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Why we love bad boys. Why are they so alluring?

I have counseling a few patient lately who seem to be picking the same guy over and over again – with disastrous results. They want a relationship but find themselves weak in the knees around the leather-jacket wearing bad boy. They date the tough guy but want a husband and father. Can you see the disconnect?

These are smart, pretty women with good jobs but are always surprised when the Harley-driving mechanics don’t want to settle down. It goes back to that adage that women marry men hoping to change them, and men marry women hoping they will never change.

So what’s with those bad guys anyway?

What will attract a woman to a bad boy is excitement, daringness, and the promise of adventure.

There is something about brooding, moody guys that women find alluring. Now a new study this spring out of UBC in Vancouver supports the assumption with research.

Women find happy guys significantly less sexually attractive than swaggering or brooding men, according to a new University of British Columbia study that helps to explain the enduring allure of “bad boys” and other iconic gender types. Guys who can display that mischeivious shame (at least knows right from wrong even if they don’t act on it), and smiling comes across as a very “gay or feminine trait”.

Confidence, boldness and masculine is universally what women find attractive.
Bad boys also have the packaging. They emphasize the more testosterone rich parts of themselves and promise great sex, danger and adventure.

So if you keep falling for these guys, and want a more permanent life than pay attention to some of the reasons you keep picking the sweet-but-toxic men.

1.The impulse to perpetuate what’s familiar.
Many women attracted to rogues had a father who was a little wild and rebellious. Because many girls idealize their father, they may seek a partner with similar traits. This usually isn’t a conscious decision; much of the allure happens below the level of awareness. Girls may also choose these boys on the assumption that Dad will be impressed.

2. Can’t “own” your sexuality. Many sensuous women feel that they can “only get swept away in the moment” in order to be the openly sexual. Otherwise to say “I want hot, raunchy sex” means you are a slut.  Having a bad boy lead you down the garden path lets them excuse their own sexual behavior.

3. The drive to rehabilitate or “save” a wayward man.
Simply put, many women are rescuers. It’s a challenge for them to reform an incorrigible man. These women think, Sure, he gets into trouble, but I can change him! Ego is involved as well. It’s inflating when a woman feels like she is the only one who can transform a man.

4. The appetite for adventure.
Other women like the excitement, thrills, and sense of danger bad boys bring. This is especially true for those who have been “good girls” all their lives. Perhaps they grew up in a family that demanded conformity and compliance with rules. So they’re intrigued with men who scoff at rules and shrug off responsibility.