Photo: Allan Ferreira

What To Do When You've Fallen For A Former Womanizer

The leopard can't change his spots.


I hate to say it, but there is a lot of truth in the saying, “every guy wants a good girl who'll be bad just for him; every girl wants a bad guy who'll be good just for her.” I would say that we've drawn the short straw on that one, except there was never a straw to pull in the first place – men's minds are apparently stuck in medieval times. And whether we like it or not, us women seem to have a bad-boy desire hardwired, even though it can often lead to heartbreak. Why? We can blame our evolutionary biology.

As Psychology Today reports, studies have found that when it comes to short-term mating, women find the Dark Triad personality – traits of narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism – most attractive. And if you're ovulating, it gets worse: as a Psychological Bulletin study found, women are more attracted to masculine-looking men during this period in their menstrual cycle, as stronger builds and facial features, and deeper voices, indicate higher levels of testosterone.

Well, at the risk of reducing myself to a mere sex-hungry animal, I feel as if I've been caught red-handed on this one – and chances are you do too. So, without further ado, let's walk into this article as if it were the dating equivalent of an AA meeting and get drunk on the truth – there's no shame here. Here's what to do when you've fallen for a former womanizer.


Don't try to change him

My boyfriend and I used to be best friends, which means that I was always the first to hear about all of his womanizing antics. I'm not even exaggerating when I say that he literally had a different girl for every day of the week – which is obviously fucking extreme by anyone's standards. Call me crazy, but I loved him for it. His uncompromising and unapologetic honesty was his most admirable quality. Of course, there were a slew of girls who, under no illusions about who he was, could not help but fall for him, resulting in great disappointment when they realized they couldn't simply cut off all his sharp edges and claim him for their own.

If you are thinking of entering into a relationship with a known womanizer, it's important to remind yourself who you are dealing with. You may feel totally sweet with this guy, but you have to ask yourself whether it is really him you are falling for, or the idea of him. I personally believe that the best way to start a relationship is to accept – and love – both the best and the worst sides of a person. Just as you can't truly love the taste of whiskey if you drown it in Coke, you can't truly love somebody if you selfishly expect them to change to be more palatable for you. In the same way, whatever you do, do not persuade yourself that you're going to be the one to save him. It might well be true that the only reason he's been sleeping around is because he hasn't found the right person yet, but then again, it might not be – he's a man, after all. If you set yourself up as his savior, you're also holding high expectations that he'll change, which is pretty much the same as trying to change him.

Imagine how you'd feel if somebody only got together with you on the condition that you'd lose weight and achieve the perfect body, but even after completely transforming your lifestyle with healthy eating and exercise, they kept telling you that you were too fat – that you weren't perfect enough. If he's with you, he's volunteered to be monogamous – that should be enough. Don't put any unnecessary pressure on him, or create unnecessary conflicts by persisting to tell him otherwise. Distrust is a self-fulfilling prophecy.


Accept the past

If this bad boy has dropped his entire harem to be with you, that makes you exceedingly special – don't forget that. It means he's voluntarily eschewed his biological urge to fuck anything that moves because he believes you're worth a whole lot more (hey, don't think I can't see you sarcastically clapping over there!). The problem is, the past has a habit of biting us in the ass. Despite accepting him with all of his flaws at the beginning of the relationship, the more seriously you fall for him, you might find those old truths creeping back into your mind.

Take me as the typical example. After around a year of being together, I was going through a period of particularly low self-esteem, and the past transformed from a funny set of memories into a source of torment. I started asking myself, how long is it going to be until he gets bored of me and goes back to his old ways? I didn't feel that I was worth anything at all, which made it easier for me to believe that he would just drop me on a whim and run off with any one of the infinite number of girls who are more attractive than me. I forgot, of course, that if he was really that bored of me, he would have left me long ago, rather than sticking by me and doing all he could to show me that he loved me.

Accept the past, and then accept it again – because the past is not the here and now. The past shouldn't be fuel for your insecurities or a justification of jealousy, and it certainly shouldn't become an excuse to punish the person you love because you're feeling broken on the inside.


Remember he hasn't changed

Just because you're a supercouple now living the monogamous dream, it doesn't mean your guy has changed – unless he's squeezed in a lunchtime lobotomy or gone to the department store to get a quick touch up of his genetic make-up. This means that, yes, he does still find other women attractive; he does still watch porn; he'll still like other girls' pictures on Facebook and Instagram. It might make you feel a little uncomfortable or insecure at times, but if that's the trade-off for him not banging other bitches anymore, frankly, that's fucking fine. If he loves you, he's likely not flirting with other girls online or trying to get in Sandra from Accounting's pants at the office Christmas party.

Again, making your man feel bad for finding other women attractive is like wielding a pair of giant scissors and trying to cut off his dick. It's a core part of him; attempt to neutralize his manhood and he'll likely respond with panic. Do not use any of these things to punish him, control him, suffocate him, or as “proof” that he must be cheating on you, because if you push him too far with this, he probably will. Your fears are your problem – work on them. Using your fears to punish someone else is like kicking a beehive.

A final word of advice: Enjoy the moment! Look at your love like a secret garden – a healthy place for both of you to grow and flourish. If either party poisons the soil, all of that beauty will inevitably die off. If you love this former womanizer and he loves you, trust first and worry about anything else later.

For more, here are five secrets to long-lasting love, according to the experts.