updated 1 Oct 2013, 01:31
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Thu, Sep 26, 2013
The Star/ANN
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Why good women fall for bad men
by Victoria Brown

Some women are trapped in the same unhealthy cycle their entires lives.

He's arrogant, rude, a rebel, and may quite possibly have a borderline personality disorder… But yet women fall head-over-heels for the bad guy.

It's a common complaint among men in the dating world, and it is a phenomenon that still befuddles all of us. That is why The Star Online sought the help of Charis Wong, a marriage and family therapist, to explain why women fall for "bad men".

"A lot of women get caught up in this cycle and they can remain in this cycle for the rest of their lives," said Wong.

Wong says that women who fall for "bad men" often have unresolved issues that make them attracted to these individuals.

"In a normal situation, a woman would be attracted to someone who would make a potential life mate, and father to her future children," explained Wong.

"However, there are some cases where women may have unresolved childhood issues, and have the tendency to fall for bad boys as a way to deal with these issues," she said.

Wong says that women from dysfunctional families, whose father had affairs with other women, or women with father issues, who did not get much attention from their father, may also fall into the cycle of dating "bad men".

A distant or emotionally detached man may be a relationship that is considered normal for the woman.

"It is an accustomed and familiar relationship, and when you're familiar with something, it's comfortable, and you will become unconsciously attracted to the same sort of man your mother was," said Wong.

Wong said that low self-esteem is another reason women fall for "bad men".

"This is when women don't have a healthy image of themselves. They often do not think that they're worthwhile to be with a "good guy", so they settle for the "bad man"," said Wong.

Wong said that many of these women put the man's faults on themselves; blaming themselves for his bad behaviour.

"They will think that maybe he is ignoring me because I'm not good enough, so I need to be better," explained Wong.

"Men who do what they like and rebel and who is not afraid to get into trouble, may seem attractive because they have that seemingly powerful aura. So by associating herself with that person, it makes her feel powerful by association," she said.

"It almost becomes an obsession or love addiction," said Wong.

"He becomes an obsession and the focus of your life. You feel like you have no other reason for living and that your role as his girlfriend defines you and that without him, you are nobody," she adds.

"There will come a point when the "bad man" can't deal with this, and leaves them. The woman will then move on to the next "bad man" that comes around," she said.

She also adds that women who are attracted to "bad men" find "good guys" boring and non-attractive.

Wong says that if these women ever date a "good guy" they will end up feeling unsatisfied and bored.

"She will keep trying to sabotage the relationship to "test" him because she doesn't believe that the "good guy" wants her," said Wong.

"She may even cheat on this "good guy" with a "bad man", because they feel like the "good guy" will leave her anyway," she adds.

Wong advices women who realise that they're in this unhealthy cycle to seek help from a therapist.

"Once you're aware that you have predisposition to go out with "bad men". Ask yourself if you're ready to break this cycle and visit unresolved childhood issues," said Wong.

"You have to be ready to take that step, even though it may seem scary," she added.

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