Last week a friend of mine claimed that a lot of women were idiots when it came to men, not only for choosing losers, but sticking with them long after they should. There wasn’t really anything I could say to defend myself and my gender, because sadly, he’s right.
I think there are 2 main reasons for why women like bad boys (aka Losers, since I’ve never met a bad boy who wasn’t a loser). One reason is what I like to call the Florence Nightingale Syndrome. Florence Nightingale became a nurse during the 1800s against her family’s wishes. She was from an upper class family and nursing was something people from lower class families did. Now Florence didn’t actually fall in love with any of her patients; she simply cared deeply for them and had a great passion for nursing.
Women who fall in love with bad boys take on the role of caretaker, nurturer, doormat. They think they can change him, make him a “better” person, kiss away the demons that haunt him. They truly believe he’s misunderstood, rough around the edges (with a little TLC we can smooth those out), and been dealt a bad hand in life. They know with all their hearts that he’s simply a victim of circumstances: “If only he didn’t have that bitch ex-wife demanding child support for their 6 kids.” “If only his father hadn’t been an alcoholic womanizer, he might have gone to college, instead of joining a gang.” And the excuses go on and on.
We women love to make excuses for our men. We make excuses for their bad behavior. I did it all the time for my ex. “He didn’t have a proper role model growing up to show him the right way to do things,” I’d tell people. So I took on the task of showing him how to take responsibility for his life. I was 29, and honestly believed men could change with just a little “guidance.” The problem was once I took on the role of caretaker, it became my role for the life of the relationship. The dynamics never changed. So when I popped out my son and suddenly had this little being completely dependent on me 24/7, guess what happened? I didn’t want to take care of a man-boy anymore; I needed him to step up and be 100% man. But because I had always treated him like a little boy, he didn’t know how to be one.
Lesson learned: It’s okay to take care of your man in the kitchen and the bedroom. Other than that, he’s on his own. He has demons? His demonic ass needs to go to therapy. He doesn’t know how to manage money? There’s this beautiful thing called Google—Have him Google “Money Management Skills.” Bitch ex-wife? Try Mediation through the Courts. Felony on his record? You’re on your own for dating him in the first place.
I have since learned to never take on more than I should—life is just too damn hard. I didn’t win any medals for being a super great person. And my ex won’t be at my bedside when I die.
The second reason women fall for bad boys is because they want some excitement in their mundane, bogged-down-by-routine lives. Bad boys are unpredictable. You never know when, or if they’ll show up. And we all know how hot it is to be treated like crap, especially if we’re used to those boring, nice guys, right? And the best part of bad boys? The sex. There’s nothing like passionate, angry make-up sex up against a concrete wall in the middle of a dark alley.
But here’s the thing: The bad boy is so good at sex because 1) He has lots of practice, all the time, with lots of different women, and 2) That’s what he puts his energy toward, instead of a career, education, or cooking classes.
The moral of my diatribe? Bad boys are fun in your 20s (as long as there are condoms involved); They should be used infrequently in your 30s, until you finally realize through lots of therapy that whatever behavior you allow will continue, so you kick him to the curb; And if you’re still dallying with bad boys in your 40s or 50s, you need to think of them like disposable douches—to be used once and then promptly thrown away.