There seems to be a common misconception about bad boys – and how women tend to prefer them. A friend of mine said to me a while back “Roz, I’m done being the good guy. Good guys get hurt – and girls don’t want good guys – they want the bad boys. So I’m done being the good guy.”

This broke my heart. This friend of mine was (and still is) one of the most awesome guys I had ever become friends with. I tried in vain to explain to him that not all girls like the bad guys. If the girls he is after do prefer bad boys, then he should probably find other women who will appreciate him for who he really is.

Well, that was a failed attempt. He didn’t listen to me, and embarked on a journey to ‘change’ himself in order to become what he thought girls wanted… a bad boy.

Do you think this helped him shield his broken heart, or kept him from getting it broken again?
Of course not.

The risk of getting hurt or rejected unfortunately comes with the territory of romance and love. That risk will always be there – regardless of whether you are a ‘bad boy’ who plays it cool and never allows himself to get too emotionally involved, or if you are the ‘good guy’ who falls hopelessly in love with his best friend.

The only difference in this scenario is that the one is hurting himself and stunting his own growth out of fear, while the other has the courage to love… and be loved in return.

But this still doesn’t answer the question that we all want to know the answer to: Why do women like the bad boys, but prefer the good guys?



Bad boys have a way of flattering us. They call us beautiful (however insincere they may be) and we listen. At the back of our minds we think “well, he wouldn’t be wasting his time with me if he doesn’t think I’m pretty.” because bad boys have a reputation for only paying attention to the prettier girls.

However: Bad boys will flatter us, but then break us down again just to make sure that we do not think too much of ourselves and desperately seek their approval. This is abuse and manipulation and we don’t like this.

WHAT THE GOOD GUYS CAN DO: You don’t have to be a ‘bad boy’ to make a woman feel beautiful and desired. You can tell her and SHOW her she’s beautiful without shooting her down afterwards.



Bad boys offer a sense of excitement and thrill – they bring out our adventurous, forbidden, and wild sides. This is appealing because… well, it gets the adrenaline pumping and makes us feel alive.

However: Adventure, thrills and going wild are all good and dandy until someone gets hurt. Unfortunately, these thrills are usually rooted in the man himself being of dangerous character– and not just the exhilaration of risky things you are doing. That impending sense of danger may initially give a thrill – but the core of a woman wants to feel safe around the man she is with.

WHAT THE GOOD GUYS CAN DO: The strength of the good guy lies in his ability to offer a sense safety and protection. However, you can’t just be ‘super sweet’ and expect that to be enough. It’s been said that “every man wants to go on an adventure, and every woman wants to be taken on one.” Find that adventure, gain some exciting interests and show her how to experience the thrills of life outside the danger of sketchy characters. Being ‘good’ and ‘safe’ does not have to mean ‘boring’!



Bad boys are not pushovers – they are more assertive and know what they want, how to get it and can take control of a situation. More than that, they are intentional about getting what they want.

However: Usually their intentions are less-than admirable, and their assertiveness can turn into them becoming incredibly controlling which is a turn-off. There is a difference between being able to take control of a situation (stepping up to do what is needed) and being controlling (assuming power over someone else’s life through manipulation, threats and control).

WHAT THE GOOD GUYS CAN DO: The problem with the ‘good guys’ is that they are often apathetic. They don’t DO anything: They often don’t make the first move, they don’t take chances… They wait. And there is an air of apathy that surrounds them. You can be assertive without being a jerk about it. There is something so attractive about a man who knows what he wants and goes after it.



Well, they exude an air of confidence anyway.

However: Most bad boys, I have found, are actually incredibly insecure or… narcissistic. Neither of these are good qualities. True confidence is the ability to be yourself while allowing others to be themselves without feeling threatened by their achievements, confidence, talents or success. Most ‘bad boys’ do feel threatened by a woman who excels in any area, and will cut her down to make themselves feel better.

WHAT THE GOOD GUYS CAN DO: As a good guy you can focus on working on your confidence. You can do this by figuring out who you are, who you want to be and actively work towards this. Your goal is to not only feel comfortable in your own skin, but to love yourself. This does not mean becoming egotistical or narcissistic, because true confidence is always coupled with vulnerability – the vulnerability to let people see the true you and allowing other people to thrive without feeling threatened by it.



This is true for everyone. Unfortunately in a society where broken homes, fathers deeply affected by wars, single mothers and abuse (be it verbal and emotional, or physical) in the home are the ‘norm’, it is no wonder that women who do not know their worth are attracted to men who will treat them in a way that they think they deserve. Unfortunately women (and all others) who are abused typically stay loyal to their abusers.

However: There is hope, and people can discover their self worth at any point in their lives.

WHAT THE GOOD GUYS CAN DO: If you meet a girl who is in this situation, the best thing you can do is offer her safety and treat her like gold without smothering her. It might take a while – and she might keep running back to ‘bad boys’ or her abusers because that is what she knows and is comfortable with. Realize that healing takes a while and she might need some space to ‘find herself’.
Let her. But don’t make the mistake of being the pushover or let her manipulate you.


These are some of the key things that attract women to the ‘bad boys’. However, if should be mentioned (because it is rarely touched on) some of the many qualities that are sooooo incredibly attractive about the good guys:


1) They send flowers and thoughtful gifts

2) They can offer a solid and great relationship without the emotional turmoil

3) You can count on them to get stuff done and be there for you

4) You never have to worry about them looking around at other women or cheating on you

5) You can truly respect them (this is one area where the bad boys lose out on big time)

6) You can be proud to be with them

7) They consider you and pay attention to things that are important to you

8) They allow you to thrive!


… and I could go on forever!

I am a huge supporter of the ‘good guys’. There is no need for a good guy to turn himself into a ‘bad boy’ so that women will like him. Understand what it is that IS so attractive about the bad boys (the qualities mentioned above) and strive towards bettering yourself in confidence, assertiveness and interesting-ness.

But don’t go to the other side – that will only hurt you further, and in turn you will hurt those who you could have potentially loved.

NEXT: Dating tips: What to Avoid on a First Date

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