Bad Boy Blindness (BBB)


I’m young.  Inarguably young.  People even think I’m even younger than I am.  I hear, “what high school are you going to?” more often than, “where do you go to college?” even though the later is correct.  I don’t really mind.  Being young has never exactly treated me poorly.  Not to mention, my foolishness and naivety would make more sense if I was indeed in high school.  

I am smart (at least I think).  My friends often assume I’m going to be the designated driver, set the alarm clock, and schedule our vacations.  My foolishness and naivety spring up in one area almost exclusively.  They “spring up” so significantly, I would classify it as some sort of mental defect or blindness. I am absolutely unable to function as an adult, within romantic endeavors.  Dates, flirting, sex, relationships… dumb, dumber, and dumbest.

It’s not that I particularly mind.  I’d say I make these “stupid” choices with at least some cognisance of their stupidity… which may make me insane… I don’t know.  

When I graduated from my all girls high school, I had little to no experience dating boys.  I’d dated some girls in high school… knew a bit about love… crushed on some teachers, but never pursued the opposite gender.  So, at 17, I graduated and was determined to gain “experience”.  The first boy I met, a story I might tell in depth (someday) flung me down a romantic crash course.  I learned about making out in old, hot Subaru’s, sneaking around parents, sex (wow), infatuation, and… some form of love.  Than, the thing no one hopes to learn: heartbreak.  

Bad boy blindness… I have it bad.  I have been known to date boys much older than me (men), emotionally unavailable boys, mean boys, broke, dumb, and crazy boys.  And here’s the thing, they are also attractive, funny, and smart boys.  At some point they WILL make great partners… but, I always choose them at the wrong time (something I’ve realized does really truly exist).  Bottom line, I get off on being treated poorly.  Dark, I know.  But, I think the hunt to make a man infatuated with me, is a kind of challenge I can’t say no to. (Well, I’m getting better at saying no, now).  Excepting cheap love, bad love, untrue love, is wrong.  I’ve decided to stop doing it.

I’m confident, more so than your average millennial girl.  I’ve “worked on myself”.  I feel a deep kinship with my body and mind.  “Mature”, if you will. I look at my initial relationships with boys as a necessary evil. Like failing my first few physics tests, I had to stumble in the dark before I would find inevitable light…. a cure for BBB.

The darkest forms of BBB lead to domestic violence… relationships where actual violence feels permissible.  I fear I could go down that path.  Using ideas of “the one” to hide my darker reality.  No matter how great the guy, no matter what you see in him, every person deserves to be treated fairly.

That first boy I fell for, the one right after high school, had a girlfriend.  He told me that after our first kiss.  The epitome of unattainable.

He was painfully attractive and older than me.  When I showed my therapist a photo of him, she remarked he was, “boyband attractive”.  Dark features, 3 day stubble, and cheeky smiles.  I was sure we’d end up together, forever.  He was the first boy to call me sexy… to make me feel really, truly desired.  He never asked me any questions, even though I learned everything about him.

We’d have sex in his car then he’d drive home to her… they lived together.  Of course, he told me they didn’t have sex and that she was, “repulsed by him”.

He was the first boy to sleep with me.  I remember, with some humor, the first time I blew him in the back of his car. I swallowed and looked up.  With his beautiful mouth he said, “I don’t want to hurt you”.  What a thing to say to a young girl… what a thing (it makes me laugh, now).  He definitely didn’t know that was the first penis I had ever seen up close and personal, let alone put in my mouth.  

And rather inevitably, he did hurt me.  But not before we spent that magical summer together.  

We texted constantly, flirted at work, drove around town and had sex.  We hungrily awaited seeing one another. On nights we were apart we talked on the phone for hours.  However, it would be wrong of me (verrryyy wrong) to give the impression that everything was good up until the end.  He was an alcoholic (high functioning) but still absolutely addicted.  I look back at some memories I have of him and wonder if he was too drunk to remember them.  He pushed me to have sex and do things in bed at an extremely fast rate, faster than I was comfortable with… but I loved him, so I “got over it”.  And of course the obvious, he had a girlfriend. Someone I knew almost nothing about, but took constant priority. He said she knew about me, but (now) I really don’t know.

He is a lovable person, I believe that even after everything.  But that doesn’t mean I should have loved him or should ever choose someone like that again.  He was emotionally unavailable for a myriad of reasons.  Even if he had tried his best… he never could have treated me “right”. So why did I pick him as “the one”.

Well, I have a lot of sympathy for the ‘me’ that chose him. I was dazzled by his good looks and interest in me.  he made me feel like a woman.  

What that version of myself misunderstood, is that many different men desire me and can make me feel like a desired woman (that is not exclusive to him) and most importantly, the way someone treats you is as important (if not more) than how they are as an individual.  What I mean by that is if the funniest, prettiest, smartest boy still treats you poorly… he’s not right for you. Great people can be horrible in relationships.  You can’t make a boy treat you well and you ought not wait around for any guy no matter how “perfect he seems to be.

But, I still have that type.  The type that has informed almost every relationship I’ve ever had… The worst and the best have all been: unattainable.  I like cocky assholes.  Even self proclaimed cocky assholes.  And really, it’s not that crazy.  Think how many movies have portrayed the “unattainable bad boy” who eventually falls for the perfect “quirky” girl.  That prototype has infiltrated my psyche.  I am absolutely sure I can convince all of these men I am the perfect one.  That comes from a mixture of insecurity, narcissism, and competitiveness.  It also leads to pain… inevitable pain.  Because they are, unattainable.  Nothing more and nothing less.  

BBB.  I think diagnosis is the first step.  At least I know, now, exactly what games I like to play.  I imagine I’ll eventually tire of these boys.  When my priorities change, or when I’m less wild.  But, I can already say… understanding this pattern I follow, has already disillusioned me.  I understand why I (and many people) hunt for the unattainable.  It’s fun, exciting, validating (if it works), and non-committal.  

That boy, that first bad boy, stopped talking to me after I expressed my love for him.  He said (months later when I confronted him) that he could tell I was, “getting too attached”.  I don’t talk to him anymore…

I guess, what I really have come away with (after analyzing this for months), is that there is only one result you will get using this algorithm.  Heartbreak.  It’s ok to go through it, anyway… but, to assume a different result, well that is simply ignorant.  

So, go after your BBs, but know what awaits you.  Validating yourself with a trophy of men is unfulfilling.  

Trust me, I know.

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