Magic Bullets

Why women love bad boys

Just been reading 'bad boys' by Carole Liberman and Lisa Collier Cool - while listening to the excellent St Elsewhere by Gnarls Barkly. I hadn't noticed before how delightfully, deep, dark and fascinating the lyrics are.

I'm curious about the topic because nearly all the men I've known who've been natural at attracting women have been able to at least access their 'darker sides' - rather than hide from them. (Although there maybe no relationship between attraction and sustaining a relationship). And nearly all romantic heros at least start of as bad boys.

The books looks at the characteristics of really 'bad boys' from a women's perspective, what they get out of it and whether its possible to change his or her actions. It's written using fairly dark fairy tales as a metaphor for 'bad boy' types. Lots of mentions of kissing frogs, little red riding hood, the wizard of oz, the king of the sea, Cinderella, beauty and the beast, pinocchio etc.

So why do (some) women like bad boys?

It starts with Daddy?

The relationship you had with your father when you were young - and how you saw him treat your mother - serves as a role model for your adult romances.

In addition the following may play a role:

The allure of the unattainable

Men who are impossible to get seem like the pefect solution - you get the thrills of the chase, with no fear that you'll ever capture them.

A compulsion to repeat painful events from your past

Your fantasy is that, with the right rogue, you'll finally heal and move on.

The rescue fantasy

We may get hooked on a man that causes us pain because we want to save him from his pain, and be rewarded by his undying love.

An abusive childhood

A girl who is mistreated by her father may feel so worthless that she believes a bad boy is all she deserves.

A hidden desire to avoid intimacy

After all we can always blame him if our romance ultimately leads nowhere.

A secret desire to rebel

It isn't how right they are for us, but how wrong they are for our parents.

An attraction to melodrama

Bad men may lie, cheat or beak your heart, but at least they're never boring!

Vicarious pleasure

We get a voyeuristic thrill from seeing them do what we only dream of - act out our dark repressed desire to be bad, defiant or even dangerous.

The power of taming the lion

A very bad boy is like a raging lion with thorn is his paw. If you are the one to take out the thorn out of the lions paw, you will have tamed him by healing his wounds. This makes you - not him - the most powerful one in the village.

So what's the conclusion at the end?

Of course you want to fall in love - and yes, it would give you the geatest joy of all to be loved in return - but you need to love yourself first. No man can make you feel like a princess until you believe you are one already. Too many of us want to turn ourselves over to any lover who tells us his magic carpet can fly us away from all our problems, then discover that he's just another bad boy who has new ways of making us feel miserable. What we should do is stop rescuing rogues, and start rescuing ourselves, because once we've nourished ourselves with love, self esteem, and belief in our own magical powers, we're finally ready to make all our fairy-tale fantasies of love come true.

That is when we'll find the prince we deserve, and embark on the exhilarating adventure of living happily ever after.

You can buy it here (but note copies are very expensive)

see comments on my ecademy blog;

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