What is it about bad boys that girls love so much?

I ask this question sort of tongue-in-cheek because all of the girls that have pursued me in my youth have said I was a bad boy, which is ridiculous to me because I totally fall apart at bunnies and kittens and I cry about almost anything romantic and sweet. I’m a total wimp and a 12 year old girl could kick my ass. I am SO not a bad boy.

But, over and over and over, I read about girls falling for the bad boy. WHY?!?! I don’t get it. Why would you fall for an asshole who treats you like shit and gets in trouble all the time? Please, someone explain this to me, because if it’s a thing I need to write then I want to understand the reasoning. I just don’t get it.


I think it’s beacuse it’s kind of like a thrill. But you’re right, keep being like you are! I would so much rather have a sweet boy of a boyfriend the a bad boy.


It depends what type of bad boy you’re talking about. Brooding bad boy? Nice. Bad boy that doesn’t care about the law/steps outside of societies bounds? Nice. Abusive bad boy? No way.

It’s mostly just the thrill and personal taste. I found that “bad boys” treated me much better and I found them easier to connect with. Then again, all the guys I’m friends with are in no way bad boys.


I don’t get it either and I am a girl :woman_shrugging:t4:

Don’t get me wrong. Some of my best friends are total arses but they’re the biggest sweethearts I’ve ever met once one gets to know them.

Now, as to why a girl would date a guy who treats her like shit, I really can’t give you a good answer there. Some girls are just weird. Some are in it for reputation purposes. Some are in it because they want to play the guy and make him seem bad. It’s weird and the type of thing I stay away from cause it don’t make sense

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Because popular fiction has sold the idea that jerks often have a heart of gold and that if a girl manages to make a jerk less of a jerk, that shows how strong their love is or something.


Because they want to fix the bad boy and have him fall in love with them while he plays everyone else.
Basically girls want to feel special and like they saved someone.

But as girls get older and get actual dating experience they’re more likely to go for people who don’t seem problematic haha


Honestly, my husband picked up chicks for years by being an asshole to them and hitting on their friend. He scored so many women this way, sadly including me (minus the friend).

I think it’s because we see adventure from our predictable lives, feel like we need affection from a guy and fall for the challenge of making that happen from a man who doesn’t give it willingly and feel we can be the one to tame their wild ways.

But you don’t need to write it. There are bad boys everywhere and I think it shows young readers a less than healthy relationship. I would encourage most writers to write a couple who treat each other as equals, aren’t afraid to open up and have a mutual respect.

A guy can be tough when need be but still wear his heart on his sleeve. He can play by most rules while still knowing which ones he can break without causing anyone harm. He can be a bit of a trouble maker, but also responsible.

I’d rather see well rounded characters than over the top ones that fall into a cliche we’ve read time and time again.

Not to say a bad boy can’t be well written, but I think there are plenty of stories out there that cover that.

Wow, I hadn’t even considered that. That kinda of makes sense a bit.

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I have a question for you- I was wondering, what is the female equivalent to a bad boy??

I don’t know. One of my secondary girl characters in my first story is a total bad ass. She’s intimidating. Gives everyone the creeps cause she’s so stoic. She doesn’t emote very much and her dark eyes just burn into you when she looks at you. Everyone finds her really scary. And when push comes to shove, she shows she’s more than willing and capable to be alarmingly violent. She is super bad ass. But in the story, she is so beyond of any guy her age that it’s just a ridiculous thing that she would entertain any of them. She doesn’t need a boy to complete her, and she does’tn want one either. She is Becky. A force of nature. Plain and simple.


HAHA Becky sounds great, but I feel like she’s the female version of a bad boy in which most confident, badass girls don’t normally get heaps of male attention.

I mean as in you know how- i’m going to stereotype here- the bad boy is like a chick magnet sort of, like girls can’t help but want them. What is the female version of someone who is a dude magnet who people secretly wanna date, I always wondered. Like a cool girl or something

A bad boy isn’t really supposed to be an asshole who treats you like shit its a rebel and I’m going to get a bit biggoted when I say this but anytime I read a girl loving a trash dude my brain goes “thats some white shit right there” but really its a sheltered thing. People who live sheltered lives that lack danger or “excitement” will gravitate to it because they dont know its bad for it and always think they can change them.

I personally dont like bad boys but I do like guys who dont take no one’s shit and isn’t overly friendly but they have to worship me and be kind to my friends there’s no way around it.


They don’t bend to societal or even parental expectations, which gives them an air of wild bravery and “danger”, which can be thrilling. They’re fiercely independent, and generally, girls like men who aren’t clingy. Sometimes, they like men who aren’t interested in them at all XD

It’s also about escape. I think in reality, most girls prefer the charming man they can bring home to mom and dad. But in fiction, they can entertain the idea of dating the rebel without a cause. It’s forbidden romance. It’s exciting. It’s dramatic.

As writers, it allows for character development. The man can learn to lower his walls and perhaps find a reason to change his ways, and the girl can learn to shed her prejudice or to accept the darkest parts of herself.

And for the record, bad boy is not synonymous with toxic love interest. Wattpad seems to reinforce this idea within its popular teen fiction and these kinds of threads :upside_down_face:


I think that varies from guy to guy. There’s the total cliche of the blond cheerleader with the big boobs who parties and such, but, I think, for most guys, at least for me, we see the bad girl as someone who would drop us at any moment to go off with something more interesting. Not that it would automatically come to that (I’m not that shallow), but I think regular guys at that age would be wondering, why is this heavenly, bad ass creature paying any attention to me at all. There’s the football captain, the most popular guy in school, the super bad boy, etc, that she could be with, why would she be with a dork like me?

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HAHA So it depends on their type, listen romantic couples balance each other, so I’m sure if you’re friendly and a softy you could find a bad girl to balance out hmmm

Well, yeah, this is me. I mean, I’m 48 now, and have, over the past ten years, reconnected with a few of the women whom I was “friendly” with when I was a teen and they all basically say they liked me because I was a bad boy, but that I was sweet and caring and considerate of them. Is that really a bad boy? It confuses me, especially considering I see myself as a total pansy dork whom little kids love and who giggles like an idiot when there are kittens and puppies around.

Yes. A bad boy is a rebel. Maybe a bit hard to get to know. But he doesn’t have to be:

So maybe your question is instead, why do readers flock to toxic relationships?

Yeah, okay, that wasn’t so in stride of me to ask. I never considered myself to be an asshole to girls, but I was in trouble all the freakin’ time (hey, I got expelled from boarding school). But in my last year of boarding school, I was in a toxic relationship with a girl who just couldn’t seem to stay away from me, and I just couldn’t seem to stay away from her, even though we both knew we weren’t good for each other. That was like 30 years ago and I still can’t explain it, but in her senior year yearbook profile she called me out and said that I gave her the best and worst year of her life. I felt the same way. It’s a really, really odd thing how toxic relationships work.

So true

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I don’t get it either. I’m SUCH a good guy person. I love it when the guy is genuinely a good natured and sweetheart. Gosh, I’m a sucker for those. I always root for them, lol