Why Women Love Bad Boys — And How You Can Compete

We all know the old story about the woman who fell for the bad boy, but few know the underlying dynamics that drive her to the bad guy.

Woman checking out man urbazon, Eldar_V via Canva

Bad boys, we all know at least one. You might also know how their bad boy image can be an indication of truly unsettling personalities lurking beneath the bad boy exterior.

Dating is so confusing and difficult to understand when you are wondering why anyone would choose to date a guy you know is nothing but potential trouble from here to Sunday. 

Yet, trouble is exactly what some people in the dating world are looking for in a partner.  


RELATED: 4 Reasons Why 'Good' Girls Are Obsessed With 'Bad' Boys

Going for the bad boy is nothing new. Just like men have a tendency to go for the "damsel in distress," women have a tendency to go for the man who is a little rough around the edges. So, why, exactly does this happen?


Here are four reasons why women go for the bad boy:

1. Women like challenges.

In some respects, women and men aren't all that different: In regard to enjoying a good challenge, this is especially true. Women are only human and humans have a tendency to always want what they can't have. A bad boy represents something that a woman can't have; thus, they can't help but seek them.

2. Women want to feel special.

Perhaps nothing makes a woman feel more special than when she—and only she—is capable of turning a devil into an angel. When a man changes who they are for a woman, it makes her feel incredibly special, not to mention powerful. Women who go for the bad boys are sometimes attempting to prove their specialness; they may genuinely believe that a bad boy will go good for the right person.

3. Women want to help the bad boy.

Just like a man enjoys helping the damsel in distress, some women enjoy helping the bad boys. They believe they can change them for the better; even when the bay boy proves his badness, many women aren't deterred. They keep on working towards that change, believing they are truly helping the man, instead of hurting themselves.

4. Women are foolish in love.

Certainly not all women, but some women (and some men too) are just plain bonkers. It's as simple as that.


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How to compete with a bad boy

If you are a guy who has been dumped by the woman of your dreams — and now spends your nights jumping from date to date with the woman of your nightmares — there is probably a strong chance you would like to reconcile. Being a bit of a bad boy can help.

Now, I, in no way, mean you should ever turn into an abuser, a jerk, or a genuinely immoral person. Instead, what I mean is this:

1. Give your girl a bit of a challenge.

This is easy to do: You simply must stop being someone that she can walk all over. Voice your opinions, speak your mind, and make sure that you get your way as much as she gets hers. Above all, don't act desperate; this will turn most women off faster than admitting your love for Dungeons and Dragons.


2. Make her feel special.

You don't need to be a sinner looking to be turned into a saint to make your girl feel special. Instead, there are about a million other (legal) ways to do it. Listen when she talks, ask her questions about herself, make a point to get along with her friends (yes, even Leslie who always snaps her gum and thinks the characters from Sex and the City are real people), and tell her why you love her (be specific, women love that).

3. Let her help you.

In a relationship, just as in life, everyone—both men and women—need a little help from time to time. She may need you to change her flat tire; you may need her advice on what to wear to an afternoon wedding (hint: not a tuxedo t-shirt). Let her help you when you need it, and help her when she needs it. Part of a relationship involves being each other's rock. So, be someone she can rely on and, let her know, that you rely on her too.

RELATED: The Truth About Why Smart Women Pick Bad Boys (Even When They Know Better)


Michael Griswold is a relationship and life coach who uses his expertise to help men and women heal broken hearts and find love again.