Good Girl’s Kryptonite

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Bad boys have the reputation: hot, arrogant, inconsiderate, inattentive and almost unfeeling but women flock to them in droves. With all the negatives about bad boys, what is it that really motivates women to have a one-time or recurring desire for a bad boy in their life? Shweta Bhatia finds out

In archaic times, the combative behavior implied not only chances of survival but also a more significant reproductive success. Women preferred the men who displayed their combat more aggressively than the others less aggressive. Various studies have shown that women manifest a higher attraction towards men with a warlike reputation. Other studies also have shown that women express increased preference for masculine traits when male on male aggression occurs.

“Usually, the motivation for dating bad boys is the attitude they bring to the table. The challenge that is brought in with that attitude. The fire of never knowing what’s next is what is so appealing”, says Carol, a marketing manager at a multi-national firm. The majority of women whom we spoke to stated some very specific reasons why they were attracted to bad boys.

1. Fulfilling their fantasies: This has topped the list. “Bad boys aren’t afraid to try out anything. Chances are that they have already tried out every single fantasy women are only imagining off. So, when I first start dating one and the one thing lead to another, he fulfilled those wishes without asking for it,” shares Shayan, a financial analyst, “A nice guy is probably too kind and too chivalrous to try the certain things out worried about disrespecting the women. But the bad boys aren’t concerned about disrespecting you at all.” This particular trait turns out to be like an addiction for which women keep going back for.

2. She thinks she can fix him: This is probably the type of girl who comes from a family background where her father was never emotionally there for her, may be from divorce or some other reasons. “My father was never there for me and very rude. This guy I dated was similar. Very nonchalant and cold. Somewhere I thought, maybe, if I could turn him around, I would be able to understand that my father had it in him to be different”, Michelle, 32, shares. In this situation a girl decides to recreate the same distant relationship in her own life in an attempt to ‘fix’ the emotional distance this time around. The possibility of converting a bad boy from a serial playboy into a loving, supportive, feeling man is a strong pull for bad boy addicted women.

3. The thrill is unbeatable: Doing something that is against the norm is also sited as a key motivating factor. “Bad boys live life vicariously. They are adventure junkies, usually in jobs that are high on travel and excitement. These boys are not afraid to take chances. They are impulsive, live in the moment and not worried about how their actions are going to affect their life decisions. I dated a biker and life was just full of fun and games. There was never a dull moment or never talks about how life should be 10 years from now. It was all about living in the moment. This thrill is something a nice boy will never give as they the polar opposite but this feeling didn’t last very long,” says Maya, an elementary school teacher. There are women, who feel that this thrill will last forever and it probably will but as women get older, they get to know themselves better. The goals become clearer.

4. Oozing Masculinity: Bad guys almost always win over nice guys because they’re oozing with masculinity and palpable sex appeal. It’s the fearlessness exuding in bad guys that hook women up. Most women are attracted to tough, dangerous and strong guys because it means they can’t be pushed over or manipulated. When you can stand up against her demands and bad ways, it only means you’re able to handle her when necessary. “In order to portray a certain level of fearlessness, you need to show your girl you are man enough to protect or stand up against her. I was dating this guy who wasn’t afraid to stand up for me and protect me when I was at a crowded place or pick up a fight with a guy who’d try to bump into me. That for me was very attractive. I felt safe with him and he was the man in the relationship which for any woman is a big plus point.” Saima, 29, says.

5. Commitment phobic: Synonymous with bad guys are lack of commitment or unavailability. For women who have the same fears, bad boys are too hard to resist. Since women know they won’t commit, there is no need to deal with feelings of falling in and out of love. It also means good news for girls who are only ready for short-term flings at the moment. “I’ve always had a different take on relationships. My parents got divorced when I was four. Since then, I have never had the inclination to get into any permanent relationship. I never felt the need to as I stopped believing in the whole ‘happily ever after’ routine. Casual relationships give me what I require without the whole heartbreak phase,” says Radhika, a PR executive.

Whether we like it or not, bad boys always hold a dear place in women’s hearts. Chances are that almost all women have that one ‘bad boy’ in their life who they have been with, who they have wanted to be with for atleast sometime and even today, when they have possibly moved on, there will be moments where they question on how would it had been, if life would had continued living vicariously. Should they have taken that chance? But as time goes by, the boys that stimulated all those emotions in all the wrong ways might not be worth it anymore.

It takes a certain maturity to make this decision and it doesn’t normally happen until the right guy reveals himself. As with every great love story, the good guy always wins the girl in the end and you might just be glad that he reveals himself.