Maybe you're like me. I used to be a fan of trying to "figure him out." Newsflash: he's acting emotionally distant because he doesn't know how to support you in a relationship. He's not actually complicated. The moody, distant attitude is really just immaturity.
1. The "Deans" Aren't Actually Complicated.
Bad boys may act like they're super introspective and intelligent, but really they're trying to distract themselves from whatever is causing their behavior. They don't want to acknowledge the root problems behind their attitude, so it's best to give them space while they figure it out. Don't take it personally that they don't seem to care about you...they just can't take care of someone else before they know how to take care of themselves.
2. The "Sams" Will Respect You.
I used to think it would be fun to win a bad boy's attention. It was only after I realized how exhausting it is to chase bad boys that I finally stopped. A sweet, mature good guy showed me what it was like to be appreciated without having to earn his attention. In fact, I didn't want his attention in the first place. Being the stubborn, misled girl that I was, I always thought it would be more fun to date someone who didn't know I existed. My love of the emotionally-distant, mysterious boys was actually just the manifestation of insecurity. I didn't think I deserved to be respected, even though the men in my family had always protected and loved me. Surprisingly, I never had "daddy issues," so all I can blame my behavior on was my own self-deprecating thoughts.
3. The "Deans" Care Way Too Much About Themselves.
I have been fortunate enough to steer clear of the stereotypical, completely toxic bad boys throughout my life, but that didn't stop me from trying to save the "wounded," manipulative ones. It should not have come as a surprise to learn that they didn't want to listen to my problems or actually take my feelings into consideration. They liked to strut around and keep records of how many girls thought they were hot. They were focused on themselves at that point. Everyone goes through that, but I should've cared enough about myself to realize that I deserved a real relationship with someone who had good intentions.
4. The "Sams" Like To Listen.
I do love talkative, outgoing guys. I don't want to date someone who will let me walk all over them or talk their ear off, but, there's a difference between holding a conversation and completely dominating it. It's really only through maturity and life-experience that people ever learn the difference—this is especially true when it comes to guys. I first realized I actually preferred the good guys when I noticed how awesome it was to be listened to. Talking to good guys and having them remember specific things I'd said made me feel special and valued. As someone who's super competitive and hates "clingy," I used to always go after the guys who ignored me—seeing them as a challenge. Having good guys exemplify what it means to truly listen made me realize that I needed to grow up.
5. The "Deans" Are Self-Righteous.
Ironically, they usually look down their noses at people who don't follow their own code of conduct. The only way to justify their own actions is to live by that one rule they've always had for themselves. Maybe they're always loyal to their friends, or they would never stoop so low as to slide into a girls DMs. Whatever the rule is, it's the only thing that's standing between the bad boy and the fact that he's not actually better than anyone else. I noticed this after realizing that the bad boys really liked talking down to me. It was so nice of them to simplify things so that I could understand exactly what they were trying to say.
6. The "Sams" Want To Protect You.
"Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres" (1 Corinthians 13:7). My dad will forever be the best example of this. Despite his gentle, patient example, I always thought I wanted to be treated like "one of the guys" by my boyfriend. I was wrong. I want to be gentle and patient with other people, and I'd really like to be treated that way too. I don't like feeling unsafe or threatened in any way, especially when it comes to a guy who has obvious anger issues. Since I used to run after the manipulative, wounded bad boys, anger issues were usually a part of the equation too. I thought I deserved it, since my own temper wasn't that great either.
It wasn't until I met patient men that I decided I didn't want someone who would become furious with me every time I annoyed them. I really noticed how much I liked being protected when I played sports with super gentle, intentional guys. They would make sure they never got too aggressive or did anything that even had the potential to hurt me. I realized that I liked having good guys concerned for me when I complained instead of rolling their eyes and grunting, "You're fine."
7. The "Deans" Don't Know How To Accept Love.
They were shocked every time I gave them a genuine compliment. They assumed I was going to hit or make fun of them when I was really just trying to help them with a problem or put my hand on their shoulder. It really made me sad to think about what a girl might have done to them in the past to make them react to me that way. Now I know that there are reasons behind their behavior, just like I had reasons behind my weird, twisted savior complex. I know that I was partially responsible for the way that I was treated, since I didn't communicate well or ever let my guard down. Bad boys, I'm sorry about whatever happened to make you feel like you have to act this way, and I'm sorry if I've ever contributed to it. Good guys, keep up the good work.
Disclaimer: This is not a knock on boys. I know it's hard to live up to the "knight-in-shining-armor" vision that a lot of girls have, but treating them like an inconvenience isn't healthy either. I empathize with anything that a bad boy might be going through, but it's important to get help before trying to support someone in a relationship. Good guys, thank you for working so hard to be amazing. Bad boys, you'll get there.