WHY ARE WE DRAWN TO BAD BOYS?

If they were your friends, you wouldn't put up with it. But there's a rea­son why we're drawn to dan­ger­ous part­nersé

Look (UK) - - REPORT -

An­other day, an­other TOWIE girl is linked to scan­dal. From blazing rows to cheat­ing claims to rev­e­la­tions of their partners’ crim­i­nal pasts, there’s a con­stant theme that keeps com­ing up. And it’s not just re­al­ity stars – from the date who’ll only text you back af­ter mid­night to the one who’ll can­cel on you 10 min­utes be­fore you’re due to meet, why are we drawn to ‘bad’ partners?

Re­search shows a de­fin­i­tive pat­tern and says we’re drawn to the dan­ger el­e­ment of cer­tain peo­ple. But there are dif­fer­ent lev­els of ‘bad boy’. The first is the ‘ama­teur’ – he’s con­fi­dent, smart and floors you with ‘that look’. He doesn’t mes­sage you back on What­sapp and avoids your calls, yet ‘bread­crumbs’ you by reach­ing out ev­ery now and then.

The se­cond usu­ally comes with a dark and dodgy past. On pa­per, we’d prob­a­bly run a mile at the prospect of dat­ing him. But when it comes to re­al­ity, sta­tis­tics prove oth­er­wise. Ac­cord­ing to a 2016 study by re­searchers at the Univer­sity of Graz, Aus­tria, men with the ‘Dark Triad’ per­son­al­ity traits – nar­cis­sism, Machi­avel­lian­ism (cold, im­moral) and psy­chopa­thy – ac­tu­ally won more dates dur­ing a speed dat­ing ex­per­i­ment of 18-32-year-olds.

Mean­while, a sep­a­rate study, pub­lished in the jour­nal of Evo­lu­tion And Hu­man Be­hav­iour, asked over 2,000 women to look at photos of two men’s faces side by side. The results re­vealed that the ma­jor­ity were at­tracted to fea­tures as­so­ci­ated with the ‘Dark Triad’.

TOWIE’S Lauren Goodger, whose part­ner is cur­rently in jail, ad­mits she’s drawn to them. ‘It’s ex­cit­ing and I think that’s what I like,’ she ad­mits. So why are nar­cis­sis­tic, Machi­avel­lian psy­chopaths bag­ging dates over Mr Nice Guy? ‘Some women are drawn to those who’ve com­mit­ted se­ri­ous crimes be­cause they’re per­ceived as dom­i­nant and have traits that sug­gest they’ll de­fend and pro­vide,’ says celeb psy­chol­o­gist Arthur Cas­sidy. And while we ac­knowl­edge that some women may not re­alise that their part­ner has those char­ac­ter traits, Arthur’s words are food for thought.

So can we change our mind­set? ‘As we age, we be­come more se­lec­tive,’ Arthur adds. ‘We’re more likely to look for less risky peo­ple and in­stead con­sider how well-rounded a per­son’s char­ac­ter is.’

Lauren Goodger’s boyfriend is cur­rently in prison

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