Dating a guy with a reputation for being the absolute worst is something that happens once in a lifetime. We’ve all been there. Your friends tell you it’s a no good, terrible idea, but you’re sure that he’s different, or that you know what you’re getting yourself into. Then, before you know it, you’re singing Adele songs at the top of your lungs and your friends are giving you the “I told you so” look over the drinks you’re trying desperately not to cry into. Here’s why bad boys are so irresistible to us, at least at first.
ou think you can change him. This is the worst possible reason to date someone who’s no good for you, but it’s also the most obvious one. Whether he’s been hurt before or you think that he just needs to settle down, it’s not always a guarantee that your ideas about his life are true. Think about it — if you met a new potential brunch buddy who had some serious issues, you would either befriend them or walk away. You wouldn’t decide to change them, would you?
The bad boy/good girl trope is a romantic comedy dream come true. If you grew up watching movies like 10 Things I Hate About You, Dirty Dancing, and Cruel Intentions, you were basically groomed to believe that guys change for the “right” girl. Unfortunately, if you’re not that girl, it’s less of a rom-com and more of a horror movie.
You’ve watched way too many Nicholas Sparks movies. In every classic Nicholas Sparks film, a “good” (read: pure) girl changes the rebellious almost-boyfriend. If Nicholas Sparks movies were real, all guys would look like Ryan Gosling and most people you know would be dead. Luckily, most people don’t die in hyper-dramatic ways (unfortunately, that means most guys don’t look anything like Ryan Gosling… or have his abs).
He convinces you that “you’re different.” Maybe he literally tells you you’re different from other girls, or or he might just talk about them in a way that makes you feel like you’re his confidante. If he’s bashing other ladies or even calling them crazy to make you feel *special*, it just means that he’s hurt a lot of girls. It doesn’t mean that you’re The One.
He’s a pro when it comes to saying the right thing. Before you start beating yourself up while Gwen Stefani’s latest breakup track plays, realize that he’s so good at getting it in because he has experience. Sure, you thought that you were way too smart to give into lines that have worked on lots of ladies, but if that were the case, there would be no heartbreak (and no great Gwen songs).
His rebellion is irresistible if you’re feeling stifled. Maybe you hate your job, or maybe you’re going through a weird time. Whether it’s personal or professional, you’re bored, antsy, and looking for a change. His DGAF attitude makes you realize that life isn’t that serious… until he turns it around, and you realize your relationship wasn’t that serious, either.
He’s the king of mixed messages. At first, you think it’s a purely “Hotline Bling” type of hookup. Then, he’s suddenly all about cuddling, calling you, and making you wonder if it’s actually going somewhere.
He starts gaslighting you. Gaslight is an old school movie where a man convinces his wife that she’s crazy over time. Once a guy calls you crazy, it’s game over. No girl is ever *truly* insane, but it’s the perfect way for a dude to make you question everything you’ve ever thought. Gaslighting is the absolute worst, but it’s also an important lesson on not blaming yourself after a breakup.