Charm School: Bad Boys – How to break that bad boyfriend syndrome

Forget cocaine and booze, there?s nothing as addictive as a man who isn?t good for you. Some say it?s obsessive love, but we call it the bad boyfriend syndrome. Bad boys like Colin Farrell and Pamela Anderson?s on-again, off-again rocker partner, Tommy Lee – can be oh so devilishly charming and sexy. But they can also be skilled manipulators. They know all the right buttons to push and exactly when to press them.

Not all bad boys are physically abusive. After all there are more ways of torturing women than kicking them in the head. Bad boys can be charming but that is more often than not because they are skilled experts at getting exactly what they want. Bad boys will often seem innocent but they can be very dangerous. They can lie, cheat and steal (from you and all your friends) so why is it that so many women think they can change them?

Most importantly bad boys can also be so much fun. If you have been a ?good girl? all your life, you?ll see the immediate attractions of breaking the rules, dancing all night and drinking way too much tequila with your BB (bad boyfriend). Bad boys are rarely boring. That is probably why this syndrome affects women of all ages and occupations equally.

Okay, so why exactly is it that as soon as you?ve clapped your eyes on a potential BB your normally straight knees start to quiver and you won?t rest until you?ve conquered him? He blows hot and cold, but of course, there?s always the mind blowing sex…

You know he?s wrong for you, but you are still inexplicably drawn to him. Experts say that your low self-esteem if often the cause to these destructive but oh so delicious relationships. This kind of man treats you badly, but will then send you a stunning present out of the blue. The rarity of his affection gives you the idea it?s very valuable and of course that he really does love you after all.

Once we are involved with a BB, we use our selective memory, highlighting the good and forgetting the bad bits. For example if you see him twice in a row, it?s easy to forget about the five times he stood you up. But it is important to remember that people in our lives should make us feel good about ourselves. If we are hurt from loving, it is actually not love at all, but power games and addiction. Think of it like this, if a dog is treated well and stroked lovingly, it will stay for more but if it is repeatedly kicked emotionally or physically it will run away. People shouldn?t be any different.

The secret lies in understanding yourself and building on your self esteem. Discover exactly what it is that you want from a relationship and from life. And don?t place all your worth on a man. As you build your self esteem you?ll start to see that putting up with constantly being insecure in an unstable relationship isn?t much fun. You?ll realise that you deserve love and respect from a boyfriend and learn to demand it.

Stay tuned… next week we look at how to get rid of that bad boyfriend.

Have you had a bad boyfriend fixation? Tell us what happened and how you got out of the trap. Featured entries will win! Email us

Kathy Buchanan is the author of Charm School: The Modern Girl’s Complete Handbook of Etiquette and Quit for Chicks. Charm School offers fun but helpful advice on why manners are sexy and how to use them to create the life you?ve always dreamed of. It deals with difficult love, social and work situations like how to ace an interview, help a friend through a difficult break-up, handle cheating flat mates, keep your hairdresser faithful and how to not fall in love with gorgeous gay men. Charm School: The Modern Girl’s Complete Handbook of Etiquette Penguin. RRP $24.95 but only $22.46 if you buy from the SheSaid Bookshop