The Bad Boy.
Now, let’s be clear that the definition of “bad boy” can be pretty loose. For my 16-year-old self, a bad boy was the guy who rode his longboard around his cul-de-sac after curfew and smoked the Virginia Slims he stole from his mother’s purse. He introduced me to a world of loitering in front of 7/11s, making out in movie theaters that were way too populated to be making out in, and disobeying my parents’ rules to drink energy drinks in the woods behind our school. He may not have been a true “bad boy,” but he was for me. And the important thing is that you come in close contact with his badness only to be reminded that you are looking for something a little more stable.
The Repeat Offender.
This is the guy you never actually break up with, because you’re always in this fuzzy, hookup-filled purgatory of “we’re on a break.” You’re attached enough to get jealous if the other one is seeing someone else, but you’re not official enough to attend important events together or proudly identify as a couple. You keep going back despite your constant attempts to break up because you imagine that there is something special about this person, and that your inability to separate indicates that you are ~*~MeAnT 2 bE~*~, but eventually you will tire of them and realize that you were just lonely and too lazy to set up an OKCupid profile.
(Note: The Repeat Offender is occasionally not the same person, but a small string of guys who are functionally the same person. Sometimes it’s hard to even tell.)
This is the guy who is just a shade too good-looking for you. Despite your attempts to settle into the relationship and proudly declare that he “just loves me for me,” you will always sleep with one eye open and a metaphorical shotgun underneath your pillow because you are way too suspicious of any dude who looks that good who is interested in you. What is his secret problem? What is he hiding? Is he just three smaller, less-attractive men stacked on top of each other and wearing a trench coat? It’s all unclear, and the only thing that makes sense is you eventually leaving him.
The Projection Screen.
This guy is not a person, but rather a large white sheet of opaque plastic onto which you can project all of your hopes, dreams, and criteria for the perfect boyfriend. He is never going to be what you want him to be, but he is just apathetic enough to let you pretend like the two of you are something more than you are. You will tell your friends about how great he is, and maybe even drag him along to the occasional event, but you know that it is little more than a pleasant charade you’re putting on for everyone else’s benefit. He’s not that into it, and honestly you’re not that into it, but dammit if he isn’t the perfectly malleable placeholder.
The One Who Is Way Too Into It.
This guy is kind of the opposite of The Looker, in that you always feel like you’re doing him some kind of a favor by being around him. He is the Nice Guy who somehow managed to squirrel his way into a relationship, and to paraphrase the late philosopher Sting, “Every little thing you do is magic.” He is way too into things, and offering himself up emotionally in a way that can only be described as “slutty.” He thinks that his constant stream of flowers and offers to hear about your day will make you fall in love, but as he lacks that key rom-com component of “looking like Channing Tatum,” it only ends up pushing you away.
It’s hard to say whether or not this guy counts as someone you “dated,” because all parties involved know that it was just a glorified booty call that occasionally bled into dinners together at cheap diners. You know what it is when your “dates” consist of being texted “what’s up” at 10:45 at night and meeting them at their house 30 minutes later. We all know that “let’s keep up appearances” feeling of having a bottle of wine or, as the relationship progresses, a flask of Fireball, ready for the two of you to enjoy before getting down to #business. It’s not a relationship, but you probably called it that.
The One Who Is Just Out Of Reach.
The worst of them all, this is the boyfriend who will occasionally torment you with glimmers of What Could Be, who will text you something adorable out of the blue or spend a whole weekend cuddling in bed and accompanying you on charming little couple errands, only to suddenly freeze back up into his emotionally unreachable self. You will be constantly chasing after him, degrading yourself further and further in your quest for the person you know he is occasionally capable of being. He doesn’t love you, and he definitely doesn’t respect you, but you will keep trying until the moment he cuts you off completely. But then, if all goes right, you’ll pick up the pieces of your self-worth like a shattered mosaic and promise never to date guys like him again! Hopefully!