, , , , , , , , , , , ,

I am often amazed at the choices some of the women I know make when choosing who to date. Time and again some seem drawn to so-called bad boys like a moth to a flame. Then, days, weeks, or months later, they will complain to anyone who will listen how he turned out to be — you guessed it — a bad boy.

What they are really saying, if they are honest with themselves, is that they thought they could domesticate that bad boy and turn him into that mythical bad boy with a heart of gold. A bad boy who was always good to her and only her. Except, it rarely seems to turn out that way. They may as well search for fried ice.

Experts will say perhaps it’s all those Disney movies, or stories of frogs turning into princes, or beasts turning into good guys that are to blame for the bad choices, but I think part of it can be linked to the way our cultural norms have changed in the past forty-plus years.

Today, women pair up with bad boys *because they can.* At one time such a choice would have been considered a disastrous hit to her social status, greatly reducing her odds of marrying well — or at all. Because of this, friends and family would likely have intervened, or simply forbid such a match.

In response to this some might say, “Thank goodness we don’t live in that world, anymore! Down with the patriarchy and oppression!”

But is it really better that women today are free to flirt with the danger of choosing to pair up with bad boys who won’t turn into the magical good guy when she snaps her fingers and wants him to turn into someone she (and their children) can count on?

For example, I know one such girl, a former next door neighbor, who has this bad boy addiction. And guess what? Yep, the bad boy father of her first two kids doesn’t pay child support, because he lives off his current girlfriend rather than work so he has no income to claim. And now the bad boy she left that one for has also turned out to be (surprise!) the frog he always was. Except she didn’t seem to realize that (besides his many, many red flags flying, repeated broken promises, pass out drunken dates, and drama filled relationship with his first child’s mom, among other warning signs over the two-plus years she chased him) until she was expecting his baby, due this coming April.

Yes, she is free today to make her own choices. But is that really such a good thing? Further, rather than see that her choices led her (and her children) into this bad situation, she continues to wail to anyone who will listen how “they did this to her.”

In reality, they are the same bad boys they were right from the start. And while she doesn’t admit it, I think deep down she knew that, but she just didn’t care. She told herself she could change them. But guess what? She couldn’t.

She’s really got nobody to blame but herself, and based on the results I’d wager at least for women like her, the safeguards of patriarchy might not have been such a bad thing after all.

But not to worry, I’m sure another bad boy will be along shortly….maybe this time things will turn out differently?

Let those who have ears hear.