If you’ve ever watched a RomCom you know the appeal of a “bad boy.” For example, even in the renowned drama “The Notebook,” Noah was not Allie’s ideal match – at least in the eyes of her parents.

Instead, the movie suggested she should settle for the safe, but boring, Lon Hammond. On paper, he was the ideal partner for Allie. However, the undeniable chemistry between bad boy Noah and main character Allie served as the story’s driving force.

This example seems silly and obviously not realistic, but its theme is found in numerous movies, novels and songs.

It is no wonder that its pattern carries into our everyday lives. In fact, you’d be lying if you haven’t felt the appeal of an unattainable love interest at least once.

However, recently I’ve found that this motif has planted itself too firmly in my own life. Specifically, in my dating life I am completely turned off by the right option. Or, at least who appears as the “right” option.

Instead, I am drawn to the men that don’t text me back in a timely manner and the ones that “just aren’t looking for a relationship right now.”

You’re familiar with the type. They plague dating profiles, infiltrate your local coffee shop and appear across college campuses. Of course, they are notably different than Allie’s Noah. However, in my eyes, they still fit the archetype.

Their unavailable demeanour makes them all the more attractive in my mind. After all, there’s another infamous motif that comes into play: the idea that love is an uphill battle that you have to fight for (aka forbidden love).

In the age of social media, I’ve found the archetypal bad boy’s unavailability even more confusing.

Just when the advice of the “He’s Just Not That Into You” guy friend starts to play out in my head, they show an interest in me once again – at least digitally. These nuances of social media leave me completely baffled: why would he view my story and not text me back, what does it mean if he likes my profile picture and oh, wow, he just followed my best friend on Instagram.

I’ve coined this online behavior a “game,” and these games make my love life all the more impossible (I could write an article about these games alone).  On the one hand, my DM’s are drowning with overzealous, overly available good guys. However, their messages never give me the feeling that the bad boy’s games do.

So, the question practically poses itself. Why can’t I fall for one of these available men? Why, instead, do I gravitate to the ones that borderline ignore me?

This is the question I’ve been grappling with for sometime, and I’ve found that it leaves me with more questions than answers – a recurring pattern in my problem-solving methodology.

I feel as if I have gotten to a point in my dating life where I cannot even imagine a healthy, normal relationship with another person. If a decent man enters my life will I be turned off by his eager availability? Am I doomed to an existence of only dating “bad boys”? Or, will the dichotomy collapse on itself a produce a man that morphes the two extremes in a healthy way?

Of course, time will only tell, and until then all I can do is work on myself. Single life can be extraordinarily frustrating, but the time is valuable nonetheless.

So, if you are experiencing the pain of a “bad boy,” remember that you deserve to be in a happy, healthy relationship. Don’t exhaust yourself trying to fit an unfittable piece into the puzzle of your life.

In the meantime, I’ll be trying to follow my own advice.