Monday, November 7, 2011

Again talk about Bad Boys

I know, I know, it's getting old.
But the only guy I've ever dated - as in went out with for more than two dates - was a bad boy. So naturally, he remains my favorite topic of conversation and although we have nothing to do with each other, the topic still provides lots of food for thoughts. As you well know by now, I am intrigued by character formation and relationship developments.

Actually, I'd be lying if I said we have nothing to do with each other, since for the first time in a year, I finally bumped into him in a popular local Jewish restaurants. Yes it was awkward, yes my heart was beating fast, yes it was awesome to see him again. And most importantly, he looked great. Better then when we were together, but then again, he is the guy I fell for till I realized, ... well, I realized he was a "bad boy" and that until he changed nothing positive could come out of this relationship.

I saw him tonight again at Starbucks (coincidence?). He does look good, healthier, happier.

So here is my question to you: Can bad boys actually change? Not change because a girl set out to make that change, change internally, change on their own, I guess settle.

 I don't know, I wish I believed they do...


  1. Thanks for the comment :) And in my opinion, anyone can change, even the bad boys. But it has to come from within themselves which is harder than it sounds. I mean these guys do settle down eventually, it's just a matter of when.

    I love that butterflies in my stomach kind of feeling- especially when its because you see someone who is "forbidden".

    You're smart for distancing yourself from the beginning. Some girls would stick it out and end up getting hurt.

  2. i dont know that i am being so smart though, i always thought people who got back with their ex's were wasting time because they tried it once and it didn't work out, move on... Now i realize how its a faulty reasonning

  3. Of course people can change, though it depends on the context. I certainly encountered a number of "bad boys" - who either smoked, drank, hung out with girls, skipped seder or whatever in Shana Aleph who then became really great guys over the course of the intervening summer and Shana Bet. I won't say it's entirely the result of attending my particular yeshiva in Israel, but it certainly had something to do with it.

    I was honestly shocked at how certain individuals went from "bad boys" who were seemingly lost causes to real talmidei chachamim. True, some have since regressed a bit, but a large number of them have remained true to their personal improvements.

    Whether this is entirely possible or likely to happen to someone in America is not certain in my eyes. Not to knock this wonderful country of ours, but the experience here vs. living in Israel and going to a proper yeshiva are not the same. I don't think it's impossible, because I've seen a handful of guys who didn't get the most out of their experience in Israel turn around while attending YU, but one never really knows...

    So yes, it IS possible - but you need to know if they were really self motivated and if their changes are grounded, lasting and true.

  4. i think you should rephrase that as "can anyone change" - specifying "bad boys" in that context can seem a bit insulting for people like me....and yes, people can change. and even if someone else helped initiate the change, it wouldn't make a difference if the right work was done.

  5. @shades of grey: ur talking about a guy who already has this yeshiva structure to his life even though he might not be following the protocol. My guy is completely out of it, for many years now. He is somewhat religious of course, but not in touch with a structured learning world at all

    @colloquiallyspeaking: I am sorry if I offended you, was not my intention. You're right, can anyone change is a question but i was trying to be specific to this guy whom I obviously like and the term "bad boy" means nothing derogatory to me

  6. @Yedid Nefesh - it is not necessarily the aspect of having "yeshiva structure to his life," especially when thinking about a more right-wing yeshiva, which I did not attend. I honestly can't put my finger on what it was that helped these fellows straighten out their "bad boy" behavior and become far more "with it" in terms of treating life seriously whether in their religious observance, interactions with others, middos, etc. I was honestly flabbergasted at a few of them, who I had (foolishly) written off as lost causes. Certainly being in Israel, and in Yerushalayim, helped a lot, as did our yeshiva environment, but I refuse to believe that it was merely the setting/environment that helped them improve themselves.

    If people want to change - and that's the key, they have to possess the desire to improve - then with the right tools and support, they can. I'm not sure what you mean that the guy is "completely out of it" other than having nothing to do with living with the daily structure of a yeshiva. Like I said, I've seen a few guys turn around even after their time in Israel had little/no effect of them.

    There is no reason to say it could never happen, since we must believe everyone can improve if they find that inner willpower and desire, but one shouldn't count on it or marry someone with the belief that he/she will change for you - cuz they won't. Whatever struggles a person possesses before marriage (and I am definitely speaking about myself here) exist in marriage just the same, though they may have some altered form of expression.

    Everyone should do their best to improve themselves while single and before marrying. In many respects, what you see IS what you get. So marrying potential is a waste of time, unless that person him/herself recognizes their latent possibilities and strives to work hard to better him/herself.

    In summary, don't hold your breath... ;)

  7. great, everything I wanted to hear... sigh
    I totally agree that marrying potential is not enough, and that's the thing. He is 27, past the age of the days in Israel, which he did by the way. And what i mean by he is out of it, i mean that he is in contact with Yiddishkeit only when he decides to go to shul or when he decides to put on Tefillin. He is a bit alienated from the community where he grew up so he does not have any sort of religious pressure or influence. That's what scares me too

    by the way, I have not spoken to him, this is all dreams and speculations...

  8. Babe! when you feel your little heart go pitter patter...go for it! It may never come again

  9. Maybe look into him more. If he's complacent where he's holding, then it doesn't sound like there's any potential for a relationship. If worth it for peace of mind, at the very least, to find out more and confirm the unlikely possibility of anything developing between y'all.

    I know that when I was dating and I had some interest in a particular girl, thought she might be good for me, but also realized (in the more rational part of my mind) that she and I were actually very incompatible on major issues - like observance, tznius, value placed on Torah learning, etc. The persistence of my imagination would get the better of me, causing fantastical visions of potential futures together.

    Only later, usually through chance encounters (like at a Shabbos table or YU event) would I realize that my rational concerns were indeed legit, and whatever aspect about her that I thought was a substantial connection was only superficial and of little significance when considering marriage.

    So find out, and hopefully put any thoughts to rest so that you can properly move on without the distraction.

  10. @shades of grey: i read your post then went out with friends to hang out where all the jews hang out in this town. Anyways, of course he came again and i saw him and I decided to go out with him. Next thing i know, his rabbi walks in and tell me to not even think about it that its still a bad idea. I feel like G-d is playing with me, sigh

  11. His Rabbi said not to go there? Don't go there. Sorry :(