I dated a wonderful man in high school, the husband type most women spend years searching for. The good guy. Looking back on it now, I realize that when we eventually decided to end the relationship, I somehow spun 180 degrees and went after the classic bad boy, the kind of elusive, aloof man who would like me just enough and call just enough to render me spellbound. I suppose I wasn’t ready for the husband type at the tender age of eighteen and the hunt for the familiar feeling of deprivation I experienced as a young teenager took over. It was the child in me who believed that if the original perpetrators who had walked out of my life (or their replacements – the bad boys) finally apologized or compensated for their terrible rupture in trust, I could escape the feeling of unworthiness. While my conscious drew me to the positive qualities I yearned for in a man, my unconscious pulled me toward the qualities that had hurt me the most as a child. Succinctly put, dating games worked on me.
Something changed when I moved to Washington. In spite of my difficult relationship, I learned to become more independent and confident. I underwent hardships while working in one of the most crime-ridden neighborhoods in America, in balancing the academic demands of Georgetown, and while navigating how I would fit into my new role as an intern on Capitol Hill. In a sense, Washington became the catalyst for me make the transition from a girl to a woman. I started valuing my self worth more and realized that by compromising my standards, I would only end up hurting myself farther up the road.
I walked away from my bad boy who looked as though he should be a core member of Sons of Anarchy because by graduating to womanhood, I came to recognize the defining differences of dating a man and dating a boy: I was simply over playing games.
Let me be clear that the qualities of a man and the characteristics of a boy have little to do with age. I’ve dated someone who was pushing 35 with two small children who turned out to possess the maturity level of his three-year-old and I’ve gone out with someone two years my junior who had the wisdom and life vision of a man four times his age. Regardless of their mounting years, there too are those individuals who will never really grow up. It is simply contingent on where they lie in their stage of life. If you’re a girl who enjoys the game playing, then expect that you will only attract boys. If you’re on the hunt for a man, here are some qualities to look for that I certainly value.
Ultimately this all comes down to your personal taste in partners, and these ten points may also apply to women as well: I’ve encountered my fair share of girls who enjoy playing games not of the athletic variety and who, in the vernacular, need to “get it together.”
Watch your six & stay purring,
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