With this new series, my intention is to help foster and nurture an open and profound bond between father and daughter, one that transcends the awkwardness of puberty. (I wrote about it in more detail here.)
And in that spirit, I’ve agreed that once a week I will answer – honestly – any question my husband puts to me.
So, here’s what hubby has come up with for me this week…
Hubby: One of the lads at work came up with a good question for you this week: Why is it that you crazy women say you want a Bad Boy, because ‘they’re exciting’ – but then complain when you’re treated badly?! Gents can be practically queuing up to take a lady out, and it seems all we need to do to actually bag a date is behave like a total muppet. Why? WHY?!
Me: Hum, this is – embarrassingly – true for many women, isn’t it? In fact, I think I’ve told you before that I had your number wrong. Not literally – I mean I thought I had you worked out when I agreed to a date. But I was wrong, thankfully.
I was so sure I’d found myself an attractive Bad Boy (yes, you know I
found find you attractive – stop strutting!); and without a doubt, I’d have been far less interested had I known what a soppy, chivalrous gent you actually are. In fairness, you thought I was going to be quite different to the person I am too.
Luckily, I did see you again (albeit for the wrong reasons), and over time I started to understand what I needed, as opposed to what I *thought* I wanted.
So what on earth was that all about? I feel like a broken record, because once again, it comes back to the same things I seem to speak about on an almost weekly basis: confidence; self-esteem; security. Or, lack thereof.
Why Do Women Go for Bad Boys?
This is how the dance of the teenage romance works:
- (Bad) Boy meets girl.
- Girl mistakes arrogance for confidence (something she craves to have herself).
- Boy sees prey, girl sees someone paying her (her!) attention.
- Boy chases, girl surrenders; boy loses interest, girl chases…
- Boy runs, girl has heart broken.
- Boy looks for next target to have fun with; girl tells herself she’s not worthy of boy, beats herself up, then convinces self she only wants to have fun anyway and thus she wants an exciting bad boy…
- Repeat. (Repeat; repeat; repeat…)
That may be a little over-simplified, but I’d say it’s reasonably accurate as the template for young relationships. (You may wish to add in the other type of relationship the girl may or may not have between Bad Boys:
- Girl has heart broken and looks for polar opposite in next relationship. (Needy) boy meets girl.
Girl sees a broken, vulnerable, kindred spirit and decides to make a go of it because she knows this boy won’t destroy her.
- Boy is too clingy and suffocating; girl is, over time, repulsed, and doesn’t need to try very hard to convince herself she only wants to have fun with an exciting Bad Boy…)
So basically, it’s ridiculous; and sadly, it’s almost inevitable… The only way to swerve this whole silly, damaging waltz is to find someone who is both respectful and fun. It happens, of course it does – if you find the right person and don’t just go for the first lad to show you some interest.
Once again, our job is to ensure our daughter is happy enough in her life as a single young woman that she does not crave the attentions of a boy. That is where things go wrong. If she waits until she finds somebody with whom she genuinely clicks, she should hopefully avoid destructive relationships.
There, easy. Aha. If only…
Sometimes, as I write these posts, I find myself becoming quite anxious at the thought of what lies ahead and the task before us. To avoid becoming overwhelmed, I have to remind myself to just focus on trying to give our family a nice life, day by day.
That strategy feels so futile and insignificant in the grand scheme of things, as though it won’t address the huge, potentially devastating consequences of getting it wrong.
But actually, it’s everything.
Happiness and contentment are found in the simple things, and those qualities are what will help our children feel satisfied with their lot, and – theoretically – only wish to partner up with someone who they happen to fall in love with.
And that, quite simply, is the trick: to fall in love first.
Like this? You can check out more of my hubby’s ponderings (and my attempts to answer them) here.