When I was in my early twenties, if a guy acted aloof, called back only sometimes and showed minimal interest, I would get hooked. You could say I was addicted to the bad boy/ unavailable boy/ player. I was drawn to what psychotherapist, Ken Page terms as “attractions of deprivation” – when we are drawn to people who embody the worst emotional characteristics of our parents. Basically, the theory explains that we are attracted to people who can wound us the same way we were wounded in our childhood, as our psyche tries to recreate the past void and save us by changing its ending.

“The child in us believes that if the original perpetrators — or their current replacements — finally change their minds, apologize, or make up for that terrible rupture of trust, we can escape from our prison of unworthiness. Our conscious self is drawn to the positive qualities we yearn for, but our unconscious draws us to the qualities which hurt us the most as children.”  – Psychology Today

So games used to work on me because 1) I had unresolved daddy issues and 2) At the tender age of 20, I was trying to figure out who I was and to top it off, I was ridden with insecurity and a low sense of self-worth.

But somewhere in between the passing of a decade, something changed.

I learned to love myself.  I became independent, confident, and started to value my self-worth. I went through hardships and heartbreaks and picked myself back up which built my strength and courage. Instead of relying on beauty as my source of empowerment, I focused on basing my empowerment on my intelligence, successes, values, contributions to the world and how I helped others. In a sense, I finally grew up. I went from being a girl to becoming a woman. And as a woman, you are attracted to very different things than you are as a girl.

A girl is attracted to boys. A woman is attracted to men. Now, this has nothing to do with the actual age of a person. I’m referring to maturity, life vision and stage of life. In fact, some people regardless of their age, will never really grow up.

If you are a girl (lack independence, are ruled by insecurity, lack self-respect, throw tantrums, have princess syndrome, don’t have strong values or boundaries and can’t hold yourself on your own) then expect that you will attract only boys. However, if you are a woman (independent, ambitious, knows your worth and value, has a strong moral compass, is considerate and an able communicator and doesn’t let insecurity dominate your psyche), then you should be dating a man. And if you can’t spot the difference just yet, here are some pointers.

  1. A man knows what he wants, and goes for it. A boy may have somewhat of an idea, but not really. He doesn’t think too much about it, and even if he does, doesn’t exert much effort to get it. A boy is passive, a man is assertive.

  2. A man plans for his future and is working towards building a foundation and infrastructure in order to have a family (at some point in his life).  A boy lives only in the moment and his plans are mostly around which bar he’s going to hit up on the weekend.

  3. A man looks for a woman with intelligence, who is supportive, grounded and encompasses a shared set of values when choosing a partner. A boy cares mostly only for girls who are hot, wild and exciting.

  4. A man knows a good woman when he meets one and will take initiative to get to know her. A boy may make an attempt if you’re lucky, but gives up before ever really trying.

  5. A man has the courage to have uncomfortable conversations. He is honest with his intentions and lets people know where they stand. A boy avoids. He ignores confrontation or any serious talks about feelings. Instead of dealing with a situation, he runs away from it or creates drama or excuses to mask the fact he’s not that into you or a relationship.

  6. A man knows when to invest in a woman and jump in with two feet. A boy is always “testing” – he doesn’t fully commit because he never knows if he is quite ready. But the truth is, because he is a boy, regardless of who he meets, he will never be ready due to the stage of life he is in.

  7. A man knows how to have a good time and be social, but is often busy making strides in his career and building his life. A boy is getting crunk with his buddies at the bar every weekend.

  8. A man takes the time to reflect on the type of man he wants to be, the example he wants to leave and the vision for his life. He has put thought into his values. A boy has not established his moral compass or values and consequently, is often inconsistent.

  9. A man has integrity. He means what he says, and says what he means. He has follow through and actions his promises. And if he can’t he has the guts to tell you why. A boy makes promises but doesn’t follow through.

  10. A man is afraid of rejection but will put himself out there anyway. A boy is afraid of rejection and acts passive so that his pride and ego won’t ever get too banged up.

Now, a lot of these differences require taking the time to know someone to figure out if the apple of your eye is indeed a man, or a mere boy. However, one of the quickest filters that you can notice from the beginning is this:

11. A boy plays games. A man doesn’t.

*To clarify, when I’m referring to “games” I mean mind games.

Photo credit: Jaclyn Auletta

This article is a re-post from an article of this original source:

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Drew Canole is a rockstar in the world of fitness, nutrition and mindset, with a huge heart for others and doing his part to transform the world, one person at a time.

As the founder and CEO of Fitlife.TV, he is committed to sharing educational, inspirational and entertaining videos and articles about health, fitness, healing and longevity. He is also a best selling author and the founder of Organifi, an organic, incredibly delicious greens powder, chock-full of superfoods to make juicing easy no matter your busy schedule.



  1. Wow, that is definitely an eye opener for both sides women can't expect to find a man if she indeed acts like a girl! The psychology behind it has truth we feel the need to replay the past to try and fix the ending but we almost always end up with the same results, it's time to leave the past where it belongs and create a new future!

  2. Very interesting, I have often heard the boy/man comparison but never the girl/woman one. It is unfortunately mostly true. So for the women who are seeking Men but end up with boys, take a good look in the mirror, Make a needed change & apply the laws of attraction. 🙂

  3. I respectfully disagree with your theory. Boys will be attracted to women and vice versa, but not for the long term. They want to sample the offering IF the woman will allow, which if she is a self assured woman she won't fall for the false front. When we spend time with one another we discover who is in front of us, we dance the dance to see if the facade is real or fake – then make a mature choice. Attraction is not so very cut and dry as life is not either. K

  4. I've always said we date our parents to work out our parent/child issues. I did it in my life till I wised up as did my friends.

  5. Well put! The one thing that I really find irresistible,sexy,finger licking,chocolate dripping good about a man, Is a man who knows what he wants:-)

  6. Can't a woman be both wild and exciting AND a strong woman with values? Must we always present ourself as one or the other archetype? Or is it asking too much of the male psyche to embrace this dichotomy?

  7. Interesting philosophy and good valid points made..but if this article had been written by a man it would more powerful

  8. So what about when it is the females expressing these same traits described in this article as "boy" traits, and females even using their self perception as "wild" and "empowered" "women" and their professional activities to hide and whitewash their traits and tendencies to themselves acting out what are referred to in this article as "boy" qualities in how they avoid deeper honest intimacy, accountability, empathy, loving, devotion with an intimate beloved / partner? Seems a number of these same immature "boy" qualities are often expressed and acted out my some women who soon their behaviors as just being empowered "wild women", rather than owning that equality in being loving, accountable, caring, mature, honest and devoted with a partner does actually require equality from them also being loving, accountable, caring, mature, honest and devoted to and in how they rate with the man they are interested in.

    Many women are like the female version of the "bad boy" but mask and whitewash their own distorted, narcissistic, exaggerated & unbalanced version of autonomy, freedom and independence as somehow being empowered free wildwomen, yet decry these same traits expressed by a male as chauvinistic, selfish, boyish, player, noncommittal, etc.

    True loving and healthy being and relating requires true mutuality, accountability, devotion and honesty with ourselves, our life, our intimate relationship with and how we are to our beloved.

  9. Also, the qualities mentioned of a woman – independent, ambitious ( which has its dark and heartless sides as well ), confident, etc are only one side of a healthy woman and man. When focused on primarily they create a narcissistic and even sociopathic personality, a haughty princess or suave shark syndrome.

    Curious why the equally important & essential qualities of healthy vulnerability, honesty, emotional openness & caring, empathy, loving, intimacy, devotion, etc were not included in the article as the fundamental qualities of a true woman and man which they are.

    Only with these qualities balancing out the autonomy, vision, drive, will one be able to be a healthy, balanced, loving person and intimate companion.

  10. Since she's defining the term "men" she can also define their object of attraction, though in my opinion, more than she gave a good definition of the term, she just described her own idea of an ideal man.

  11. Very good article! As with many things in life I reflect often on these ideas and it shows hit and miss, or on again… off again. It is very important to keep oneself to high standards and work on shedding the years of junk that can accumulate internally and externally to reveal the perfection that we are. Working on this every day!

  12. Thankfully I'm getting old enough that people have mostly stopped telling me I'm going to 'change my mind' about not wanting kids.

  13. No u didn't! I am stealing that line I get some bull shit question like why am I single!!? Followed by Bonnie you need and want a boyfriend I know it. WTF? Thank god I have you woman:) u will never ask me that. No children aren't appealing and either is restoration hardware and pottery barn filled days

  14. Glen Kolenc I have to disagree with you. "A man plans for his future and is working towards building a foundation and infrastructure in order to have a family" That to me, implies being a man is about planning for a family. I decided that I didn't want to have children and therefore, build my life based on being able to support myself.

  15. Pretty good article, however, I do think from my own experience that even “girls” as referred to in the article can be attracted to the same things a “woman” is in a man. They might not be ready for it because they don’t have anything to offer because of their insecurity issues and it’s hard for anyone to find someone that their compatible with when they don’t have characteristics that offer and contribute positive things to a real relationship.

  16. You have FINALLY put into words why is it that I despise so much some of the so called "empowered free wild woman" of today. Because is just a big excuse for some of them to go around the world being a spoiled brat on the motto of "woman power". Those are not feminists, those are just narcissistic bitches! ugh

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