What’s the allure of a bad boy?
Despite his charm and good looks, Bentley Williams is undeniably ‘the villain’ this season on The Bachelorette. Not only isn’t he into leading lady Ashley Hebert, but he’s been messing with her mind, allowing her to think that he cares when in reality he was only using her to get on the ABC dating show. So when a guy is clearly not only bad for you, but a bad boy in general, why do we fall so much harder, and how do we make ourselves want the right one?
Ashley’s heart wasn’t into it on last night’s episode of The Bachelorette. Instead of enjoying her outing with the other guys, she was still stressing about Bentley’s untimely departure — and realizes he’s the only one she actually has feelings for.
Sitting down with host Chris Harrison before the rose ceremony, she confided, “I think that I’m pretty certain about who I want to move forward with, but there is something on my mind,. It’s Bentley and what could have been.”
“I know it’s not a good thing,” she added. “I need to close this Bentley thing off.”
Although there’s certainly something to thinking ‘danger’ and being aloof is more exciting than a normal relationship (a pattern we often fall out of the older we get), there’s actually a scientific reason for our attraction to guys that aren’t good for us. A study published by the American Psychological Association Journal Emotion, says that we have a thing for grumpy guys because we actually see his lack of a smile as powerful. And seriously, has anyone smiled less than Bentley Williams?
“We found that women were least attracted to smiling, happy men, preferring those who looked proud and powerful or moody,” said Professor Jessica Tracy of the University of British Columbia in Canada, who led a team of psychologists in the research. She added, ”Showing a happy face may be considered essential to friendly social interactions, including those involving sexual attraction.”
But how did they get their results? The Canadian research team had 1,000 adults rate the opposite sex on their attractiveness in hundreds of photographs. The photos ranged from happy and smiling to frowns to evil scowls.
This study simply proves who we’re attracted to and why. Smiling men, apparently, seem more like women — which is why nice guys finish last. They lack the unflappable dominance of the “strong and silent” type.
So Ashley, don’t be hard on yourself for wanting Bentley the most. Not only did he lay some pretty thick lines on you, but you were scientifically predisposed to like him out of all your choices — his happy expressions were so rare! You can’t really argue with science — so don’t beat yourself up for making bad boy choices.