Why do we still choose bad boys over nice guys?

They say that a true sign of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Well, if that definition were to be applied to love and relationships, I firmly believe that a large chunk of the female population would be declared insane.

There’s something about bad boys that makes many of us weak at the knees, no matter how many times we've had our hearts broken by them. It’s a hard one to figure out. Surely by nature we should be wired to want the reliable guy who isn’t going to leave us high and dry? So why instead do we choose the men who play hot and cold and leave us checking our phones every five minutes for a text that only ever seems to arrive at 3am on a Saturday?

I’m not saying that every gal out there goes by the bad boy rule. Most of us have fallen for the wrong guy at some stage, and some wiser women have come to realise that bad does NOT equal good. But for those of us who seem to be in self-destruct mode when it comes to choosing potential guys, why do we keep making the same mistakes?

Some scientists say it’s down to hormones. Studies have proven that when we are ovulating, we see “sexier” men as better choices than “dependable” men.

I reckon there’s a bit more to it than that, though. There’s a certain thrill that comes with pursuing someone who is never going to fully return the favour. A guy who is courteous, kind, reliable and full of compliments might sound amazing on paper, but what’s all that without some element of spontaneity and excitement? Men who are overly sweet and attentive can sometimes come across as a bit over-eager which immediately removes the challenge for us ladies.

We may even end up rationalising a bad boy’s behaviour – I mean, at least your relationship will never be boring, right? When a guy is mysterious (read: always unavailable) he becomes like a puzzle – and the more complex it gets, the more we want to solve it.

There are always going to be bad guys out there, and while they can be great fun for a passionate fling or a few weeks of fun, that’s all we should really be expecting from them. Hoping that you’ll be the one to tame him or make him see the light is no way to enter into things. After all, if a relationship is a constant challenge, will you ever be fully at ease in it?

What makes me hopeful though, is the fact that after a string of bad choices, many of my friends have found genuinely nice, caring guys who treat them well. Sometimes we need to work our way through the full spectrum of personality types out there to find out what is going to work, and what definitely isn’t.

And I do believe that when you find a guy who you click with – on that exciting, first-glance, first spark level – the fact that he is nice, kind, and loving isn’t a deal breaker, it’s just a bonus.