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: http://dawn.com/2010/12/26/relationships-yin-and-yang/