Bad Boys Aren’t For Grown Women—Move On To Real Men

Every woman has a bad boy phase. It might not necessarily be the guy who breaks all the rules but the guy who’s not ashamed to question authority. Typically, you fall for someone like this in your teens or early twenties, but if you’re in your thirties and still after the guy who calls out of work sick every Monday because he partied too hard during the game, you might want to reconsider your type.

  1. Guys who refuse to grow up won’t change. Just because you grow up doesn’t mean that you’re not into the same hobbies you were a decade earlier. But, it’s more like you’re fully aware of the consequences and realize that they may not be worth it. If you’re into a “bad boy” who stays up late with his friends on a Tuesday night even though he’s got a major work project at due on Wednesday, that’s not being bad, it’s being immature — especially if others are depending on him.
  2. You deserve someone who zeroes in on your feelings. The best relationships leave you both satisfied. If you’re with a guy who does things when he wants, where he wants, and doesn’t consider how you feel, you’ll end up resenting him. It’s important for both of you to have lives outside of the relationship. If you start feeling like he’s dismissing your feelings, he probably is.
  3. There’s nothing sexier than financial stability. Nobody wants to foot their boyfriend’s bills month after month with no plan for improvement. If he quits jobs the second he’s not feeling it anymore, he’s going to look unhireable. Bad boys often feel like they can only spend their time doing what they’re passionate about. While that’s important for a fulfilling life, so is paying the electricity bill on time.
  4. Bad boys don’t often have a plan. Trying to figure out the next five years of your life is exhausting, but it’s something that everyone should have a loose idea of. Do you want to move to the suburbs? Start a family? Aim for that promotion at your job? A little bit of life direction is important in keeping you sane. A guy who doesn’t have the time to sit down and figure out what he wants will end up wasting your time and holding you back.
  5. You’re too old to play games with guys who just can’t communicate. If he’s the type to send you a song lyric instead of telling you exactly how he feels and you’re above the age of 25, just cut him loose. That’s only acceptable in high school when we’re all still learning how to interact with each other and socialize. You deserve to be with someone who openly states they like you and want to be serious, not an artist who leads you on with vague hints.
  6. Any sort of legal record will hold him back. Sometimes we do stupid things. It’s all part of growing up. But if this guy managed to land in jail or has any sort of misdemeanor (or worse) that he’s shrugging off or not taking responsibility for, he probably didn’t learn from the incident. If there are more, it can prevent him — and you — from big jobs or opportunities.
  7. You’ll be embarrassed to have him meet your parents. Your parents may have tried to set you up with a couple of duds in the past, primarily since they “couldn’t bear to see you single,” but showing up to the family party with a bad boy is even worse. The second he says something disrespectful (and he probably will, especially if he’s not close with his own parents),  your family will have issues with him. Having your boyfriend banned from your parents’ house is a mortifying reality you shouldn’t have to live with.
  8. You’ll never be satisfied. Whether it’s your lack of trust in him or the fact that he just keeps forgetting your anniversary — or worse, fails to even acknowledge you have one — you’ll always wonder if you made the right choice. In general, it can be a slippery slope to view life like this, but it’s safe to say that you’d have had a lot less to worry about if you dated the guy that was a bit more stable.
  9. As you get older, “intrigue” turns into “shadiness.” Think about it. Back in high school, the guy who disappeared for days to find himself was fascinating. The guy who pulls an act like that today is simply a missing person. You don’t want to date someone who vanishes when they have responsibilities. Sure it’s unlikely, but this guy could have a second family for all you know.
  10. Grown-up relationships are just much more satisfying. You deserve someone you can trust and depend on — and if your type is “bad boy,” you’re just going to have a harder time finding a long-lasting relationship. It’s just nice knowing that you’re with someone who won’t flake on you last minute, or surprise you with shocking news. Just because someone may give you more material to discuss with your girlfriends doesn’t mean they’re boyfriend material. Dating should be fulfilling, and your ideal match should be someone who complements your personality.
Karen Belz is a New Jersey native who is currently living in Maryland. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication with a focus in Broadcasting and Print Media Studies from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Since graduating, she has written for sites like LittleThings, HelloGiggles, and Scary Mommy and is currently an e-commerce editor at Bustle.

When she's not writing, she enjoys making her phone run out of memory after taking too many photos of her dog. You can find her on Twitter @karenebelz or on Instagram @karenbelz.