“My girlfriend is hot,” my first boyfriend (a senior when I was a sophomore, and a musician to boot) called out at Ramapalooza, a yearly event at my high school that worked as a battle of the bands for students and their musical side projects. It wasn’t a “This song is dedicated to my girlfriend” or a “My girlfriend inspires me and my music.” It was simply, “My girlfriend is hot.” Then, when the concert ended, he left the stage and hugged his bandmate’s girlfriend first–the pretty blonde cheerleader–as I looked on and waited. I should have realized at that moment that I would be forever doomed to date bad boys, usually of the musician variety.
I believe in patterns, types if you will. You have a history of cheating on your girlfriends? No problem. I’m sure you will act differently with me. You’re experimenting with drugs? That’s cool, as long as I’m still a priority. You just got out of a serious relationship and you have no intention whatsoever of entering into another one in the near future? Yeah, I can do non-committal too. We had an amazing time together this past week, but you mysteriously won’t accept my friend request on Facebook? No, that doesn’t make it seem like you have a secret girlfriend at all.
Have you figured out my type yet? I blame myself. Bad boys are my vice. I’m addicted to the emotional roller coaster, to the never-knowing what’s next, ferocious fights and great sex. Recently, as I consoled a friend who had been dumped by another friend of mine, I explained to him that she simply liked guys better who treated her like shit. His response: “All girls do.” That blunt commentary on my gender stopped me cold. What the hell is wrong with us? Or, for the sake of this blog post/therapy session, what the hell is wrong with me? If I try to go any farther in answering that question, I may need to hire a shrink.
This isn’t a pity party, believe me. I blame nobody but myself. I’ve known nice guys; I’ve dated nice guys; I’ve dumped nice guys. It’s no wonder that recently while writing a longer work of fiction, I made the two romantic interests for my main character have bad boy tendencies: the first, a coworker who has no intention of building a relationship beyond casual sex and the second, an ex-boyfriend who she turns to as a friend, who turns back to her looking for a hook-up. In the end of the story, she doesn’t end up with anybody. This feels right for my character, and maybe in a way it feels right for me, for now.
Chasing the elusive nice guy is exhausting, and I’d rather focus my energy on my career and writing. Besides, I should take baby steps; moving from bad boy to nice guy all at once is a big leap. Maybe I’ll start with a reformed bad boy. Then again, a reformed bad boy is about as a real a creature as a Republican man who gives a shit about women’s rights.