They are the backbone of so many movies and television show, the “bad boys” girls cozy up to. The clean-cut guys stand by looking bemused. I know I was drawn to these slick operators many times, preferring to take a little walk on the wild side. Rather than hanging with the young men my friends and family thought were better matches for me.

What makes a bad boy so deliciously tempting? Well, first off, they are a guaranteed way to get all kinds of drama going in your life. And there are times when simply nothing else will do. When you want to get back at a cheating boyfriend or show that nasty group of girls that you have what it takes to attract a real man the bad boys’ siren song is irresistible. During the beginning of your dating life, still living under your parents’ roof, getting under their skin for any number of reasons — primarily just being your nosy parents, in my case — is the primary reason to find the most sketchy guy possible. Boy oh boy does the dinner conversation hop when you bring him and his attitude to the family holiday table.

There is also their undeniable sex appeal. Bad boys are grooming for you, the good little girl who is dancing on the edge of their web, risking life and limb when they get tangled. These dudes are not into the preliminaries, they grab you as fast as you will let them. And they usually have just one thing in mind. And. let’s face it, you probably do as well.


Here’s the thing about bad boys, though. It is often just an act, a way of coping with the confusion and uncertainty of the dating life. For one reason or another they choose to at least resemble a renegade. Perhaps because they cannot manage or want to exhibit the more typical appeal of the jock or the class president. Be aware if you dabble with a bad boy that you may find a gentle soul underneath all that black leather and bravado. Take care as they are more fragile than you think.

I found over my dating life that the bad boys I became involved with were easily most interesting and worthwhile. Guys that are your mom’s favs are lots of moms’ favs. A generic that I eventually found to be much less desirable than eclectic men who attracted me. Because they are flaunting convention does not mean they are less likely to be kind, loving and committed. In fact I am not exactly proud to admit that I totally broke the hearts of a couple of “bad boys” who were hiding that heart of gold under affectations and insecurities.

They are more fragile than you think


At the end of the day I realized I needed to judge everyone, including the bad boys, individually. Not by the brash and “in your face” personas they were flashing to the world. When I took the time to really get to know these guys I found that they were intelligent and nuanced. Interested in many things the marriage material men found beneath their position. Loving, loyal, and above all, critical thinkers who were able to question authority and seek the best life for them and those they cherish — these characteristics are those my forever love, my husband espouses.

Had I passed by that glowering, simmering persona for the sunny “prize” everyone thought I should choose I would not have the interesting and full life I have today. And we are raising some terrific kids who look beyond the obvious, searching always for the real over the phony. Bad boys forever!