Expectations of the Perfect Partner

image

Our students participated in an interesting set of workshops today. They were all off their usual timetable, instead discussing issues surrounding physical, emotional, social and sexual health. I spent most of the day supervising the sexual health workshops, which were predominantly focused on personal relationships and the expectations that each individual has of them.

The facilitator set the kids a really interesting activity. They were asked to draw out a shape in the form of a gingerbread man on a large piece of paper, with the title, ‘The Perfect Partner.’ Around the outside, they had to write the physical attributes that they would like, and on the inside, personality traits.

By the end of the third workshop, I had developed so many ideas in my head that I did the activity myself.

This was what I came up with:

image

I’m in a long-term, happy relationship with a wonderful bloke, but being Little Miss Cynical I found myself thinking that the activity was perhaps setting false expectations for the students – surely there is no such thing as the perfect partner because there is no such thing as the perfect person? I mentioned this when I had a conversation with the practitioner after the workshops had finished, and there was something that she said that stuck with me for the rest of the day…

“None of the things that they all listed were impossible or unachievable – nobody wanted a partner that could fly or magic money out of thin air. The idea behind it is not to give young people false expectations, but to have expectations in the first place. By acknowledging things that they want in a partner, it gives them a chance to focus on two things: that personality is far more important than the way somebody looks, and that they will only be treated in the way that they allow themselves to be.”

She was absolutely right. Their ideas were not anything unexpected. Initially, the boys thought more about boobs and large bottoms and the girls talked about the importance of height and blue eyes, but by the time everyone had finished they had all filled the middle of their diagram with lots of ideas that would make the perfect personality.

I asked some of the students after school what they had gained from the workshop. One of them simply smiled and said,

“I am going to go home and do the activity about me instead of my perfect partner. That way, I know what sort of person I want to become and then I can expect exactly the same of my future boyfriend.”

image

A lesson well learned, I think!

What about you? What would your perfect partner look like?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog and don’t forget to check out my Facebook and Pinterest pages

http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks
http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks

 

Advertisements

The Tale of a Sociopath Part 3

Over the last few days I have shared my story about my experiences with my sociopathic ex-boyfriend, and how I finally came to my senses and left him.

While I am reasonably open minded on the issue of religious beliefs, despite not being able to claim that I have a specific faith myself, I’m a big believer in karma.

Karma is a bitch. And for A, Karma came and bit him right on the ass.

I had moved out and was living in my own house. I was desperately struggling financially and was attempting to come to terms with the events of recent years, along with trying to cope in my first full-time job after graduating. I had little contact with him – he had convinced me to meet him in the local pub about a week after I left with the intention of giving me my things back that I had left behind, but when I arrived he hadn’t brought anything. He told me I owed him money for the house, he was lonely and he missed me. I left, and never spoke to him again. Continue reading

The Tale of a Sociopath Part 2

image

Yesterday I told you about my experiences with a sociopathic ex boyfriend, ‘A’. I had met him at university through a mutual friend. There had been a few things that we had bonded over during our first few weeks together. I had been brought up with a violent father, and he told me he had been sexually abused by his step-father, who his mum was still married to, and that his real father was his mum’s gay best friend who lived down the road from us and who we saw regularly. He had issues, but I wanted to help him. I trusted him. Over time he started to become more and more emotionally and verbally abusive. I found myself living with him in a house that his parents had bought for him, and my self confidence was at rock bottom. I believed I loved him, that our relationship was worth the time, and so I ignored the warning signs that were telling me that he was damaged.

It took an weekend for things to change.

He was working as a manager in a store around the corner from our house. He had complained that morning that it was going to be a long day and that he would have to work a double shift as one of the other managers had been sacked for stealing, so he wouldn’t be home until about 11.00pm. I felt sorry for him as it was a Saturday and he had worked really long hours that week already, and was worried about his health as he had told me that he had been diagnosed with skin cancer. At about 5.00pm I made him some sandwiches and decided to take them to him to cheer him up. When I arrived he wasn’t there, and his place was a young female that I had never seen before. At that moment I knew. I knew something wasn’t right. Without telling her who I was, I asked if she had seen him, and she told me that he was ‘in the pub with B.’ I knew B – she was an absolutely stunningly beautiful girl who had started working there a few months before. A had mentioned her a few times, often joking about her lack of intelligence and her strong accent.

I went to the only pub that I knew he would be in and looked in through the window. There he was, sitting in a T-Shirt and jeans instead of his uniform, with his arm around B. They were cuddled up in one of the booths, kissing.

I was dumbstruck. I had been told that he had cheated, but had never seen the proof for myself. I toyed with the idea of running into the pub and confronting him, but instead decided to walk away and calm down.

There is no better detective than an angry woman who has been lied to. I got home and summoned my inner Columbo, and I started to go through his stuff. I found a wage slip, and discovered that he didn’t have the job role that he claimed to. Instead, he was working for minimum wage, and had only been working for fifteen hours a week, instead of the full-time hours I thought he had been doing. In one of his drawers by the side of the bed were debt collection letters as he hadn’t been paying the bills, despite the fact that I had been giving him half from my student loan every month. Lying underneath them was set of gold female jewellery that wasn’t mine, and a pile of notes that added up to about £400.

I heard a beeping sound, and I checked the drawer below. He had left his phone behind, I’m assuming so I wouldn’t be able to contact him during the day. I couldn’t believe it – this was the holy grail. It was the days before the development of social media and smart phones, so he didn’t have a password. Shaking, I opened his messages. Even after everything I knew about him deep down, even I was shocked by what I saw.

image

Message after message from women. Declarations of love, filthy and highly descriptive messages about what these people wanted to do to him and how they had enjoyed seeing him the day before and couldn’t wait to see him again. One message struck me in particular, and I’ll never forget it.

“Take care of yourself today. I always worry about you when you have to work. It’s such a dangerous job.” This was followed by crude messages about truncheons and the like. He had obviously told her he was working for the police.

I looked at his sent messages. The last one he sent was to B. It said “I’ll see you at 1. The stupid cow is at home. Love you.” She had responded with “ok hunny, love you too.”

His response? He shrugged his shoulders, telling me I should have kept my nose out of his stuff and that I should have trusted him. He denied everything, despite the proof, and our argument went around in circles for about an hour. The wage slip was an older one, and he was a manager now. The texts were sent by his friend as a joke. The money was from the money I had given him, which he was going to use to pay the bills. He didn’t know anything about the jewellery, it must have been mine (it wasn’t). I confronted him further about everything else he had told me, including what he had revealed about the abuse that he had suffered at the hands of his stepfather. He laughed at me and then denied ever saying that and that I must have been some sort of sick, deluded individual to make that up.

Being 23 years old, and with nobody to back me up, I used the only weapon I had in my armour. I told him that I was going to ring his mother and tell her what he had told me, about the abuse, ask her who his real father was, everything. He responded with “go on then” but when I picked up my phone he tried to take it off me, only stopping when I threatened to call the police if he laid a finger on me.

He broke down in tears and started to talk. He lied. He lied about everything. His mother’s husband was his real father. He hadn’t sexually abused him. He hadn’t been in the band. He didn’t have cancer. He had cheated on me, many times. He wasn’t earning the wages that claimed to have. He had even lied about silly things, like the fact that he had passed his driving test years before, which I discovered that he hadn’t. The jewellery was his mother’s, that he had stolen from her house, along with the money. He even admitted that on a daily basis he had given me little lies that made his day sound more ‘interesting’ and ‘exciting.’

And the best thing I had ever heard in my entire life – he went out with lots of other women so that he could figure out what women like and therefore he could be a better boyfriend to me.

I listened, but by this point my brain had started to wander. I’ve always considered myself to be a reasonably intelligent person, so how could I have been so stupid?

I told him it was over. He stopped crying, shrugged and said,

“Whatever. You’ll never find anyone as good as me anyway. Fat bitch.”

I moved into the spare room. I had nowhere to go, I was emotionally exhausted, and I remember lying on the bed and staring at the ceiling. Everything had become clear – all the little lies and inconsistencies finally fell into place. The next day, I got up and he greeted me with a friendly ‘morning gorgeous’ and tried to give me a kiss, as if nothing had happened. I told him I was going to move out, and then went to my room. He went ballistic and followed me, ranting and threatening me outside my door. Unbelievably, during one of these rants he screamed that I had used him and that he was planning on asking me to marry him. He started calling me a ‘stupid fat bitch’ and ‘a waste of oxygen’ and that I ‘deserved to be alone’ because I was an ‘irritating lazy cow.’ I then realised just how delusional he actually was – he clearly had no perspective on reality. That evening, I found the lyrics to James Blunt’s ‘Goodbye My Lover’ handwritten on a piece of paper outside my door.

Within two days I borrowed money and had moved into my own house with my cat. I was in such a rush that I left half of my belongings behind. I didn’t tell him where I was moving to, although he tried to find out on a few occasions.

Best decision I ever made.

I then discovered that karma was on my side. Karma can be a bitch…

The Tale of a Sociopath

I read an article this morning that announced plans to give jail time to people who emotionally abuse their spouses.

About bloody time.

image

When I was at University I became involved with someone who turned out to be a sociopath. He never laid a finger on me – he attempted to on one occasion but after pinning him up against a wall and telling him in no uncertain terms that certain appendages would be removed if he went anywhere near me again from that point on he stayed well away…

I met A through a friend, during quite a low point in my life. He wasn’t my type at all physically, and he was quite effeminate, but he was nice to me and always seemed to say the right thing at the right time. We seemed to have so much in common, he made me laugh and he would arrive at my room in the Halls of Residence that I was staying at with something nice to eat for dinner and DVD’s to watch. We shared really personal experiences and talked about our hopes and ambitions. He confided in me  (something that he claimed he had never shared with anyone else) that his stepfather had abused him, and that his real father was his mother’s gay best friend, who I had met several times. I cried, but I was honoured that he chose to share something so personal with me. I thought I could trust him.

It wasn’t long before I moved into a house with him, along with a few other females who were my close friends. This was the point where things started to change. A started to find faults with my housemates and began complaining about them all the time. He would find situations to ‘defend’ me, claiming that they were insulting me and taking advantage of me. He started to cause fights with them, making it very awkward for me as I always seemed to be stuck in the middle. Very soon, the atmosphere was unbearable, and so we moved out into our own house. I felt so grown up – I planned how we were going to decorate everything and set about creating a ‘home.’ We even got a cat.

The thing about emotional abuse is that it isn’t possible to see it happening – it’s something that creeps up slowly into life over a period of time in a way that suggests it has always been there. Looking back, I think that it began immediately after we moved in together, but it was when we got our own house that things started to escalate. He started complaining about the standard of my washing up, then my ‘lack’ of housework around the house. My whistling started to annoy him – I remember him screaming ‘Will you stop f*cking whistling, you’re driving me insane!’ when I was pottering around one day. I spent too long in the bath. I was irritating. I talked too much. I was stupid. I ate crisps too loudly… It went on and on.

image

My friends started to become more and more distant, and finally they admitted that they hated him. I was angry with them, demanding to know why. After many awkward glances between them, one of them admitted that she had slept with him not long after we got together. I was devastated, but after much arguing in which A denied everything, he and I just carried on as though nothing happened. My self confidence was shot, I was a poor student in a dire financial situation and I had nowhere else to go.

For a large amount of the time, he seemed pretty emotionless. One emotion, however, that would always flare up was anger. He became very ‘protective.’ He hated me leaving the house without him, and the only time where there wouldn’t be an issue was when I attended my lectures. He started to kick up a huge fuss if I wanted to go to the pub after class, and if I went without telling him I could guarantee there would be an argument waiting for me when I arrived home. His biggest annoyance was the fact that my best friend was (and still is) male. He hated him, to the point where he tried locking the doors to prevent me from leaving to meet him, and even changed a few digits of my friend’s phone number to stop me from calling or texting him.

Eventually, his parents bought him a house, and we moved in. The house was beautiful, but I didn’t live, I existed. He cheated on me twice more, which he vehemently denied but I didn’t want to leave because by this point he was what I knew, and he had started working in a brilliantly paid job, while I survived on my bus fare to get to university. The abuse continued, but it had become such a part of daily life I accepted it and worse still, didn’t really notice it as being a problem. I worried about him – he had quite a large mole on his chest that he went for tests at the doctors. He told me it was the early stages of cancer.

It took a single weekend to change everything…

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog

Twelve Things Men Should Know About Women

I love being a woman. We’re strong, independent, beautiful, interesting and complex creatures that have the power to bring new life into the world, and I am lucky in that I am surrounded by many examples of fabulous women on a daily basis. However, I have lots of male friends, perhaps more than I have that are female, and after having many conversations with them I still feel that there are a few misconceptions about my gender than men need to know. Of course, I cannot speak on behalf of every woman, in the same way that I cannot assume that all men have these misconceptions and it certainly isn’t an opportunity to attack the male sex, but I thought I would have a little fun on this dreary Sunday afternoon.

1. We have bodily functions. I am still always surprised by the amount of my male counterparts who haven’t grasped the concept of this. I’m sorry to dispel the myth here fellas, but we poop. We fart. We burp. And most women I know have the capacity to do it far louder than any man. Continue reading

Things To Say To Someone You Love Today

It’s Father’s Day, and I’m expecting my social networking feeds to be filled with messages of love for fathers and father figures. While my own father is still alive, I haven’t seen or spoken to him in twelve years and I have absolutely no intention of having any contact in the future. This was a decision that I made at the age of nineteen and I have never regretted it. However, instead of writing a post about this, I started thinking about all the people in my life who are there and who offer continuous love and support in everything that I do – people who I often take for granted. Here are the things that we should take the time to say to somebody we care about today.

image

1. Thank you. It’s amazing how often that these little words are forgotten. Take the time to thank somebody who has gone that extra mile to support you.

2. The fact that you like having them in your life and that you enjoy spending time with them. It’s taken for granted that we spend time with the people (usually) who we enjoy being around and who makes us happy, but have you actually ever said this to them?

3. What you appreciate about them. My mother, The Bloke and my friends are funny, intelligent and talented people. They listen to me. When I’ve had a bad day, my friend V meets me in the pub, buys me a drink and let’s me rant. My best friend rings me several times a week so we can catch up, and we’ll meet at least once a week. M invites me round to her house for dinner. When I was in the hospital, C and M visited me. When my cat Wobbly died, G brought round cupcakes to my house. They buy me flowers, send me messages of support, make me laugh, entertain me and invite me out to places so we can spend time together.

image

4. That you find them attractive. This is something that would probably be best saying to your partner – I think my mother and friends would be slightly freaked out if I said this to them. However, a compliment on how they look and what they’re wearing would make somebody’s day.

5. My best memories involve you. The ‘do you remember when…?’ conversations are always good for strengthening a relationship. Reminiscing about hilarious past experiences never fails to remind us of why we have the friendship in the first place.

6. That you support them. They may already know this, but it wouldn’t hurt to let them know that you’re there.

7. That you love them. There are different kinds of love that are reserved for different people, but take the time to let them know (where possible – verbalising love for somebody may be taken in the wrong context in some situations).

What about you guys? What do you think is important to say to somebody that you care about?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog

How Many Frogs?

tumblr_lmgef0gbes1qhigt0o1_500

Every so often I’ll read an amazing post that I thoroughly enjoy from start to finish, and it will trigger an idea. However, in this case I’m blatantly stealing.

This post, from Jolene over at ‘Valley Girl Gone Country’ was her response to a blog that she’d read about being single, and the types of men that she had dated.

It instantly brought back the horrors of some of my ex – boyfriends and dating experiences, and so I thought I’d create a list of things that have genuinely happened to me from the ‘frogs’ I have kissed. The above is a video of a South African Desert Frog, and when I saw it I couldn’t have found a more perfect example of some of these human frogs that I’ve had to deal with (It’s also hilarious and I almost bust an eyeball when I first saw it).

This may help you recognise potential frogs in advance in your own lives so you can AVOID THEM COMPLETELY.

Note: This is not an opportunity to complain or belittle the male race – the majority of my relationships have been with nice, genuine and hard-working men who treated me well. However, I have also had my fair share of experiences with men who have acted a little strangely…

1. I was dumped by a guy without warning. He let me know that he no longer wanted to be in a relationship with me by putting the phone down on me when I rang his house. No explanation. It transpired later (when his friend told me) that he was annoyed that I’d told a mutual friend that he was upset that his dog had died. I still don’t know how to respond to that.

2. I went on a weekend away with a boyfriend. We had a lovely day – we explored the area, had a laugh, ate a gorgeous meal and I was relaxed and happy when we returned to the hotel. I was, however, shattered, and wanted to go to sleep. When I told him I wasn’t ‘in the mood’, he had a tantrum: a full blown, stamping his feet toddler tantrum. I went to sleep, and we returned home the following day in silence.

3. The same boyfriend invited me on a trip to New York. Turns out, his parents had paid for the trip as a birthday present, and they were coming too. I had no problem with that and was grateful for the opportunity  – his family were lovely people. Unfortunately, they were also strict Catholics and had booked two rooms in the hotel – one for me and his mother to sleep in, the other for him and his father. While I liked his family and respected their values, I was 25 years old at the time and felt uncomfortable about it. Suffice to say, I didn’t go, and we broke up not long after.

4. I really liked a guy that I met through a mutual friend. After flirting for a while, we kissed. He stopped, looked me right in the face and said “I’m sorry, I’m gay.” This was the first time he’d told anyone. He was in his 30’s and had worked with my friend for several years, who had no idea. He chose the exact moment he kissed me to ‘come out.’ While I’m always pleased to hear somebody has the courage to do this, I’d have preferred it if he’d mentioned something sooner.

2842656_o

5. I was asked out by an extremely attractive man when I was in college. On our first date he picked me up in his car, and I noticed that he had tapes (I’m showing my age here) of Britney Spears and Les Miserables on his dashboard, which he said were his sister’s. It was eventually revealed that the car actually belonged to his girlfriend.

6. I was excited to go on a second date with a man with whom I’d enjoyed a wonderful first. I bought a new outfit and spent ages getting ready, making sure that everything was perfect to the last minor detail. He took me to a Needle Museum. Yes, I spent two hours wandering round a museum dedicated to the history of sewing needles.

7. A man that I had started dating started texting me one night, asking where I was. I was at home, and told him as such, but he didn’t believe me. He bombarded me with text messages for half an hour, accusing me of seeing somebody else (which I wasn’t), and only stopped when I threatened to call the police. The following morning, at SIX IN THE MORNING, he knocked on my front door, offering a Tupperware box of homemade vegetable soup as an apology. I simply closed the door.

8. An ex and I broke up because he had started to sit outside my workplace in his car all day and started to get quite possessive and clingy. After we separated he turned up at my friend’s house that she shared with her partner in tears. He ended up staying for a cup of tea, he put some shelves up for them and left. MY FRIEND LIVES TWO HUNDRED MILES AWAY FROM HIM. He drove two hundred miles so he could cry on my friend’s shoulder. She, and I never heard from him again, although a mutual friend informed me that he’s got three kids now.

9. And finally, the ultimate: a man that I was in a relationship with, who I was in love with, was conducting a relationship with me while his girlfriend of three years was travelling around Australia. I was unaware of this, and when I found out, I got rid. The girl moved back in with him upon her return.

So, it’s taken quite a few frogs to find my prince. For those of you losing hope, just think of these examples and remember this wonderful quote:

‘It’s better to be alone than be with someone who makes you feel alone…’

Video Credit: Dean Boshoff

Why Carrie Bradshaw Needs a Slap

Carrie_Bradshaw-bio11001

Yes, a slap is needed…

As a teenager I loved Sex and The City. Living in Bolton (near Manchester in the UK) at the time was the polar opposite of the amazing lives of these four women and I desperately wanted to live in New York, wear fabulous clothes, drink cocktails and have a group of wonderful friends to share it all with.

However, as an adult, my opinion of Carrie and her escapades have completely changed. Before I continue, I realise that I’m discussing a fictional character that hasn’t been on our screens now for years, which may seem silly, but I really think that Carrie Bradshaw needs a slap. Why? Two words: Mr. Big.

Let’s ignore her ridiculous dress sense and her obsession with over-priced shoes. Let’s ignore her needy, ungrateful mentality (oh no, I have a brilliant job, a wonderful social life and I live in one of the world’s most amazing cities), her massive insecurities and her equally messed up friends. The main message that Carrie taught us was that if you hang around long enough, the man of your dreams will get bored of giving you crap, leading you on and will eventually give in. It will take ten years, he’ll marry someone else, get jealous when you’re happy with a wonderful man and will leave you at the alter, but when he’s done everything that he wants to do first he’ll settle down with you and you’ll be blissfully happy for the rest of your life. She also taught us that if you meet an ‘Aidan’, the seemingly perfect man, it’s absolutely fine to cheat on him and treat him badly because he’s not edgy enough and doesn’t bring a ridiculous level of drama to life.

resized_24_satc2

Run away!!

I think most people have had a relationship similar to Carrie and Big. I certainly have. My Mr Big was an attractive older man that I met whilst working at a previous job. He was well established in his career, he was successful, intelligent and charming and I couldn’t believe my luck when he asked me out for drinks. My previous relationships had been with men of a similar age to mine and so this was new territory –  I was so excited about our first date that I bought a whole new outfit and spent three hours getting ready. Looking back, it is still one of the best nights out that I’ve ever had. We went to a sophisticated cocktail bar, talked, laughed hysterically and ate amazing food, and then we ended up sitting in his car and talked further until the early hours of the morning. It was a wonderful evening.

Over the next few months we saw each other a lot. I waited quite a while to stay over at his because I wanted to do things properly,  I got to know his friends and would go out with them, we would go on random day trips out to places I’d never been, we’d cuddle up and watch movies on his couch, and I was genuinely extremely happy.

About eight months into the relationship he had a barbecue at his house and invited his friends. Everything was going well and I was having a lovely time, until his best friend asked him “How’s R doing?”. All the men in the room exchanged panicked looks, and Big mumbled something that she was fine and was thinking of coming home soon. I waited until later to ask who she was, not because I was jealous, but the worried looks from his friends had set off alarm bells for me. He replied that she was his friend who used to live with him, but had gone to Australia for a year to explore the country. I didn’t believe him. After some prodding he informed me that R was actually his girlfriend of four years that lived with him, and the reason why she had gone to Australia was that she had suffered a loss in her family and she needed time away. Big had told her that he’d wait for her. He wasn’t lying, he was waiting for her, it was just that he’d decided to wait for her with me in his bed next to him.

Devastated is not the word. I finished things immediately. He then convinced me that he was planning on breaking up the relationship when she returned from her trip, he wanted to be with me, blah blah blah and I was stupid enough to believe him. Unfortunately, R returned, she moved back in, and I essentially became the other woman. After months of being messed about and waiting I finally came to my senses and told him that I didn’t want to see him anymore. It hurt like hell, but I eventually realised that I deserved better. I didn’t want to wait for my Mr Big to come to his senses. He shouldn’t have needed to.

Carrie-and-Aidan-carrie-bradshaw-12927135-550-400

THIS is where she should have stayed…

When I met The Bloke, I knew immediately what a great man he was, and I’ve no intention of messing around in the way that Carrie did. He’s attractive, fun, caring and considerate, and I know exactly where I stand. I don’t have to play second fiddle to anybody else – he does what he says what he is going to do, he goes where he says is going to go and he is upfront about what he wants. I love him and realise how lucky I am. Carrie should have done the same.

F**k Big. Give me my Aidan any day…

As it is approaching my year anniversary of my blog I am sharing some of my favourite posts again. I first posted this in May 2013 and has been one of my most popular posts to date…

You can also find me on Twitter and tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my new Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/Suzie81Speaks

What About Mr Nice Guy?

spangel__spike_and_angel_by_roowsj-d41sxlvI was late to jump on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer bandwagon. I had seen the 1992 film and had watched the occasional TV episode when visiting my friend (who was obsessed), but it wasn’t until I moved in with my ex-boyfriend that I really started to take an interest in the show – by this point Season 7 had finished and the programme had ended completely. It began during an evening of boredom, and so the ex suggested that we watched a few episodes to see whether I liked it. From that moment I was hooked, and managed to watch all seven seasons within just a few months.

I was surprised at myself – I was in my early-20’s, I’ve never been a member of anything that even closely resembled a ‘fandom’ and had always rolled my eyes whenever my friends discussed films and TV shows that were based on the notion of werewolves, vampires and suchlike, (and bear in mind that this was several years before the likes of ‘True Blood,’ ‘Twilight’ and ‘Vampire Diaries’ had hit our screens and bookshelves) – but I found myself engrossed in the storyline, willing the characters on in their battles with the ‘big bad’ of that season, and cheering with them in their victories.

However, above all else, there was one character that kept me coming back for more in the earlier series. Spike. Aesthetically, Spike, played by James Marsters, wasn’t my type at all. Angel, played by David Boreanaz was (and still is – David, that is) so pretty I could have cried, but there was something about the dark, brooding ‘Slayer of Slayers‘ that made me weak at the knees, despite the awful English accent and Billy Idol platinum look. Spike was the ‘bad boy.’ In his long, black leather coat he was rude, antagonistic, dismissive, sarcastic and dangerous and I couldn’t get enough. I must admit that I was a little disappointed when he changed over time into a much more sensitive character.

imagesThere are hundreds of characters that surround the archetype of the ‘bad boy’ in literature and the media – Christian Grey, James Bond, Mr Big, Tyler Durden, Captain Jack Sparrow, Loki, Tony Stark to name just a few – the drama, the fights, the rebellion, smouldering good looks and the lack of consideration for the future have an appeal that may be hard to resist for some women (and men). There may be all sorts of different reasons for this – a lack of self-esteem and a feeling that they don’t deserve better, a lack of desire for commitment, an attraction to drama or an attraction to something that they can’t have, a need to rescue the bad boys and encourage them to change their ways, even the desire to date someone opposite in character to a father figure… However, it still doesn’t stop the tears and disappointment when the Bad Boy has lived up to his namesake, again.

I’ve done the Bad Boy relationship. Over the space of 18 months I made excuses for his behaviour and accepted the awful way in which he treated me because I felt that he loved me and wanted to be in a relationship. Eventually, after I’d lost a lot of friends and my self-esteem was at rock bottom, I decided that I deserved better and left.

I’ve got some news for you ladies – it is very rare that the Bad Boy will change his ways for you and you alone. Very rare.

But what about Mr Nice Guy?

The nice guy. The one who calls when he says he will, who is where he says he is, with who he says he’s with. The one who is upfront, honest and reliable. The one who doesn’t get involved in mind games. The one women will often go to for a shoulder to cry on after the Bad Boy has let them down.

Yes, that one.

The stereotype that seems to surround Mr Nice Guy is that nice is boring, unexciting and is physically unnatractive, and in my experience I absolutely disagree with all of these. I saw a quote somewhere that stated ‘Nice is not boring, boring is boring.’ Attractiveness is in the eye of the beholder – we all have different tastes and opinions on what we deem to be pleasing to the eye. Nice people are often more respectful, happier and easier to be around.

Here are my reasons why you should get rid of the Bad Boy and give dating Mr Nice Guy a chance.

Nice+guys+finish+last.+Ba+Dum+Tst+Porn+stars+without+makeup_ed7d74_46752431. What you see is what you get. While it is impossible to absolutely, truly know someone, Mr Nice Guy is usually who you think he is. There are no mind games, no lies and no bullshit. If he likes or dislikes something, he’ll tell you.

2. He follows through on what he says. He calls and texts when he says he will, he suggests plans and sticks to them.

3. He likes you for you. He listens to you, cares about your opinion, has respect for you and accepts your quirks.

4. He’s up for anything and willing to please. Read into that as you will ;). Note: whatever you imagine is likely to be followed by Mr Nice Guy cooking you breakfast the following morning.

5. Chivalry. Before I start being attacked by feminists, I strongly believe that men and women should be treated equally and that it is important that women should stand up for their rights and what they believe in. However, I do like the chivalrous aspects that accompany a date with Mr Nice Guy. I have been given a date’s coat when it has been cold, doors have been held open for me – I’ve even been offered a pair of shoes at the end of a night after a night of dancing in high heels. I turned down the offer, but I thought it was a lovely gesture. Others may disagree and think that the man had no backbone – I saw it that he wanted to make me comfortable. Unfortunately, this leaves Mr Nice Guy in a situation that he may not ever win – if he opens a door, his date may be offended. If he doesn’t, his date may think he is rude.

6. Others will like him. While the opinions of others shouldn’t matter too much when you are dating someone, the stress of negative feelings from family and friends can sometimes cause a strain on the relationship. Chances are, they’ll like Mr Nice Guy as much as you do.

Note: By no means am I suggesting in this list that Mr Nice Guy is a pushover and someone who can be taken advantage of. Mr Nice Guy will have faults, as we all do, and shouldn’t be settled for simply because the Bad Boy has let you down.

says-she-wants-a-nice-guy-like-you-doesnt-want-to-date-youSo ladies (and gentlemen), if you want to be spending your evenings waiting by the phone, crying because he’s lied yet again, belittled you, cheated on you and hurt you, you have every right to do so. Carry on. Enjoy yourselves. But stop complaining when you’ve been let down.

However, if you genuinely want to have a committed, fulfilling, adult relationship, then look no further than Mr Nice Guy. Stop putting them in the friend zone and give them a chance. There’s more to them than you think.

Can anybody add to this? I’d love to hear your stories and experiences – do you prefer the bad boy or nice guy?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @Suzie81blog.

Don’t forget to check out the winners of my New Year competition by clicking on the buttons on the sidebar of my blog!

Image Credit 1: roowsj
Image Credit 2 & 3: someecards.com
Image Credit 4: thecontrarion1012

We Can Learn To Love Again – Why No Relationship Is A Waste Of Time

The last song I listened to was ‘Just Give Me A Reason’ by Pink, featuring Nate Ruess. The third line from the end is ‘we can learn to love again’.

My longest relationship has been with The Bloke. I’ve not had a massive amount of relationships in my dating life – I would say that I’ve had five that I would consider to be significant (The Bloke included) and of those I have been in love with three of them (The Bloke included) and truly heartbroken twice. Continue reading