Cupid's Pulse Article: What Attracts Us to Bad Boys?Cupid's Pulse Article: What Attracts Us to Bad Boys?

By Dr. Carole Lieberman

Though we women pride ourselves on how ‘we’ve come a long way, baby,’ we still fall prey to the charms of bad boys.  Why?  It all starts with Daddy — the first man we’ve ever loved.  If this relationship was dysfunctional, such as with a father who was abusive, depressed, a workaholic, or simply divorced and unavailable, we feel unlovable and grow up with a penchant for bad boys.

The Dozen Dangerous Devils, or 12 types of bad boys, include the: Fixer-Upper Lover, Compulsive Flirt, Grandiose Dreamer, Misunderstood and Married, Mr. Power Mad, Commitment Phobe, Wounded Poet, Self-Absorbed Seducer, Man of Mystery, Dramatic Daredevil, Prince of Darkness and Lethal Lover.  We are attracted to one or more of these types in an unconscious effort to turn our disappointment with Daddy into a fairytale happy ending.

Related: Five Reasons Why Opposites Attract

For example, if a little girl’s father abandoned her, such as by death, divorce or emotional distance, she would likely grow up to be attracted to a Fixer-Upper Lover (also named the Frazzled Frog), who seems like he would be the least likely man to abandon her because his life is in need of much repair.  But, once she provides him with the nurturance he craves and helps him get his act together, he hops away to find a more discerning princess.  All Dozen Dangerous Devils are heartbreakers.  They just break a woman’s heart in 12 different ways!

Related: How Decoding Your Love Map Can Heal a Broken Heart

Headlines are perpetually filled with celebrity bad boys — from Brad Pitt, who claimed to be Misunderstood and Married when he fell for Angelina Jolie; to Chris Brown, an abusive Prince of Darkness who Rihanna still can’t resist; to Bachelor Ben Flajnik, who’s become a Compulsive Flirt despite his engagement.

Some bad boys can be tamed, but a woman must be careful not to lose her self-respect or sanity in the process.  Look where it got Catherine Greig, the woman who harbored mob boss James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, a Lethal Lover.  She’d laughed about liking bad boys until it landed her in jail!

Dr. Carole Lieberman is an internationally renowned “Media Psychiatrist.”  On TV, Radio, the Internet, in Film, Print, as a Speaker and as the first “Shrink on Board” airline in-flight entertainment, Dr. Carole’s insights help people seize the moment to live happier, more fulfilling lives.  She’s also the author of Bad Boys: Why We Love Them, How to Live with Them and When to Leave Them.