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Just like the millionaire’s daughter who drove the looters around, I’m always attracted to bad boys. Not as bad as those, but not the types you take home to meet your mother. I’m worried this is more about some weird fetish to be the professional, educated one in the relationship, rather than about the guys themselves. Plus, I’m worried one day I’ll get in real trouble with one of them. Should I start looking for Nice Guy lawyers right now? Maria, 30

2012 April 8
by Zoe Strimpel

Women like “bad boys” for a variety of reasons. They tend to be sexy, and often hot with it. They have skills that appear attractive at the outset as they’re often in hands-on jobs like bartending or cheffing or plumbing and are usually good in bed. More than that, you know, whether subconsciously or not, that they’ll withhold the thing that would stop you dating their sort in future: a serious relationship.

Bad boy-itis is not necessarily something to be so worried about –  you’re not going to wind up a criminal like Laura Johnson, the millionaire’s daughter, if you date a guy who wears gold and likes rap; nor is it “some weird fetish”. But if you’re into bad boys, you need to take precautions as the likelihood of ending up either in physical danger or in a tragic cycle of what I like to call junk-food love (endless game-playing and rejection as you try to second guess them and fail), is higher than with nice lawyers from Clapham.

Above all, don’t date a sinister dude. One that has a temper, a criminal record, or seems in any way violent. That’s a bad boy that’s gone rotten. Even if he appears romantically edgy, pay attention to his manner before doing anything with him – there are hundreds of little clues you’ll pick up on if you’re aware enough to look and listen closely. As for the bad boy cycle, self-awareness is the first step. Are you always being used and abused (in the non-physical sense) by dudes with weed dependency and motorbikes, who sleep till 3pm on weekdays? Is it the same old story, over and over? If so, it’s time to clamber out and ask yourself the tough questions: why the preference for self-abasement? While you’re figuring it out, get on the Tube down to Clapham, head to the nearest gastropub, and find yourself a lawyer. I’ve heard they can be alright in bed, too.

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