It’s the question that always comes up when we see it play out in front of our eyes – or in our actual real lives. Why do women seem to be so attracted to the bad boy type, while the nice guy languishes on the sidelines?
It usually happens something like this: you (a woman in this scenario) and a girlfriend are out on the town and you are having a great time just visiting and spending some quality time together.
All of a sudden, a good-looking guy comes into the picture, uninvited, and tries to get to know you both better. He uses such lame lines and displays such out-of-line behavior that you feel instantly repelled.
But your friend seems to be feeling the opposite – she is giving every indication that she is interested in this not-so-fine example of the male gender. Right there in front of you both, he flirts shamelessly with the waitress, insults other men without fear, and boasts about his risky accomplishments. He has sky-dived, scuba-dived, bungee-jumped, and done several other things that you associate with reality tv shows.
Your friend on the other hand apparently cannot get enough of his fascinating stories, and you decide to call it a night and go home to your nice, compassionate, conservatively behaved man, glad not to be in the dating game anymore. The next day you find out that your friend, not usually prone to acting so fast, had a wonderful first date with Mr. A**hole and is planning to see him again as soon as possible. Why?
There are many possible answers to this question, but they all boil down to one thing in the end – chemistry. Relations between men and women have been molded by millions of years of evolution, and we are genetically predisposed to certain behaviors and preferences.
First of all, we (I’m speaking as a representative of all women in this case) look for protection in a mate. We need to be able to raise our children feeling safe and secure from harm and attack, and the best way to do that is to choose a companion who will be aggressive and capable of action when it is needed.
In modern terms, the guy who comes on strong is likely to be the one that can keep you safe too, so the repellant behavior is overlooked for the long-term benefits.
Another bad-boy quality is a competitive nature, often tied up with risk-taking. What women see in this type of thing is a mate who can provide security because he will be the winner.
An ambitious attitude, risk-taking behavior, and a drive to be successful all add up to a good provider who can take care of a family. That’s the underlying motivation of course, but in reality this type of person doesn’t stick around long enough to show that he’s a great provider and protector. But the chemistry and the evolutionary impulses are impossible for many women to resist.
Other reasons women are attracted to bad boys are harder to understand, but just as prevalent and explanatory. Women feel flattered to be chosen by the alpha-male type, and see their selection as proof of their attractiveness and worthiness.
We put a lot of emphasis in our culture on physical attractiveness, and many women are pulled in despite the evidence that a man is egocentric or unsavory – as long as he’s a handsome, a**hole, it doesn’t matter. And of course, there’s the nice guys are boring syndrome and its corollary – bad boys are interesting and unpredictable.
But the problem is that they are also usually unfaithful and unable to commit. So make your choice wisely, and try not to listen to those chemical signals.