No More Bad Boys: How to Learn to Finally Start Liking Good Guys

June 22, 2012  |  
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Your mom might point out some put-together stockbroker in a Banana Republic pullover, slacks and a Rolex and say, “That’s the type of guy you should be with—a nice, good guy.” Little does she know he cheats on his girlfriends and gets cited for indecent exposure every weekend. The point is that a “good guy” is not something you can spot from the outside. Good guys come in all shapes, sizes, job descriptions and clothing brands. The only way to know when you’re dealing with a good guy is how he makes you feel, and how you get to behave while you’re with him. If you’re ready for a good guy, you need to learn the subtle signs of them, and you may need to break some bad habits yourself.

Stay away from the “casual” types

There’s nothing wrong with a guy for wanting to keep things casual. However, there may be something wrong with you if you continue to pursue men who flat out tell you they’re not looking for anything serious. To learn to like good guys, you need to learn to walk away when there is a red flag, right from the get go, that tells you things will be more difficult with this man than with another man. Why walk into that situation? If you truly want to start liking the good guys, you need to stop pursuing paths on which there are inevitable roadblocks that will keep you from ever getting serious or intimate—like the “casual types.”

Like being liked

It’s not only the needy and the desperate, or the guys who just never get any that will be sweet to you right out of the gates. If you’ve been doing the bad boy thing for a while, then you’ve been looking for guys who you had to PRY compliments and affection out of. So, any guy who looks at you across the table on a dinner date and says, “I like you”—you run from. Again, you may have felt more comfortable chasing a guy and waiting than having affection just handed over to you. But know this: perfectly attractive, confident and eligible men will be kind and complimentary to you, from the start. It doesn’t mean they’re needy. In fact, they aren’t afraid to compliment you because they are confident in themselves. Learn to read the difference between a guy who is just dying to be in a relationship with anyone, and a guy who wants to be in one with you. And don’t run from the latter.

He should like being liked

You’re not the only one who should be accepting compliments! With bad boys, you get used to wondering, “Was that too forward of me?,” “Was that too needy of me?,” “Did I scare him off?” Bad boys like women for the same reason women like them—they like to play hard to get. It’s probably one of the games you are most exhausted from after your long bout of bad boys, but also the one you’re very used to playing. A good guy is someone who you will feel 100% comfortable expressing your affection towards. A good guy sees your ability to do so as a strength—not a weakness—and with him you just won’t find yourself trying to hide your cards. The good guy will create a comfortable space for you to show them in.

Make plans

Bad boys get medals for giving you one-hour notice before hanging out. You might be used to waiting a week or two to hear from men if you’ve been dealing with bad boys, and your response was not “What a jerk” but rather “Oh! Yay! He’s calling!” So, when a good guy you’re on a date with asks you right then and there to do something…oh my goodness…could it be…in the FUTURE?? At a SET TIME AND PLACE?? You could get nervous. Don’t get nervous. Again, he isn’t needy for doing this. He is respectful of you and your time. He realizes you may have a busy schedule and that you deserve notice. Also, it shows he is confident enough to show you that he likes you so much that he wants to make sure he gets on that calendar of yours.

Be comfortable reaching out

You too should be comfortable asking him out! Good guys don’t play games. They will become irritated with and tired of you if they are always the one doing the asking-out. You’re not in high school (although, if you’ve been dating bad boys, you may be used to high school behaviors). He shouldn’t be the only one making himself vulnerable. But again, if you’re dealing with a good guy, you won’t really hesitate to ask him to hang out. He will have shown you verbally, through body language and through actions that you are welcome in his life. That’s a key difference between the good and the bad boy—feeling welcome.

He should be proud of you

Another thing bad boys get medals for: a millisecond of PDA. A bad boy gives you a brief hug in front of friends and you spend all night glowing, thinking, “Oh my goodness. Maybe this is finally going somewhere!” That’s what dating bad boys for a while will do to you—make you forget your own value…HELLO! A man should be proud to be with you. A good guy will be. A good guy isn’t trying to keep his options open by still trying to appear single even when he’s with you. A good guy isn’t trying to make you feel grateful for being by his side. When you’re dating a good guy, you’re both grateful to have each other, and you both show it. It’s not a game of proving who is more desirable—as it is with bad boys. It’s an environment in which you naturally want to find ways to show each other that you find one another desirable.

 

How is his relationship with his parents?

So his parents drive him nuts? Newsflash: so does everybody’s. A major part of growing up means accepting yours and your parent’s differences, and ceasing that incessant battle to change their opinions. From there, you learn a lot about diplomacy and humility. A guy that hasn’t gotten over the fact that, no, your parents probably won’t ever see eye to eye with you on every decision, is still way too puffed up with pride to carry on any healthy romantic relationships. It’s still more important to him to be right and “make a point” than to value a relationship, and make compromises so that nobody has to be “right” necessarily, but they can just get along.

 

Make love, not war

If you can’t observe a guy’s relationship with his parents, just look at the way he argues with you. Again, a man that truly cherishes having a quality romantic relationship doesn’t feel the need to be right. He just wants to be close to you. A mature man looks for every possible compromise in an argument, rather than looking for every way to prove he’s right. Dealing with a man that always wants to win a fight will put you in a place of emotional turmoil. He’ll probably be walking out a lot or hanging up on you.

 

Let someone take care of you

You tell yourself it’s okay that a guy doesn’t help you, that it’s okay he didn’t want to drive you to your doctor’s appointment, that it’s okay he didn’t want to be there for your big presentation. Because you’re a big girl and you don’t need to be taken care of. But it’s not about needing to be taken care of. It’s about being with someone that cares enough about you to give up what they wanted to do, to be there for you. If a man isn’t willing to do that, then you’re just a thing of convenience for him. Not a girlfriend.

Stop making excuses for him

Stop making excuses for why it took him two days to call you back, or why he never wants to meet your parents. You’ll be shocked how things look in the harsh light of reality, without your excuses making everything foggy. A man’s actions do speak for him or at least they would if you’d stop chiming in first to excuse them. Wait for the man you don’t have to make excuses for. They are few and far between, but they are so much less exhausting to be with.

Emphasize first impressions

He was late for the first date, he didn’t tell you where the date would be until an hour before, he was texting during dinner, he got too handsy. You tell yourself, “It was only one time. It was probably a fluke.” It wasn’t just one time; it was the first time you went out. People are typically on their best behavior on first dates. And if being late, non-communicative and too handsy is how a guy is on date number one, you can only image how he’ll be as a boyfriend.

Like the talkers

Women are used to men being “the silent types.” In fact, we kind of like it because then we get to chat. So, if a man doesn’t say much on the first few dates, or even throughout the relationship, we write it off as, “He’s just not a big talker.” But how much a man talks corresponds directly to how honest he is, and how good of a communicator he is. Usually, if a guy’s not talking, it’s not because he has nothing to say (hello! He has an active brain up there!); it’s because he is hiding something, or he doesn’t think you’re someone worth spilling his thoughts to. Learn to like the guys that talk, the ones that are engaging on first dates, and make things easy for you. Like the ones that send you long texts, instead of the “hi” and “sup” texts. A talkative guy is an open guy.

 

Listen to your friends

If you’ve got a good group of friends, odds are they don’t keep quiet when they don’t approve of a guy. Listen to them. Look back at all your past relationships. How many of them did your friends frown upon, but you didn’t listen? And how right were your friends? Probably to a T. Don’t fight your friends. They only care about you and as outsiders they have a perspective that you, with your raging hormones and butterfly stomach don’t have.

The truth is…

If you love bad boys, the real issue is within you. Bad boys display traits and behaviors that inevitably make them impossible to become emotionally close to. If all the tips in this list sound absolutely terrifying, it may be time to ask yourself this question: What am I so afraid of? If you read this article, you are clearly exhausted of games and you feel that something is missing. But, getting that “something”—genuine, selfless and easy love—will take work on your part. The bad boys don’t find you. You find them.

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