There is nothing like the inherent safety in bad boys.
I was in high school when the movie Coyote Ugly came out. There was the very catchy Leanne Rimes song (before she went all crazy-town) which I would walk around the house singing all the time which concluded in the words;
“Baby, you’re the right kind of wrong“.
My mom, a good sport, would often sing along with me. Then one day she paused (go-go-gadget mom mode!) with the sudden need to clarify something…
“You know there is NO right kind of wrong, right?”
Of course I did, I assured her. It was just a silly song.
But looking back at it, I think, in fact, there IS the right kind of wrong when it comes to guys.
Because when it come down to it, there is nothing safer than dating a bad boy.
Let me explain.
1. DIFFERENT IS INTERESTING: Someone with completely different upbringing, values and goals is interesting. So I am a nerd and I find people fascinating. There is an appeal in understanding the unknown. This adventurous spirit manifested itself in multiple ways for me in high school… besides taking as many classes in different subjects as possible, I also tried to learn about human nature by hanging out with a wide variety of guys.
2. TEMPORARY IS SAFE: When you know there is no future and the relationship is inherently temporary, it’s like having an integrated safety net. Apparently some people see long term potential in bad boys (oh, I bet I can change him). I always knew there wasn’t going to be a forever with these guys. It’s kinda like chatting with someone sitting next to you on an airplane. You can talk and share pretty openly because your lives only cross for two hours and then you will never see each other again. There is a beauty in the fleeting nature of the connection.
3. NO ATTACHMENT = NO HEARTBREAK: You won’t get attached because you know that it’s temporary. You can throw yourself into the surface level stuff…. the crush, the fun, the excitement, all the while keeping your feelings securely packed away. So then when you get bored or it ends, as you KNOW it is destined to, you can happily flit off to your next adventure, heart fully intact.
4. SURFACE LEVEL IS SAFE: There is no vulnerability when you are just keeping it all nice and light and fluffy. You don’t have to worry about someone getting to know the real you. You don’t have to worry about exposure and insecurity. And most of all, you don’t have to worry that someone will see the real you and not like it.
I can’t tell you how many potential really nice guys I blew off in high school, because they absolutely terrified me. I was queen of the two week almost relationship… hanging out with a guy just until I started to maybe potentially have feelings and feel like they were really getting to know me.
Then I would famously, in the words of Monty Python, RUN AWAY!!!
After all I wasn’t going to stay in my home town. I wasn’t going to get attached to some super nice guy who was content to go to the local community college and live down the street in the same city for the rest of our lives. I was going to go and have adventures and travel and become an architect. There was no point in dating real potentials because I wouldn’t drag a HS bf to college with me or try some long distance thing.
It statistically doesn’t work and it wasn’t something I was interested in.
(Sheesh, I was kinda a romantically cynical high schoooler, huh?)
Really, I was just saving both of us heartbreak, right?
Nothing is scarier for a 16 year old than the potential of feelings.
When getting back on the dating scene several years ago after ending a long relationship, the first couple guys I dated were the wrong type. Now while I transitioned in my wise old age from two weeks to a four month average, I soon realized that being with the wrong guys was frankly boring.
Please notice I am saying wrong, not bad. I have grown up. I don’t have any interest in a true “bad boy” any more, not even for two weeks. I just won’t put up with the traditional “bad boy” crap… I am impatient in my old age.
But I dated guys with very different ideas of career and success. I dated guys who were so settled and content in what they have that the lack of ambition was stifling. I dated guys with no sense of adventure, even when it came to dinner. I dated guys who were trying to be something they aren’t. I dated guys who thought they were ready for something real when they clearly weren’t. I dated guys who are way too similar to me for it to be a good thing and so different that we had no common ground.
I dated the wrong guys.
But I learned. Well, I am learning. That is still the best thing about dating, whether they end up being right or wrong. You learn so much about people and other lives and other options. You get glimpses into other versions of your life that you could have.
It all helps solidify what you really want and who you choose to be, with or without a bf.
And helps open up your mind to accepting feeling all of the feels again.
A good friend of mine made a comment the other night that I think is spot on. She said (paraphrasing) that she had no doubt I would end up with the right something in life.
Not the right someone.
I like that philosophy….That life is about finding the right somethings to be happy, the right situation and choices and lifestyle that fill your soul with sunshine. If there is a guy in there, I wouldn’t be opposed, but life isn’t about finding Mr. Right.
Its about finding, and making the right life for you.
Whatever that ends up looking like, I am open to it.
I just have to have a little faith in the world, and in myself.