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Why Do Good Girls Like Bad Boys?

September 1, 2010

I was watching T.I’s “Behind the Music” and listening intently to him talk about his past experiences and what he’s learned. I heard him speak passionately about his family, friends and those close to him and I thought to myself, “I would like to be with a man like that.” As soon as the thought occurred to me I heard the mental brow-beating my college-educated counterparts might utter if they overheard my thoughts. “Why do women always go after bad guys?” “I think women enjoy being treated badly.” “I hope the women that run after bad boys get treated bad, that’s what they deserve.”

You may think I’m exaggerating but I’ve heard each of those sentences more times than I care to count from other men and women as well. I thought about it and asked myself what characteristics it was I connected with as a woman watching T.I.’s special. Unlike many would assume, I was not attracted to his slang or his run-ins with the law or even his ability to rap. I’m mature enough to appreciate a man who earns a stable living but not be blinded by it, so it wasn’t his bling bling lifestyle either. The qualities that stood out to me as attractive were his willingness to provide for and most importantly to protect his family by any means necessary. I admired T.I’s dedication to those who depended on him and his ability to show his love and appreciation for them.

In church last Sunday our speaker focused on the story of a woman who was referred to as a former prostitute and sinner. Jesus was explaining to his disciples why this woman, who his disciples pegged unworthy, had his undivided attention. She recognized who Jesus was and proceeded to kiss his feet and wash them with her hair. Jesus disciples were busy judging the woman chastising him for spending time with her. To explain his actions, he presented them with the following parable.

“There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii and the other fifty. And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell me, therefore which of them will love him more? Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And he said to him, “You have rightly judged.”

In life many times we don’t know to be thankful for something until we experience life without it. Jesus later explains “Her sins which are many are forgiven, for she loveth much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”

I believe that often those who are disadvantaged early on or learn hard lessons early in life appreciate the little things in life in an entirely different way than others born with the proverbial silver spoon in their mouth. I have a very good male friend who always tells me to look for a guy who has loved and lost as that will be the one who appreciates me. “Christal sometimes men have to lose a good woman to know how to appreciate one when he finds it again,” he tells me.

While I don’t believe this is true in every circumstance I do believe men and women alike must be shown why the little things in life like quality family time should be a priority. Sometimes when everything has been given to us we expect love should be the same. In my dating chronicles I’ve had many affluent, educated men tell me that any woman would be lucky to be with them. “I’m a rarity, women think I’m too good to be true,” one guy bragged to me after spouting off his stats, “I’m tall, don’t have any kids, educated, got a good job, my own house and a nice car.” I’ve had others expect me to be at their mercy when they showed me some attention because of their social status or prestige. Instead of convincing me of their value, this was an instant turn-off. I’m assuming it could be the equivalent of a beautiful yet stuck-up woman assuming a man should bee grateful just to be in her company.

I’ve also dated the other side of the spectrum and found a former bad boy to be internally confident, humble and loving. In fact one guy I dated that had been incarcerated as a young man told me his time away made him appreciate and cherish his family even more and he approached his romantic interests the same way.

I don’t mean to insinuate that all former bad boys make good mates or that there is anything wrong with men who have walked the straight and narrow their entire lives because that isn’t true. I have a twelve year old son who I don’t want to ever come near a jail or a half-way house. What I can say is that it shouldn’t take putting another man down to feel good about what you bring to the table. Instead of lambasting a woman who is attracted to what you consider a “bad boy” first ask her what qualities he has that she’s attracted to, if she says his prison record or his icy chain, in a word RUN. She is a simple woman. But if she mentions his heart, and ethics or his character you would be a wise man to take heed and find those qualities within yourself.

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