The Bad Boy Complex: Why Nice Girls are Attracted to Bad Boys

By Kylee McGrane - 9:47 AM

Jim Stark. Draco Malfoy. Bender. Danny Zuko. Jake Ryan. Sebastian Kydd. Tim Riggins. They drink too much alcohol. They smoke cigarettes. They gel their hair. They lean against walls and the closest thing they have to a smile is a smirk. They have a reputation of being tall, dark, and mysterious and you can't help but genuinely want to know more. Hollywood is full of bad boys, and unfortunately, my heart belongs to each of them. But I'm not alone. Girls, especially girls like me (you know, the self proclaimed good girls) are attracted to bad boys. We're attracted to the guys that remind us of danger, the ones that have mystery in their eyes, and a secret on their lips. They remind us of fire. And almost always we get burned.

But what is a bad boy? For me, I define them as those boys that you know you're going to get hurt by. They're the reckless ones, the carefree ones, the one's you know are dangerous. Maybe they're the boys that chain smoke cigarettes or have a long list of girls that they've hooked up with. Maybe their the one's that seem emotionally unstable and unattached. They don't answer your texts or calls right away. They want to take you home one day and then ignore you the rest. They are the ones that leave you angry and frustrated because it seems like no matter how good you are, you're just not good enough for them. They leave you guessing and will frustrate you to no end because they're bad boys and that's what they do.
t talks about that feeling of, not shame on you, you broke my heart — shame on me you broke my heart. I knew. I saw you and saw red flags

Read More: Taylor Swift Opens Up About Bleeding ‘Red,’ Living Under a Magnifying Glass + Still Growing Up One Year at a Time | Taste of Country |

not shame on you, you broke my heart — shame on me you broke my heart. I knew. I saw you and saw red flags

Read More: Taylor Swift Opens Up About Bleeding ‘Red,’ Living Under a Magnifying Glass + Still Growing Up One Year at a Time | Taste of Country |

t talks about that feeling of, not shame on you, you broke my heart — shame on me you broke my heart. I knew. I saw you and saw red flags

Read More: Taylor Swift Opens Up About Bleeding ‘Red,’ Living Under a Magnifying Glass + Still Growing Up One Year at a Time | Taste of Country |

So what is it about bad boys that gets good girls like me to go crazy? For one thing, bad boys almost always fit the cliche that girls like guys that are tall, dark, and handsome. It's so overdone that it makes me want to roll my eyes, but it's so unbearably true. Our first instinct is our first attraction and girls like me swoon for guys that. We fall head over heels for the guy that looks and seems effortless because we confuse effortless with carelessness. Hollywood teaches us to look for the guy in the back with the "I hate the world" look on his face. They teach us that good girls, girls like me, with wide eyed optimism and hope should give out their love freely and openly to everyone and in some dramatic twist he changes his mind about getting blackout drunk on the weekends and rather wants to watch cute movies with you instead. Even though this might be every girl's fantasy, and as much as I would love to skip the "going out" scene for a calm night in, I don't ever think I'll ever be enough for someone to change, and quite frankly I don't know if I want to be because that's scary. I don't want to be someone's reason to get better or be a part of making them whole. I want them to do that for them self. I would just like to be there for the ride.

Girls also love bad guys because they ooze self confidence and self assurance. More often than not, bad boys seem unattached and unavailable, which makes them seem so much more attractive then the guys fidgeting with their hair. They seem like they know who they are and they know what they want and you want them to want you. But you know that they don't need you, and that's both bothersome and comforting at the same time.

When asking my male friends why girls like the bad boys, they gave me an answer I wasn't at all prepared for. "Because they want a project," they said, "girls think they can change bad boys". Is that true? Have I ever done that? I didn't think so, but maybe, just maybe, I have subconsciously. If I ever have a goal in a relationship, it's to be enough. I don't need to be the sun, the moon, and all your stars, but I do need to be enough for you to be happy. So maybe they were right. Girls fall for the bad boys because we want to be the drug they need instead of countless blunts and bottomless mugs of beer. We feel like they do these things as an outlet and instead we want to be the resource. Not only is this never, ever going to happen, but it's never going to be healthy. Sooner or later we have to learn that people aren't projects and we are not glue. We can't be responsible for trying to fix people or hold them together, even if it's with the best intentions. Honestly, I've never looked at a person and said "I want to make them better, I want to fix them".  But I have gone completely and totally out of my way to try to help someone that maybe didn't want, or need, or appreciate the help I was trying to give. We are people. We are not drugs or glue or strings to hold people together, especially one's that don't want it.

Then comes what is maybe the scariest, and truest, reason of them all. Bad boys don't want commitment. Maybe, I don't either. Maybe I'm scared of dates and relationships. Maybe I'm terrified by the idea that relationships have two paths: marriage or failure. Maybe by falling for the bad boys, I'm setting myself up for heartbreak and disappointment because I know it's inevitable because the first thought that runs through my mind when I meet someone I could see myself with is "well, how long will this last before he changes his mind or someone gets hurt?" Maybe I really want that boy to surprise me, but I know deep down that he's not going to. Because girls like me have been hurt before and we're afraid.

So maybe girls like me have a problem. Maybe we need to learn what it is we want and what it is that we're missing. Maybe just like the chain smoker and the boy addicted to drunk hookups, we rely on bad boys to self medicate because as much as we hate to admit it, we love the chase as much as they do. I could sit and complain and say that bad boys will never change, that they will always leave you guessing and you'll always get hurt by them. Honestly, it's probably true but it is so unfair to think that way. It's possible that one day a bad boy will wake up and want to make his life a little less, well, bad. Maybe not. Maybe girls like me are chasing this Hollywood ending that may or may not exist. Maybe we just want to be surprised with a little bit of magic and romance and be swept off of our feet into a whirlwind of emotions. That might sound crazy and unattainable, but maybe girls like me just aren't ready to give that up yet. Call me crazy, but I don't think we should. My advice to you (and me), is simple. Chase those boys that give you butterflies and make your cheeks turn pink whether they're the boys that post up at the bar in the back and keep you guessing or the one's that help you carry things in from your car without asking them to because that's what they like to do. Nice guys or bad guys, whichever you prefer, are really just people when it comes down to it and there's good and bad in everyone. Whichever you choose, just make sure that you are aware of your self worth, because it doesn't matter if they're good or bad, you should always be treated the way you deserve.

Infinite x's and o's,

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  1. Definitely will be taking a lot more chances after reading this article, after all, life is finite. Great read!
    Nice Article

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