The fact that #FelonCrushFriday was trending on Twitter today caused a few people to wonder if the end is near.

What am I talking about? For those of you too busy with real life to have heard about it, here’s a quick recap. A photo of some guy’s mug shot went viral. Why? Well, because he looked more like a model than a felon.

The Bad Boy SyndromeOf course, all the attention he was getting sparked controversy. Some women (and men) were saying things like, “I’d like to rehabilitate him, if you know what I mean.” Which led others to say things like, “Seriously people? The guy is a felon, he’s not someone you’d want to date.”

To that, the previous group of googlyeyed gawkers responded with statements like, “Some of us don’t want to date him, we’re just admiring his good looks.”

The Bad Boy Syndrome

All of this got me thinking about the “Bad Boy Syndrome.”

It is one of life’s mysteries… why good girls are attracted to bad boys. Well, some good girls. And usually only in their teens or twenties, before they get older and wiser.

Perhaps it’s not such a mystery. There are a number of reasons why some girls are attracted to guys who are all wrong for them.

Some people like a challenge, they want to be the one to “tame” or catch that guy who won’t settle down. For some, it’s the excitement and thrill (as twisted as it may be) for an unpredictable guy who makes dating him like riding a roller coaster.

Another reason is low self-esteem. A woman who doesn’t love and respect herself typically doesn’t think she is worthy of a man who is smart, educated, kind and “husband material.” So her standards aren’t very high.

Lastly, there’s the reason that might be the biggest one. People in their natural state (before they come to know God) are prone to being led by their carnal nature. From a scientific standpoint, we know that women are attracted to men who they see as virile, masculine, and, in their mind, probably experienced and good in bed.

Been there, done that.

I was one of those misguided girls who love “bad boys.” In my early 20’s, I had a live-in boyfriend who was an alcoholic, major partier and the kind of guy who loves beautiful women. They loved him too, since he was outgoing, funny, confident and fun to be around. Our relationship was tumultuous and there was rarely a dull moment. But it was very unhealthy. He was not a good influence on me, but at the time I wasn’t really awake to that fact. That was years before I came to Christ, so of course I was not seeking a Godly man.

I guess the good thing about experiences like that is that we find out what we don’t want in a relationship. We learn what is good for us and what isn’t… sometimes the hard way.

I don’t want to point fingers here because I understand where bad boys, and the women who love them, are coming from. Lawlessness or rebelliousness (of the wrong kind) is the bad “fruit” of an unregenerate nature. In other words, not knowing and walking with God.

An Inversion of Something Good

Wanting excitement and adventure is a good thing. However, the Bad Boy Syndrome is really about looking for excitement and love in all the wrong places.

That desire for adventure and excitement can be filled in the opposite way. Instead of being in a destructive, unhealthy relationship, those young women need to know that they are worthy of so much more. They are worthy of someone who will love and cherish them AND be fun and interesting to be around. This is what God wants for us, but first one has to believe and come to God.

Maybe what those girls do not understand is that living a life of faith IS an adventure. It is exciting, interesting, challenging and the best thing that one can do.

I’m not talking about stale religion, or going to your Grandmother’s boring church. I’m talking about getting to know and trust the living God of the universe. And understanding that HIS will is truly best for us. Always.

Is there a solution to this bad boy syndrome?

I think there is a solution. While I am still attracted to fun, “wild” outgoing guys, now I want someone who is a rebel… but for a GOOD cause. Not someone who is a rebel for the sake of being a rebel. Or, just because they are immature, foolish and selfish. Those kinds of guys are rebelling against things they shouldn’t be rebelling against.

Someone who is a rebel against the evils of this world – a rebel for a good cause – is someone who has a passion for truth and justice. Someone who is not afraid to go against what is popular. A non-conformist, but in a true, good way.

Sorry James Dean, but what is cool is a rebel with a cause. A worthy cause.

I’ll take that, over my past foolish desire for “bad boys” who treat women like doormats.

How about you?


Linking up with Faith Filled Friday, Fellowship Fridays, Essential Fridays

  • cathy

    Lily this seems to be the mindset of our culture. “Looking for excitement and love in all the wrong places.” This was a great thought provokig post and I pray many will read it. Stopping by from The Weekend Brew. Have a great weekend.

    • Exactly. I think it’s yet another example of trying to fill that God-shaped void in the human heart with something other than God. Thanks for the kind words, and i’m so glad you stopped by, Cathy! Have a great weekend too! 🙂

  • That teardrop tattoo means he’s killed someone – I wonder how many of those women know that?

    • I did not know that! Wow!

    • Good question. I hope it’s a case of not being aware of that. Because if some women who are fawning all over him do know that…. that makes my stomach turn. 🙁 Thanks for reading and commenting, Laura!

  • I was a girl looking for love in all of the wrong places when I was younger. I suffered so many years of low self esteem because of it. I am thankful that God has rescued me, brought my husband and that my eyes no longer stray. Blessings!

    • I am thankful too… That God rescued you, and me! Thanks Barbie, blessings!!

  • Created Well

    I remember being in college, very focused in my faith(to a fault, I unknowingly was swimming in legalism, but that’s another story for another day :->) and I remember I had this attraction to my class bad boy. He was from Jersey, drank beer in the morning, played hockey, cursed, was late to class…but for some strange reason I was drawn to him. I think it was his toughness and build (which conveyed protection) that hooked me (I figured a few Bible thumps would clear that beer drinkin and cursin right up!). For girls who have never felt protected, know if you can win the heart of a man that will defend what he wants can be subconsciously alluring. Thankfully, our faith, values, and morals did not line up so he was strictly off limits (and I think I was too a little too “good” for him). BUT on certain levels he respected me more than he did other women, and that made him attractive too!

    I have found a man who is adventurous, strong, protective AND a godly gentleman – I would have lost so much had I compromised for those one or two qualities that attracted!!

    • I know what you mean! Haha… I remember thinking almost the exact same thing, with certain “bad boy” types (thinking that their bad habits could be cleared up) Great point about girls being drawn to tough, strong guys who can protect us. I’m glad you didn’t compromise or settle, and that you found a Godly man who is also adventurous! It sounds like you are very blessed. 🙂 Now hopefully I will find a Godly man too. (It’ll be a first, for me!) Thanks again for reading and commenting!