Here's Why You Can't Resist Mr. Wrong

guy you should never dateWe've all fallen for a person who was COMPLETELY wrong for us. You know, the guy you share nothing in common with, who comes from a totally different (sketchy) background, and who probably either calls you "babe" or can't remember your name at all. Why the heck do we fall head over heels for someone who's so blatantly not Mr. Right? Science has a reason, because, you know, science always does.


True, you could explain this opposites-attraction with, "The heart wants what the heart wants." (Although we hope you don't. It's pretty trite.) But there is a scientific explanation that makes a lot more sense.

Scientific American points to a recent study published in a journal called Evolution & Human Behavior, in which Spanish researchers surveyed nearly 1,000 straight peeps between the ages of 16 and 67. Each was asked questions about his or her past relationships, and from their answers, researchers identified "pathological personality traits" such as neuroticism, impulsiveness, and obsessive-compulsiveness.

What they found? Men and women who were "pathologically reckless" had more short-term partners and more kids on average. By "pathologically reckless," we basically mean people who don't give a s*** what you think and will do what they want, when they want to.

Think James Bond, Han Solo, um, Kanye West?

Men with OCD qualities were also more lucky than the average Joe at having a long-term relationship. But that might not have anything to do with compulsive handwashing being surprisingly sexy and more about the fact that in this study, men on the OCD spectrum earned DOUBLE the salary of their peers.

More from The Stir: 5 'Bad Boy' Qualities Even Good Men Should Have

While OCD-ish women weren't as successful as their male counterparts at having a committed relationship, neurotic women were. (They were also more likely to have kids.) Who knew that being prone to worry and fear was such a turn-on?

So why do we instinctively gravitate toward the unpredictable/emotional vs. a steady, even-tempered partner? Let's go back to that James Bond example. Did you even notice another man on the screen in Spectre?

The "give and take" that impulsive people offer is irresistible to us. We know that the flip side to selfishness and rule-breaking is bravery, self-reliance, and independence. And who wouldn't want a person with those qualities by your side? (Not to mention passing them on to your offspring.)

Plus, we humans gravitate toward drama. (Why else would ANY of the Real Housewives still be on the air?) As Scientific American suggests, maybe the secret to a long, happy LTR with Mr. Right is for both of you to cultivate your wild side.

Occasionally, at least.


Image via Vitabello1/Shutterstock

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