All Woman

Why good women like bad boys

By DONNA HUSSEY-WHYTE All Woman writer husseyd@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, February 27, 2012    

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WHILE many persons will talk smack about how seemingly incompatible the relationship was of the late singer Whitney Houston and 'bad boy' Bobby Brown, psychologist Dr Leahcim Semaj said 'good girls' falling for 'bad boys' is a universally well established phenomenon that is also very common in Jamaica.

"It's a complex but very common phenomenon," Semaj told All Woman. "Women love challenges and the 'good girls/bad guys' is a kind of challenge."

The challenge, he said, is that women will get with these men with the hope of changing them.

Semaj said typically it's the good girls who choose the bad boys because of the way they make them feel.

"He makes her feel very special and she is fascinated by him, and she feels needed," he explained. "She will try to change him because no matter how bad a man is, there are women who will feel they can turn him around. The woman feels that once he experiences her, he can't go back."

In using the case of singers Rihanna and Chris Brown's union, Semaj said it is expected that the two will definitely be a couple again soon, as for her to walk away from the man who physical abused her would be her acceptance that she is not good enough for him and so she has to prove to herself that she is the best.

"For her to be able to walk away and move on with her life, she has to accept that she failed, that she was not attractive enough, that she was not good enough, that she was not special enough to make him into what she wanted. So it's that ultimate challenge," the psychologist explained.

He said that whenever a good girl gets drawn into a relationship with the attraction being the 'bad man' persona, and gets sucked into that relationship, then she literally has to see it through to the end because she is almost afraid that if she moves on the record will show that she was not good enough to tame him.

Many good girls both locally and internationally have found themselves getting out of dysfunctional relationships only to return to them.

Throughout Bobby Brown's legal troubles for everything ranging from domestic abuse to drunk driving, Houston stayed, publicly declaring that people had no idea of the sweet, gentle, quiet person Brown was.

"It was mad, it was crazy," Houston told talk show host Oprah Winfrey in a 2009 interview. "At home he was very much the father, very much the man; he was very much in control. I liked that," she said.

"[Me with him] that was the passionate me, that woman -- I liked that. We had fun. He was fun. He taught me how to dance, how to move my hips... I would describe it as passion -- it was crazy love, passionate, exciting."

Said Semaj: "We on the outside feel 'how could she be so stupid to go back to him, look how the man treats her' and so on, but it's the opposite, if she walks away she would have accepted that she could not attract him, she could not make him into what she wanted, she was not special enough for him, so she is sucked back in. She found him exciting in the beginning, she found him a challenge."

Semaj said a typical bad boy is attractive, intriguing, challenging, and exciting and will go above and beyond in pursuing the good girl in a way that other men would not, and will go flat out to do everything to get her because he has nothing to lose.

Not many people can understand the magnetic appeal of rapper Lil Wayne, who has been in and out of jail, but he manages to attract and make babies with some of the most beautiful women. And the attraction started long before he made millions -- his first child was born when he was 15.

He has since bedded many beautiful, 'good girls', including actress Lauren London and singer Nivea.

Said Semaj: "The biggest challenge and prize for him is an attractive woman and so he sets out for her and now that he gets in, she now has to prove that she was not just a one night stand; she has to prove that no man can just walk away from her... And so she will see the flaws but she overlooks them and says she just needs to do what she does best and do it even better."

He said oftentimes these men have some kind of addiction, whether it is alcohol, drugs, smoking, violence or some emotional scar.

"He is bruised," Semaj said. "To a large extent he is somewhat of a psychopath. It is not a balanced relationship from day one but one that is intended to exploit. As she finds out about it, many times she is not able to walk away because she has invested too much and she would have to admit to herself and others that she was not good enough to tame this man."

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