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Good girls, bad guys, and the law of attraction

In my last post, I addressed a question about how the scientific notion of “opposites attract” relates to the popular idea known as “the law of attraction.” That post is a background for this one. To read, please click here. In a recent discussion with a friend and fellow blogger, Chaz (click here for his inspiring blog), I was prompted to think about the age-old phenomenon of the “good girl” who goes for the “bad guy” and how that relates, if at all, to the idea that “like attracts like”.  What follows is my explorative effort to reconcile the two. Let’s dive in and see what happens, shall we? Cheers 🙂 -TK

The “good girl” and the “bad boy”

Let’s say there’s a quiet, shy, and reserved lady who’s regarded by everyone she knows as a morally conservative “good girl.”  She’s never drank before; never uttered a swear word; never angered anyone; never rebelled against authority. She’s always been a good student, friend, and employee because she’s never failed to do the “right things”.

However, she has a budding taste for a more adventurous life. She’s not necessarily bored, but she does long to venture out beyond the confines of her known world. She would love to have someone in her life who challenges her to step outside of her comfort zones, take risks, and explore new possibilities.

Along comes the town “bad boy.” He breaks all the rules, takes hogwash from no one, rides a motorcycle, and rebels against authority as a profession. He arrogantly thinks he’s above the law, walks with a champion’s swagger, and feels quite sure of himself.

Although a part of our “good girl” wants the kind of man from the romantic comedies, she still finds herself drawn to this “bad boy” none of her friends ever thought she’d go for.

How could it be?

Opposites really do attract, right?

Not so fast!

There’s more than meets the eye

In my last post, “Law of Attraction or Opposites Attract?”, I said the following:

If you observe closely, you’ll find that every instance of attraction involves both opposites and similarities depending on what vantage point you are looking at it from.

I believe this holds true for the “good girls/bad boys” phenomenon too.

Let’s take a deeper look:

Although they appear to be opposites on a superficial level, our “good girl” and “bad boy” have a high degree of energetic compatibility.

The “bad boy’s” reckless persona is vibrating at the same frequency as the “good girl’s” taste for adventure and self-exploration.

With his confidence and experience, he offers her the opportunity to safely follow his lead while he introduces her to a way of living that breaks her free from the monotony of her routine life. He might not be the ideal guy for her in the long-term, but the energy of what he lives is highly compatible with the energy she’s curious to explore.

Ladies who are often considered “good girls”  frequently report that although “bad boys” are less than ideal dating candidates, they tend to exhibit leadership qualities that they find very appealing.

Contrary to outward appearances, this is not a simple one-sided case of “opposites attract.” It’s also a classic example of “like attracts like” when looked at from an alternative point of view.

The real opposite may not be what you think

Many so-called “good guys” are actually the true opposite of what some “good girls” are looking for.

“Good guys” make great employees because they show up on time, say all the right things, and never offend anyone, but their tendency to always play it safe  can very easily make them seem boring to someone who is already all too familiar with that world.

The world has never seen a creative person or a great leader who wasn’t willing to take the risk of saying or doing something that could be deemed offensive.

Some “good guys” tend to earn their reputation by avoiding such risks as if they were plagues. They may attend the same church as the “good girls”, but outside of superficial qualities they may have very little in common.

Let’s imagine a first date scenario:

The good girl says her favorite movie is “Romeo & Juliet.”

The good guy responds by saying all the right things. By playing it safe in order to avoid ruining the date, he fails to take her outside of her known world with a fresh opinion. He’s good, safe, harmless, and….BORING!

The bad boy laughs, gives 10 reasons why he hates that movie, and then changes the subject to politics AND religion. Although she completely disagrees with him and doesn’t necessarily enjoy having her favorite movie laughed at, the “bad boy” creates intrigue by offering a way of looking at the world that differs from hers. “Hmmm. In what other ways is he capable of doing this?” 2nd date!

This is not a formula, of course. It doesn’t always work this way. All women don’t look for the same thing. All “good girls” aren’t into “bad boys.” All “good girls” who are into “bad boys” aren’t into the same kind of “bad boys.” All “good guys” aren’t boring. The details of every situation differs so you’re not going to win someone’s heart with a formula you create from my blog. This isn’t dating advice nor is it a sweeping assessment of the wide range of personality types our world is filled with.

My point is much more fundamental and here it is:

When we observe instances in which opposites seem to attract, it’s only because we are focusing primarily on those elements in the situation that are different from one another. We’re comparing the outfits that are being worn, the jobs they work at, their respective genders, the color of their skin, their religious beliefs, the music they listen to, etc.

But we live in a world of great diversity and the possibilities for attraction extend far beyond the range of what can always be detected with the visible eye.

Why? Because there is more to what we are than our physical makeup and our outer appearances.

Everything in the Universe is made of energy and that includes us. We are energy-beings. This energy vibrates according to the pattern of our thoughts, words, feelings, character, and actions.

What does this have to do with tough-minded optimism?

Once you grasp why opposites seem to attract, you can make this understanding work for you.

There may be something you desire to have in your life; companionship, abundance, adventure, a fulfilling career, or improved health.

From your current point of view, the object of your desire may seem to be the complete opposite of who you are or what you possess.

Your desire for companionship, for instance, may be the complete opposite of your current predicament of loneliness. Your desire for abundance may be the complete opposite of your present condition of financial lack.

Don’t compare what your current situation LOOKS LIKE to what your desired situation LOOKS LIKE.

Raise your vibration by adjusting your attitude and tune into the frequency of well-being.  

Establish energetic compatibility between your thoughts and the conditions you desire. And with time and practice, you can magnetize those very things into your experience.


T.K. Coleman

This Post Has 10 Comments
  1. TK… good points. We are all complex beings made up of many traits that may not be obvious by mere external appearances.

    We may share with another person a strong thread that makes the fabric of both of our beings, even if it is not the most conspicuous.

    In addition, we cannot account for all of the reasons one person may be, or may wish to be, attracted to a particular type. It would not be beyond possibility for a “good girl” to wish to appear to be attracted to a “bad boy” out of some unhealthy motive like spite toward her family, yet she may not necessarily even be attracted.

    I think evidence of the Law of Attraction would be seen more over time and through a variety of circumstances. Good girl simply tearing off on the back of bad boy’s motorcycle once, twice, or even 100 times is not a solid indicator of attraction.

    For me, I am learning how the LOA applies in my life meaningfully. Where it doesn’t appear to do so, I leave for time to reveal what might be going on.



    PS… thanks for the mention.

  2. The mention is my pleasure, bro. You provide very good food for thought in the words you say and I think people would benefit from checking them out.

    I like the additional insights you bring out regarding the good girl/bad bot phenom and the way in which it balances and broadens the discussion.

    I owe you for getting my mind moving on this topic. It’s been a fun brainstorm for me.

    I love this:

    “For me, I am learning how the LOA applies in my life meaningfully. Where it doesn’t appear to do so, I leave for time to reveal what might be going on.”

    That is a very stress-free and pressure-free way to approach things, bro. I receive that insight as practical wisdom stemming from a seasoned soul. Much appreciated.

    I may quote some of these insights in future posts. You say a lot of thought-provoking things.

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing today.

    I hope the start of this 9-intensive is going smooth for you, bro. I’m definitely projecting good thoughts and positive energy your way.



  3. I am the poster child of a “good girl,” but that is definitely an appearance thing. I was raised properly, attended an Ivy League university, have a respectable career, and dress rather conservatively, but that has always been just the window dressing. My dad taught me when I was young that a woman should always be a lady in public and whatever she wants to be in private, and it’s a truism I live every day. Most of my friends are perpetually frustrated that I am always attracted the “bad boys,” but I understand it and myself perfectly well. And it’s a relief to find that you do, too! 🙂

    Nice post!

    1. Thank you for those kind words and your insightful comment. I also believe that we should all carry ourselves with dignity while always retaining our right to be true to who we are at the core. Kudos for following the path of your authentic self regardless of how others may choose to view that. Cheers 🙂 -T.K.

  4. Came across these posts and thought of John Bradshaw’s apt phrase “Mr neurotic is not attracted to Ms mental health.” (or vise versa) (The Family) I believe that the Laws of Attraction have more to do with (deeper) shared values than the good girl/bad boy syndrome. Depends too on how we’re defining good & bad. Interesting how our culture sees the good as conventional and boring and the bad as romantic and idealized. Good as followers. Bad as leaders. Etc. Yikes!

    Perhaps the issue is one of developing healthy realtionships. Starting with a healthy relationship with oneself.

    Maria Montessori wrote on early childhood development that all too often the adults (parents, etc) tend to “attach the morally good as passive and the morally bad as active” in the child’s early years. As the adults themselves have learned from their past. Intriguing. And too often then the morally “good” internally becomes a wave of vague disquiet. But the “bad” speaks loud and clear.

    Self-motivated, the child starts to walk and talk. Tne house is for and of adults. The child starts to explore his world and starts getting negative feedback. “Stop” or “Don’t Touch” or “Bad” etc,
    and voices charged with disapproval. The attention becomes negatively oriented.

    Montessori explains how to “prepare the environment” for a child to start on his “voyage of discovery” as he trys to bring “order out of chaos.” She teaches us the powers of observation to understand that all children are driven to learn (actively), so what happens to them? Why do they become followers when they are meant to be leaders? (Autonomous, think for themselves,
    active, self-generated, etc.) How did that toddler later become a timid teen lurching into shaky
    adulthood or a tempest-tost terror? Or many variations in between?

    Some thoughts.



  5. I was never the “atypical” good girl, as i did experiment with drinking, drugs and sex as a teenager, but I was considered a “good girl” because I was very responsible. I am still extremely responsible to this day, probably to a fault!

    I did get with the bad boy, twice, as we seperated and got back together yrs later. It was a very negative relationship, and we have seperated since, 8 yrs now. Here is my take on it.

    LOA works on our subconscious thoughts, the ones that repeat and most don’t even know they are thinking them, right?

    The good girl truly wants to let go and have some fun, relax from the constraints she or others have put on her.

    Bad boy truly wants to have some place safe, even though he put off a “I don’t need anybody” vibe.

    The two can give permission of the others relief from their current roles.

    I will give you a direct quote from my ex, “I need you around, you keep me honest”.

    Opposites attract is not really an accurate description for most scenarios it seems to fit. We attract whom we feel fulfills what we are lacking in ourselves, that constant inner voice saying “freedom” or “stability”, in the context of the bad boy/good girl topic.

    About raising our children with passive being moral and assertive being naughty……… boy oh boy, I fight with that one everyday.

    I have 4 boys. I have ruled with almost a militant way of parenting. I needed to be mom and dad for many yrs, so I felt I could not let them get away with anything, for fear they would run away with everything.

    Now, they are getting older and I find myself seeing them as too passive, they don’t take enough risks!!!

    I wanted my boys to have self confidence and still have a good sense of right and wrong, not be pushovers.

    I get compliments on how well behaved my boys are, how nice my boys are, how considerate my boys are and they really are nice boys. I know my boys are marriage material, not anywhere near the bad boy persona at all, but how many marriage material men attrract the bad girl??????? OH BOY, what have I done, lol!

    How ridiculous is that at the ages of 19 and 11, the other 2 are step children, that I get excited when they stand their ground with me when they have a true belief and that I may be wrong. Or when they show they are displeased with me (never by back talking, I don’t put up with that).

    Parenting and LOA is a huge topic, but I thought the last post spoke to me as I aften think about how I have parented and if I have made the rights choices!!! I guess that is the way parenting is for most.

    Love this blog site!

    1. I ought to clarify that my above reference to childhood, speaks to all of us. As adults we can evaluate the messages our parents (and other adults) supplanted in us (verbally and non-verbally) and sift through the “scripts” we may have adopted (internalized) while growing up. Acknowledging that our parents also grew up with scripts. The goal: To
      be script-free and autonomous.

      As a wise clinical psychologist said: “There is nothing we can’t fix as adults, and it takes being an adult to fix. Just requires getting more information (knowledge).”

      And, as adults, we can revisit issues wth our adult children, when needed.

      I understand the excitement when a child “stands their ground” with a parent. Believe it’s vital to distinguish being
      stubborn from being determined. Not to promote obedience at the expense of autonomy. How to instill the crucial skill of thinking and “thinking for oneself.” To value their mind. (Some of the qualities needed to become a leader, not a follower.)

      Of course children growing up don’t listen so much to what we say, as watching what we do. Are we consistent or
      contradictory? Thougtful or thoughtless? Do we want our children to reflect what we are, or what we aren’t? Etc.

      Life skills. Planting seeds. Taking responsiblity emotionally, psychologically, intellectually.

      When my son was growing up I encouraged him to choose his friends, not to wait for them to choose him. This will
      require of him using judgement (weighing and measuring) to ascertain if a person will be good for him. (Not being judgemental.) As much as most people are good, doesn’t mean they are good for you. Conversely, he will meet people using the same skillsets. Ultimately, the standard will be: Is this person going to enlarge or diminish me? And I them?

      Forgive my “soapbox” approach. I’m always charged up by the dynamics of people and the challenges we face in
      life. I am impressed that there are people who can walk upright, given the severe obstacles in their way, and how
      they overcome.

      And how much the outcome of it all relies on our mental posture.



      1. I will openly claim to not being the atypical “good girl”, for even at a fairly young age I have done my own expirementing. I find that my mother seems to allow me to make my own decisions though she gives her advice and her guidelines that I am to at least follow, she understands that teenagers are really going to do whatever they want. I understand responsibility and the way to use it in ways that allow me to be responsible in, I would suppose, irresponsible situations. My decisions are of my own choice and I feel that they were proper for the time being, if I were put in the same situations for a second time, I would make a different choice. Mom always has allowed more room for me to make my choices rather than she has with my siblings, but they never were (and still really aren’t) at the level of accountability that I am at even at such a young age, and two of my siblings are in their twenties. II suppose that it depends on a matter of mentality rather than a way of parenting, though parenting may have a big part in it.

        As far as being attracted to the “bad boy” scenario I have had my share of boys that were not of reasonable standards of “good”, and as Jen said, it was because the bad boys offer the good girls a sense of fun and relaxation, whereas the good girls offer a sense of stability and security, and as far as I would think, the same can be said in a vise versa manner. The LOA is a very interesting subject in the sense that in today’s society, we do find “bad” as a romantic figure, and quite frankly I don’t believe that we can simply place it in today’s society, because “good” has always been attracted to “bad” when it fits the “good’s” requirements and expectations.

        Anyways, that’s just how I see it from my own teenage perspective.



    2. This article and your post definitely point out that we attract what we are thinking about and resonating with–not who we appear to be.

      Raising children using the Law of Attraction requires most of us to shift our thinking from how we were raised.

      We want to teach our children to check in with the Internal Guidance System to know what is right for them as opposed to what is the expected behavior. The more we can do that, we will have fewer “good girl-bad boy” surprise relationships.

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