After reading this post by Huntly Anabs, I got to thinking about the issue of toxic relationships. I don't like using the word bad and good in this scenario, they're so value laden and binary. The more usual thing is that most of us fall within a spectrum from one end to the other, and sometimes bad stuff happen to good people in relationships when they are not compatible with their partners. So when I use bad boys and bad girls in this post, I mean people who are deliberately cruel and/or abusive to their partners.
After witnessing a physical violence episode between a neighbor, and the neighbor's girlfriend, Huntly calls his neighbour a bad boy;
Now, by all standards, John is someone I would refer to as bad boy; A bad boy because he smokes and drinks excessively? Maybe not. A bad boy because he has a tattoo on his neck and left arm? Far from that. A bad boy because he wears ear rings and carries dread locks? Definitely not. Who then is a bad boy?
A bad boy is a man who abuses a woman physically, emotionally and psychologically. He makes her feel worthless and demands from her what he’s unwilling to give. A bad boy is someone without a vision, dream and a sense of purpose. A bad boy is someone who lacks character. A bad boy is someone who is too immature and preoccupied with himself to share genuine compassion, concern or acceptance. A bad boy would rather be possessive than be protective of his woman. A bad boy cheats on his woman.
In his comments on the post, a guy paints a broader picture of a bad boy, having been one himself in the past. From the way he says it, I realized that any one could be bad in a relationship, it just depends on how much emotional baggage we're carrying, the more you have weighing you down, the more damage you cause to those in a relationship with you. Daniel iyade asks;
Does a bad guy get the ladies? Yes. He does. (Because most girls love drama. They are always looking for the good-bad-guy that does not exist). Is being a bad guy beneficial on the long run? No it is not. (Because bad guys can't meet the standards of a good relationship)The most important question is: why does anybody choose to be a bad guy?
After self-evaluation, I realised that the principal factor for me is "FEAR". The fear of loving another person that does not reciprocate. I used to think that its better to be the "disappointer" than being disappointed. I have learnt that disappointments are part of life's learning process.
The fear is just one aspect of it, but I doubt anyone chooses to be bad. I have to point out at this stage that boys aren't the only ones who can be bad to the good girls in their lives. Girls can be bad too, and their cases can be even worse sometimes, especially when they are dealing with a Bobo Nice.
There are so many things in addition to fear to burden bad boys and girls including lack of trust and chronic suspicion of everyone around you, as well as pain and unspent grief from previous loss. This loss can from from childhood trauma, growing up in a dysfunctional home, or from heartbreak.
Bad boys and girls are in effect acting out like little children throwing a tantrum, but they're doing it in an adult body. During a tantrum, someone always gets hurt, and in the case of relationships, the lashing out can manifest in various ways like listed above. The unfortunate part of this vicious cycle is that the partners of bad boys and girls often notice their flaws, either at the beginning or soon enough, but they decide to remain in the relationship hoping or believing they can change them.
The truth, they cannot be changed, at least not by an external party. Healing from their past pain is a journey bad boys and bad girls must accomplish by themselves, and in their own time. If you're a good girl or a Bobo nice who is attracted to a bad boy or a bad girl because they excite you, and bring drama to your otherwise boring life, be careful.
What a bad boy or bad girl who is not ready or able to change on their own needs more than love from a novice is counselling. While everyone deserves love, including bad boys and girls, those who love them should not have to lose their essence or life in the process.