Once a bad boy weasels his way into your heart, letting go may be the hardest thing you ever have to do. We chat with a few brave women and relationship experts who offer up their best advice for finally kicking him to the curb.
Bad boys, bad boys
So why do women love bad boys so much in the first place? "We're usually attracted to them because we see something we're familiar with, and in turn, view the relationship as an opportunity to resolve an issue from an earlier relationship,” explains Suzanne Casamento, CEO of FantasyDatingGame.com. "For example, say you grew up with a father who only showed up occasionally, and when he did, he was late and a little distracted. As an adult, you may engage in relationships with men who aren't emotionally available, not because you like it when guys ignore your calls or blow off your dates, but because (subconsciously) you're hoping that if you can change the bad boy and prove that he loves you, that wound from your father will heal.” Fortunately, the first step to solving any problem is recognizing you have one, right?
Here are four fab tips to help you move on from a bad boy once and for all:
Get out of denial
"Many women involved with bad boys are in total denial regarding how ‘great' things are,” says Allison T. Moore, The Prison Break Coach at Extraordinary Life Coaching. "They continue in a cycle of cover up by lying, omitting or exaggerating the truth about really wanting to be with a bad boy. You can't heal a wound or change something that isn't there. Make a list of the things you like about your relationship alongside the things you dislike,” she recommends. “Admit to a close friend or family member where you have been unauthentic concerning your relationship.”
Pick up on the red flags
Is he known to take advantage of women? Does he constantly criticize you or your feelings? Does it feel like you have to walk on eggshells around him? "A healthy relationship should not feel this way,” points out brand/marketing specialist Therasa, who's dated a bad boy herself. "Self-worth should not diminish when you're with someone. Instead, an empowering relationship should allow you to be emotionally healthy, pursue your goals and always be yourself. Chasing after a false dream that things will change will only lead to more heartbreak.”
Cut the digital connection
According to relationship communication trainer and bestselling author Eden Adele, if you don't do this, you're just setting yourself up to relapse. "Rehab is impossible without cutting the digital cord. Stop stalking him on social media, leave the forums and chat groups, get off the dating sites, block the emails and erase the texts. It's best to go cold turkey before you have a chance to even think about it. If you pause to reconsider, you'll end up justifying why not to do it, and the addiction will continue.”
Remember: It's never too late
ShopAddiKt founder Bethany Londyn recently heard someone quoting Taylor Swift and a comment she had made, "Something to the effect of: Sometimes you have to follow a bad relationship to the bottom of the ocean before you can swim up for air. I recognized this, because as a completely committed and loyal person in a relationship, even when I was told that my ex wanted a divorce, I did everything in my power to try and save our marriage,” she says. "It wasn't until I found out about the infidelity that something snapped for me, and I was done. Over the next year, those foggy goggles were off, and all I could see were the reasons we should have never, ever been together.”
More dating & relationship advice