Dear Lovely: Attracted to a Bad Girl

Dear Lovely,

I read the article you wrote, How to Avoid the Love Avoidant. It was awesome. I am writing because I want to know more about the “bad girl” avoidant because this concept is new to me. I’ve never run into this and it bothers me. I think I may be involved with a girl like that. However, she herself seems to be a very decent, traditional and conservative girl. Very attractive also. These are the reasons I like her….the “bad boy” stuff I despise.

Anyhow….it’s been eight years after her divorce from a man that is a drug addict (no friends, no job, dead beat dad etc.), and she still feels sorry for him.  She calls him often, shares a garage with him, etc. Even her daughters have told her not to call him anymore.

The problem is, I come along and I really like this girl. But not because of her past, because of her conservative upbringing. We’re both church people and from the Midwest. We have many things in common. There seems to be a great connection with us that even she has acknowledged. It’s just that there’s also this undercurrent of seeming “disinterest” (neglect and push away) with her, despite our connection.

These are bad signs for me and have confused me terribly.

This is why I am writing to you. Your description of a bad girl type love avoidant seems to describe her perfectly. Can you tell me more? In the meantime, I’ve broken all ties with her for the time being. I need to get my head straight.

–Attracted to a Bad Girl


Dear Attracted to a Bad Girl,

Where do I begin? For starters, thank you for reading my blog. I deeply appreciate your support. Second, I’m not so sure your girl of interest is a bad girl as much as she is an unavailable girl. That she still seems to have a relationship with (I’m guessing) the father of her children is not in and of itself “bad.” It is normal. In fact, it’s also kinda normal to feel sorry for a guy like that. I know I would.

The bigger issue here is not so much that she is still having a relationship with her ex husband. The issue here is that she is giving you mixed signals. Well, she’s actually giving you lots of clearly negative signals: she neglects you, she pushes you away and she seems “disinterested.” Those are very clear signals that she is not interested at this time in a serious romantic relationship with you. If she is, she’s going about it in a very immature way, in which case, I’m not sure you want to get involved with someone like that. But, chances are, she’s only interested in a “just friends” relationship with you. I’m not picking up the love vibe.

Feelings of connectivity can be very hard to read for many people. On the one hand you feel like you click with someone. Maybe you find yourself able to talk for hours, naturally. How nice! Believe me, it happens. And it’s rare. On the other, that same someone can flip a switch and give you a clear indication that they are not interested. You feel yourself moving in one direction only to suddenly have to put the brakes on and stop. You can no longer assume that this is your future soul mate. That sucks. But, that’s all part of the world of dating. Steel yourself against this kind of early hurt because it happens. A lot. But here’s a word from my wise, salesman father…”Statistically, the more Nos you get, you are closer to a Yes.” So, be prepared to collect a lot of Nos.

To help ease the pain of possible raw rejection, you could have misread her “good Church girl” persona. She could still be in love with her bad boy ex, and thus, emotionally unavailable. Or, she could be moving soon and not want to get involved with anyone at this point in time. Or, she might simply not be attracted to you, in that way but really like you as a person. Rejection always hurts. But, it’s part and parcel of the risk you take to find love. If it were easy, it wouldn’t be worth much in the end.

So, my friend, forget about the why of why she seems to be unavailable. The bad boy ex in her past doesn’t seem to matter here. What matters is the way she is communicating to you now, and it doesn’t look promising.

At the end of the day, you need to ask yourself the all important question: Why am I interested in someone who neglects me, who avoids me, and who pushes me away? This is not flirty high-school where chasing a teenage crush around is cool. If you are an adult who is available, who is ready to embark on a romantic relationship, you need to find an equally available adult partner. That means that neglect is not acceptable behavior. Avoidance is not attractive. Giving you the excuse that she still needs to take care of her ex is not acceptable. Whatever the reason for the neglect, neglect does not typically lead to a healthy loving relationship.

Sure, this one may be a cutie. Sure, you two may click. But she fails miserably when it comes to treating you with kindness, interest, respect and dignity. You are worth far more than that and you need to focus on women who send clear positive signals, not negative or mixed ones.

I hope this helps!




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