Why We All Love A Bad Boy

I have seen swathes of women on social media saying that they always fall for the wrong guys. I have seen guys say they always end up with psychos. But is there any truth to this. Can we not help ourselves? Are we drawn to these qualities?

We love a reformed character

Okay let us start with Superman. Putting to one side the fact that Superman turns into a right royal douche bag when he is exposed to red kryptonite. For the most part he is pretty much a stand up kind of guy, right? Yet superman is really divisive. It’s not like Batman with his poor tortured soul. Everyone hates Superman, partly because he always wins but also because he’s just too clean cut. He is boring, not a bad boy at all. He lacks depth. So much do we desire this sense of depth in a person that it makes us overlook some pretty serious character flaws. Don’t believe me; let’s find some examples in media.


In this TV show it focuses on a young James Gordon starting out as a detective in Gotham city. The show introduces us to many of Batman’s most iconic villains; the Joker, Two face, Bane, they are all there in some form. Despite the fact it is about Gordon trying to end corruption in Gotham as a viewer you can’t help but root for the baddies! Not all of them, but Penguin and Riddler especially. They are bad people, they prove this time and time again, but because they show glimpses of humanity we are desperate to see them turn.


The same can be said in the cult sci-fi show Buffy the vampire slayer. Spike is a truly horrendous killing machine that only turns away from evil because an electronic chip in his head is preventing it. There isn’t even a moral compass to this guy. Yet we, as fans love the guy! And when he finally started making the odd kind decision we lapped it up. We were willing to overlook the fact that he brutally killed people and attacked characters that we cared about because he had become a bit less of a jerk.

Making a change

Part of the reason for this is that we as human being like to feel that we are making a difference. We want to think that we have it in us to influence a person’s behaviour; as if by sheer will we can alter people. This is why we quite often end up in relationships with less-than-savoury types. Because we feel we can change them into something better. And for some reason we are hard wired to think it’s better to be someone who has fallen into dark ways then somebody who has never given into temptation. Perhaps it is a belief that everybody is eventually going to go off the rails so why not go with someone who has got it out of their system? Who knows?

Some people love drama

And I don’t mean that as a slight. Some people aren’t happy with a life where they are sat binging on boxed sets all the time. They want to be living on the edge. Unfortunately being with somebody inherently bad is less exhilarating and more toxic.

Can you have the best of both?

Some of the characteristics we associate with these “bad boy” types we can find with good people too. You can have a man that is assertive, a man that stands up for himself but still cares and still puts you at the front of their world. And as for bad boys being better at sex? It’s just a myth! You can get some pretty damn good sex from nice guys too.

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