Why are we drawn to bad boys?

Bad boyThey are like forbidden foods when we are on a diet. They pull us toward them, no matter how much self-control we try to have. We work to resist, but their beckoning becomes too much for us. We succumb to their wiles.

What is it about bad boys — who are, of course, really midlife men — that is so irresistible to some? Intellectually, you know they are certain trouble. They will say and do the things that melt you. You quickly give them your heart on a silver platter: “Here it is — my heart. Take it. I offer it willingly.” Even if you’ve seen signs that he won’t protect it, you serve it to him with little, if any, hesitation.

Is it that they’ve learned how to address your surface emotional needs? They say all the right things, “Don’t ever change. You are perfect the way you are.” “I see us together for a long, long time.” “Where have you been all my life?” “You’re someone I can take home to my mother. She’ll love you.” “You make me very happy.” “I’m afraid I’m falling for you.” I even had one say on the phone to his sister when I walked into the room, “Your future sister-in-law just came in.”

It’s not just their words. It’s their touch, their kiss, how they look at you, with that look that says they are really, really, really into you. It’s the pheromones — that chemistry thing, but it’s like love potion mixed with steroids.

Are we so needy to hear sweet things that we overlook the parts that aren’t good? We want to be in love so desperately that we ignore the clear signs he isn’t emotionally mature or available? We aren’t fully emotionally available ourselves so we choose guys who will leave us in the dust as quickly as they stole our hearts? Is it low self-esteem, even when we have high self-esteem in many other areas?

What is it that is so alluring? Have they figured out how to hypnotize us? They know what many women want from a man? That they can love us and leave us and we’ll still long for them to return with open arms?

What’s your theory — or experience — with the temptations of bad boys? Why do we fall for them so readily? Even when we’re at midlife and know better?

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14 responses to “Why are we drawn to bad boys?”

  1. hunter Avatar

    …womans brain is built to follow a man…..

  2. sd Avatar

    “Bad Boys, Bad Boys- whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?”

    And you thought that was for a police reality show!


    Truth is-
    Men take risks jumping out of planes and racing cars.
    Women take risks in stalking bikerboys at pool halls.

    I think it IS the hormones/adrenaline rush women seem to unconsciously crave.

    Because, let’s face it, they’re NEVER boring, or predictible, or TOO nice.

    Some of us grow out of it, some of us put it on a tight leash in our twenties or before, some of us throw ourselves at them our whole lives.

    I don’t think there’s a vaccination for it… too, bad…

  3. Butterflyvioletta Avatar

    I don’t really think it is attention…most men are willing and able to ply you with sweet words. In fact the bad boy may be more tentative than the normal. However I do think it is a draw that there is always something interesting going on. Life is never boring…these bad boys are addicted to life. They love more than anything to just FEEL. They are full of energy and are intoxicating to be with. Maybe somehow that appeals to the lazy side of us…they are always the life of the party every where we go, they are passionate, they are hysterically funny. Kinda takes the pressure off of us to some degree doesn’t it?

  4. Rodney Avatar

    I think sd is right. When a girl falls for a bad boy, she is unconsciously or maybe even consciously signing up to the be the Best Supporting Actor in an ongoing soap opera… bad boys get in trouble, they do all kinds of risky things, and they play with you, and with everyone around you… thats exciting, risky, challenging, definitely not boring – and eventually it nearly drives you nuts. But like chocolate, wine and sex, they’re hard to say no to once you’ve had a taste.

    I despise Bad Boys. Must be jealousy 😉

  5. hunter Avatar

    oh, yes, all of the above, and,,,,they can be kind and thoughtful too……

  6. lara Avatar

    because they’re passionate about everything they do, from cleaning grime off their motorcycles to making love to you. and they’re unattainable and unpredictable. you can’t land a bad boy and you’re never quite sure what he’s up to, or if he’ll call. he leaves you hanging and always dying for his call. but when he picks you up …. you’re in for nonstop action and fun.

    i love ’em because i want to learn how to be just like them!

  7. Rodney Avatar

    …ahem, Lara, uh… *I* have a dirty motorcycle.


  8. Tiny Avatar

    Haha I want to be like them too… but in a dirty suv!

  9. Ally Avatar

    One man’s ‘spontaneous’ is another man’s ‘unreliable’, ditto ‘passion’ vs ADD. I think maybe we’re just drama-mammas, driven by a self-esteem that says we’re not worth the time.

  10. Christine Avatar

    DITTO what Ally said!

  11. singlemomseeking Avatar

    Good timing Dating Goddess! I’m still kicking myself for spending way too much time on a a street corner with a Bad Boy yesterday — he literally stopped his huge pick up truck, pulled over, and said, “Good morning!!”

    Why did I give him the time of the day? Because, as your readers say, he took a chance, he was bold. Very unpredictable, as Lara said above. It got me.

    Don’t worry, I won’t let it go further than that… but I was wondering, “Why was I drawn to….? Fortunately, my self-esteem is on “high” these days.

  12. Ally Avatar

    I think it feels great to be called out as special, and by someone gutsy. The question is, will you be as special in a week, when he’s off conquering something else, collecting experiences.

  13. Greg Avatar

    Ladies: They are called “Bad” for a reason.

  14. cindy Avatar

    i think we fall for them because despite all of their baggage such as post drug ,alcholol use etc.. from my experience anyway, (i recently ended almost a year and a half exclusive rel. with one..they have heart …guts ,experience with life ,and are very open to having fun and make us feel younger and yes…more beautiful. my man was troubled by uncertainty of what he wanted in his life, but when he was with me …he felt nothing but happiness and joy..but in the end, the restlessness and wanting to be “alone” hit him once again. i never saw it coming …that,.is what what devastated me the most ..as kind and upset as he was because he ended it . ..just wonder if he will ever come back. i miss him ..and will never find another like him.