It happens to the best of us.
The other day, I was at a major party being thrown by my friends. Three or four of my exes were there. And a number of their friends were there — all of whom fit the “bad boy” image to a perfect tee. They were gorgeous, muscular, sporting multicolored hair, beads, and baggy pants.
Five years ago, I would have been totally enamored by them. This year, though, any feelings I would have normally had fell flat. When one of them tried to hug me, I shied away and felt like I needed a bath. What’s weirder is that I couldn’t understand why I felt this way right then and there.
After a long night of self-reflection, it became very clear what had happened. As I began to mature, I outgrew my taste in men. From what I’ve been noticing, most women end up having their taste a specific type of guy change as they get older. Here are some signs that it’s happening to you, too.
1. You had a lot of bad experiences with one type of guy, and now you’re way more cautious when dealing with that type of man at all.
For me, I started to slowly lose attraction to the type of guys I used to be into after they kept hurting me. It’s Pavlovian in nature. If you keep getting hurt when you touch something, eventually, your first instinct will be to avoid it. There’s only so many times I could get my heart broken by bad boy types before I stopped believing their lies.
2. Or maybe you just saw some things that are major turn-offs to you.
One thing that I’ve noticed is that certain traits really do tend to happen in different groups of people. With the guys I used to be interested in, a lot of the things that were way too common included poor hygiene, an inability to communicate or commit, and of course, drama.
Eventually, I began to associate guys like that with those negative traits and knowing that would be what I’d most likely be signing up for if I dated them turned me off to them.
3. Your friendship circles also changed.
I no longer really want to hang out with the hardcore party crowd I used to adore on a regular basis. It’s just too much for me. Nowadays, I’m happy just doing a nice, relaxing night at the bar with buddies who guzzle Blue Moon. As my taste in friends changed, so did my taste in guys.
4. Flirting that would have made your heart skip a beat years ago no longer impresses you.
My ex Adam is a very good example of this. Back in the day, his boyish charm, offers of cigarettes, and occasional hilarious joke about anime would have made me swoon. But now, something about it just seems dirty.
Nothing about him has changed, either. The only thing that’s changed for me is the way I saw his flirting. Last time, it just came off as cheapened and conniving, rather than cute, and I wanted no part in it.
5. On a general level, what used to impress you no longer is interesting to you.
Parties used to impress me. I was all about the big parties, too, and would talk about them constantly. Literally, I lived to party. Call it lame or whatever, but those things no longer impress me as much as they used to. Some time around the moment my exes were serving drinks the other night, I had realized that the party lifestyle had gotten extremely routine for me... and I got bored.
6. You begin to look at older guys who fit the bill of what you were once into, and you wonder what’s wrong with them.
To a point, this rule tends to be much more pronounced if you’re outgrowing a taste in bad boys, breakdancers, or club kids, but it still lies true with almost any “type” out there. People are supposed to grow, right?
After a while of realizing that the type of guys you’re going after aren’t getting more complex, successful, or interesting, one often starts to wonder why they’re stuck the way they are. (You can’t stay a child forever, Peter Pan.)
7. You’re in a different place (mentally) than you used to be.
Back in the day, all I ever wanted to do was party, dress up in fluffy things, and listen to loud, banging music. I still enjoy that from time to time, but nowadays, I’d rather read. Unfortunately, most of the guys I used to like don’t read at all. Since I changed my main interests, I no longer find partying for days on end that interesting anymore.
8. You’re also in a different place (physically) than you used to be.
I’m no longer the Energizer Bunny I once was. Back in the day, I could literally dance for days on end without bothering to sleep or eat. Nowadays, my interest in shaking my booty peters out around hour 12.
How am I supposed to keep up with guys who do this every day or so? The truth is, I can’t. I would be a sleep-deprived, angry, cantankerous mess of a person.
9. And you’re also in a different place (socially) than you used to be.
I don’t communicate the way I used to anymore. Things that were once okay with me aren’t anymore. The type of guys who I used to like are still stuck on that same old level I was at when I was 18. I’m almost 30 now, and I need someone who can be with me on my new level.
10. Hanging out with the kinds of guys you used to be interested in makes you feel like a mom.
One thing that really struck me was how much I felt like I would have to pick up pieces around them, work twice as hard to keep myself sane, and also just keep an eye out for shenanigans when I hung out with these guys last. I didn’t feel like I belonged anymore; I felt like I was their nanny.
11. It’s also become clear that they aren’t capable of meeting your lifestyle expectations if you were to date them.
This is one aspect that made me realize I was no longer attracted to them on that level. My expectations for a good lifestyle with a relationship involved include an apartment, outings to elegant restaurants, and a wedding ring.
Marriage is not something guys that I used to be into do and they also don’t earn enough to split an apartment without two or more roommates. Once I realized this, I felt it was a dead end.
12. You noticed that you tend to feel gross or grimy when guys you’d have once wanted to be near approach you.
This was the biggest tip off that I had outgrown my taste in men. Flirting wasn’t fun. It just felt gross. I ended up soaking in a bathtub filled with LUSH products for about an hour after that party night happened. The reason I needed to bathe was because the way we spoke to one another made me feel gross... and I didn’t know how else to feel less dirty.
13. People tell you that you’ve changed.
I hear this all the time these days. I’m not sure whether it’s a good or a bad thing, but I know that it’s true. I did change. And with the changes I’ve had, so have my tastes in people changed, too.