This topic has come up a lot lately so I feel compelled to shed some more light on this topic.  There are 5 main reasons a smart women can go for the bad-boy type:

(1) Opposites Attract- Maybe you never really got a chance to be openly rebellious, and now it’s too late to change who you are, but you can date the rebel type.  Those that break or bend rules all the time definitely bring excitement in the beginning, until it grows old and you realize it’s more drama than you need.

(2) Florence Nightingale Syndrome- Some women like feeling needed, and these problem accumulators  definitely require a lot of help.  Eventually, however, many women find that their patience is exhausted, and it is far more rewarding to find a job that needs you (and pays you for your efforts) and instead have a partner far more put together to enjoy your down time with, otherwise you will never have any down time.

(3) Fixer uppers- While this strategy works well with home renovations, it rarely pans out with men.  Many women make the mistake of thinking that a man will change over time– become more responsible or ambitious with just the right incentive.  In fact, they are mostly on their best behavior when dating, rarely do things improve after you say “I do.”

(4) Playing it Safe- Sometimes you just want to play it safe by being with someone that you know is a player, this way you’ll never fall for him, and he can’t disappoint you.  As long as you realize this strategy has a short self-life, maybe this can work.

(5) Unresolved Issues- Many women suffer from self-esteem issues– maybe because they have struggled with their weight, or they’ve experienced abusive relationships, or they had an absentee father.  For whatever reason, they may not believe there are better prospects out there, and the only way to break this faulty logic is for them to realize on their own that they are worth more, that they can do better– or that maybe happiness is about being content with yourself and not relying on anyone else to validate your existence.

These are just some of the most common reasons that I’ve seen women go for the bad-boy types.  And if you have a friend in this situation, just try your best to be supportive without passing judgment.  Encourage your friend to seek counseling and develop a Plan B in case things go south.