"Every man is a bad boy until he meets a good woman."
I posted the comment to my facebook community this week and got a lot of very interesting and varied responses. Which got me thinking; what is it about bad boys that we single moms, and all women for that matter, find so attractive? Are we unwitting victims of our dictatorial hormones? Or suckers for our unyielding propensity to want to "fix him?" And what are the implications for our impressionable children.
In a recent study, researchers found that when women ovulate our hormones influence who we see as a good potential father, or step-dad as the case may be. The researchers had women view online profiles during high fertility. Participants were asked to ascribe paternal characteristics to each guy's picture. The women overwhelmingly found the sexier studs more reliable. Hmm. Really? I am not one to dispute science, so I'll go along with the whole hormone theory, but perhaps its something more.
I have no real proof, but I'm betting the cave bad boy who took down the Mastodon with his hunting buddies had better luck with the ladies than his good guy counterpart who opted to hang back and help his cavewoman gather greens from the garden. I do however know for a fact, that the need to feel safe and secure and the ability to protect our offspring is deeply ingrained in our DNA. Does that mean we are anthropologically coded to contend with frequent bouts of bad behavior from our men in the hope that from time to time we can "fix them?" I don't think so.
With years of dating under my belt I concede, I could not fix any of them. Nor could they fix me. But I do think our women's intuition does and should come into play in making our mating choices. If we allow, communicate, listen carefully and dig deep we may find that the bad boy's black leather clad gruff exterior is merely a coat of armor to protect his soft sensitive inner core...in other words we need to be more Sandy to our Danny Zuko.
I'd like to suggest that a good woman inspires the bad boy to allow his more vulnerable side to show up. Take Warren Beatty for example, it's been reported that he racked up over 12,000 sexual conquests before Annette Bening came into his life. He has been faithful to her for 21 years. And yes, we all want Lindsey Vonn to show Tiger the path to relationship redemption.
The truth is good or bad, Geek or Greek God, we all have the need to be loved and to feel connected to our soulmate. We need to allow for each others strengths and weaknesses and understand that no one is without fear, fault and the occasional flaw. With that kind of opening the best possible mate for each of us is bound to show up..bad boy or dependable dude.
As a single mom, if after the appropriate amount of time, you choose to bring the proverbial bad boy into your life, it will be because you see him for who he really is and vice versa. Your relationship will be how you are together, not who he was before. As for your children, you have the opportunity to teach them how to see past the surface, to be open, accepting, non-judgmental, and understanding. You get to show them that choosing a companion is not predicated on stereotypes, but rather care, concern, knowledge and respect.