Women and Bad Boys: What
Is The Attraction?
If you're a woman, you may be saying "hmmm" as you hear
these words. You know you shouldn't, but you just can't help yourself.
There is just SOMETHING about these guys that draws you
in, even as your head tells you to "beware"!
So, what exactly is the attraction? It's not necessarily
that they are more physically attractive or smarter or more successful
than the "nice guys". In fact, they can have fewer of these qualities, yet
be harder to resist.
So what is it? Let's begin by defining these guys. This
term is generally applied to males who treat women poorly. Do these
behaviors ring a bell?
*calling at 8:30 on a Saturday night to ask if you want to
*not showing up for a date- followed by no phone call or
*never having any money when you are out
* forgetting or ignoring your birthday and other important
*flirting openly with other women when you are together
*hitting on your good friend(s)
*making booty calls at 1am, after they've had a night out
*is doing time for a serious felony
Instead of asking "what is it about these guys"; let's
instead examine what it is about the women who can't resist them. The
following are actual statements from women who have a history of
attraction to these guys. See if any of these sound familiar.
* "It's never BORING with him. He's unpredictable and
* "He's strong, aggressive and self-assured; I feel safe
* "It's not his fault; he's trying to get his life
* "I haven't met anyone else that makes me feel the way he
* "He's so charming and passionate."
* "He tells me how much he likes me, so he must really
feel something for me."
* "He needs me."
* "He doesn't come across as needy and desperate."
* "I can't believe I've attracted someone like him."
Now, on the face of these, they seem pretty benign. We all
seek at least some of these traits in the men we choose. So, where's the
Essentially it's in his inability to meet the woman's
fundamental needs. She is the one doing all (or most) of the giving. The
question then lies in; "what's in it for her?"
The answer can be found by exploring three basic issues:
*level of self-esteem
*capacity for intimacy
*roles that she has been in throughout her life
If a woman feels good about herself, she chooses a mate
who communicates both verbally and non-verbally to her that she is valued
and respected. She won't allow this other person to undermine her positive
self-worth. She believes in her ability to participate in a healthy,
If she doesn't feel good about herself, she chooses
someone who reinforces her negative self-beliefs.
If a woman is capable of true intimacy, she is open to the
true availability of the other person. She wants him to be a full and
active participant in the relationship. She can allow herself to be open,
vulnerable and able to take as well as to receive all that true intimacy
If intimacy is difficult, she choose someone who is
distant, hard to connect with and not emotionally and/or physically
If a woman has had a healthy role in her relationships
since childhood, she will choose someone with whom she can continue this
If a woman has been too long in the role of rescuer,
caregiver or the one who sacrifices for the good of others, this will
probably be the role she will seek out in her relationships.
Fortunately, most women fall somewhere in between on these
issues. So the task is to evaluate yourself in each area and decide on a
course of action that will help you to choose a "nice guy", who stirs your
senses and meets your needs while being truly available for a real
Begin with an assessment of what you value most in life
and cannot live without.
http://www.consum-mate.com/newslets/02oct.htm for an article on
"clarifying and living your values".
Once you know what is most important to you and believe
that you are worthy of achieving it, you will have taken a giant step
towards finding the right partner for you.
Toni Coleman, MSW is a licensed psychotherapist and
relationship coach with over 20 years of experience. As a recognized
expert, Toni has been quoted in many local and national publications
including: The Chicago Tribune and The Orlando Sentinel newspapers and
Family Circle, Woman's Day, and Star magazines. She has been featured on
ABC News; Discovery Health Channel and AOL Online. As a weekly
contributing commentator on the KTRS Radio Morning Show, (St. Louis, MO),
Toni offers dating tips and relationship advice in response to listener
feedback. Toni founded Consum-mate.com in 2002 to offer singles the
knowledge and tools they need to find and sustain healthy, lasting love
relationships. She is a member of The International Coach Federation, and
The International Association Of Coaches.