Reasons women like bad boys

What is it about those bad boys? Hollywood has always been filled with those seemingly irresistible and unattainable men, and so many romantic movies choose to highlight a woman's quest to land that seemingly untouchable renegade and call him her own. But why do so many women find themselves falling for bad boys in real life? The actual reasons may surprise you.

Women are scientifically attracted to rebels

While society may have you believe it's just the way that bad boys comb their hair, rock leather jackets, or walk into a room like they own the place, it's been shown that women are actually scientifically more attracted to men with deviant personality types. As noted in Evolution & Human Behavior, a study of nearly 1,000 men and women revealed that people with pathological personality characteristics, such as impulsivity, imprudence, and narcissism, had more sexual partners and an increased number of children when compared to those who didn't share these same personality traits. In other words, these seemingly negative characteristics can in reality be beneficial toward drawing more people toward these bad boys in a romantic way. And as a result, bad boys who live their lives as renegades who are up to no good are often perceived as more attractive and appealing.

Your biological clock is pushing you toward bad boys

If you're wondering why you keep finding yourself attracted to bad boys, it may simply be a result of your inner desire to have children. Interestingly, a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that women who are ovulating perceive men who are handsome and headstrong as more appealing mates. Additionally, ovulating women also believe that these kinds of quintessential bad boy characteristics, including an adventurous attitude and an alpha male mindset, make these men far better candidates as fathers and providers for their potential children. However, viewing bad boys through this type of ovulation lens can often lead to heartache and heartbreak, as many women can end up choosing to procreate with a man whose rebellious tendencies make him highly appealing and attractive, but in reality, he's unwilling or unable to provide a lifelong commitment because of these misbehaving ways.

You're afraid of commitment

In many cases, women end up falling for men who are unable to commit because these women are actually afraid of commitment themselves. And by being with bad boys who refuse to settle down, these women avoid the risk of getting hurt because they already know from the outset of their relationship that their time together will be short-lived. So if you're continually dating these unattainable bad boys, you're actually sabotaging any chance of developing a real relationship by deliberately picking and pursuing men you know are wrong for you. And while this approach may help you avoid the stressors, anxiety, and risk of heartbreak that are associated with long-term relationships, this kind of commitment phobia can prevent you from truly connecting with a man in a meaningful way that's both physically and emotionally intimate and fulfilling.

You have low self-esteem

Many women pursue bad boys because these women feel as though they don't deserve to have a deep connection and/or a long-lasting relationship with another person. And rather than trying to find a man who'll be there for them, support them, comfort them, and love them, women with low self-esteem often seek out men who they already know are going to treat them poorly because these women think that's what they deserve. Fortunately, there are steps you can take right now to help boost your poor self-image and conquer these feelings of self-doubt, such as focusing on positive thoughts, practicing mindfulness, and even volunteering at local charities. Further, a study in the Journal of Research in Personality revealed that having low-self esteem can actually lower relationship satisfaction for both you and your partner. It's never been more important for you to start valuing yourself and what you have to offer so you can finally find the right man who'll treat you right. You're worth it.

You're attracted to his confidence

Another reason why women like bad boys is simply due to the high levels of confidence these men exude. As noted in a study in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, people who feel good about themselves and have high self-esteem can appear more physically attractive to others. Specifically, a bad boy's highly confident demeanor helps him look even more handsome and appealing to the women around him. Plus, confidence is incredibly sexy, and self-assured bad boys often ooze a kind of sex appeal that keeps women intrigued. Along these lines, research in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin revealed that being extremely confident can help people attract a higher number of romantic partners while simultaneously helping them to dissuade others from competing with them for these potential love interests. In other words, a bad boy's confident nature helps him attract and appeal to more women while also deterring other men from competing with him for the affection and attention of these women.

You think you can change him

In many instances, women often fall for the bad boy because they believe they can change his rebellious and renegade ways. However, if you try to build a relationship based on your need and desire to change your partner's behavior, you're on a detrimental and destructive path. Many women are under the false impression that they can fix a bad boy's tendencies and mold him into the caring, considerate, and committed person they want him to be. But it's important to keep in mind that the best indicator of a man's future behavior is his past behavior, so if you're hoping to tie the knot with a man who's consistently shown that he doesn't want to be tied down, you're hitching your wagon to a man who doesn't want to get hitched. Not surprisingly, men don't want to be in long-term romantic relationships with women who want to change them, so now's the time to stop looking for your next bad boy to fix and learn to accept a man for who and what he truly is.

You're always attracted to jerks

Another key reason why women often find themselves pining after bad boys is that these women are consistently attracted to jerks. In fact, many women have unhealthy relationship patterns where they end up dating the same type of selfish and self-centered guy over and over again, even though this kind of man may be detrimental to their overall health and well-being. If you're a person who keeps falling for the same type of jerky guy over and over again, it's time to drop your bad boy habit once and for all. The first approach is to go outside of your comfort zone and start giving guys a chance who aren't your typical self-serving, bad boy type. While it may seem a bit ironic, the way to stop continually dating narcissists is to finally put yourself in a position where you're able to focus on your own needs, wants, and desires.

You're never attracted to jerks

On the flip side, many women find themselves liking a bad boy as a way to break free from their monotonous relationship history. For instance, if you're used to being with safe, predictable, and seemingly boring guys in the past, a bad boy can provide a thrilling new deviation from this dull and dry norm. Plus, bad boys can actually provide you with a new perspective and give you more insight into yourself and your values, as well as what you want in a partner going forward. In other words, dating someone who isn't necessarily your typical type is a great way to challenge your usual thinking and gain a new point of view while simultaneously giving you the opportunity to get in touch with your own relationship goals. If you're sick of experiencing mundane and underwhelming relationships, having the hots for a bad boy can help you spice up your love life.

Opposites do attract

One reason why women like bad boys is that many women are often attracted to men who are very different from themselves. You may find it highly appealing, exciting, and interesting to have a relationship dynamic where you and your partner are quite dissimilar from each other. And while it may seem as though these differences would make you weaker as a couple, research has shown that there's actually truth behind the saying "opposites attract." As noted in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, having increased similarities with your partner doesn't help to increase your likelihood of having a successful, happy, or long-lasting relationship. In fact, being different from your mate, whether through your interests, background, and/or religious beliefs, can actually help to create a stronger connection due to the ways in which your differences complement one another.

You're addicted to the drama

Women may also find themselves highly attracted to a bad boy because they're addicted to the drama that being in a relationship with an unpredictable, arrogant, and egotistical person can provide. After all, dating a bad boy can put you on an emotional whirlwind filled with highs and lows that can be both exciting and disheartening all at once. And in many instances, experiencing the thrill, drama, and anxiety that come from dating a bad boy can actually stem from your innate desire to get attention from others. In fact, acting in a dramatic way shifts the focus of those around you directly onto yourself and causes them to dote over you, care for you, and pull you out of relationship crisis-mode. If you're a person who feeds off of relationship drama, now's the time to break this unhealthy habit. Learn how to manage challenges and issues on your own without relying on friends and family, engage in positive thinking, and seek out potential relationships with men who don't fall into the bad boy category.

Do nice guys really finish last?

While there are many different reasons why women like bad boys, it's important to understand where nice guys fit into this romantic equation. After all, is being a gentlemen really a turnoff? The answer may surprise you, as a study in Evolutionary Psychology revealed that women place higher importance on altruism over good looks when it comes to choosing a partner for a long-term relationship. In fact, these women rated men who were caring and compassionate as more intriguing, appealing, and desirable life-long mates than guys who were handsome and charming. While a bad boy may capture your attention in the short-term, it's actually a nice guy who'll likely capture your heart for good in every respect.