Some of my clients have a wonderfully confident mindset that is similar to Chip and Joanna when they come across a ‘fixer-upper.’ They see all the potential that can be realized once the problems are resolved. These women view “bad boys” like diamonds in the rough that just need a vigorous polish to smooth out the rough edges.
Once this is accomplished, all of the man’s wonderful qualities are bound to shine through.
Unlike a house in need of renovation, however, these men have a mind of their own. Most are very familiar with women who would like to bring out their finer qualities. They relish the opportunity to engage in that type of struggle wherein they ultimately determine the outcome.
Seldom do they allow someone else’s belief in them to precipitate positive change: that would be an act of submission. They would be showing weakness by giving in to the will of another individual.
The third reason is that some women become involved with these men is that they lack confidence. These women are usually aware of the man’s flaws but overlook them believing that it would be difficult to do better. They question whether men without these flaws would really find them of interest.
Enter the bad boy: after one or two relationships with this sort of man the woman becomes even more convinced that she would be foolish to aim higher in setting standards for the sort of man with whom she hopes to have a relationship. Aiming higher, she reasons, would only lead to greater heartache.
Less frequent than the preceding three, this next dynamic involves women who have a fear of intimacy. It is not that they consciously select men who are unlikely to form mature relationships, but nevertheless they find in the bad boy a certain sense of comfort and fit with their needs. Having a relationship with a “bad boy” is safe inasmuch as it seldom threatens the uncertainties that are attached to intimacy involving deeply rooted commitment.
Unfortunately, this trade off comes with a very heavy price.
The last group we look at are those women who feel perpetually anxious. Life seems threatening… and for some, given their circumstances, that perception is correct. They have a strong desire to be with someone who is tough enough to face the world and punch back when necessary.
In itself that is not a bad quality to look for in a partner or soul mate. In fact, it’s a terrific quality. The Bad Boy, however, is the wrong applicant to select for the job. He is primarily interested in punching back at what disturbs him, not what disturbs the woman who has given her heart over to him.