Love, Heartbreak

Why Guys With High Conflict Personality Types Are So Frustratingly Hot

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Why Guys With High Conflict Personality Types Are So Frustratingly Hot

Among the frustrating dating patterns that we can experience is the allure of the infamous bad boy.

So, why do we keep attracting the wrong men with a high-conflict personality type — and what keeps us coming back for more?

What is a high conflict personality?

According to Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq., co-founder, Chief Innovation Officer and Vice President of the High Conflict Institute, people with high conflict personality types "have a pattern of high-conflict behavior that increases conflict rather than reducing or resolving it."

RELATED: 10 Brutally Honest Reasons You Keep Falling For Complete Losers

First, let’s talk about the reasons bad boys suck us in to begin with, then I’ll go over how to stop attracting the wrong guys so you can find true love.

Here are 8 reasons why women are so attracted to bad boys with a high-conflict personality.

1. They're confident.

Bad boys are so attractive in the first place because they exude magnetic confidence. They don’t give a toss what we think — and this is exactly why we’re drawn in. Confidence is awareness, the main factor in attractiveness, and bad boys usually have it in spades.

2. The sex is hot.

Sex with bad boys is usually hot because they’re so confident. We wouldn’t get hooked on them so easily if there wasn’t a chemical bond aspect to the whole thing.

3. We think we can fix them.

The classic bad boys song and dance about his "damaged past" makes us want to get closer and heal that deep well of pain causing his high-conflict personality with our love. This isn’t possible and is actually a codependent, maladaptive pattern. But often we still want to try, anyway...

4. They're unpredictable.

I’ve talked about the law of intermittent rewards before since it has a lot to do with our behavior in relationships — and how it works to screw us over. Basically, we will keep doing something if we’re only rewarded some of the time without any discernible pattern.

When it comes to dating a bad boy with a high-conflict personality, when we contact him or hang out, sometimes we’re rewarded. And sometimes we're not. The unpredictability and drama of it makes us want to keep trying.

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5. They say what we want to hear.

Because bad boys do whatever they darn well please, we’re often sucked in by lies, half-truths, and straight-faced statements like, “Oh no, I’m not dating anyone else — but babe why do you want to label it? Let’s just enjoy ourselves.” This kind of crap just rolls off the bad boy's tongue. Often, it’s exactly what we want to hear.

6. They're a challenge.

At our most masochistic, getting the bad boy to turn good becomes a challenge that we’ll undertake for the simple possibility that just maybe we can be the woman he “changes for.” It seems like convincing someone with a high-conflict personality to change for us would be a way for him to prove his love.

7. Their games give a false sense of hope.

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Human beings want what is denied to them. The bad boy shows us how great it could be with him, then he invariably snatches it away, making us want to push to get him back. When we’re off balance and striving this way, we're distracted from the fact that he’s really just acting like a withholding jerk who will never actually meet our needs. But he hints that he will, so the cycle of push-and-pull continues.

8. The drama is addictive.

Sometimes, we court relationships with high-conflict personality types because conflict is distracting. Discord eats up so much of our time and energy that we’re temporarily exempt from worrying about the future. Drama provides a temporary refuge from real life.

Instead of focusing on what we really want in the here and now, drama lets us stall. Drama is creative life-fulfillment procrastination. The bad boy plays right into this since his high-conflict personality can be relied on to provide heaps of upheaval and potential devastation.

RELATED: The Brutal Truth About Falling For The 'Bad Boy'

So, how do you stop attracting the wrong guys so you can find true love?

Despite our best efforts, we sometimes keep attracting the wrong men over and over. This usually happens until we establish firm boundaries that disqualify people who show signs of having a high-conflict personality that would be bad for us.

So, how do you rule out the bad boy instead of getting tangled up with one?

  • Sharpen your lie detector.

If you continually find yourself with these characters, there were likely red flags flying in the beginning that you blew right past. If you sense that Mr. Sex Bomb is a player, listen to your intuition. Watch for grandiose stories and large gestures meant to win you over.

  • Choose compatibility over chemistry.

Chemistry can grow as you get to know someone better. However, it’s unlikely that you’ll actually become more compatible with someone over time. Bad boys usually provide a glimpse of something that we want and then snatch it away. Real compatibility — i.e., wanting the same things as someone else — doesn’t wane. It simply is.

  • Get excited about your own life.

When women complain of always attracting the wrong men with a high-conflict personality, one thing they mention to me over and over is that they “get bored” with regular men, so these firecracker disaster guys seem so attractive and different.

Prevent this by getting passionate about creating an awesome life of your own. When you’re passionately interested in your own life, the bad boy will represent a hazard rather than a creative way to stave off boredom. Stop writing off stable men as boring.

  • Absorb the mantra, “Love does not equal drama and pain.”

Okay, repeat after me: “Love does not equal drama and pain.” Tattoo it on your arm if you have to. If you’re experiencing drama and pain, this does not mean that you’re “suffering for love,” it means something is wrong. When you feel bad, this is a sign that things aren’t going well, not that you need to try harder.

  • Look for patterns.

Does everyone you date treat you the same way in the beginning?

Do you always act on “butterflies” or “sparks,” or something else?

If you look at what’s alike about the guys you date; usually, a really clear pattern will emerge. If you go against this pattern or feel yourself getting sucked in by the same tactics, take a step back. The bad boy will try to move things along at his own pace, so slow way down.

  • Take a wait-and-see approach.

Don’t commit, jump into anything, or declare any dude “The One” in the first few months of being together. Bad boys (and psychos) will either be totally glib about commitment and refuse to take it seriously, or they’ll push for it right away to tie you down and obligate you to stick around. Obviously, neither is a recipe for success.

Time is your ally. You’ll learn everything you need to know if you sit back and pay attention without doing anything permanent.

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Elizabeth Stone is an author, relationship coach, and founder of Attract The One. Get to the bottom of your relationship with your free copy of her e-book Why Men Lose Interest and daily email series.

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This article was originally published at Attract The One. Reprinted with permission from the author.