run. It may seem crazy that women willingly sign up for this kind of treatment, but we often do. The truth is very few of us are tricked into falling for a bad boy; it is almost always a conscious decision to become involved despite the red flags. The longer you stay with him and the deeper your feelings become, the more difficult it is to leave. 

So, protect yourself. Once you realize a guy is a bad boy, call it quits. He’s not going to change. He’ll never become your dream man. He’s not your soul mate. The only thing you’ll get from him is a broken heart. 

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Jenn Clark is a relationship advice expert and author of the book “How to Be a Goddess (A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming the Woman Men Dream About…).” You can find it on her Facebook page or on Amazon.com or on Twitter @JennX30

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