Science Proves We Love “Bad Boys” For A Reason

Bad Boys. We love to hate them and hate to love them.

To clarify, when we say ‘bad boy’ we’re not talking about the guy that your cousin let move into her apartment after two weeks of dating who then sold her laptop and furniture while she was at work to support his gambling problem. That guy was a con artist.

The bad boys are the ones that operate on their own schedule. They are handsome, know exactly what to say and when; They are altogether non-committal, emotionally unavailable, and great at convincing you that they can/will change. We’ve all had one (or two…or three) in our past, some of us might still see ours now and then on random Tuesday nights. But what is it about these Bad Boys that makes them so enticing? At the end of the day there’s nothing attractive about someone who won’t commit to you or anyone that’s unreliable, so why do we tolerate these sketch balls?

I’ve developed some theories and thrown in some input from friends and from you readers and I think we’ve got it down.

The Status

The boys that are renowned as “Bad Boys” usually have some sort of status about them. Maybe they’re the office superstar, on a sports team, or in a fraternity. They tend to be charismatic, hilarious and loved by all, despite their reputations. To some, a reputation is a really attractive quality for a partner to have. However, if that’s the appeal for you, keep in mind that any sort of ‘status’ is far from being a redeeming quality for horrible behavior.

The Chase

After talking over the embodiment and appeal of bad boys with a few of our readers and a few rando moms in the produce aisle of Target (who were super insightful by the way), most of them agreed that a big part of what drew them to these boys was the drama and chase. One day you think you might love him, the next day you’re listening to old Jojo tracks and posting a lot of Lemonade lyrics on Twitter. There is never a dull moment, never a routine, never a lack of Saturday brunch conversation material, and you never truly know what to expect. (Should we chalk that up as a thrill or a nauseating roller coaster ride?)

When It’s Good, It’s Really Good (You think.)

The thing about the noncommittal and unavailable behavior that BB’s display is that it will mess with your head and make it seem better than it is. Things with these boys are often highly over-romanticized because nothing is stable or guaranteed. Therefore, the mediocre things seem so much more like fireworks and daisies than they really are. Let me give you an example: Let’s say he hasn’t talked to you in three days then texts you inviting you to go with him to dinner with him and a few of his buddies. If you have spent the past three days feeling kind of sad and wondering if his sudden lack of communication meant that it was over, you’re naturally going to be all kinds of hyped up about a trip to Buffalo Wild Wings with him and three of his gross friends because this must mean something, right? In retrospect, however, a trip to BDubs with ‘the boys’ is not even a date, it is not a definition of a relationship, nor is it that exciting. Don’t twist it.

The Carrie-and-Big Effect

I do believe our favorite rom-com and TV shows may have done us a huge disservice here. How many of our favorite movies and shows have showed us that the handsome man who is buck wild, unfaithful, and dishonest will settle down and be the perfect boyfriend for the right girl? Answer: All of them. And let’s be real: no woman can change a man. Not only that but you shouldn’t have to. It’s not your job.

In short, the world will never have a shortage of beautiful, charming, leather jacket-wearing, smooth talking boys with selfish natures. We have known them since they were walking the high school halls in their cargo shorts and will continue to be introduced to them as we enter the suit-clad halls of businesses and corporations. They have no doubt given us plenty of memories and life lessons, but as we continue to know them, always remember your worth and know when the line has been crossed from Banter and Exciting Unpredictability to Disrespect. Good luck out there, babes.

Katie Allen

Contributor, Ball State University Major: Journalism/PR Her heart belongs to: Jesus Christ, Johnny Cash, and Vera Wang's new bridal collection You can find her: Probably listening to old jazz records and making a mess in the kitchen

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