(Note: Bad Boys is a metaphor for toxic partners. Just flip the pronoun to female depending on your relationship).

Bad Boys are everywhere. The corporate office, the gym, your neighborhood, a charity gala or the backyard bbq. Before they end up in your heart and in your bed, it will be in your best interest to “spot” them early, assess whether they can be tamed or toss them to the wind!

The reason why Bad Boys are dangerous for you is because they often have a counterfeit heart.
The say the right words to swoon you, behave the right way to entice you but their goals are
often quite different than yours. Temporarily, you could have the time of your life! But, you need to get clear on what you are looking for before you dip your pretty little toes in the frog pond. If a long-term, committed relationship is on your agenda, the Bad Boy may be a bad bet.

Bad Boys can be very exciting and alluring in the beginning. They can also eventually cause great heartbreak or even be downright dangerous.

All Bad Boys have certain “tells” and give off “red flags” that aren’t always easy to spot! If you work on cultivating your intuition, gut instincts and Goddess smarts, you can spot them more easily than before. This will give you the emotional ammunition that all psychologically swank women need now more than ever in today’s world.

In my newest book, The Urban Goddess Lesson ~ How to Spot the Bad Boys from the Heroes, I share psychological profiles and common behaviors that most Bad Boys will display during their “Three-Phase” relationships. These phases are often referred to as:

Phase 1: Love Bombing and Over-idealization
Phase 2: The Middle Devaluation Stage
Phase3: The Discard or Ending Phase

These phases can be quite short (weeks or months) or can last for a long time! Of course, Bad Boyishness runs on a spectrum. Some have the potential to become “Good Guy/Heroes” and others are downright impossible and can be abusive. It is very important to know the difference.

“Always ask yourself: How am I feeling in this moment?”

It is not impossible to find a Good Guy Hero, but in order to do so, your first Urban Goddess Assignment is to be able to weed out the Bad Boys. Often these imposters may bring you great excitement (temporarily) but will ultimately cause you distress, heartbreak and waste your time. Who needs a pretender when you can have (and deserve!) the real thing?

There are many wonderful, caring, upstanding men of integrity (the Heroes) out there but many of them are not on center stage and can be more challenging to find. They are often classically understated and fall more into the background. This is because Prince Harming (i.e. The Bad Boy) often puffs himself up with lots of charm and bravado. He accomplishes this with lots of props including smoke and mirrors to distract you. (The compliments, the dazzling smile, the hypnotic stares, the charisma, the wow dates).

To get you started on your Urban Goddess Journey, here are a few of the important red flags and tells to look for if you want to spot a Bad Boy early on:

One. A sudden jolt of high- intensity attraction early on including lots of charm.
Two. A hypnotic stare that feels exciting but disarming at the same time.
Three. Constant contact once you exchange numbers, emails, social media.
Four. It feels fast-paced and over-the-top but you are so flattered that you throw caution to the wind.
Five. It is clear he is in hot pursuit of you by planning lots of wow dates that would make your girlfriends jealous.
Six. The sex is often better than you have ever experienced. (He’s smart and knows that once he gets you where he wants you, you can be more easily swayed and manipulated).
Seven. You begin to think that you have met your soul-mate, perhaps future husband and are ready to commit. You may even exchange “I love you’s early on.
Eight. BAM - Out of nowhere, a switch has occurred and you can’t put your finger on it.

It appears that your Prince Charming has turned into Prince Harming, Dr. Jekyll, and Mr. Hyde.

Suddenly you may be the recipient of some or all of these behaviors:

*He is more critical of you and you start to tiptoe around his moods
*May be available less often,
* Contact is diminishing or has ceased (ghosting you)
When you do connect, you are the recipient of hot/cold behavior known as the mean/ sweet cycle.
He may incorporate “silent treatments” to punish you.
*if you confront him, he will often “gaslight” you by making you question your perceptions.

Welcome to the World of Bad Boys!

Bad Boys can have Narcissistic, Borderline, Sociopathic and other Abusive traits. Some are mild and self-centered others are more pathological. Almost all of the Bad Boys are emotionally abusive. They enjoy playing mind games. They also may not be terribly bad but have commitment or intimacy issues that cause them to withdraw or pull back, causing you distress, angst and anxiety.

Your Fairy Tale can quickly become a roller-coaster of cognitive dissonance (I love him, I loathe him, he is good, he is bad, etc.) and send you into a tailspin of confusion.
If you remain with a Bad Boy that is unwilling to make positive changes, you can be harmed emotionally, psychologically, physically, financially and spiritually.

If you think you may be involved with a Bad Boy, it will be in your best interest to figure out
his level of severity so you can make a smart heart Goddess choice. Never underestimate danger. Always reach out for help if you need to. Most Bad Boys cannot sustain lasting, positive change. You need to set strict boundaries and enforce them. Then learn to observe behavior.

Learn the tools to protect your heart.

Set Boundaries
Enforce those boundaries
Observe behavior
Look for the capacity for empathy. If he doesn’t have it, life will always be on his terms.
No is a complete sentence, use it when necessary.

Example: When you don’t comply with his wishes or doesn’t get his way, is he quick to anger?

If you get into a relationship, know how to get out of one if you need to. Smart women make smart choices and if they fumble along the way, they learn their lessons quickly. Tomorrow is another day with endless possibilities. Never remain in a dangerous or potentially dangerous situation.

Be sure to work on spotting the Bad Boys early on. Living an abuse-free life is your right.

Remember, it is never too late to make the changes we seek.

Laney Zukerman
Empowerment & Relationship Coach
Best-Selling Author ~ Lessons for an Urban Goddess
& The Urban Goddess Lesson, How to Spot the Bad Boys from the Heroes.
amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-k...


Author's Bio: 

Laney Zukerman is an Empowerment & Relationship Coach, Author, College Instructor and contributor on the Huff Post and NextOnScene.