1. TEXT OBSESSING. Constantly waiting for his text messages, rereading, and counting the time between each.
2. RATIONALIZING. You find yourself coming up with plausible reasons why he doesn’t call even though he says he will. “Well, he did mention he’d be traveling, and he’s got a lot of his plate right now.”
3. BAD BEHAVIOR AMNESIA. When he finally pops back into your life, you forget every previous transgression and fall back in love with hope that he may shape up.
If you answered “yes” to all three symptoms, you may have a case of bad-boy syndrome. No judgment here. Most women have the Achilles’s heel for this type of men. To prove this theory, Gregory Louis Carter, of Durham University in the UK, conducted a study where a group of 128 undergraduate girls compared the characteristics of two types of men: those considered to have a Dark Triad of personality characteristics (narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism) and another group who were considered “nice guys.” Both groups were equal in the looks department. Carter found that the majority of the women found the Dark Triad more appealing. And, not surprisingly, men with Dark Triad traits prefer short-term mating strategies to longterm relationships. Carter suggests that this may give some men an evolutionary advantage by permitting bad boys to spread their seed further.
For their own reproductive strategies, women are drawn towards men who are confident, stubborn, and are risk takers, at least that’s how they see the Dark Triad before their heart is broken by him.
But the big question is, why do women stay addicted to something that won’t meet their longterm relationship goals? The answer may be one of three things, or even a combination.
1. Addiction to Love. Some women have anxious attachment style where they constantly crave intimacy and fear abandonment. The remedy here is to learn to contain yourself and bolster your fears by choosing men who don’t leave.
2. Thinking you can change him. Many women with low self-esteem keep gambling on a bad boy because they believe they are the only one he shows his intimate self to. They aim to turn him into boyfriend material to feel special, as a way to increase their self-esteem. The cure here, is to raise your own self esteem internally. Many people use external validation (compliments from others, bad boy attention etc) to prove their self worth. But true self confidence is something that comes from inside. Learn to feel self pride about all they things you do, and attention from bad boys will become far less important.
3. He gives you a high. Bad boys are like a random interval reward system (what a slot machine in Vegas is based on) and every time he pays off, you get a little charge of dopamine on your brain. Breaking up with him is a lot like kicking a bad drug habit and the only way to do it is to go cold turkey. Cut off all contact and delete all online connections. Once you get through the withdrawal, don’t use him as a social drink.
Check out my video on Youtube “Why We Love Bad Boys,” and get a better idea if you’re dating one and what to do about it!
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