Are you looking for love in all the wrong places?
It's easy to admire Katy Perry's stunning beauty and over-the-top talent, but you may want to think twice about following her example when it comes to men. Divorced from self-proclaimed sex addict Russell Brand, Katy started dating fellow rock star John Mayer whose alleged shabby treatment of women and kiss-and-tell comments about past loves have landed him in trouble.
Are you like Katy, attracted to bad boys?
Bad boys are men who act like delinquent teenagers. They lie, cheat and refuse to take responsibility for their behavior. Instead, they blame others and sooth themselves with self-righteous hurt and anger. For bad boys, an intimate relationship is just another place to have control and get their way. Without the control, the relationship gets too "difficult," and they withdraw to look for the next victim.
Bad boy love is toxic and addictive. It's toxic because it comes at the price of your dignity and self-esteem. It's addictive because the horrible times are interspersed with good times. Researchers tell us this kind of intermittent reinforcement is the hardest to break. When the pain is interrupted by brief periods of pleasure, it keeps you hooked. You're always hoping that the next happy period is just around the corner. That's why women typically don't leave these toxic relationships, instead they get left.
Nancy's story is typical. She came for help after her four year relationship with Andy abruptly ended.
"I never saw it coming. He started saying he was unhappy and that all I did was complain, but that's not true. He did all the complaining, especially about me. I always felt like I was walking on eggshells, that any minute I was going to do or say something that would get him annoyed. He was very controlling; things had to be just so, or he would get into a mood. And I always felt it was my fault.
"To try and keep peace I started adjusting my moods to fit his. If he was moody, I shut down also, even if I was really feeling happy. When he was happy, I was happy but not too happy because he always had to have the spotlight. So even during the good times, I see now that I was never really myself. He liked it when I was in the background; I was there but on 'mute.'
"Why did I stay? He was handsome and could be very charming. I was physically very attracted to him. We both liked to travel and to ski and had a lot of fun. Our sex was very exciting, but the more we fought it got less and less. I was never sure I could trust him completely because he found so much to criticize about me that it made me jealous of other women he showed attention to. The month before he left he started hiding his cell phone. It was never just lying around like it used to be.
"It makes me think now that he must of been communicating with another woman. When I asked him about it, he would get very defensive, accusing me of interrogating him unfairly. And then he left. He went on a business trip and from there fishing with a buddy and then to a hotel. It's like I never existed, and I feel like I was mugged and dumped on the side of the road." Keep reading ...
More relationship advice from YourTango:
- Hard Work Ahead: Are Relationships Really Worthwhile?
- THIS Is The Kiss Of Death For Relationships
- Why Your Relationships Only Last 3 Months