When ending a relationship, a serial dater looks for the complete opposite in a match
By Cheryl Lavin August 19, 2013 5:06PM
Updated: September 5, 2013 4:33PM
Casey, 30, has a yin-yang approach to dating.
“Usually, whoever I have a crush on is, in some way, the exact opposite of whoever I had a crush on before. If the last guy was the life of the party, I want a shy guy. If the last guy looked like a linebacker, I go for a nerdy-looking one. I like to feel like I’m having a completely different experience than the last time.
“So if I go for a so-called bad boy, it’s often because somehow, it didn’t work out with the so-called good boy. But when I look back on the bad boys I’ve been attracted to (including a drug-dealer, a drug addict who was 20 years older than me and married, and a guy who I’m pretty sure has multiple mental health and substance abuse issues), it was because I felt that I, too was defective and that only someone else who was defective also would want me.”
Casey says she came to think of herself as defective because of being bullied as a young child and then, when she got older, rejected by the guys she was interested in.
“When I was little, I felt like it must be my fault that other kids didn’t like me. The feeling that there was something wrong with me never really went away. With guys, I started to wonder if I even deserved to be liked in that way.”
One particular memory stands out. In high school, Casey had a “huge crush” on a very popular athlete who was the life of every party. “When he realized I liked him, he told an entire bus full of students that his ideal woman would be the exact opposite of me.”
But, with the bad boys, Casey felt a kinship. “I felt like they ‘got’ me, even though I don’t abuse drugs or alcohol, get in trouble with the law, or have any major issues. I guess I subconsciously thought that if they were so messed up, maybe they didn’t feel accepted, either.
“Then, I’d always wake up and realize they didn’t ‘get’ me at all. I just wanted to feel like they did. I’d never actually end up getting together with those guys or even sleeping with them, but the attraction I’d feel was always intense.
“Something would always happen where they wouldn’t follow through with their promises, or they’d do something I considered disrespectful to me, and there would be enough little things that added up that made me realize that they only cared about themselves and not about anyone else, including me.”
Casey isn’t in a relationship at present, in fact she hasn’t been in one in five years. She says she isn’t attracted to anyone at present.
“But I have an idea now of what kind of person I want. I’d like to find someone who’s artsy and quirky like me, but has his act together. That means someone who’s capable of having a loving and respectful relationship, who treats everyone around him with dignity and respect, who has no substance abuse issues, and is honest and responsible.
A lot of the guys I meet don’t fit those basic requirements, so I don’t date them or even find them attractive anymore. I hope I find a nice boyfriend eventually, though.”
Are you attracted to bad boys? Why? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to firstname.lastname@example.org. And check out my new website askcheryl.net.