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Addicted to Bad Boys

Posted Sep 22 2008 10:28am

bad boy He’s cute, he’s hot, and he’s totally wrong for you! The appeal of “bad boys” is undeniable for many single women, but the cost is high. One Singlescoach ® reader summed it up well: 

Dear Nina: I have been stuck in a bad dating pattern for most of my dating life. The first part of the cycle is that I settle for the wrong guy and then it predictably doesn’t work. The second phase is that, after having my heart broken, I end up in a several-months-long dry spell while my heart mends. After the long dry spell, I end up settling on the wrong guy yet again, mostly out of loneliness. I find myself all too willing to overlook obvious red flags and wind up with yet another “bad boy.” How do I stop this ugly dating cycle? - Addicted to Bad Boys

Dear Addicted,

First, I acknowledge you for having the insight to realize that what you are caught in is a form of addiction, and second, for expressing the desire to break the cycle. That is the beginning of change for the better.

There are a couple of steps missing in your cycle that are vitally needed for you to break this cycle. Post break-up of the last dysfunctional relationship, your first job is to handle the grief and loss. Next is the all-important step of reflection; this is the opportunity for you to ask yourself the hard questions: a.) what attracted me to this man who was so bad for me? b.) what did I overlook in the early stages? c.) how did denial play a role? d.) what are the qualities I REALLY want in a man?

And the most important question: What do I need to change, or let go of, in myself (thought patterns, beliefs, and behavior), so that I can attract someone who has the qualities I really want in a life partner? If you’re like most women addicted to “bad boys,” you will come face-to-face with your need for excitement in relationships combined with your fear of being alone. These are the two hooks that have crippled you in the past.

Good relationships have tingly moments in the beginning, but are not dominated by the ups and downs of addictive relationships. If a guy is wildly exciting in the beginning, he’s probably emotionally dangerous. Learning to rachet down your need for excitement, instead choosing peace of mind and heart, is a first big step toward healing.

BEFORE you date again, you must come to terms with this and other issues, just as Kelly does in Temptations of the Single Girl. If you haven’t already, get the book, read it, and embrace the principles. Sign up for my newsletter, selecting Temptations Reader, and you will be eligible for teleconference classes beginning soon!

You can also find some coaching in my audio series, Stages of Single Life, Parts One Through Four. Download the files and listen on your iPod of MP3 player for reinforcement of the personal work you need to do to advance through the stages of single life in a healthy way.

Your goal is to develop a powerful inner compass that will lead you down the right path to a healthy relationship with a good guy who addores you. You will know you’re ready to date again when you are absolutely clear about the kind of man you want, able to discern who is and isn’t good for you, and strong enough to say “NO!” to the wrong ones. Remember that getting out of this cycle is a process, not an event, so don’t expect instant results. Stay tuned in our community for more resources to keep you on the path.

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