Why do we fall for bad boys?

“Zia with his fake driver’s licence, Marlboro cool, thick lashes and curly hair. Zia who said that the point of smoking was to draw attention to your lips. Which I was quite happy to do, except Karim said he’d tell my parents.”

Given a choice, who would you choose – Zia or Karim? Well, I’d go with Zia; because I’m the kind who is attracted, addicted even, to toxic, emotionally unavailable men who wreak havoc on my life and scar my body and brain in equal measures. Add to that my deep-dyed, self-sabotaging Libra character. We take the cake when it comes to complicated relationships. So, what is it about these dangerous dudes that makes them so irresistible?

According to author Shahida Arabi, toxic partners are ‘masters of intermittent reinforcement’, a schedule of rewards rather than a consistent schedule. You see, the whole game of unpredictability becomes more alluring to the brain. So the nice guy who does cute things for us consistently feels less attractive than the bad guy who vanishes into thin air, makes false promises, suddenly withdraws his affection and drives us crazy with his hot-and-cold demeanour.

But, unfortunately, it’s the badass bro who is often so hot in bed. The good guy will try to please you without upsetting the apple cart, but the bad guy, the forbidden fruit, will pin you down and consume you with his raw animal instincts. He could be anything from a rebellious rider to a macho gym trainer or a heavy boozer – but, apart from the unkempt stubble, super hot jawline and devil-may-care smirk, he has that streak of mystery and danger that is so hard to miss.

Unless he’s some sort of a psychopath, most bad boys are commitment-phobic, which saves us the unwanted drama. Plus, they’re wild and spontaneous. With them, you’ll do the unthinkable – make steamy love in running cars, embark on daredevil trips, smoke up in a graveyard in the middle of the night. You’ll know that the superficial charm won’t last, but you’ll make most of the short-termed glimmer anyway.

The fundamental reason why our tribe is so attracted to the bad boy is our troubled relationship with our fathers and the unmet childhood need from the opposite sex. The same goes with him. You’re the overbearing mother who keeps throwing herself at him, and he’s the distant father you could never get enough of.

Do these relationships really work? It depends on your appetite for thrill, but usually, no. You’re going to eventually get sick of the delusions, the chase, the bouts of narcissism and imprudence and of walking the detrimental path that leads to nowhere. Adventures are good as long as you know where to stop.

Have fun till it lasts, I suggest!

Have you every been with a bad boy? We’d love to hear about him in the comments section.


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