Why Are Women Attracted To ‘Bad Boys’? (And How You Can Attract Them Instead)

Everyone has that girl in their life that is clearly dating someone that’s not right for them.

He’s rude. Disrespectful. Doesn’t care about her. Constantly does stupid things that aren’t right for him, let alone for their relationship.

So when you step back and think about it logically, it makes no sense why these sorts of guys are able to attract so many girls. But what is it about them that makes them so appealing? Why do girls chase after bad boys, and what do they actually see in these men anyway?

It turns out, there are some pretty logical reasons – or at least, they make sense when you recognize them. So, in this article, I’ll be breaking these down, and how you can take on some of these same attractive qualities without making a jerk out of yourself!

1. They Crave Excitement And Dopamine

Perhaps the biggest reason that bad boys are attractive as a whole, is because they tend to live more unpredictable, more exciting lives.

Or, at least it appears that way.

It’s no secret that bad boys tend to ‘use’ women, and only spend time with them when they want something out of them. They are emotionally unavailable otherwise, and aren’t there for women unless it’s for selfish purposes.

This leads to two things.

First of all, when a bad boy does contact a woman, it’s usually to do something fun, exciting, or new. Now, I’m not saying this behavior is right, or will lead to the highest quality relationship in the long-term. But it does train her brain to associate this man with fun and excitement, which, especially with someone new, is more appealing than stability and comfort.

Remember that we are just impulsive animals, and don’t always prioritize our best long-term interests over short-term gains.

Anyhow, this rush of excitement also initiates ‘the chase.’ We obsess over the things we want but can’t have, especially if we believe that we can attain them at some point.

Attention from bad boys releases a hint of dopamine. Dopamine is released when we attain a reward, but also when we anticipate attaining a reward. And since bad boys are selfish, girls don’t get that reward often enough for it to become boring or unexciting.

In fact, dopamine is released in higher quantities when you try something, but don’t get the reward each time.

Anyhow, dopamine rushes are the core of what makes bad boys appealing to many women. Dopamine is the same hormone that lies at the root of all addictions – to porn, to MMOs, to hard drugs.

And unfortunately, to the attention from bad boys too.

If you want to learn more about how dopamine controls our lives, I highly recommend the book ‘The Molecule Of More’ by Daniel Lieberman and Michael Long.

2. They Are Living Out Their Inner Rebel

Interestingly enough, one study showed that girls that were never allowed to express their emotions when they were growing up, were more likely to be attracted to bad boys later on in life.

It’s natural for teenagers to go through rebellious stages, where we lash out against authority, do things we’re not supposed to, and live life on the wild side a little bit. But due to harsh parenting, not everybody got to do this.

We are often attracted to qualities in people that we wish we had. If we wish we were a little more daring, a little more outspoken and so on, we’re more likely to be attracted to potential partners that share those same qualities.

Picture a young girl with harsh parents, that always expected her to be on her best behavior. She wasn’t allowed to lash out. She wasn’t allowed to express her emotions.

Being with a ‘bad boy’ frees her from the pressure of having to be a ‘good girl’, something she was forced into all of her life.

Thankfully, just like teenagers’ rebellious phases naturally fizzle out, so does seeking out bad boys. As women age and become more mature, they are less likely to seek out bad boys in general.

3. Their Past Relationships Bored Them

All of us crave some sort of fun and excitement in our lives. Especially in the modern world, where we go out less than ever, we’re stuck working mind-numbing jobs we don’t care about, and social media has made us more connected – but also more distant than ever before.

It can actually be beneficial for both men and women to date many different types of partners, to figure out what they actually want and need out of a relationship.

If a woman dated many ‘nice guys’ in the past with stable but boring routines and lifestyles, they may seek out a bad boy for the sole purpose of shaking things up, and trying something new.

Remember, it may look like bad boys get a lot of women, but there aren’t a whole lot of bad boys compared to good men, and the relationships they have don’t really tend to last.

Anyhow, the point of this article is not to make you feel like you need to change who you are. If a woman doesn’t appreciate your true personality, then she doesn’t deserve you anyway. And ‘faking it’ can be detected by a woman a mile away – it actually makes you appear even more insecure.

But what can you do to make your life more exciting? Do you have an active social life and things you’ve got going on already? Or, are you expecting her to be your entire social life herself?

This isn’t appealing, or attractive. Bad boys tend to have bigger social lives due to their extroverted and confident nature. But this has nothing to do with being bad.

You can live a more exciting life without changing your personality. And you can be sure that if you do, more women will want to come along for the ride.

4. They Like Dominant, Assertive Men

This is not true for all women, but generally speaking, women find dominance and assertiveness as attractive personality traits.

This goes back to our caveman – or should I say cavewoman days. We needed to find mates that could help ensure our survival, and keep us protected.

Leaders. People who are willing to speak out and stand up for what needs to be done. People who command control and won’t let people walk over or take advantage of them.

Confrontation is uncomfortable. But bad boys are so used to it, that it doesn’t bother them anymore. They may appear like loud-mouthed aggressive jerks, but if that person is on your side – well, it is valuable when it comes to surviving.

5. They Believe They Can ‘Fix’ Them

This one again, comes down to dopamine.

Even if someone has a bad reputation of being a womanizer or even downright abusive, certain women are drawn to ‘fixer uppers.’ They want the pride of being the one that finally gets them to change their ways, to get them to settle down and become a good man, to ‘tame’ them.

Of course, this never works out. You can’t force someone to change – people only change if they want to.

Winning more of a bad boy’s attention, or getting him to change his behavior gives you the excitement of winning a reward, or the satisfaction from finishing a project. And since it never happens, this keeps women in ‘the chase’ we talked about earlier.

Actually, some people are addicted to the ‘chase’ period itself, and the romantic roller coaster it provides. With nice guys who are chasing after a woman, this ‘chase’ period is nonexistent. They get together, and he immediately is ready to do whatever she wants, however often she wants. This feels good, but can quickly become boring for people addicted to the chase. And after the ‘honeymoon’ period of the relationship is over, people get bored, and they break up. This is true on both sides.

Bad boys are the polar opposite. The ‘chase’ period is longer, and may only end when the woman finally gives up – or jumps to someone else they believe has more potential to fill whatever need she has.

6. Their Parents Were Narcissists

Finally, girls who were raised by narcissistic parents tend to chase after bad boys more than those who grew up in a stable, loving family.

We often look for partners who are similar to our parents. This feels safe, secure, and we understand them. We know what we need to do in order to be rewarded with the love that we need.

Many girls that were raised by narcissists had to behave a certain way, or do certain things to ‘win’ a parent’s love, even if only for a moment. Oftentimes these households have lots of emotional highs and lows. For example, perhaps parents got into fights or arguments, but then were forgiving and loving afterward.

If you only ever got a hug after you were yelled at – or the love was conditional on you behaving a certain way, that can really mess with someone.

These types of girls are often quick to start arguments or drama over absolutely anything, just for the sake of doing so. Hence, seeking out bad boys, who naturally act this way on their own.

It’s sad, but it has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with the way they were raised.

Closing Thoughts

You don’t need to become a bad boy to attract women – nor should you.

However, I think there is a lot to learn from the things they have in common. Bad boys are confident, they live exciting lives (or, at least it appears that way), and they aren’t reliant on their partners to fulfill every emotional need that they have. These are all traits you can work on yourself, without needing to change or fake who you are as a person.

Remember that bad boys may appear to be pulling in women now, but these relationships don’t last, nor do they lead to long-term satisfaction. As women naturally mature and realize that nothing good comes from dating a bad boy, they tend to seek out better men as time goes on. So if you’re still young, hang in there.

Want to learn more about positive traits that can help make you more attractive? Check out my article on what attracts women to older men as well – it makes great supplemental reading after this article.

Good luck out there, and be patient! The right one will come.

~ Lexi

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