This is Why Some Women Have A Soft Spot For Bad Boys

Have you ever noticed how ladies may fall for the scruffy bad boy at the bar even if his squeaky–clean friend is 10 times more handsome? Does it make you wonder how bad boys with a plain cigarette and a devil-may-care-attitude can send a shiver down the most conservative of girls’ spines? We have the answer.

Are bad boys fit for long-term relationships?

Study Explains The Attraction Of Bad Boys

Researcher Eveline Vincke of Ghent University in Belgium decided to find out how much smoking and drinking affect men’s attraction. In her study titled “Drinking High Amounts of Alcohol as a Short-Term Mating Strategy: The Impact of Short-Term Mating Motivations on Young Adults’ Drinking Behavior”, which was published in Evolutionary Psychology, it was found that men who smoke and drink are more attractive to women as short-term relationship partners than those who don’t.

Vincke surveyed 239 young women to determine how a man’s smoking and drinking habits affect how attractive he is to them. Indeed, the majority of the study’s participants found the guys who were portrayed as occasional smokers and occasional or heavy drinkers ideal for a one-night stand. However, when she asked them about choosing a partner for the long-term, most of the women said they wanted a guy with the opposite proclivities (aka a nonsmoker and nondrinker or close to that).

The Good News For Nice Guys

However, when she asked them about choosing a partner for a serious and long-term relationship, most of the participants said they wanted a guy with the opposite characteristics (i.e. a non-smoker and a light drinker). In fact, as another research has found, smoking and drinking are cited as two of the most annoying habits of partners.

“When searching for a long-term partner,” the researcher explains, “women prefer a man who has the willingness and capacity to protect and care for children. Consequently, women are attracted to kind, physically strong men, and especially men with resources and status.

“In short-term mating, on the other hand, a man’s genetic quality is most important; corresponding with female desires, physical risk-taking enhances male attractiveness, especially in short-term mating contexts. Moreover, in short-term sexual encounters, physical risk-takers are preferred over social or financial risk-takers.”

In a nutshell, Vincke has found that young men consciously use smoking and drinking as part of their “short-term mating strategy”, catering to women’s attraction to risky behavior. In return, ladies will choose bad boys for casual flings, but they know very well how to choose nice guys for the long haul.