Today I have an insightful guest post from author JoAnna Santanen.
by JoAnna Santanen
What is it, exactly, that makes bad boys so attractive to women?
Many women would agree: the thrill of dating a man who breaks the rules, disobeys and disrespects authority, and is questionable in the ethics department is undeniable. The more risky he is, the greater the excitement. Most of these same women conduct themselves in the opposite manner; they are lawful, dutiful citizens who work hard, pay their bills and play by the rules.
One could cite the good old “opposites attract” adage, but that’s not likely the reason a good girl loves a bad boy. Truthfully, opposites don’t attract – they repel. People want to associate with others who are similar to them. We tend not to choose friends who hold completely different views and lifestyles than our own. Having something in common with your partner creates compatibility, which is absolutely necessary for any relationship. So why date someone with whom you are not compatible?
One might say relationships develop because the thrill. The excitement of a new relationship exists even if there isn’t the danger associated with illicit conduct. One can be overjoyed by a new love’s bloom with someone who isn’t likely to be thrown in jail. In fact, a deeper, more satisfying desire is created with a partner who shares the same ideas, interests and values. Explosive desire isn’t exclusive to the cheating husbands and drug dealing variety of men.
Danger might be another reason a girl would choose a bad boy. The exhilaration of risk taking can be addictive, especially when it is coupled with infatuation. That being the case, we might not want to admit that the desire for continued elation through a relationship is something we can get dependent upon. It might be common knowledge that danger raises the stakes for pleasure, but it also raises the stakes for heartbreak, which few enjoy. Most women know perfectly well that a torrid affair with a bad boy will probably end with heartache and disappointment, but still flock to it like kids to the playground.
Charisma could explain the magnetism of a dangerous man – if not for the fact that bad boys behave, well, badly. Manners and etiquette are not generally something valued in the criminal world or in the poor, broken-home families that raise these men. A charming man might entrance a woman temporarily, but eventually, his hardened ways will manifest into poor conduct.
We want to convince ourselves that our man would never treat us badly or hurt us. That’s just the delusion justification of someone living in denial of the facts. If you play with fire, don’t be surprised when you get burned. If your guy flies off the handle when another man looks at you, it’s not chivalry that compels him. That’s jealousy. And if he chooses to get into a fist fight with said fellow? Violent tendencies could be to blame. What is it that would stop him from hurting you, if he’s willing to hurt everyone else around him?
With all the potential negative consequences associated with dating a bad boy, good girls still continue to desire the allure of such men. Knowing that the likelihood of finding true love is off the table, why even bother? The unpopular answer is egotism. When a woman tries to date a man so far outside her realm of ethics, she is actually exercising a degree of egotism when she believes she will be so compelling to her man that he will want to change his ways and straighten out to keep her. We all love to mold a man into someone better, even if it’s a fruitless effort. As romantic as that notion might be, it’s absurd to assume that someone who doesn’t respect others will change that way of thinking just to save a relationship. After all, he could simply move on the next girl who will be enthused by his filthy lifestyle in just the same way as every previous lady he’s encountered.
Despite our contrary thinking, bad boys are attractive because of the negative consequences associated with dating them. Ultimately, we know that the relationship will be a bed of nails to endure. A woman with low self-esteem might unconsciously seek out a man who will treat her poorly because deep down, she believes she deserves it. She expects her relationships to be tumultuous and tortuous. She knows that the relationship will end in her inevitable heartbreak and accepts that outcome, even if she could experience something entirely different if she chose her partners differently.
Lastly, we want to help him. We feel that if we love a man enough, our influence will help him recover from the scars of heartaches past – that he will want to be set right through our affection. While that might work when it comes to nursing a wounded soldier back to health during WWI, it doesn’t hold much water with men who’ve endured troubled lives or chosen a lifestyle that puts them (and you) in harm’s way. He’s not a lost, sick puppy. He’s a man; and will probably do whatever it is he wants, regardless of how you feel about it.
While society continues to romanticize the value of bad boys like the original, James Dean, it’s only for entertainment’s sake. Those stories create drama (just the same drama we would all like to avoid) and offer something exciting to the viewer. Real life is not as pleasurable as the movies are in this regard. There’s no separation between you and the hurt of a broken heart. Your bad boy will be bad, and you will suffer for it. Keeping that in mind, have at it. You could be the one who turns him around; but probably not, so have fun while you’ve got him.
To learn more about JoAnna and her writing, connect with her in the following places:
Here’s a look at JoAnna’s new release:
At twenty three, Caleb is a fun-loving free-spirited bachelor struggling to make ends meet as a young entrepreneur. Caleb is a creative thinker whose passion and personality often finds him surrounded by friends. After suffering a greater devastation than any he previously thought possible, Caleb struggles with the new-found responsibilities that are suddenly thrust upon him in the wake of tragedy. Like an angel sent to guide him, a mysterious and catastrophically beautiful love from his past returns to his life, though Caleb is unsure of her true agenda. Caleb struggles to overcome his feelings as his world quickly unravels while his grief takes hold on him. Caleb finds himself facing off with the malicious man he deems responsible for his strife just as his grip on reality is at its weakest. Will Caleb save himself and his love from harm? Will Caleb be overcome by his own worst enemy his tortured mind?
I hope you’ll take the time to connect with JoAnna and explore her fictional world.
Ladies, what are your thoughts on bad boys? Do you love them or avoid them?
Gentlemen, are you a bad boy? Or do you a good guy who gets overlooked for those bad boys?
Thanks for reading.