Why I Chose the Safe Guy

We’ve seen it in the movies. We’ve seen it in our high school classrooms—the infamous obsession with the “bad boy” persona. No matter how old we get, nor how many times dating the “dangerous type” leaves us heartbroken, we continue to seek out the thrill of the unpredictable, the unstable, and the unattainable. Nothing seems to be more exciting than chasing after the “hard to get.”

I blame this bad-boy complex on the adults that assured us that when a boy pulled our pigtails and called us names, he liked us. I blame this on Hollywood, and all the movies the female leads chose the troubled male protagonist over the stable and hopelessly devoted potential suitor. While many of us have been conditioned to believe that choosing the “rollercoaster love” with the unpredictable partner, is a much more exciting, and characteristically “better” choice, I have to disagree. Though through my junior high and high school years, I believed that choosing the “safe guy” would lead to a great deal of regret, as I grew older (and wiser), I realized that choosing a “safe” partner was not the boring choice, but the right choice. All it took was years of dating the guys who never texted me back, kissed other girls, and put me at a second priority.

While we may be consoling ourselves with the belief that we’ve dated much more eligible bachelors since our junior high days, I believe the majority of us still hold on to the idea that if we don’t choose a spouse with even the slightest touch of danger, we’ll be left with a vanilla relationship—and I was no exception. Despite no longer choosing blatantly negligent boys in my adulthood, I still found myself seeking out boys that had one foot out the door, the boys who didn’t need me, the ones who kept me on my toes. It was, “more fun,” or so I thought. But then I realized, nothing was fun about dedicating myself to someone who wasn’t committed as I was. Nothing was fun about waiting around, and constantly combatting my own insecurities

So what exactly was the cause of my eye-opening epiphany? Perhaps, in part, it was my series of devastating heartbreaks, but mostly I attribute this change of heart to my current boyfriend, the very definition of the “safe” guy I so often avoided. He is safe. He is attainable. He is someone that is always by my side, not someone I constantly have to chase after. And while I expected this safeness to lead to an inevitable boredom, I have never been happier.

Then I asked myself, why have we all been programmed to believe that we need that raging, screaming-match, up and down, rollercoaster love? Why would anyone ever want to spend the rest of their life with an inconsistent spouse? Wouldn’t such a relationship of ups and downs and twists and turns be emotionally exhausting? Does anyone really want to spend the rest of their life fighting for their partner’s attention? I understand that trying to impress the seemingly unattainable, Abercrombie-model gorgeous boy from your third period was fun, an unexplainable rush. But as adults, why are we still reaching for the unreachable, the dangerous, the unstable?

Many believe that this danger and unpredictability is the perfect recipe for passion, but who is to say such a belief isn’t a recipe for disaster? Why couldn’t passion possibly exist in a safe and comfortable relationship? Might I suggest, that we renovate our definitions of a passionate relationship, stop comparing our love lives to Hollywood films, and instead, enjoy the pure, unwavering love of a “safe” relationship?