I have always been attracted to the “bad boy,” the guy that always broke the rules. I loved a guy that could make everything seem wrong, but exciting at the same time. Everything about him was enticing, the attraction and the thrill of getting caught was what I wanted. I didn’t want to follow the rules so I chose a guy that broke them, too. I liked the punk rock, I don’t give a crap attitude. It made me feel alive and like I could shed my “good girl” persona. I didn’t have to pretend to be someone that I wasn’t when I was with him. I loved it, but just as he broke all the rules, he broke my heart.
Because of the heartbreak and the series of relationships I went in and out of I built walls and different personas, which have made it difficult to trust and open up to men. I want to have a good and healthy relationship that could someday lead to marriage, but the kind of guys I am attracted to aren’t usually marriage material. When I get married, I want to be attracted to my spouse and have a deep connection—but the problem is that I’ve only ever had that connection with guys that aren’t very responsible or trustworthy.
A bad boy might make a great lover, but that’s just it. They aren’t always the best at long-term relationships and neither am I. I tend to try to make some work and others I just really don’t care what happens. I think that’s one of the reasons that I tend to pick guys like that, the ones who could know every inch of me and every thought, but could shatter my world in an instant. I’ve tried dating nice guys, but I found it boring and annoying.
I don’t like that I do that, though. I really do want to create a love that lasts. I’m not sure how to go about changing my perception of bad boys and good guys, but I know now I should figure that out. Sometimes, I’m not even sure that I actually want to figure it out. I’ll start thinking, “Even bad boys have to grow up some time,” or I’ll fall into the trap of thinking that I can change him, even though I know he will only change if he wants it for himself.
As I was thinking about why I am attracted to this type of guy to begin with, I discovered that the men I fall for are a lot like my father was when he was a teenager. My father was himself a rule breaker and a heartbreaker.
I’m not sure why I choose men like my father, but I think it was because I want that attention that wasn’t always given. I didn’t have an easy childhood, so I tried to find ways to cope with everything that had happened. I wanted so much for my father to be there for me more. I wanted a normal father/daughter relationship and still do. When I did get attention from him it wasn’t always what I craved from my father. I wanted one-on-one time with him, but I never got it. When I did get to see my dad, my siblings would be there, too, or my dad’s wife and her kids. I love my father, don’t get me wrong, and I’m not trying to bash my dad at all. I’m just realizing that I do tend to pick guys like him.
It makes me think that my unstable relationships with guys stem from the unstable relationship my father and I had growing up. I read an article recently that talked about how some women date bad boys in an attempt to “redo the father-daughter relationship” and “remedy childhood hurts.” I could relate to this, because I’ve spent a lot of my life searching for the feeling of being loved, of being wanted—first from my dad, and then when I didn’t find it there from other guys.
What if my father and I had a better relationship? Would it help me have better self-worth and know that I am good enough for a better guy? I’m not sure if healing my relationship with my dad would help with my dating life. But I do understand that I do need to be more forgiving and learn to let go of the past, not just with my relationships but to anyone that ever hurt me, my father included. When I’m not carrying around the baggage that seems to claim its role in my life, I’ll be freer to truly love.