The Bad Boy Syndrome: Are We Perpetuating the Attractiveness of Men Behaving Badly?

The Bad Boy Syndrome: Are We Perpetuating the Attractiveness of Men Behaving Badly?

No matter what your age, there are men out there who we date that intrigue us and, at the same time, elude us. Think of Ryan Gosling in Crazy, Stupid Love when he was teaching our poor, recently separated schmuck how to be a ladies man and bed every woman at the bar. It was easy and with just some cosmetic adjustments and a new wardrobe, Steve Carrel was able to pick up any woman he wanted, take them home and have sex. Ultimately, it was so unfulfilling for the reinvented lothario, he went back to his wife; even Gosling settled down with Carrel’s relationship-seeking daughter.

Nevertheless, think about how many women were falling at both of their feet, knowing full well—or in a total state of denial—that the relationship would go absolutely nowhere except between the sheets. So, I’ve been thinking: do women truly want a “good” man or are we chasing after what we can never have? Running in circles with men who only want our tails, literally? Are we at fault for creating the bad boy syndrome that we detest?

He takes you out to dinner at nice places...little did you know that you're part of the second string.
He takes you out to dinner at nice places...little did you know that you're part of the second string.

We’ve all had a bad boy or two or three in our lives, depending on how much of a glutton for punishment we are. They’re the ones who pursue you and enjoy the thrill of the chase. They take you to nice restaurants and make you feel like you’re the most desirable woman in the world and, before you know it, you’re on a romantic high, and that’s where the syndrome starts because now that they have you; they know that you want them and their interest wanes but they won’t let you go from their roster of women.

Here are a few signs that you’re involved with a bad boy:

Too much too soon. You meet and suddenly you’re one of the most important people in his life. He confides in you about his past and answers any question you may have. He may even offer to help you out of a bad situation without asking for anything in return. The sex is awesome and he’ll do anything to please you two, three or four times a night.

If you have to carry a large tote for overnight stays, he's not willing to open his home or his heart to you.
If you have to carry a large tote for overnight stays, he's not willing to open his home or his heart to you.

Last minute or his place dates.  Although he may wait a few days to get in touch after your last encounter, when he does finally decide to communicate, it’s in the afternoon, saying “how about we do something tonight?” Despite the fact you kept your self-control and waited for him to call you, you make yourself available disregarding the fact that you know you shouldn’t. If being seen together in public is rare and all he wants to do with you is stay at home, eat in, watch television and part ways in the morning, he’s avoiding the possibility of seeing one of the other women he’s dating.

Weeknight dates only and no PDA.  If he continually asks you out during a weeknight and never on the weekend, well he’s definitely spending the premiere date night and having Sunday brunch with someone else other than you.  And when you are out, if he barely touches you, holds your hand or walks far in front of you, well…enough said.

The big purse bag practice.  Inevitably, you know that at the end of the night, you’ll end up at his place, so you pack your biggest tote that carries your sexy lingerie and everything you need to avoid “the walk of shame” when arriving home in the morning. Why? Because the unspoken rule is nothing should be left behind and if you do happen to forget something, it will be the first thing he gives you on your next date.

Suddenly out of town or unavailable.  Let’s say you’ve been seeing him for a few months, you’ve met his friends and you think things are going well and you suggest getting together and he suddenly has something else to do for a few days.  Your relationship (if you actually have one) seems to always be according to his schedule. This is usually when the sex gets predictable and boring for you.

Texting while in bed with another woman is simply unforgivable.
Texting while in bed with another woman is simply unforgivable.

Texting when he could call.  Texting has its purpose, which is not to interrupt the workday or just a little note to say hello and that he’s thinking of you. However, when he’s supposedly away on a business trip and it’s well into the late evening hours, why text? Why not call? It’s not to disturb the other woman he’s with and keep you in the rotation.

If you recognize at least three of these practices, don’t try to outsmart him at his own game because he’s seasoned at it, especially if he’s well into middle age. If you do, be prepared, because the hurt and the hatred will be harder to get over. I suggest avoiding the bad boy totally. Stay single and the right, mature guy will come along. Your psyche and your dignity will stay in tact and, not to mention your back will thank you for not carrying the huge tote. If you can carry a clutch with your guy on a Saturday night and he takes you to brunch the next morning, you’ve met the right man.