Recovering bad boy addict here.

by mssinglemama on December 3, 2008

“You may feel like something is missing, “

says my therapist in regards to my budding relationship with Mr. Man, who is – by far – the most caring, considerate and empathetic man I’ve ever been with, “This is probably because, in the past, you’ve only been with emotionally unavailable men.”

I hadn’t told her of my bad boy complex yet.

She figured that out based on some other issues I’m facing, like the loss of my father (unintentional abandonment) and my grieving mother (emotional abandonment). There are more details which, clearly, I’ll be keeping to myself.

“You may even be bored with him,” she went on.

At this point my head is shaking in agreement, stunned at her ability to read me like a book.

“I’m not all giddy, crazy, head in the clouds in love with him like I normally am with men. Instead we’re just slowly developing this deep friendship and I feel very calm.”

“That’s okay. It’s normal and very adult. You just need to re-learn some things, re-learn how you see things and feel things, that’s all. We can fix this kiddo!”

And by this she means my emotional unavailability, my inability to really trust in relationships or others.


A few days earlier, Mr. Man and I were stretched out in my mother’s hot tub.

“I want to see a shooting star,” I say, “I haven’t seen one in years.” I relax my neck over the edge of the tub and focus on the galaxy of stars above us, so bright because we are deep in the dark forest surrounding my mother’s house.

Mr. Man starts singing softly. I’m straining to hear the words to the song but I can’t. The hot tub jets are humming in my ears. I take my eyes off of the stars and stare at him. He grows more beautiful every time we are together. The harder I fall for him – for his spirit, his strength and his ability to see the positive in everything – the more attractive he becomes.

“Oh! I just saw one! It was a quick one, but I saw one,” he shouts.

“Damn it!” I splash the water.

“No wonder you never see any,” he laughs, “You never take the time to look.”


All of us, as single moms, single women or recovering bad boy addicts need to take the time to look for the good ones.

Something had felt like it was missing with Mr. Man, but now – nearly two months in – the missing gaps are filling up with something solid, something I’m starting to believe in. I should add, nothing felt wrong at the beginning either. So if something feels very wrong about a man – get the hell away – but if something is “missing” ask yourself what it is?

For me it was the fact that he picked up the phone every single time I called. He didn’t blow me off or cancel plans. And he gave me genuine compliments and spoke of the future, often (and still does). The men in my past have always been emotionally unavailable or physically unavailable – giving me the cold shoulder, playing phone tag or leading me on only to drop me without a thought or care months or years later.

So what was I missing in Mr. Man? The bad boy.

“Fear,” says my therapist, “actually triggers arousal in our bodies. So when the men are mean to their women they immediately want to fix it, their bodies want to make it right.”

Yep, you heard that right.

Bad boys actually turn women on.

Hey, knowing what we’re up against is half the battle, right? I feel like I’ve had this massive, life changing epiphany, one I know I’ve been working toward on my own – I just feel so much better knowing there is a way to correct my mind and heart, corrupt from too many bad boys in the past.

As I find out more and go through my bad boy recovery, I’ll be reporting here.

So stay tuned…


All is very, very well with Mr. Man. You would love him. Seriously. Every single one of my friends absolutely adores him, so I know all of you would too! He’s definitely a keeper. Big question now is – can I keep the keeper without sabotaging the relationship first?

{ 2 trackbacks }

The End.
December 11, 2008 at 8:15 pm
Man Shopping
May 15, 2009 at 4:59 pm

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel Phillips December 3, 2008 at 9:16 pm


This is amazing! Your blog is wonderful! Seriously, thank you for being so open and sharing and your life, insights, etc.

This is really powerful (and positive) stuff.

Thank you.


Nikki December 3, 2008 at 10:12 pm

I’m truly inspired by your words, your journey, your transparency, and your encouragement to single mamas.

Just want to let you know… You rock. :O)


T December 3, 2008 at 10:27 pm

This made me cry. I am only just discovering that I have had a bad boy complex too. I like how you described your falling for him. It sounds…. perfect.

I love him already! Does that mean I’m healing too?

I’m so happy for you. ((hugs))


jen December 3, 2008 at 10:53 pm

I always knew there was a reason I was attracted to bad boys.


Angie December 4, 2008 at 5:54 am

Bad boys, emotionally disconnected men have been my MO for years. Thanks for the insite into why. I am hoping that I can hold back the next time I have that feeling that something isn’t right.


Katherine (SOLO dot MOM) December 4, 2008 at 7:31 am

I too can relate… consistently attracted to “unavailable men” whether they live too far away… or have checked out emotionally … that’s who I end up being attracted to!

Thanks for sharing your new insight and recent epiphany. Sooooooo very happy for you and your growing “adult” relationship with Mr. Man.


Single Mom in New England December 4, 2008 at 8:27 am

Wow, thanks for sharing the highlights of your therapy session with us — I feel like I should also pay her for her time!! Such great insights – life is all about learning and growing – I’m so happy that you have found such a wonderful, patient man who, it sounds like, you are going to be fortunate enough to do a lot of emotional growing with! Awesome!! And if he has a twin brother, send him my way! 🙂


Sheila December 4, 2008 at 10:02 am

oh, boy … this was a great post … thank you for sharing.


Laura December 4, 2008 at 10:36 am

I need your therapist 🙂

That bit about answering the phone got me! If a man answers the phone when I call I just about faint!!! So I get that!!

You are doing so well so far!!!! You guys are going to be just super duper cool!


miracle December 4, 2008 at 10:43 am

BRAVO for being so courageous. Six years ago I was right were you are now. Except I wasn’t a single mom. I had to put sticky notes all over the house that said, “STOP, has he done anything to make him untrustworthy? NO. Take a deep breath and trust.”

I almost couldn’t handle the “calmness” of my new found relationship with my healthy and loving man. I thrived on the chaos of the bad boys that I had dated in the man. Never-mind that they were completely unavaliable for me emotionally and totally consumed with one thing, themselves!

You can do it. Just be honest and keep working on it. It’s hard, but eventually it will come more naturally.


Lisa D December 4, 2008 at 10:49 am

I hate that we are wired to be attracted to the wrong kind of guys… Makes sense, though.

So happy to hear things are great w/ Mr. Man! he sounds fabulous!!


Tami December 4, 2008 at 11:36 am

I read your blog often, and dont’ comment often enough…..but I wanted to let you know that your openness and ability to convey these tricky situations/feelings etc. you encounter is SO insightful to me. So many eye openers….as I deal with a lot of the same issues. I thank you for that.
Mr. Man sounds amazing, and you truely deserve amazing!!! Be Blessed.


Mike December 4, 2008 at 11:38 am

Never was the bad boy and I always wondered why women would leave me to be with the guys who abused them. That clears it up a bit.

I also think that a woman needs to go through this bad boy stage and then find a maturerity in herself before she will let the good guys win.


MindyMom December 4, 2008 at 12:27 pm

If we didn’t live in different states I’d think we had the same therapist. I’ve heard the very same things from mine!


Dawn December 4, 2008 at 12:45 pm

The world needs more chicks like you. I’ve struggled with these things for 23 single parent years on my own … what a breath of fresh air.

I loved the Mr. Man snoring ‘video’ … and I adored the snotty lady who railed on you for no good reason.

All part of the adventure … I’m so glad you have the courage to see1


Wyliekat December 4, 2008 at 2:51 pm

As has been said about my boy (by our friends), “If you don’t like Buddy, there’s something wrong with *you*?”

Can’t tell me that’s not a good thing. Nice guys may finish last, but by damnit, they *finish* the race.


Solomother December 4, 2008 at 6:17 pm

Oh man, if you figure out how not to drop a good man because he doesn’t make you panic, let me know? I’m dating a nice guy for the first time in my adult life and I often feel that something is missing. It sucks. I keep telling me to shut up and enjoy it!


Ame December 4, 2008 at 7:12 pm

I am also in an odd happy relationship with a man who snores and who doesn’t make me crazy. I’m not as sure about the future as you are, but I am happy be calm and supported and cared for, even if he isn’t the “one” I know that I am going to count this among the good times in my life.


Leah December 4, 2008 at 7:41 pm

In the bad boy complex club too!
After all that drama, a nice, healthy man might seem boring. But it is the slow burn that lasts, rather than the conflagration that burns out quickly.

Anyway, I’m preaching to the choir here, aren’t I? 🙂


Carolyn December 5, 2008 at 6:39 am

Great post. Hits close to home for so many of us.


LTP December 5, 2008 at 7:26 am

Alaina, I love this post….it has HTSHBN written all over it!!!! (That is what I call Tommy–He That Shall Not Be Named–HTSNBN) Soooo many hints and clues in our long painful relationship–that I didn’t see–but in just a few lines from above, totally see now. Cancelling plans, not taking my calls, just ending our relationship out of the blue with no explanation–good riddance. I am healing….and I hope to one day find someone amazing–like it appears to be with Mr. Man. Wishing you the best….. : )


nina December 7, 2008 at 8:28 am

Yes you can keep the keeper without sabotaging it, absolutely yes.


littlemansmom December 8, 2008 at 1:06 pm

Ola angel……………….imagine…both of us in ‘adult’ relationships! LOL…I totally know what you mean about the “I’m not all giddy, crazy, head in the clouds in love with him like I normally am with men. Instead we’re just slowly developing this deep friendship and I feel very calm.” It’s almost like you are living inside my head!

Kudos to you for seeing it through and hanging in there…..I know that every day, I’m glad that I did…. 🙂


MarkEso February 4, 2015 at 11:11 am

I have been contatced by Suisse They are ofnfrieg perpetuity claim, and want me to sign Power of Attorney. Thecharge being $430.00 for Admin Fees etc Translation Notary stamp. Want to send DHL to collect signed documents. THEY MUST THINK I AM MAD!!!June


Suzanne B. (Crunchy Green Mom) December 25, 2008 at 8:01 pm

Are we sharing a brain?

I have these same issues with my guy.
He’s amazing, funny, caring, doting, loving, etc.

I’m terrified of letting my head get in the way!!


Rico Wagenblast October 18, 2013 at 4:02 am

My dream retirement would involve a great log cabin in the mountains. Who needs a beach?


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