Is it okay to be attracted to someone even when they are rude & terrible? or am I just crazy?
Being attracted to someone who we know is not good for us is a situation, we feel, a lot of us can relate to. The “bad boy” trope is in every single form of romance media, from songs to movies to TV shows to books. Even though the names of this trope (“bad boy”, “Byronic hero”, “anti-hero”) usually refers to men, all genders have the capacity to internalize it as something to aspire to become. These individuals typically share a set of characteristics: brooding, emotionally distant, quick to be mean or get angry. We are told that under this rough exterior, lies a heart of gold, and if we can reach it, we will be special.
From the titular characters of James Bond to Kabir Singh, we’ve been conditioned that there is nothing more swoon worthy, right? So, no, you are not crazy at all! It makes sense that so many of us fall for this type! It's different, it's exciting, it’s a challenge, it makes you feel special. But this narrative does not do justice to the seriousness of the emotional (and sometimes physical) harm that can come from being around such a person.
The real question is, how does this person make you feel on the daily? How would they make you feel when you are not on the same page/ have a disagreement? Do your values align, not just in theory but in practice? Do you feel safe with them? Do they respect your boundaries?
You already mentioned that they are “rude and terrible”, and if so, what continues to fuel your attraction? If they are “rude and terrible” to other people, but not you, how do you feel about that? How can you be sure that one day you won’t be the focus of their anger? If you told them that certain aspects of the way they carry themselves bother you, what would be their reaction (acknowledgement and an effort to do better, or dismissal and rage, or somewhere in between)?
Attraction to shitty people happens to all of us. Sometimes, it’s obvious and we see the red flags, sometimes, we don’t find out till later in the relationship. So please do not be hard on yourself. We would suggest trying to figure out what this person brings to the table as a human being (outside of attraction), and if their presence in your life optimizes your growth, happiness, safety, and mental health.
The Second Puberty