Daily Archives: March 13, 2007

The Bad Boy

Now for a post on something I’ve been meaning to write on for a long, long while. It should have come earlier, I know so much about the subject after all.

Why do women love bad boys?

As a confirmed bad boy-o-holic myself, I wonder why I’m continuing to make the same mistakes I did when I was sixteen. First I think we need to define what we mean by ‘Bad Boy’. The Bad Boy isn’t necessarily a tattooed, leather jacket-clad, guitar-toting, beer-guzzling rogue….he’s a concept. A Bad Boy is just someone who isn’t a Good Boy.

Okay, let’s start over again. I’d have said Good Boys don’t really exist but well, perhaps they do. There are enough of men around that I’m not attracted to and I’ve come to categorise them as Good Boys. Or well, to assuage their ego (oh gawd, even Good Boys have them!), they’re the Nice guys. Good Boys are the straightforward, predictable ones who treat women well and don’t play games. I don’t think they’re necessarily the ones with a value system strong enough to respect women, I think they’ve just been slow on the uptake, on how to make themselves more interesting.

Let’s forget about the Good Boy for the moment. I haven’t dated any of them, I’m enthralled by the man I can’t figure out…just yet. He’s confident, a smooth-talker…oh so smooth, he can sass you right back, even call you a bitch to your face, except he’ll make it sound like a compliment. And we fall, fall, fall. Who needs a motorcycle and dreadlocks? All you need is the guts to be a complete bastard with women. This by the way aren’t my words of cynical male-hating wisdom, they’re quote-unquote an ex-boyfriend’s advice to his Nice Guy friend. Oh, and my ex- was clean-shaven and well-dressed but he had no qualms saying such things to his friend in front of me. See, that’s what makes him a Bad Boy.

Characteristic traits of the Bad Boy – Is:

  • Emotionally unavailable
  • Insecure (mostly about appearance but that could be because I only date guys who’re too successful to be insecure about their intelligence)
  • Ambitious (Faster! Bigger! Better! Prettier! Thinner! Richer!)
  • Generally discontent with the state of things, their job, car, house, mobile phone, clothes and YOU. Stay around one long enough and you’ll also get to be THE ONE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MESS
  • Control freaks or at least male chauvinists

Okay, now that we have them defined, let’s understand why women like them so much? I can only theorize, being too close to the subject myself. I think…women enjoy a challenge just as much men do. We don’t exactly have the same ‘hunter’ instincts (though some of us in recent times, do that too). There is a strong nurturing instinct even in the MW. Bad boys are essentially little boys at heart. Very badly behaved little boys. So, we reason, as with all badly behaved little boys, we discipline them, love them a lot and turn them into civilized human beings. After all, what woman can resist a ‘betterment/improvement’ project? We all like to play Florence Nightingale/Guardian Angel. What better to salvage than a fallen angel?

The trouble is that Bad Boys are not just badly behaved little boys, they’re the ones who never grew up because they couldn’t. For whatever reason, I won’t go into those at the moment. Why are we assuming that we can make them grow up when their mums didn’t? Or after trying so hard, why are we resentful when then turn around and bolt, treating us then, like the strict mother figure?

I know it is slightly sick to be drawn to someone who eventually treats you badly. But that’s what most of us do. There’s an element of danger that makes it exciting. And oh, I suppose there’s the failsafe option of being able to blame the break-up on what a jerk your ex- was. An unusually wise male friend described it as the peculiar ‘long-suffering Sati Savitri condition’.

No one breaks up with a Nice Guy once they’re dating him. I suppose some women cheat out of sheer boredom and frustration. But the guilt of dumping a Nice Guy is just way too much to handle. Most of us prefer not to even go there. In fact I’m a little leery of Nice Guys since they make me feel like a grimy, homework-not-done bad little child. At least with the Bad Boys I get the feeling I’m the more mature, ‘clean-and-correct’ one. All I know is that Bad Boys hold their appeal and continue to be hazardous to my romantic health.

There is of course the other theory that a lot of women have been used and abused by men who don’t respect them, early on. Hence we continue to gravitate to such men, out of sheer habit (that’s what the psychologists say!) and also out of some resentment. A kind of I’ll-despise-you-since-you-don’t-respect-me-but-let’s-both-be-miserable thing. Well, who says we are smart? We suffer from substance abuse the same way that cokeheads and alcoholics do….we call it Bad Boy-o-holism.

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