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Switching from Bad Boy to Good Man


savignon

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I admit it...I've been attracted to the jerks. I have compromised some of my core values to be in a way less than ideal situation. I've tried to "fix" the unfixable. I've settled for great sex when there was nothing else going on.

Lately, after lots of reflection, some time without going on any dates, some chats with friends, some great articles and of course my ENA friends....I think I'm getting to the point where I might be able to not only welcome a quality guy into my life, but even enjoy and appreciate him (you might be thinking "well-duh! Do that!" but its taken me a long time to get here).

I think I'm a quality person...I'm a professional with a stable life and career, a wonderful child, I own my own home and am honest, attractive, fun, intelligent..... I cannot tell you why I haven't been attracted to guys who are in the same boat but I haven't been.

I'm sure a mixture of insecurity and not feeling like I deserve the "whole thing".

Regardless, I'm feeling like I'm getting to the point where I think I might want the whole thing...by "the whole thing" I mean a good guy with a stable life, good career, family values, who's honest and just likes me for me the way I am (which is pretty decent!).

So, I'm looking for a little support...how to make the 'bad boy' to 'good man' transition.

I've decided as a step to cut out from my social circle any guys who have any traces of not respecting women in general, men who don't have their sh** together....I met a guy online who's physically totally my type....he hasn't called, offered to call, has texted little things like "hey beautiful" every day but no conversation has taken off....in an unprecedented move, I deleted him today without a modicum of regret or "what if". I know "my type" hasn't worked for me.

What I love about ENA is the story-sharing so I'm asking for your stories. How did you go from "this isn't working for me!" to "now THIS is a quality man/woman". How did you help yourself change your typical, old-hat 'type' and learn to appreciate someone who was a much better match for you? Was there some catalyst/life event that brought you to a run on a different vibration with guys/girls? Did it happen naturally? Did you just meet the right person?

Thanks, friends! I look forward to hearing from you!

Sav

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I have no stories to share, but just wanted to say that if you have a child, then it's time to stay away from bad boys. You have to start thinking about healthy environments for your child and having "bad boys" around is maybe not such a good idea. Good on you for looking for a good man.

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Well you really need to prove to quality guys that you're worth their time. A guy will be taking a huge risk with you. I think you just really have to prove you deserve it. It's not as easy as 'I've been dating losers forever but now I've changed my mind and quality guys should just trust me on that. There was a reason you dated jus like that and it was motivated by your values and what makes you who you are. I'd want to know what exactly you've done to change, wether that be therapy or whatever. I'd have to see some work and effort rather than just a simple 'I'm ready now'.

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Good for you! I remember dating an unavailable guy before I started dating my husband again. On the 4th or 5th sleepless night in a month (because he hadn't called that night or had seemed distant) I woke up the next morning feeling energized on 2 hours of sleep and a sense of "enough!" Meaning enough of him and of caring so much about some short term guy who was so charming but hot and cold and enough of sleepless nights because "he" didn't call. I don't think I made any real decisions for my future right then but I stopped being hooked on that thrill of the chase, on the challenge of it. That probably helped me be ready to reconnect with my husband a month or so later (that guy and I ended things pretty mutually a few weeks later- he got married a few years later so someone reformed him LOL). But I can't exactly put my finger on it -I just know that when I realized my husband returned my interest level and really wanted me and wanted to be serious it didn't decrease my feelings -it increased them and the quieter excitement of finding that right person was far far sweeter than the "excitement" of winning over a bad boy.

 

I can't write more in detail now but I sure hope that helped. I love your thought process and how you shared it here.

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Hey, I have that habit too for some reason. And for years I've tried to understand why. Well, after one of those relationships, I really felt rock bottom and now I'm trying hard not to fall into that pattern. Well, to be honest, the guy I was dating for nearly 2 years randomly broke up with me over nothing. He was into drugs and whole lot of other things that wasnt good for either of us. I tried getting him out of that cycle, and i realised he liked being miserable and he was making me like him in a way. Anyway, after we broke up, much like an addict i started to feel some kind of withdrawal symptoms in spite of being unhappy with him. And then suddenly he disappeared, and 6 months later a friend called to tell me he had taken his life. After that, I re examined mine to see what was happening, or if i couldve helped and i now know, i couldnt even if i wanted to. Anyway, that aside, a friend made me read something and it said that abused people, emotionally or otherwise, look for abusive or potentially abusive relationships. I've never been abused physically. But the emotional abuse is the tricky part. Somewhere down the line, I may have felt powerful in a weird abusive relationship, with a friend or family member and that converted itself into a pattern, and thats hard to identify. So I'm really trying to break that now. Hope this helps!

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Savignon, I have a journal in dating about exactly this. I can't pull it up right now from my phone, but it's called "breaking the bad boy dating pattern" or something like that. I'm not dating right now so I haven't been writing in it, but I got a lot of good insight and others who were able to relate.

 

Sent from my SGH-T989 using Tapatalk

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Great responses! For the record my daughter's environment is very stable and I haven't had bad people around her. I don't think the kind of guy I'm looking for will think he's taking a risk with me since I bring a lot to the table and he'd probably have kids of his own. The guys I've dated haven't been awful human beings, but rather were emotionally unavailable, unreliable, "hot" but that's about it..no substance.

My ex husband is a good father but he isn't a quality relationship guy. So he's the only "bad boy" around my daughter --he gets a pass and, again, is very good to her.

As for what I've done to be ready...therapy-yes!, read books, took some time off from dating, eliminated negative/draining people from my life, and really have taken a look around at what I think quality men are like. I work with a lot of quality (married) men and started just recognizing them when I saw them and re-elvauating what's attractive. A guy who has direction in life, a solid career, has a relationship with his family and is good to people in his life...all great qualities. The reason I don't think I'll have to "prove myself" is that I have all of those qualities myself so there are no double standards or me looking to complete my picture with something I don't already have/offer. If I can own a home and care for a child and work full time and pay my bills and plan ahead and show up when I say I'm gonna show up and be reliable, faithful, kind, respectful, etc I think I should be able to expect the same in return. I settled for way less in my marriage and subsequent "rebound" and have asked myself why. As I said it comes down to believing you deserve more and that's where I think I'm getting.

Like Batya said, that "enough!!" moment.

I would love to hear more stories of arriving at that "enough!" moment and I know many quality women (and men) have taken this journey themselves ...a self discovery leading to higher quality and better suited relationships.

Kudos to everyone who was able to make a transition from relationships that didn't serve them to healthy, fulfilling ones!

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I was fairly picky when it came to women. One day I got tired of always failing in relationships and decided to date any woman that showed interest in me. I did my best to not have and preconceptions about the women, I just dated and paid attention. I noted what I liked in other people and what I didn't like, what I wanted and what I didn't want. Then I started to get more selective in my dating and eventually found my wife. You just need to have an open mind and be honest with yourself.

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What is bad? I wonder if i am bad?

 

Without knowing you personally I have you stereotyped as a bad boy. Attractive and knows it, cocky, a little jealous, rough around the edges. Based on what you say about yourself you have a good/stable job and have been in some LTRs but still fit my "bad boy" definition. You and MCJD are my fave bad boys though. Sheeps in wolves clothing underneath it all I suspect. ;-)

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Just general observation is that people like you fail and go back to bad boys because you tend to swing the pendulum too far to the other extreme. Meaning that you will try to make it work with a guy who checks the marks on the good guy list, but to whom you are not really attracted sexually and who ultimately bores you. The key is realize that you need to and can have both or rather all. It is not about finding a nice guy and trying to force it to work, it's about ruthlessly rejecting all, good guys and bad, until you find a good guy who excites you. Also, the second you get the idea that, it's ok, I'll fix him, RUN.

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I agree. I realized the guy I was trying to date back when I started that journal wasn't very exciting. Same token, he wasn't boring or without substance, but he wasn't really doing it for me. I looked to my view on it because I thought I would only appreciate that crazy intensity, so I should see if that was the problem...

 

And I don't think it was.

 

More recently a long time friend expressed interest in me. I quickly learned it wasn't about me rather he couldn't bear loneliness. He was being the classic wounded bird I would have wanted to help previously. This time, I was so turned off. Progress!

 

But again, I do agree about the whole polar opposite thing. I note in general that when people try to make substantial change, they usually do that before finally settling into their happy medium.

 

Sent from my SGH-T989 using Tapatalk

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Without knowing you personally I have you stereotyped as a bad boy. Attractive and knows it, cocky, a little jealous, rough around the edges. Based on what you say about yourself you have a good/stable job and have been in some LTRs but still fit my "bad boy" definition. You and MCJD are my fave bad boys though. Sheeps in wolves clothing underneath it all I suspect. ;-)

 

Hmm.. i see... but i dont have sheeps-skin... I am ALL wolf, and wolves eat sheep-skin... ooo, that was so cool of me.

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I'm not saying "ok I'm ready now...where's my guy?" I agree it's a process and settling into the happy medium might take some wrong turns at the extremes. I'm not in a hurry either. Just realizing. I've had a bit of a breakthrough in being turned off by some of the things I used to be attracted to.

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It seems you don't want a dull guy, you want a guy with some fire. I myself don't cheat, and I am in the market for marriage and children, so not all guys that appear bad will ruin relationships. If I like a woman, she will know, and every single girl I dated I did what they wanted to prove I was committed.

 

My friend has a thing for suave guys, she's always calling me trying to get my advice. Now she dates guys with no clue in dating and she ran into another liar, and the other guy is so needy she can't find him attractive. They come in all shapes and sizes.

 

You have to really get to know someone to begin the trust and affection. It's all on how you read their consistency, more so than judgement, though I will admit... Judgement can go a long way and save a lot of time.

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Without knowing you personally I have you stereotyped as a bad boy. Attractive and knows it, cocky, a little jealous, rough around the edges. Based on what you say about yourself you have a good/stable job and have been in some LTRs but still fit my "bad boy" definition. You and MCJD are my fave bad boys though. Sheeps in wolves clothing underneath it all I suspect. ;-)

 

I do (mostly) consider myself as you described...but I'm definitely not a bad boy. I may feign it at times, but I'm really a big doofus/nice guy. I like to think of myself as "so uncool that I'm actually cool."

 

Thors is definitely more to the right on the bad boy continuum

 

Nice Guy Bad Boy

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I'm not bad, only time I have been bad was with women who were one of the coldest and calculating women in NYC. I hurt two women who didn't deserve t, and it was all a misunderstanding.

 

I have knife scars that people take as gang signs, but I actually saved someones life that day. I plan to join big brother or a suicide helpline. I spent 2 years helping guys on this forum heal from their exs, and in giving them advice on how to gain confidence.

 

I'm just saying... Don't judge on appearance... Unless your bad, then you get the horns. You can have that rough guy outside and the charming sensitive lover at home.

 

I also stress to people, be nice and sweet... It won't promise a safer approach to dating, but I would like to assume that even the coldest guys would second-guess hurting someone

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I think that we as women downplay our need/desire for physical attraction. So if you take away the "bad boy" title, what you have is a guy who is hot to you and you really desire. The downside is that he is often emotionally unavailable and not great for long-term potential. When you get intimate with that guy, it releases all kinds of hormones so that now you feel even more bonded to him emotionally, making it harder to break away.

 

To me, it's about baby steps. For awhile, it might just mean holding off on intimacy until you are in a relationship with someone. Taking time to try to actually observe and assess someone is key. It requires some level of emotional detachment as you think about whether there is a real future.

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I do (mostly) consider myself as you described...but I'm definitely not a bad boy. I may feign it at times, but I'm really a big doofus/nice guy. I like to think of myself as "so uncool that I'm actually cool."

 

Thors is definitely more to the right on the bad boy continuum

 

Nice Guy Bad Boy

 

I'm not bad, only time I have been bad was with women who were one of the coldest and calculating women in NYC. I hurt two women who didn't deserve t, and it was all a misunderstanding.

 

I have knife scars that people take as gang signs, but I actually saved someones life that day. I plan to join big brother or a suicide helpline. I spent 2 years helping guys on this forum heal from their exs, and in giving them advice on how to gain confidence.

 

I'm just saying... Don't judge on appearance... Unless your bad, then you get the horns. You can have that rough guy outside and the charming sensitive lover at home.

 

I also stress to people, be nice and sweet... It won't promise a safer approach to dating, but I would like to assume that even the coldest guys would second-guess hurting someone

 

I have seen both of you demonstrate great qualities and neither of you would be here if you were truly "bad"....you're both cute, successful and have lots to offer the right girl. I'm definitely in your camp!!

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I think that we as women downplay our need/desire for physical attraction. So if you take away the "bad boy" title, what you have is a guy who is hot to you and you really desire. The downside is that he is often emotionally unavailable and not great for long-term potential.

 

Exactly this....I admit I have a negative belief that you can't have the emotional connection, intellectual stimulation, feelings of love, respect, safety, trust AND chemistry with the same person. That's only happened for me once or twice and outside of that its been one or the other.

The self-awareness helps and baby step #1 is a good start

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Another useful thing is to just re-evaluate your expectations from a partner. I hear a lot of people talking about fun and exciting here. I've never expected those things from another person. My life is already fun and exciting with or without a partner. I think expecting someone else to provide that to you is unrealistic and would basically cause you to seek out people who do in fact provide that, but it comes along with so many other negative traits that it's nowhere near worth it. I've dated a few women who have a history of bad boys and what I noticed was they all didn't have much going on in their own life (no hobbies, passions, etc) - they basically spent years interacting with a volatile and exciting person while the neglected developing themselves. And then thy get stuck in a cycle. The relationship ends and because the girl is actuall boring she can't stand being alone so she goes and finds another person to inject drama and excitement into her life again. I broke with a girl once because after a couple of months she told me she was worried she'll get bored like she has in all her previous relationships - enormous red flag for me as Inhave a busy full life and I don't see it as my job to be someone's entertainment. This is why I say jus are takin a chance on you OP - that desire for another person be your be all end all entertainment is going to be toxic until you pull it up by the root.

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Great point! Live your own fun and exciting life. A lot of my female friends who fall for the bad boys often go for guys who seem exciting, reckless, charming... all that fun stuff. Excitement doesn't necessarily mean traveling, partying, ... for some people it means drama. Some people are attracted to that drama even if they don't want to admit it. The highs and lows of a relationship can be exciting... it's frustrating and heartwrenching during the lows, but some women get attracted to the highs and to that feeling that they are worthy of this person who couldn't settle for anyone else, that they were the one who could change this person, and finally all that love and energy paid off to this one temporary and fleeting happy moment.

 

I've been VERY fortunate to actually not be attracted to "bad boys." My last ex was crazy, but he was definitely not a bad boy by anybody's standards and did come off as a nice guy. However, the guy I was most recently seeing definitely fit the bad boy persona. I wasn't even attracted to that, but I think I got a little enamored with the whole "challenge" aspect, how complicated it was, and winning someone over. It was fun for a little bit but ultimately I love the sweet guy, who's got his own life, his own passions and goals, treats me like a princess and is supportive and kind. Bad boys create so much unnecessary stress and drama.

 

I think like another poster said... you'll realize that enough is enough and just go for someone who really supplements your life and adds to it. Not someone you feel the need to fix, modify, change, or where you need to let go of some of who you are to be happy with that person or waiting for that day when suddenly all the energy, tears and disappointments were all worth it... when suddenly everything will be different. It's just not worth it, and statistically, if it does happen, it's very unlikely to happen to you.

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