At least once in your life, you looked at a bad boy in leather and ripped denim, and felt at least a flutter in your belly. You know you’ve been there. As with everything, bad boys are definitely not all the same. Some are narcissistic, arrogant and cocky, while some others are always unavailable, broken and dominant. They all, though, have something in common: they think they are God’s gift to womankind, and they like to do whatever they want to. They are your true definition of ‘bad’.

When women are asked to describe their dream man they are inclined to be romantic. Their dream man should have qualities such as kindness, sensitivity, romanticism, thoughtfulness and tenderness. They all dream of the tall handsome knight, with whom they will live happily ever after in a cozy house far, far away. Do they lie? No, they don’t. Consciously, we all want to meet that one man that possesses all those positive traits, and more. We want to be treated like princesses and live our own unique fairy tale with the man of our dreams.

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Even women who don’t openly admit it are very girly at heart. Life, for some, might have been more cruel than it was kind, and many years of hardship and struggle toughened them up. Nobody, though, can deny their own nature. Women dream of ‘nice’ guys, attentive boyfriends, devoted husbands and fathers that are good role models for their children.

What happens in reality then? Just as men are hardwired to get attracted to beauty and sexuality,  women are hardwired to get attracted to masculinity. And that comes in a variety of ways. Masculinity is mostly measured by physical ability and strength, intelligence, hard core personalities and visual masculine satisfaction. That is exactly the reason why women are such complicated species. Unlike men, they will respond to many different cues across different domains, thus making them very selective when it comes to choosing their mates.

Physical beauty and femininity are traits that men find irresistible. In the last few years they prefer to combine that with intelligence or career success. Although the majority of women believe that such a powerful female will eventually push future mating candidates away, I have found this to be true only with the ones who are not able to compete with those qualities. The majority of men, actually like educated, opinionated women.

Physical attraction alone is not powerful enough to keep a woman in a relationship. Surely, a handsome man will never go unnoticed but on its own that characteristic loses value over time.

Do women end up marrying bad boys? The majority actually doesn’t. However, we will all experience at some point in our lives, the exciting compulsion to be attracted by bad boys allowing ourselves be romanced by them.

We asked Afroditi Kritsimali, a psychologist working in the UK to explain the concept of this prohibition attraction:

‘Women seem to be inclined to find bad boys attractive. Even though they should be cautious of men who say and do the right thing with no effort, sometimes they can’t help but find them completely attractive.

Studies indicate that more men than women possess the Dark Triad personality traits of narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellism. The characteristics of narcissism embrace dominance, a sense of entitlement, and a grandiose self-view. Research overpoweringly shows that the rates of narcissism are higher in men, even across cultures. It is, therefore, assumed that narcissism may advance short-term mating in men, as it involves “a willingness and ability to compete with one’s own sex, and to repel mates shortly after intercourse.”

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Along the lines of these abilities, narcissists are less monogamous and skilful at establishing new relationships, and identifying several mating opportunities. Psychopaths also display cruelty, a lack of empathy, and antisocial, inconsistent behaviour. They tend to succeed in short-term mating, through a moral deficit and interpersonal hostility and they have also been recognized to exhibit superficial charm and a sexually-exploitative interpersonal attitude.

Machiavellianism involves disloyalty, insincerity and extroversion. The controlling, coercive approaches of these men are also beneficial in short-term mating; Machiavellians have been considered to be more immoral. Unquestionably, research has established that Dark Triad males display more sexual success compared to their peers. Women found the Dark Triad personalities the most appealing.

[quote_box_center]Women respond to signals of “male quality” when it comes to reproduction. And with respect to short-term mating, women may be attracted to ‘bad boys’, who exhibit high levels of confidence, stubbornness, and risk-taking inclinations.[/quote_box_center]

Women may react to men’s abilities to ‘sell themselves’, useful method in which men persuade women to pursue the former’s preferred sexual strategy. Dark Triad men may be successful charmers and manipulators, furthering their success at short-term mating. However, researchers are also careful to highlight that although women rated the Dark Triad personality as reasonably more appealing, it does not essentially mean that they would have sex with them.

Studies are part of an ongoing research that presents women’s dueling desires. On the one hand, women look for a long-term relationship with a caring, affectionate and committed partner. On the other hand, they show an attraction to men with darker personalities, usually for the short-term. Still, it is vital to identify that this dynamic has been formed by the demands of evolution.’

Do bad boys who treat women badly send them the indirect message that other women are waiting in line? Do they manage to subconsciously ‘blackmail’ them into staying in the relationship? Under no circumstances, should of course, women put up or stay in abusive relationships. But what defines a bad boy?

He is supremely confident and knows what he wants. You will not be able to spot any signs of desperation here. They are not really bothered if you are not interested, either. They have such a wide selection of available women and when you don’t mean that much to him anymore, he will make sure you know. Sadly, his womanizer nature is the perfect reason why we are so attracted to him.

He is unpredictable and independent. You cannot tame such a man and the women who hopelessly tried, miserable failed. He will do whatever he wants and your feelings won’t matter that much. At first, that might be exciting but you will soon realize that you cannot count on such man. Even the strongest of women need to feel protected and that is the reason why a relationship with such a man is bound to fail.

badboy4His unpredictable and spontaneous side will seem very attractive and tempting. In time, your sense of stability will kick in and the the rush of giving in your secret wild side and try new things on the spot will fade away.

He is very sexy and sensual. He has had so much practice in this area that he is a professional by now. He has got all the right moves and knows how to flirt and sexually lure a girl. If you think that you will be his last conquer you got it totally wrong. There are so many challenges out there for him, he can’t stop now.

He has a silver tongue. This bad boy knows very well how to lure you into his bed very fast. He can talk his way out of anything. Women love him for this as he is able to melt even the toughest of hearts. You think that someone can’t captivate you with sweet talking alone? Wait, till you meet him – you are in for a treat!

He is unavailable. ‘Bad boys are typically unavailable, at least for a real relationship. We love this because people inherently want what’s just out of reach – it’s human nature. Once we think something is scarce, in our minds it’s more valuable. Nice guys actually want a relationship, and show us by being available; by calling when they say they will, and by setting up dates in advance so we know we’re a priority. But then we don’t like it, we think it’s boring, or that he’s not interesting enough for us, so we dump him. If this sounds like you, then you may not be ready for a real relationship yourself.’ , (YourTango)

He has his demons. Bad boys tend to be mostly broken, carrying past torments and suffering. For some reason this is such an  appealing male aspect to nurturing women who can’t help but want to ‘save’ them. Although a broken man seems so mysterious and enthralling, the possibility of ending up with such a man is prone to give you more trouble than you asked for. Go for a man with a more solid foundation instead.

He is masculine. This guy processes healthy tones of testosterone and what is more appealing to women than that? He is a strong man with an amazingly toned body to match. In other words: irresistible. He also has a very masculine voice that is totally overwhelming and overpowering. Can you resist? I, for sure, can’t.

Come on, let’s admit it. We all have been in love with a bad boy at some point in our lives. Is that kind of man marriage material? Is he suitable for a long term relationship? Probably not. Although the experience of being with such a man is thrilling and exciting it is at the same time short lived. You will never be priority number one for such a man nor will you receive the attention and appreciation you deserve and need.

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His popularity is surely appealing, but only comes from letting every single girl know that she has a chance with him. Always remember that a strong man is not made of dangerous habits and rages of jealousy. Irrational and narcissistic behaviour could lead to any type of abuse and that is definitely not something you would want in your life.

At the end of the day, bad boys are a dream to set our butterflies aflutter. They are a fantasy, and if you’ve been in a relationship with one, you know they are as utterly unreal as the silliest dream. That temporary attraction should stay where it belongs: in the dark room of a movie theater.

It’s easy to fall for the popular delusion that you can change someone, and many a silly girl went into a relationship with a man who triggered all her instincts to run, hoping she may one day change him. That doesn’t really happen, and in the end you’ll wish you’d been one of those “boring good girls” who did the right thing, instead of an abuse victim at the hands of a bad man.
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Psychologist, world citizen, mother - Effie is one half of the alwaysladies.com founding pair. She can bring to life any party with either a smile, or a strong opinion. If like us you can't get enough of Effie, visit her blog at www.thethinkingmomblog.com

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