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Why Good Girls Fall For Bad Boys

Back in student life, I had a friend – a demure, polite, soft-spoken, pretty girl from a good family with good values. The proverbial “marriage material” girl. A girl every aunty would have loved to have as a daughter-in-law. Back in my days, the blasphemous “C” word which is “Commitment” was not so formidable. And so for every boy and girl who felt those chemical vibes for each other which are nature’s way of making sure that the human race continues to procreate, the next step would be to think of the ultimate “M” word – “Marriage”.

So this friend of mine had the most eligible bachelors in her family, family friends as well as class-mates pining for her attention. Many guys offered to send their mom to her place. Nobody thought she would even hear about “going out”, leave alone do it. We always pictured her with a “marriage material” guy as a husband – stable, predictable, kind, sober, back home just in time for that evening cup of tea, a match made in heaven with the blessings of the parents. We were so wrong! Our friend fell for the proverbial “bad guy” for whom all the girls used the “A” word – “Avoid”. He would get into fights and either had given someone a black eye that week, or had a black eye himself. He liked guns, dangerous car racing and bringing the car to screeching halts, trying the one-wheel “wheelies” on bikes, and was simultaneously a part of a gang, a tribe and a political party. And he loved her like crazy, as did she. They complemented and completed each other in a weird, twisted way.

The Good Girl falling for the Bad Boy is a universal phenomenon. Many girls confess to being drawn to the wrong boys, the word “wrong” debatable in this context. Saima Irshad (name changed) is one such girl. “I have a history of getting bored with good boys and loving it with bad boys,” she confesses. “I love guys who are dangerous, own guns, have badmaash looks, have been through dangerous accidents and firings, know martial arts, the phadday-baaz type, who have this air of danger around them. Like Salman Khan’s character in Dabangg. It’s kind of thrilling. And somehow they find me attractive too.”

Does the “Yin Yang” theory have anything to do with this? The ancient Chinese subscribe to a concept called Yin and Yang – a belief that says that there exist two complementary forces in the universe. While they are both opposites, one is not better than the other. Instead, a balance of both is desirable. This thinking is different from the concept of duality where one state overcomes the other e.g. good over evil. In Yin Yang, too much of either one is bad. Soft versus hard, stillness versus movement, intuitive versus logical. The sun is Yang while the moon is Yin. Female is Yin while Man is Yang. Winter is Yin while Summer is Yang. Opposites attract and complement each other. However, in the Yin Yang concept, Yang represents everything positive or masculine and Yin is characterized as negative or feminine. But in our Bad Boy-Good Girl scenario, it is the Yin or the feminine which is the positive force. At the end, if they complement each other, it doesn’t really matter.

Shahana Abbas (name changed), however, did not have such a good experience with her Bad Boy. The crazily-in-love Romeo who would shoot on sight if any other guy so much as talked to her, forced her to marry him in a clandestine way. Months later, it ended in an abrupt and bitter divorce. The insanely passionate personality type brings with it unpredictability, impulsiveness and possibly violent streaks. “From my experience I do think that the violent and crazy types are more passionate but are also deceitful and dishonest. It is definitely a mistake to take such guys seriously. Such men are not able to handle a serious relationship,” says Abbas remorsefully.

Knowing the possible risks involved, why do then completely sane and level-headed girls gravitate towards this kind of men? Asking around, we found out one common edge women feel the dangerous, emotionally high-strung men seem to have on the predictable, dependable types – they are passionate and expressive about their emotions. In addition, they seem in control, and somewhere deep inside a woman needs someone who is stronger than her, who is possessive and protective about her. Unpredictability also brings with it an aura of fun. Life with the bad boys is far less mundane. Every day is a new day. The daily squabbles and relentless arguments can lead to unpleasantness. Flip side of the coin, as many women in relationships with such men share, is that this saves a relationship from being dead and boring, and making up after a fight keeps the spark alive. Sense and sensibility must prevail, and one must keep consequences in mind when making the ultimate decision of who you want to settle down with. Nevertheless, the debate between whether to choose good boys or bad boys boils down to the ultimate tug of war inside each one of us – whether to follow the heart or the mind.

Published in Dawn Magazine, 26th Dec. 2010:


About FarahnazZahidi

Journalist, writer, blogger & activist. Currently working for The Express Tribune. Focus on human rights, health, gender, peace & Islam. Idealist. Wannabe photographer. Chaai, traveling, reading, friends and motherhood.

3 responses »

  1. The opposites attract is one reason.. I do know few good girls the perfect daughter – in- law less daughter more type who fell for bad boys for a couple of other reasons.
    The desire to mend a broken pot is immense in some girls.. They believe they can fix it but bad boys will remain bad boys or become worse, that’s something they never anticipated.
    They come in with a sincere heart and mind and get the surprise or shock more like it of their lives.
    Also, sometimes the one deprived of love catches their attention and call it sympathy turned love or sense of responsibility or guilt turned love becomes the reason of their destruction…
    One would never know if it was really love or she got manipulated and trapped into the whole opposite attract game…
    This is a multi-faceted problem of our society! 😦
    May Allah protect all the young girls keep them away from harm aameen, give them knowledge and wisdom to never ignore the concerns raised by those who have raised them and loved them unconditionally, aameen.
    May Allah give the young girls good and naik nasseb aameen 🙂

  2. Salman Khan’s character in Dabangg was not of a Basmash rather it was a role of a cop who plays with the weaknesses of the system…

    It is a wonderful article focusing exactly a particular area and the whole article filled with advices for the young ladies to chose a good guy and avoid a bad guy and through the examples highlights the repercussions of a good or poor selection and decision. However, I understand, a fall of one for another can never be without a solid reason and that reason can never be other than love. I also truly believe, if there is true love than one changes him/herself for the other thus relationship never sees an end, however, problems in relationships begin when none of both changes in accordance to the other and this happens when love proves to be an infatuation. I know a lady who was married to a BADMASH and that BADMASH remained a BADMASH for the period of above 10 years post wedding. The Badmash had 10 murders on his name and many visits to the prison and was a fear factor for many here in this city of Karachi. However, the relationship kept going on and on and night the lady saw her husband, 35 year of age at that time, saying prayers and crying on the prayer-mate. The man than at his own left the life of the criminal, went through the judicial process at his own, paid “Blood money” Diyyat to the family members of those he had killed. Went to perform Hajj, become a Haji Sahib and started helping people, helped many poor families in arrangement for the wedding of their daughter and has been serving the needy people till his death. Hence, I would say relationships live on the breath of commitment and food of trust and acceptance and die on the poison of ego… As they say, marriages are written in the heaven, being a Muslim I strongly believe, we think of something else and someone thing else happens, we are not driver of our fates, we can just think of something to happen as we want but that happens or not it depends on our fates. We should pray and seek help of the one who drives us all knows beyond our imaginations.


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