Don’t Reward the Bad Boy

Raise your own bar. And by this, I do not mean your expectations – rather, your standards for respect.

Written by Amy C · 4 min read >
Don’t Reward the Bad Boy - Heart Hackers Club -  - Hair

That jawline. That swagger. That calm, cool confidence. Charming, clever, charismatic. He’s a babe. He’s your kryptonite. And right now, he likes you.

There’s a rush that comes with that. Perhaps it feeds a deep insecurity that he’s choosing you over everyone else who’s eyeing him. Perhaps that laser focus attention he’s giving you makes you finally feel recognized for how special and unordinary you are. You kiss. Oxytocin levels skyrocket. This feels good. You want more. Before you know it, you find yourself craving him like an addict feening for a fix.

But this guy’s approach is sporadic and consistently inconsistent. He’s hot one day and aloof the next. You never know if you’ll hear from him again. Then, that magical “ding ding ” happens. You receive a text out of the blue and your brain’s rewards circuits light up, flooding with dopamine – feeding your addiction and attachment even more. He does like me!

But a week goes by. No word. The anticipation that was once exciting and exhilarating has now morphed into anxiety. Your insecurity and ego kicks in. Is something wrong with me? Does he or doesn’t he like me? Oh no, maybe I should/shouldn’t have had sex with him! What happened?

Eventually, he texts you. Last minute for a late night drink. Rushing to fill your fix, you meet him. Who cares that he never called you back last week? Who cares that he flaked out on plans the last time? Who cares that he only asks you out last minute? He’s a babe. Just. Can’t. Get. Enough.

“When I say bad boy, I mean bad for you.”

Welcome to the addictive cycle of the bad boy. When I say bad boy – I mean bad for you. He’s the guy who doesn’t like you that much, but when it’s convenient, he’s bored or there isn’t anyone else interesting around, he’ll hit you up. He doesn’t make an effort to see you because he actually doesn’t care that much to. But if it’s easy, sure, why not? And if you’ll have sex with him and not get mad that he doesn’t call you the next day, even better. Mind you, the bad boy isn’t like this with everyone, he’s like this to the girls he’s just not that into. Since he can get away with it with relatively no hassle, and there are no consequences for disappearing, not responding or flaking out, he has no reason to treat you any differently.

In my twenties, I let this cycle continue over and over like a load of laundry on tumble dry. I even tried to justify the guy’s behavior and inaction that clearly showed his lack of interest, because hey, I wasn’t looking for anything serious anyway. Sure.

If you can relate to this, then I’m going to let you in on a secret. This shit eats your self-esteem, and if you don’t stop the cycle, you will hurt and you will harden, and that anxiety build up will harm your relationships with the good guys ahead. Every time you accept poor behavior, or tolerate disrespect and inconsideration, you send a signal to the universe and to your own self-worth that you aren’t deserving of respect. If you are looking just to hook up and have no-strings attached fun, this article does not apply to you. If you are looking to romantically connect with another and/or wanting to create a relationship with someone, then listen up. The following are examples of a guy who is either behaving poorly, or not that into you.

  • He makes plans with you and flakes out repeatedly.
  • He only makes plans with you last minute, and it’s usually really late at night (aka he wants to hook up)
  • He never asks you out for dinner, only for nightcaps or a drink at his place (aka he wants to hook up).
  • He doesn’t show any interest to get to know you as a human, only as an object.
  • He doesn’t call you back.
  • He disappears and is inconsistent with his communication.
  • He is always too busy (aka he is unwilling to prioritize seeing you)

Any and all of the above are behaviors of a guy who only wants you for casual fun or sex. And if that’s what you’re after, then cool. Can beginnings that start off as no-strings attached fun turn into something more meaningful? Yes! But that is the exception, not the majority of cases.

“If a guy likes you, he will contact you and try to see you. Period.”

If you’re wondering if the guy you’re crushing on likes you back, you can cut the gray area now because there is only one way to tell, and it doesn’t involve dissecting text messages or making a story out of every little sign. If a guy likes you, he will contact you and try to see you. Period. If he does not do this, he does not like you enough. And why should you invest your time and energy into someone who isn’t really that into you?

The more we let people get away with responding to our affections by acting aloof, nonchalant and inconsiderate, only to then reward them with sex, attention and nurture, the more we affirm that it’s perfectly okay to treat us less than we are worth. We lower the bar, not just for us, but for all women.

I get it – we crave connection, intimacy and love. Trust me, I’m still deathly attracted to Mr. Kryptonite and that physical draw will likely never go away. But how I choose to respond to bad behavior has changed. I’m at a point in my womanhood where I will no longer tolerate a lack of consideration regardless of how much lust or “connection” I feel. I’ll admit, it’s not easy standing up for myself. Telling someone I find attractive that I’m not going to see them again because I don’t appreciate how I am being treated takes discipline. But to honor my own self love, I  must set and keep my boundaries and have integrity for what I stand for.

“Raise your own bar. And by this, I do not mean your expectations – rather, your standards for respect.”

Raise your own bar. And by this, I do not mean your expectations – rather, your standards for respect. Stand by your values. I promise you, you may not get the immediate fix that will soothe your craving for pleasure, but in the long run, you will feel empowered. When you close the door to all the ones that were never meant to be your fit, you make space for meaningful connections – the good guys – the ones who will feed your heart and spirit.

Whatever you are looking for – a fling, an experience or a lifetime partner – there is a way of connecting and interacting with people that is rooted in respect, love and consideration. The time that connection lasts is irrelevant, we can always choose to behave in a way that adds positivity to the people we encounter, even if that moment is fleeting.

Here’s to healthy dating.

Photo credit: Panda

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Written by Amy C
Amy Chan is the Founder of Renew Breakup Bootcamp, a retreat that takes a scientific and spiritual approach to healing the heart. Marie Claire calls her "A relationship expert whose work is like that of a scientific Carrie Bradshaw" and her company has been featured across national media including Good Morning America, Vogue, Glamour, Nightline along with the front page of The New York Times. Her book, Breakup Bootcamp - The Science of Rewiring Your Heart, published by Harper Collins, will be released Fall 2020. Profile

21 Replies to “Don’t Reward the Bad Boy”

  1. YES! Perfect article. Well said 🙂 In the past, I was attracted to many Mr. Kryptonites as well and it was so painful. Now I’m free of them and I feel so empowered and even sexier as a person. Thank you so much Amy for this article!

    All the best,

  2. Your article is god-sent. I just got flaked by a bad boy who was supposed to be my friend. Even as a friend, I wasn’t even treated with respect. I’m moving on to people who actually value my time and company.

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