Why Do Good Girls Fall For
Sandra Bullock is just the latest celebrity to get hurt because of her poor choice in men. Here, a psychologist explains why women like Bullock are attracted to the wrong guys – and how she, and others like her, can get over them and move on.
In the wake of the Sandra Bullock/Jesse James cheating scandal and swirling divorce rumors, we can’t help but ask – especially given James’ tattoos, chopper-loving ways and porn star ex – how did she not see the signs that he was a Bad Boy? Or is that exactly what made her fall in love with him in the first place? Sadly, Bullock has now joined the list of other seemingly good girls who have made a beeline for boys your mother probably told you to run away from. So why do the Sandras, Siennas, Britneys and Rihannas of the world latch onto guys who are all kinds of trouble?
In fact, what might be red flags for some women, are the precise things others swoon for. As Los Angeles-based psychologist Dr. Morris Halperin explains, “It’s just like someone who wants an exotic animal as a pet. They actually think these guys will change their traits and be good to them.”
Dr. Halperin goes on to explain that this thinking is “actually a bit of a delusion,” as many of these women believe they are special and can be “the one” to control these wild animals. “It’s slightly egotistical behavior,” he says. “It’s out of touch with reality that they think, ‘I’m different. I can dance with this monster and control it.’ The reality is, you can’t have a tiger as a pet and control it.”
Bullock is not the first woman who thought she could tame a wild animal. When Britney Spears saw a broke backup dancer with a pregnant girlfriend, the pop star fell head over heels and thought she could keep Kevin Federline in line, marrying him and having two kids with him before divorcing after two years of marriage, in 2006. Holly Madison is a two-time bad boy offender. Despite Hugh Hefner’s openly polygamous lifestyle, Madison was vocal about wanting to marry the Playboy mogul and have babies with him. After her relationship with Hef ended, she moved on to another guy with a reputation as a player, illusionist Criss Angel. She broke up with him after dating for four months, in early 2009.
So why are some women so attracted to the wrong men? “What’s behind this is a need for control and excitement,” says Halperin. OK, but what to do if you have a pal who suffers from a Bad Boy Addiction – or if you’re an addict yourself?