1. live2write
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    live2write Contributing Member

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    Falling in love with the bad boy

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by live2write, Oct 15, 2013.

    I recently finished a novel I had picked up from the book store.

    In the beginning of the book the main character was in love with Man#1. They have known each other for years and have only gotten as far as second base...no further. Shortly after the story the began the main character was kidnapped by Man#2 and was under his custody for 95% of the book. She(MC) was still thinking about Man#1 and was hoping that he would rescue her.

    Overtime she(MC) was falling in love with Man#2 and was trying to excuse it by calling it stockholm syndrome. It was revealed that she was growing distant from Man#1 because he was afraid of making a commitment with a girl that is not his kind. Man#2 was in love with her from the start and was willing to take a chance with her.

    End of the book, MC chose Man#2. Even with all her injuries she accumulated from either escape or from others hurting her, Man#2 had an ability to heal her.

    Here is my big question.

    Why would a Girl/Woman/Female, fall in love with a Boy/Man/Male who is considered as a rebel, bad boy when she already has something perfect or close to perfect?

    Inadequacies in the "perfect" relationship could justify the means. What makes the bad boy persona so intriguing?
     
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  2. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is a long-pondered question. I think there are probably a myriad of reasons, although one that I think fits a few of these sorts of situations is that there are some people who are easily bored. They crave excitement and really don't like the expected, routine day-to-day. A well-established relationship with a good person can often result in a lot of routine, and knowing the person so well, and thus knowing more or less what to expect from him/her, makes some people bored. With a bad boy, there's frequently a thrill -- he'll do something unexpected (sometimes good, sometimes bad). There will be ups and downs. Even though he'll make her cry, he'll also console her, and one thing the relationship is not is boring.
     
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  3. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    To me, this scenario goes *way* beyond rebel/bad boy. He's willing to take a chance with...the girl he kidnapped and is holding prisoner? Not a lot of risk for him there, as far as I can see, and also nothing that even remotely resembles a normal relationship.
     
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  4. MsScribble
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    MsScribble Member

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    Why do say 'bad boy' and not kidnapper?? Two different creatures.

    Why would a woman fall in love with a bad boy/rebel when there are better choices to make? Psychological reasons, deficiency in character.

    Why would a woman fall in love with her kidnapper? I have no idea, you would need to research or ask more educated minds than mine.
     
  5. live2write
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    live2write Contributing Member

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    The scenario I posted was an example. More of a general answer is good but the suggestions above so far from the example I can answer because I read the book and understand the whys.

    More of in General why do the Bad Boys always win the girl? Most often the girl is very fussy and frantic and slowly progressed to forming a bond? Stockholm Syndrome? or just Sympathy? Note: the bad boys I am not talking about are criminal in a way they are the anti-hero. I am talking about personality. In 80% of love stories I read there is always a Bad Boy he always get the girl one way shape or form.
     
  6. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I used to be very familiar with the Patty Hurst case and I have no doubts the Stockholm syndrome is real. I'm not sure though, when people get out of said situation that such a love would turn out to be true.

    There are plenty of disturbed (IMO) women out there. Just look at the ones that love and want to marry convicted murderers who are in jail. Seems like a mental illness to me but it's not defined as one that I'm aware of. And it isn't all that rare.

    Or, the story could be about an MC who is also a bad girl, think the female hit-man wanna be with Bruce Willis in "The Whole Nine Yards".

    But for a mentally healthy woman, especially in the fictional story like you describe, the kidnapper would have to be a desperate guy with a moral cause that the MC sympathizes with.

    Think the girl in "Red" who is kidnapped (again by Bruce Willis) but he's doing it to protect her.
     
  7. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    I was talking to a friend today, and she mentioned some peoples' tendency to self-sabotage.

    When confronted with the two options, perhaps it is less a case of what they want, but more a case of feeling that they don't deserve.
     
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  8. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    Hmmm...

    Well I think you first have to define what you're calling a 'bad boy'. I think there's a fairly drastic difference between a convicted rapist/serial killer/etc. (and the women who chase them) and a biker (though admittedly they can be one and the same). There are 'bad boys' that are simply rough around the edges, and there are 'bad boys' that you know are going to burn you. To effectively answer the question, you have to know which one you're talking about...
     
  9. ddavidv
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    ddavidv Contributing Member

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    If we're talking about a female's attraction to masculine, more 'alpha' type men, I have just the book for you to read. :)

    I just finished it a week ago. At first glance it will seem completely unrelated, but if you read the first few chapters it explains (in easily understood terminology) why women are attracted to men who on the surface don't appear to be good for them. I found it a fascinating study. The book is called The Married Man Sex Life Primer and can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1460981731/?tag=postedlinks04-20
    The book is for men whose wives are no longer attracted to them and how to fix it, but a good portion of it explains exactly the 'bad boy' attraction phenomenon. A way simplistic condensation is that the female is wired to find a good mate for purposes of reproduction and then caring for the offspring. It's a lot of caveman think that has been suppressed or eradicated by feminism and winds up hurting both men and women in a relationship. The book argues that there is a need for both the caveman warrior and the 'nice guy' in a proportional blend (and the percentage of the blend can vary from woman to woman). Though they may not want to admit it, women are wired to desire strong men who take charge, who will protect them, and will conquer them to some degree. Women typically find none of this in 'nice guys' who, while bringing all the caring 'beta' aspects of what they need, have no 'alpha'. Unfortunately, they easily find strong 'alpha' influences in Bad Boys (but little or none of the 'beta'). Whether or not you agree with the book's premise or advice isn't my point; it is the case it presents in quite logical examinations of how and why females respond to alpha and beta influences.
     
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  10. tarynalicia
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    tarynalicia Member

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    To be honest I think it caters to every girls need to find somebody who is just as flawed as they are. Bad boys in novels seem to be more human in the end and carry characteristics that every girl deep down hopes to find. They may be rude, disruptive and somebody you should never fall for but to me they seem more real than the perfect guy who's only flaw is not being able to commit.

    *pauses* After I read what I just wrote I know it sounds a bit ridiculous. Relating this to a real life experience right now, I am currently interested in somebody I work with and he isn't exactly the most pleasant around certain people. Most see him as intimidating and sometimes rude but I've seen a bit of a softer side to him that nobody else has and that's attractive to me. I call him out on his crassness and while he jokes about it, I know he takes notice. He could probably be seen as a "bad boy" character but there's just something about him that draws me in every time. Seeing the softer side makes him more likable, even if he has a reputation for being mean.

    Again, I'm rambling and don't know if this makes any sense...
     
  11. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Addressing a regular bad boy rather than a kidnapper, one theory: Many women tend to suppress their feelings and attitudes to a very great extent, IMO an unhealthy extent. Many women use indirect speech rather than say *anything* directly.

    For example,

    "Would you like the last dumping?" when they want the last dumpling and the person they're asking is supposed to guess that and insist, "Oh, no, you take it. Really. Really. No, you take it."

    Or, "Boy, it's really summer now!" when what they really mean is, "Could you please turn on the air conditioning?"

    Or, "Wow, they're enthusiastic!" to a song on the radio when they really mean, "I don't like that song; can you change the channel?"

    And so on and so on, adding up to a lifetime of suppressing and re-translating every feeling and idea, however trivial.

    Being with a person who says what they think and demands what they want and expresses anger and other negative feelings might feel like a vicarious outlet for these women.

    It's a theory.
     
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  12. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    @Trish
    Very true.

    @tarynalicia
    I'm generally wary, when I find myself attracted to someone because I think I have the power to change them for the better, or that they somehow treat me differently than the majority. I speak from experience, and it didn't end well. They end up resentful, and I end up being upset by their capriciousness in regard to others. (Can you tell this has happened more than once? I suspect there may be a pattern here, and one I'm desperate never to repeat again. I now find myself in the good guy camp, and I'm sure many good guys would be glad to hear me say it. ;))

    @ChickenFreak
    And not a bad one at that.
     
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  13. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    That's a good question... All I can say is I wish I knew! It probably would have helped me get a girlfriend back in the day XD... anyway I've never been in a girls head, but the closest I can guess are a few things (since most of my friends and family are girls/women):

    1. From what I know, most girls like the idea of being "the one" who can turn a bad boy good or to see his soft side and be loved even if he's got a hard exterior. Seeing that soft side on a man who doesn't care about other's rules may be like seeing an alpha male that has feelings and it means your special if your the one to see them.

    2. Girls might fall for the rebel bad boy to keep things exciting. He may hurt her feelings a few times, but when he's good he's really good.
    Alternatively, girls may willing to take this kind of up and down relationship either for the thrill or because they don't know any better, or don't think they deserve any better.

    3. A girl might fall in love with a kidnapper because of the love he shows her. He makes her different and she see's the good in him through the chaos he causes. The same for girls who date men in jail.
    Again, an alternative might be because it's all they've ever known.

    4. I've heard it many times, "good guys are boring and predictable." You can always count on them to do the right thing. They're the ideal that some girls wish their bf's could be more like, but in reality they don't want their bf's to actually be good because it's boring. There is no risk, no life-- like a heartbeat that's flat-lined at "good". These are the guys who often wind up in the friendzone because many (not all) are a bit more reserved, concerned about offending a girl or being rejected. Though there are some who make it.
    (I'm still young, I got time >_<)

    5. Some girls simply want a guy who will take control or don't know how to handle the "ideal guy".

    I honestly had a friend who had a friend who I tried to start something with, but then she decided to date my cousin... He is NOT the ideal guy. He's more of a bad boy/rebel type, but he certainly didn't treat her well. He even admitted it and did some things to mess with her on purpose just to see if she's stand up for herself.

    When I asked why she was with him through all the b.s. (she had been venting to me cuz I was stuck in the friendzone) she said "I don't know if I could handle having a perfect guy. I don't think I'm ready for someone that good." I think this stems from the fact that her mom's been with nothing but bad dudes for a little while. It's all she knows.

    Altogether, I have no idea, but one thing I know very well is that every girl is different and is attracted to different qualities. Most girls I know hate to admit they have a type (though most do at some level), they all say "it really just depends on the person."

    Go figure. I guess I understand women better than I thought... Nah! Every woman is her own mystery. There is nothing general about them. The only thing that's common to ALL women on earth is that they all want something (but the same can be said for men). :p But now I'm rambling, so I'll shut up.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013
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  14. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    When I think of a bad boy, I think of someone who's probably convicted, or on his way to serve some time in the funhouse, and more or less not "right" in the head, maybe they have anger management issues, maybe they're narcists. Those are the type of guys you will have a hard time having a serious relationship with. I don't think that's the type most women actually fall for.

    Bolding added. Now these type of people you can have a long-term relationship with, and I guess with non-criminal type of social transgression, comes masculinity, strength, animal-like power, blah blah, and many women like that kind of thing. Kind of like many men like big boobs, high heels, and miniskirts on their women. Maybe this is a common fantasy among women, and it's so prevalent in literature because 1) it sells 2) the author gets her kicks out of writing that kind of stuff.

    In real life, "bad boys" are rarely one-dimensional. A gun nut can be into poetry. A motorcycle club member with a penchant for war axe throwing can also be a fish enthusiast and know everything about fish tank engineering.

    Why do they win the girl? Maybe they're more confident? Better-looking? Decisive? I like a man who knows what he wants. In your example, an indecisive man sounds like someone I wouldn't want to have anything to do with either, and I'd pick the one who knows what he wants. Unless he had just kidnapped me.

    @Andrae Smith mentioned the need to turn a bad boy good, and this seems to hold true with some people. I guess it goes both ways. Damaged basket case girls make men feel like they've got something to protect, that's why they are so attractive to many a man. Unfortunately these attempts often go to Hell.

    P.s. And yeah, I wanted "a bad boy" too when I was a teenager. Unfortunately I was scrawny, infinitely plain, had eyeglasses, and spent too much time in the library or at the horse stables, so you bet your ass no bad boy was ever interested in me back then.
     
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  15. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Perhaps this same scenario is what leads to the related and equally, if not more, common trope of Girl falls for Some-Assembly-Required Boy.
     
  16. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    If we're not talking criminals, I agree a lot with @ChickenFreak and @KaTrian

    My take on it though - I've been in relationships with bad boys, good guys, mama's boys, and really bad boys (you do not want these, lol). It took me a while to figure shit out, lol. The main thing I had to come to terms with is that, in general, I'm a 'bad girl' and that changes things. I'm not the kind of woman that wants to change anyone, and I'm not the kind of woman that needs someone to take care of her. I know what I want, and I know how to ask for it (or get it, depending on the situation). In my experience (and my opinion, and, yes, I know there are a lot of generalities here, but this is purely from my experience and observations) :

    The really bad boys: are jealous, critical, and purposely hurtful. They will defend you, but they defend you as 'property' - if someone is rude to you or hurts your feelings they defend more in the way that they would if their car got scratched and your feelings are irrelevant. They will often even go so far as to 'defend' you from things you don't need defending from because they feel slighted - seeing as you're their property and all. He's manipulative to get a reaction - any reaction. He's desperately trying to be noticed and respected while trying to look like he doesn't care if he's respected or noticed. He's against authority, conformity, etc. because it's the thing to do, a way to make himself stand out - not for any other reason. He's a candy-centered badass. Put too much heat on him and he'll melt and cry like a girl. He's all filler, no substance. He'll give you a black eye for V-day if you're not careful.

    The appeal: He's aggressive and possessive. Many women take possessive, jealous behavior to mean that they're so loved they make the guy crazy and unable to control himself. For some reason this is a turn on to them. He seems to be Alpha, but is really more Omega than anything, since he largely operates out of fear of really being seen for what he is - a scared little boy. Women are an easy and all too accessible target for him to step on so he can raise his own self-esteem.

    The nice/good guy: is calm, sweet, and gentle. He loves you and he showers you in it on a regular basis, and you're in danger of suffocating (at least if you're like me, lol). He also won't defend you unless things are really really bad, because he dislikes confrontation, thinks that if you really wanted to be defended you'd do it yourself, doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings, etc. Although, if in a pack of males he may defend even the simplest of things because he feels it's 'expected'. He rarely says what he actually feels or thinks and so you're left trying to constantly figure out what he really means. He will often tell you that he's happy, even if he isn't, because he doesn't want to deal with the fallout. He doesn't make waves and he wants you to figure out what's wrong with him, to notice, etc. He's all about conformity, but doesn't have any more of a clue why than the really bad boy has for why he's against it. It's just 'what you do'. If you think this sounds like @ChickenFreak 's description of women - it does. And I'm not saying ALL nice guys are that way, but so many are.

    The appeal: He's kind and sweet. He's easy, in that you don't have to work too hard to get the appearance of happy out of him. Others will perceive him as a 'catch' and will constantly tell you how lucky you are. He's great for status in the female world (if you care about that). He also thinks that if things 'seem' fine they must be fine. He's not the type (again, generally) to analyze what's really going on. If the wheel isn't squeaky, he'll do the minimum to keep things going at this - acceptable - level. He won't try to make things worse, but he won't try to make things better either. This is the kind of guy that will bring you 2 dozen roses on V-day and buy you diamonds every Christmas, because it made you happy 7 years ago - so it should still work now - right? He's also the kind of guy that will stay where he isn't happy for 30 years because 'it's what you do' and he doesn't want the social repercussions of walking away. So, from a female perspective - you can get away with a lot, if that's your goal. He doesn't get a rank - he's just following the pack.

    The bad boy: is definitely rough around the edges. He probably doesn't follow social norms and knows he doesn't, but he doesn't want to. He has reasons for the things he does even if they don't make sense to the general population, but again, he doesn't care if they make sense to everyone. He's not trying to impress anyone, he's just trying to be himself and get through the day. He's intelligent (often extremely so), and isn't trying to hurt anyone, but he won't go out of his way to NOT hurt someone either. He's honest. To an almost painful fault. He'll defend you, because he loves you - not because it's expected or because he thinks he owns you, but because he can't stand the thought of someone hurting you. He listens to what you say instead of hearing what he wants to hear. He'll stand down if you ask him to. Trust is difficult to earn, but easy to keep - you just have to be as honest as he is. He's badass enough that you always feel safe with him, but you're also secure in the knowledge that he'd never turn it on you. You don't need to fix him, he won't try to fix you, all he wants is understanding and he'll do his best to understand you back. This is an Alpha.

    The appeal: He's not afraid of anything. Feelings, confrontation, death. Nothing. He'll do almost anything to make sure you're truly happy, truly fulfilled. Would - seriously - take a bullet for you. To keep him, and keep him happy, you have to be a similar mindset. You have to be as devoted as he is, but he doesn't require exclusion of all else. He's accepting of you and whatever it is that makes you happy. He will make you the center of his world, but you can't use him. If he's no longer wanted, he wants to know. If he no longer wants you, he'll tell you. He's not the type to drag things out, but he is the type to put in the work when needed. He appreciates you having opinions - even when he doesn't agree with them. He's protective - not ever possessive. (A distinction many women can't make.) This guy will take you on a picnic, or to the zoo, or something else special for V-day, even though it's completely different than what anyone else would do.

    I'm not going to explain mama's boys, because I think most everyone should have a clear idea of that one, lol.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013
  17. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I see you've met my wife.
     
  18. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    @Trish : As difficult and often impossible it is to categorize people, I do recognize the Alpha and Omega types there, they do exist irl. I've known two "really bad boys," one, a cousin, spends more time behind bars than outside, the other "grew up" so to speak, but only when he hit 40. I often babysat his kids, so I got to know the family dynamic pretty well, and at times things got downright scary. He was volatile and unreliable.
    Both had no trouble attracting ladies.

    It's difficult to explain why the nice guys so often finish last, but in all honesty, the really bad guys end up even worse. Better be friendzoned than completely rejected, eh? And there're many women who prefer "the nice guy," who can't stand macho antics or manly pride, who go nuts when the guy makes the grave mistake of opening the door for her.

    In my case, what mattered more were the things I had (and still have) in common with the partner of my choice, and they happen to be kinda... manly. And then there's the security thing Trish mentioned. Many women want to feel safe with their man, know that they can handle themselves and protect their girl when the shit hits the fan. Though that's not so important to some if they live in a relatively safe place, don't venture out at night, etc.

    What are corporate suit-and-ties? Or doctors? I mean, women want those in romantic lit too, don't they? Aren't they essentially nice guys?
     
  19. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    On a side note, this is probably why I run into trouble if I'm working on a project with other women, but usually do quite well if most of the other team members are men. As far as the dumpling issue -- I'm all about fairness. If we're at a restaurant and we get six dumplings, I keep a mental note of how many I have had. If I have had three, and there is still one left, I will say to my husband (or whomever), "that dumpling is rightly yours'. If you don't want it, I will take it." If we have been served 7 dumplings, I cut that seventh one in half. Unless it appears that my dining companion does not want the extra dumpling, in which case, I will ask, "Do you want to split that last dumpling?" If the answer is no, (and I generally have to assume the answer is no because he/she does not mean that they don't want to split it because they want the whole thing), then I take all of it.

    I'm not so sure, therefore, that a person who says what they think is enough to make one a "bad boy." But I suppose this, in conjunction with other aspects of taking charge in a very obvious way, could play into why insecure women would be attracted to 'bad boys.'
     
  20. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    No. Many of them are complete dicks. "Bad Boys" aren't limited to bikers/criminals/drug dealers/gang members.
     
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  21. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    LOL. :) I was going to chime in with something similar just now. Climbing the corporate ladder or having the sticktoitivness to make it as a physician requires an edge. I think these are just focused bad boys. ;)
     
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  22. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Luke Skywalker or Han Solo? Seriously, is there really a choice to be made, here?
     
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  23. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    @jannert None whatsover. But... if you were to give me the choice between Hans and Boba Fett .... hmm. Actually, I'm just proving your point all the more, aren't I?
     
  24. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Some women like fixing things or taming things and there's no challenge with a perfect guy. But with a rebel
    if he's foul mouthed, unpredictable, rough around the edges a woman can roll up her sleeves and domesticate him.
     
  25. DeathandGrim
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    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    Virginia Beach
    Look outta my personal perspective... that story is fucked up. I'm not sure a Patty Hearst type situation really applies to love especially with a traumatizing even like being taken from someone you love (or loved).

    It's kinda weird, everybody wants excitement in their life. They don't want to be 100% good all the time that'd be boring, a good sin every now and then keeps the soul alive and yet we know we shouldn't. But in the heat of the moment the thrill is more than what we want, it's what we need to keep us from becoming machines stuck in a routine day-to-day life. At least in our youth. That's why at one point or another a girl will go with the "bad boy" at least for a while, because she wants to get it out of her system and have some stories to tell. And then when they're ready to settle down it's no longer as attractive
     

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