I Admit It — I Like The “Bad Boys” Even Though I Know I Shouldn’t

I have a confession: I make really, really bad dating choices sometimes. I can’t even tell you how often I meet a guy who’s willing to give me the sun and the moon, but end up putting him aside in favor of a man who enjoys taking risks and doesn’t enjoy settling down. I’ve tried time and time again to erase my attraction for these classic “bad boys,” but this is why I just can’t quit them no matter how hard I want to:

  1. I enjoy the chase. I’m pretty much THE reason that there’s a stereotype about women not knowing what they want. On one hand, I love dating a sweet guy who I know won’t just up and leave me because he gets bored. But on the other hand, I’m almost addicted to being kept on the edge of my toes before I get into a relationship. Blame it on daddy issues or whatever else you want, but I accept that it’s a part of who I am for better or for worse.
  2. I never got that experience when I was younger. So many women my age have stories about dating that edgy rule-breaker when they were teenagers or young adults, but for the most part, I’ve always played it safe. I’d casually date a “bad boy” for a hot second, then chicken out and look for someone more my speed before things got too serious. I don’t know — Maybe I’m just going through a quarter-life crisis. There’s just a part of me that wants to be the rebellious girl I never got to be when I was younger.
  3. They resemble all my fictional crushes. I’m not-so-secretly a huge nerd, and in the books, movies, and TV shows I consume, I’m always attracted to the rebellious tortured hero. There’s obviously no way I’d ever listen to the voice of reason in my head that tells me that these guys would be awful romantic partners, and I usually get bummed out when I have to face the real world again and remember that these characters are 100 percent made up. Still, going after the real-life “bad boy” is as close as I’ll ever get to dating one of my imaginary husbands, so whether or not it’s a good idea, I end up looking for my happy ending with him.
  4. I feel weird without conflict. I hate myself for it, but the best relationships I ever had were also the ones that involved a lot of arguing and clashing personalities. I want so badly to be the woman who craves a healthy, stable relationship… and deep down, I guess I am. But there’s always some part of me that wants that fire-and-gasoline romance. When things are too peaceful in a relationship, I feel borderline uncomfortable. I know it’s something I need to work on if I ever want a healthy partnership to last, but until then, I’ll probably just keep falling for the guys who will frustrate me to my heart’s content.
  5. I like someone who brings out my wilder side. I’ve tried time and time again to go a little crazy and “enjoy my youth,” but usually after one night of going out and partying, I remember that I’m an introvert who gets tipsy after half a beer. The few times that I’ve let my freak flag fly a little have been thanks to the help of men who had this “wild” thing down a bit better than I did. It may not be who I am most of the time, but it’s definitely fun to see that part of me come out sometimes… and to have someone to share the memories with.
  6. I need a little chaos in my life. I enjoy a bit of unpredictability, but I don’t get a lot of it thanks to my pretty set schedule. Life gets boring for just about everyone sometimes, and so if I meet the type of guy who looks like he can help me spice it up, I get excited. Even when I know things will end in heartache, I enjoy things while they last when I find a man who knows exactly what I need to take a BIG step out of my comfort zone.
  7. I get bored easily. The only times in my life in which I’ve been the one to initiate a breakup were when I was dating a guy who was super sweet, but also too boring. Each time I decided to end things, it was because the sex, the conversations, and the overall vibe between us were so vanilla. I’m sure I’ll end up wanting a guy like that in the end, but for now, I want to have a bit of fun with the type of man who pushes my buttons and keeps me on my toes. He might be bad for me, but at least for a short while, I won’t find myself bored to death with my dating life.
  8. I’m miserable if I don’t have a “project.” Don’t even say it, because I KNOW that this is so unhealthy. It’s just one of my many flaws that I’m trying to work on, but also accept for now. I enjoy working towards goals, and whether I intend it or not, the men I date often end up making their way onto my endless list of projects. As a result, the idea of taming a mischief-maker is just too damn appealing to me. I have enough self-awareness at this point in my life to realize when I see a guy as work in progress instead of a potential partner, but it sure is hard to hold myself back sometimes.
  9. There’s something undeniably sexy about it. Even if you know better than to go for the bad boy type, you can’t tell me that you’re not the least bit attracted to him. The confidence and dominant personality those guys have has the unique ability to bring out the rebellious side of even the most innocent girls, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I love it. Just like some women prefer blue-eyed men or guys with “dad bods,” I just have an inexplicable preference for men who don’t walk the straight and narrow.
  10. I’m not looking to settle down. If I were looking for my future husband right now, I know I’d want to stay far away from the guys who I know are going to mess with my head and break my heart. But at this stage of my life, I know that the last thing I’d want is a man who wants to spend the rest of his days with me. Right now, I’m fine with dating men who I know I’ll only like for a short amount of time, so I’m not going to hesitate to go for guys I know would make terrible husbands… or even terrible boyfriends.
Averi is a word nerd and Brazilian jiu jitsu blue belt. She's currently hanging out in Costa Rica with her cat and a lot of really big bugs.