Why Good Girls Like Bad Boys

If he was a loser, I liked him.
If he was going to treat me bad, I had to have him.
If he needed to be fixed, I figured I was just the girl for the job.

For so many years I liked the wrong guys for all the wrong reasons. I guess my picker outer was broken. And there’s only one result of a broken picker outer . . . a broken heart. Picking the wrong guys led to the wrong expectations and the wrong kinds of relationships.

By God’s grace, I eventually married the right guy, but I still remember the pain of picking the wrong guy over and over (and over) again! Here are some truths I learned along the way.

Bad Boys Make Bad Boyfriends

There’s just something about a bad boy that’s so . . . intriguing. We may be drawn in by his brooding, his recklessness, or his disregard for the rules. Bad boys just seem so mysterious that we are pulled to them like a magnet.

But bad boys don’t make good friends. They don’t make good boyfriends either, and with that kind of track record, you can bet they aren’t great husband material. Contrast that “I can do what I want” attitude that makes a bad boy a bad boy, with the kind of man God describes in Titus 1:6–9.

“An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.”

A Godly Guy Is:

  • blameless
  • faithful
  • hospitable (That means easy to be around.)
  • self-controlled
  • upright
  • holy
  • disciplined

He Loves:

  • what is good (That doesn’t mean simply what is good for him.)

A Godly Guy Is Not:

  • overbearing
  • quick tempered
  • addicted
  • violent
  • dishonest

I get the appeal of bad boys. I’ve dated more than my fair share of them. But those relationships all ended . . . badly. God’s Word champions the good guy who will not do things perfectly, but will seek to honor God and others in all that he does.

Fixing Someone Is Exhausting

In my mind, most of my relationships played out this way:

  • Girl meets boy.
  • Boy is trouble.
  • Girl rescues boy from his trouble.
  • Boy is so grateful; he sends the girl flowers every day for the rest of her life.

In reality, things played out more like this:

  • Girl meets boy.
  • Boy is trouble.
  • Girl tries to rescue boy from his troubles.
  • Boy doesn’t want to be rescued.
  • Girl gets frustrated and exhausted.
  • Boy gets angry.
  • Boy and girl part ways.

The truth is, I am no one’s rescuer. Only God can play that role. I’m not the one who can change hearts. Yep, that’s God’s job too. And my attempts to ride in on the white horse and save the day never work out like I planned.

I’m sure you’ve heard this verse before, but it’s a tough one to get to stick.

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Cor. 6:14).

Here’s another verse with a farm reference you might not be as familiar with.

“Do not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together” (Deut. 22:10).

I happen to own a donkey named Bart, and he is as stubborn as they come. If I tried to yoke, or tie, him to another animal, he would kick and bray and stomp his hooves. He might even lay down and refuse to move. If Bart doesn’t want to do it, Bart is not going to do it.

Bad boys don’t make good friends, good boyfriends either, or good husbands.

This is a good analogy for what happens when we start a relationship thinking it’s our job to fix the other person. They likely don’t want to be fixed. They are probably a square peg who doesn’t want to be jammed into the round hole we create for them. And, even if they do want to change, they cannot do it on their own, or even with our help.

In John 15:5 Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

It is God who produces fruit in our lives. He shapes us to be more like Him. We cannot do it on our own. In fact, the Bible flat out says, “apart from me you can do nothing.”

If you head into a relationship thinking you can change your guy to be more like Jesus, you will end up feeling like an ox dragging a donkey. Take Bart’s word for it, that is not what love is supposed to feel like.

Remember What Love Is

Love isn’t pain. It isn’t struggle. It doesn’t have to be constant work.

This is how God’s Word describes love.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Cor. 13:4-7).

You may define love as butterflies in your stomach or the way he makes you feel when he looks at you, but God’s Word says it’s way deeper than that. Only God’s definition of love can last.

If you’ve got a broken picker outer, let me encourage you to take it to God. Ask Him to fix it. Ask Him to show you what real love should look like and for the courage to wait for the right guy in His timing.

About Author

Erin Davis

Erin is passionate about pointing young women toward God's Truth. She is the author of several books and a frequent speaker and blogger to women of all ages. Erin lives on a small farm in the midwest with her husband and kids. When she's not writing, you can find her herding goats, chickens, and children.

HEY, GIRLS! We love hearing from you, but feel limited in the ways we can help. For one thing, we’re not trained counselors. If you’re seeking counsel, we encourage you to talk to your pastor or a godly woman in your life as they’ll know more details and can provide you with ongoing accountability and help. Also, the following comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Revive Our Hearts. We reserve the right to remove comments which might be unhelpful, unsuitable, or inappropriate. We may edit or remove your comment if it:

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  • Dwight Clough

    Great post, Erin

  • Gloria

    Ugh sometimes it’s so frustrating for me, because every guy that I’ve ever liked are what you would call bad boys and I’ve constantly prayed to God to help me but I always find those feelings still lurking somewhere. Please help me how do I get rid of those feelings , and focus on God leading me to the one he’s prepared for me

    • Patience Q


      I would encourage you to desire Christ first before any other earthly love. As you and I find out who Christ is and learn from Him what is good and acceptable and perfect (Rom. 12:2), we will also learn to desire what is good and acceptable and perfect in a life mate.

      Jesus did a lot for us. If you’re up to this, it’s really interesting to study how Jewish wedding customs correlate with both the Cross and God’s Covenant with the Israelites in the desert. Here’s something to start you on (http://www.yeshuatyisrael.com/messiah_wedding%201.htm) , I’m sure you’ll be able to find a lot more, richer material though. 🙂 It’s awe striking to realize that God actually loved us enough to pay the dowry, go prepare for us a home, and will one day take us to live with Him. Jesus is the Lover of our Souls, Gloria. Christ first loved us, so we owe Him our first love (1 John 4:19).

      By learning to love Christ and find total satisfaction in Christ, we will be prepared to lay down our lives for another person who God wants to use for His kingdom! We’re in this together. Many girls struggle with the exact same problem you have…God can use your struggle now to encourage other girls later!
      Here are some ideas for you when you struggle with those thoughts:
      -Pray for the guy’s wife (who know? you may be praying for yourself)
      -Talk to your parents about it
      -Surrender (and re-surrender) your life to God
      -Strive to find fulfillment in God’s love for you as you wait for God to bring an earthy lover
      -Read “Before you Meet Prince Charming” (Sarah Mally) and/or “It’s not (that) Complicated” (Anna Sophia and Elizabeth Botkin) and the Bible 🙂
      -Find ways to be involved in ministry while you wait (don’t just eat bon bons and twiddle your thumbs lol)
      -Thank God for your feelings, because they’re normal, God-given, and meant to be used for His kingdom
      I’m amazed that God lead me here to write this…you only posted four hours ago! He’s on your side, Gloria! (Jer. 29:11)
      May God bless you as you seek to follow Him!
      In Jesus,

    • Carrie @ Revive Our Hearts

      Thank you for your honesty, sweet friend. There is great hope for change…because of Jesus! Oh, how Jesus loves to bring life, joy, hope,and help into the broken places of our lives.

      Are you up for a challenge? For 30 days will you commit to spending time in God’s Word every day? To help you get started, would you listen to these three broadcasts called, “Because He Loves Me” ( http://tinyurl.com/chuc26w).

      Let me know you’re in and I’ll send you a resource called Because He Loves Me that will help you spend time in His Word each day.

      Praying for you tonight, Gloria! I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand. Do not fear. I will help you; though you stumble you will not fall for I the Lord uphold you with my hand. So do not fear for I am with you. Do not be dismayed or anxiously look about you for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will
      uphold you with my righteous right hand (Is. 41:13; Ps. 37:24; Is 41:10).

      Grace and peace,


  • Rachel

    This is exactly what I needed to hear!!! Thank you!!!!!!

  • Hope

    Thanks so much for this! I at least am one of those girls that struggles with being attracted to “bad boys”. Sometimes I feel alone in the struggle; it’s such an encouragement to know I’m not!

  • Kennedy

    I really needed to hear this message and it let’s me know what kind of men that God wants and blesses me with.

  • madison Lisle

    i don’t post pictures of myself.. I don’t like that kind of attention it makes me feel uncomfortable..

  • judah

    i’m not so much attracted to them for the obvious reasons, but because they’re hurting like me.

    • Carrie @ Revive Our Hearts

      I’m really sorry you’re hurting, Judah. I don’t pretend to know the hard realities you’re walking through, but I do know the One who loves you in the midst of your pain and heartache.

      So I’m praying for you today, Juday–that you’ll know His love for you this Christmas Season In all their suffering He also suffered, and He personally rescued them. In His love and mercy He redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them through all the years (Isaiah 63:9 NLT).

      Grace and peace,
      Lies Young Women Believe Team

  • SouthHarper

    Great Post! ,

    This always happened to me..

    i am a good boy that are attracted to the bad girl,
    and i always have been backstabbed by them.

    all my teenage years (14yrs – 19yrs) was like that.. after an backstab i would get worse on alcohol and drugs to ease the pain… and i always tried to be the “BAD GUY”

    (even by getting worse on drugs and alcohol, inside me i was the good boy, but away from Christ)..

    well.. before destroying my life for good , Christ rescued me.. (when i was 19 to 20 years old)

    now i preach the word here in Brazil, i am 22 years old now (yeah i am Brazilian)

    what sometimes happens is that i think i could fix some girl… or something like that because when i look at some girls.. in my head i think i could help( or fix them) with the word or my goodness..

    Yeah! you may say “its ok to preach the word or show goodness to them” but its a very hardline for me because its very tempting… (infatuation… sometimes happen and its no good, like my teenage days when i got infatuated by bad girls… )

    now i can even remember those words from Paul : “For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.” Romans 7:18-19

    extremely hurtful… i could say i got some terrible scars in my mind by being backstabbed by those girls,

    but i am learning to have faith in Christ and in his work , that by Prayer and Faith, i believe that someday those girls can become the holiest beings in the eyes of the Lord

    Lately my motto has been : “”While there is life there is hope”” there is hope for me, hope for bad boys, bad girls, hope for Christian boys who have done bad things, hope for the Christian Girl that feels guilty, hope for the preacher who is ignored…

    Now something young christians (and myself) need to learn is to wait on God for the right person… (Good Boy + Good Girl = Good Marriage) =D and pray a lot.

    • Thank you for sharing your story with us. Sometimes we learn the most valuable lessons by the hurts in our lives. Stay in the Word, SouthHarper! It will keep you anchored to the heart of God.