I have a bone to pick ladies. How can we go around complaining about how our men treat us when we are the ones that pick them? You wouldn’t believe the amount of times I have seen women discard nice, secure, supportive men! I hear women say that the guy they are dating is just too nice, he’s too available, or he’s just so boring. Ladies, we need to straighten out what it is we are looking for and stop sending out mixed signals. Are you looking for a bad boy or a supportive, caring, and thoughtful partner?
Double standards exist. We know they are there and yet chose to ignore them. Men are often described as wanting “a lady in the streets and a freak in the sheets.” They want wife material to bring home to their mothers but also desire a wildly sexual creature in the bedroom (this is a generalization and does not represent every man of course). As women, we feel torn to be the girl next door and to also live up to the highly sexualized female ideal that is portrayed in the media and in our culture.
I’ll let you in on a secret—we are not the only ones who are torn.
Through my discussions with women it is becoming more evident that our desires of men are no less complicated. We want a male who is romantic and in touch with his feelings, but when we find this guy we feel he is too nice and/or too available. We describe him with words such as boring or predictable and discard this potential suitor before he has even been given a fair chance. I know this isn’t all women; some of you divas out there know exactly what you want in a man. But I am talking to the ladies who want to date a domesticated bad boy.
How can we expect to find the man of our dreams: one that is supportive, a great father to our children, and who is comfortable with closeness and intimacy if we keep opting for the bad boy? The reality is—we won’t. The bad boy is just that. He may come in the form of a cheating boyfriend, a friend with benefits who refuses to commit, a charmer who when faced with commitment, marriage, or children hightails it in the opposite direction. There will continue to be bad boys if we continue to reward their behaviour by choosing them over the thousands of good men out there.
Why do we fall prey to bad boy charm?
There are several different reasons why we settle for bad boy behaviour and I want to expose some of those unhelpful thought patterns and myths.
With a little love and TLC he will change his ways:
I hate to break it to you ladies—the domesticated bad boy does not exist. He is a mirage in the desert that we will chase after for years. A lot of women get stuck in relationships because they feel like they can domesticate the bad boy into being a supportive husband and nurturing father of their children. Am I saying that is impossible? No! I absolutely believe that everyone has the power to change. But people only change when they come to a conscious decision that it is necessary. If we are rewarding their behaviour, choosing them over the good guys, and giving them everything they want, what need do they have to change? If there is one thing that I have learned as a therapist, it is that we absolutely cannot change others, despite how hard we might try. Therefore, we have to date the person’s reality—not their potential.
I am not good enough to find anyone else:
This is a lie that so many amazing, beautiful, talented women get sucked into. We experience such fear of being alone or fear of being rejected if we leave our current relationship that it causes us to settle. How many times have you told yourself that before? When has it really been true? Many get trapped because they fear they will be alone if they leave their current relationship. One of the best remedies is to find a good solid secure group of friends, have a solid support system that can help keep you accountable, and focus on developing yourself. We are not in a race to find another person to complete us or make us feel whole. That responsibility falls solely on our shoulders. No partner will ever make us feel worthy or complete, and if our happiness depends upon our partner we are in for one heck of a roller-coaster ride. Feeling valuable, worthy and good enough start with YOU!
There is the illusion or promise of commitment:
So many women stay in relationships because of promises that have yet to manifest. For example, cohabitating with a partner and waiting for the day when you will get married or have children. Don’t get me wrong, there are several women who are choosing to cohabitate rather then getting married. But there are also several others who are settling and taking what they can get because their partner doesn’t want to get married, or isn’t sure if they want children. Ladies, you should never have to spend 5-7 years convincing someone to marry you or to have children. Furthermore, you should never be caught in a perpetual cycle of feeling that you have to prove your worth or value to someone. Imagine for a second what life would be like if you actually did convince your partner to have a child against their original desire. How invested do you think they would be in parenting and in that child’s life? The point is, we can’t turn apples into oranges. If you are an apple find another juicy apple to pair up with, I promise it will be more rewarding then trying to get apple juice from an orange!
The goal is to find a partner that suits your desires, needs and goals. One that is on the same page and wants the same things in life. Ladies, these men are not a dying breed! They are secure super mates that we overlook every day. Going after a secure man does not mean we need to settle in areas of physical chemistry and attractiveness: that is another ginormous myth. They are your doctors, businessmen, teachers, fire fighters and the list goes on. They come in all shapes, sizes, races, and are not your stereotypical boring, nerdy misfit.
Broaden your perspective ladies, dare to look outside the box. Next week we will continue with a discussion about secure, supportive men—the good guys. The good guys don’t finish last; in fact they are the ones who actually make it to the finish line with long, lasting, rewarding, committed relationships.
Look forward to hearing your comments and thoughts. As always if you feel this has been helpful, share with your friends and subscribe to get next week’s post straight to your email : )
Wishing you love and connection,