Heads up: this is not a bait-and-switch, Jesus-is-my-boyfriend post. When I say “a guy you can brag about,” I’m talking about an actual, physical, human guy in the 21st century that you can hold hands with. Girls, this is practical advice on how to lead your heart when looking for the kind of guy you want to be with.
The kind of guy everybody else is jealous of.
The kind of guy you can be proud of and want to scream to the world at the top of your lungs that HE’S THE BEST.
But it still might look a little different than you’re expecting. It came as a surprise to me when the realization hit me like a bucket of ice water, because it can be a little disconcerting, but it’s a vital concept to hold onto as you mature and begin to see the beauty in it.
In middle school and high school, sometimes in college, and for some misguided women, their entire lives, girls tend to be drawn to the “bad boys.” I know this is a concept heavily debated between bitter nice guys in the “friend zone” and girls who insist that they don’t like the bad boys. But, for the most part, the guys are right. We like the bad boys.
If you think about the popular guys in your school — the ones everyone wants to be with — what makes them so amazingly cool? If you were dating one of them, what kinds of things would you want to brag to your friends about? Take a moment and write down some reasons. Then see if any of these are among them:
Everybody’s after him.
He doesn’t care what anybody thinks.
He’s tough and strong.
He does whatever he wants, and his parents let him.
He’s like an unattainable god.
He’s so mysterious.
He drives 120 mph with the sunroof open and it’s AWESOME.
He’s the life of the party and can handle more alcohol than anyone else.
He manages to sneak out at night while your parents are lame and make it impossible to escape the prison of your room.
He’s proud, spirited, passionate, spontaneous, and an attractive dose of just plain cocky. Don’t say it’s not attractive, because it totally is.
We’re drawn to these people, and we can’t help it. The heart wants what the heart wants, right? There’s this undeniable attraction that we can hardly describe or define. We just know that he’s the one we dream about, the one who makes our hearts pound in our chest, the one we would do anything to be with because he’s so exciting. We want to tell everyone about him, because he’s what everyone wants. And if by some miracle he can be ours, we’ll be shouting it with a megaphone to crowds of bitter rivals.
But here’s the thing: it’s a temporary, immature attraction, and the heart can be deceived. They tell you to live for today, but if you do, you won’t be prepared when tomorrow comes.
While you’re attracted to these guys now, it’s never too early to start thinking about what you want in a guy long-term. What do you want out of a marriage? What do you want your family to look like?
Pause for just a minute and think of one of those guys. Got one in your head? Can you picture him? Now I want you to briefly sketch out your life.
Picture yourself walking down the aisle. How do you feel? What emotion is on his face?
Think about your honeymoon. Will he make you feel loved, treasured, and adored as his bride? Or will he act like a typical guy?
How will you spend your evenings together?
Imagine having your first child. Is he ready for that responsibility?
What if there’s a dream you want to pursue? Will he support you, or leave you high and dry to pursue his own?
The bad boy thinks only of himself, and for some reason, that’s sexy. But when you have goals of your own and you need your partner’s support, only to have him do his own thing and never care about your ambitions — that’s a little less sexy.
When the bad boys sneaks out at night during high school to go party, it’s so wild and rebellious and attractive. But when you’re alone in bed at night because the same boy has expertly snuck out to be with another woman — well, it’s not attractive anymore.
When he’s tough and doesn’t care about anything, the thrill of the chase makes you want him desperately. But when there comes a day that your world is falling apart and you’re in tears, sensitivity and comfort are what you’ll want desperately. It won’t be so attractive then for him to shrug you off.
When he disrespects his parents, it’s oh so bold and independent. But one day when you need him to man up and take responsibility and he says “to heck with you” — suddenly it means something very different.
All these girls that you know now — your friends with whom you dream and flirt and live life and brag that the popular boy talked to you in the hall — statistically speaking, most of them will live through heartbreak and divorce and miserable marriages, all because they followed their heart. They lived for today, but when tomorrow came, it found them brokenhearted and alone, hoping their three small children couldn’t hear them crying themselves to sleep.
And if you’re with a gentle, patient, steady man who loves you faithfully and unconditionally, you’ll be the one with a megaphone. You’ll be bragging to everyone that he loves you and only you. You’ll be boasting that he works hard at a job that he hates so that you can feel secure, and then comes home and changes the lightbulbs you can’t reach. You’ll tell everyone that he understands you and holds you and talks with you. You’ll shout from the rooftops that you never feel ashamed, afraid, or inadequate because even though he’s too good for you, he never makes you feel that way.
And by then you’ll be the one everyone envies. You’ll have the man every other woman wants — a man you can brag about. Do yourself a favor. Wait for him.
A word to the nice guys: I know how frustrating it is that girls are drawn to the bad boys. I’m truly sorry that that’s the way it is. But please, please, don’t change. The same principle applies to you: don’t just live for today. Look at the future. Be the man who treats your girl with respect and makes her feel safe and honored and special. Set your goal to have a marriage that not only lasts, but is absolutely amazing. There will be a girl out there who desperately wants what you have to offer, who wants to brag to her friends about you, who wants to be the kind of woman worthy of your love. Do yourself a favor. Wait for her.