Why do I keep falling for the wrong men?” my friend, I will call her Frida, moaned the other weekend.

We all looked at each other, and rolled our eyes. We had heard this question before, and since we have known each other for years, we were familiar with the kind of man that Frida tended to gravitate towards — the bad boy type.

He was rude, lived dangerously, and was selfish to the core. In college, Frida had one that seemed to get a kick out of getting into fights.

I must say that the boy was good with his fists, and in all the fights I witnessed him in, he was the last man standing.

I remember telling Frida that he was bad news, but the girl was besotted, and retorted that at least he was the kind of man who could protect her, even if it was with his fists.

A few months into the relationship, he punched her in the face for “looking” at one of his friends. It took a broken nose for Frida to admit that he wasn’t right for her.

Fast track to a year or two later, she began to date another disaster in waiting. He drank too much, and when he did, he drove too fast.

As was bound to happen, one day, in a drunken daze, he rammed his car into another. Frida had been in the car with him but, luckily, neither of them was seriously hurt.

Shaken to the core, Frida walked away from the relationship. When we met her most recent boyfriend about five months ago, yet again, our antennas went up. I recall one of us commenting, “What’s with all the bling?”

The man wore a chunky chain around his neck, and several rings on his fingers and ogled at every woman who passed by our table.

But Frida, hopelessly in love, seemed blind to the danger signs popping up around him. It turned out that the man, who kept a bachelor pad to convince his conquests that he really was who he said he was, was married, and even had children.

Now, Frida, obviously growing weary of relationships that kept disappointing her, wanted to know why she kept getting the wrong men.

A few years ago, one of us introduced Frida to a cousin of hers, hoping that something meaningful would come out of the relationship.

After the second date, Frida announced that the relationship couldn’t work out, because our friend’s cousin was “boring”.

I asked around, and in the books of women who tend to fall for the bad boy type, boring refers to a ‘safe’ man — a man with no drama in his life — so to speak.

A man who steers away from controversy, a man who would rather walk away than exchange blows. You’ll never find this man surrounded by a crowd, hanging onto every word he says.

He’s certainly not the life of a party, and is content to stay that way. He calls when he says he’ll call, he respects your friends, and your mother would like him.

Because of his laid-back temperament he’s probably the kind of man who will make a good father, the kind of man who, even if he’ll not change a diaper, will have no qualms about rolling up his sleeves, getting on his knees and playing with his child.

Unfortunately, as twisted as it sounds, this man, the “nice” man, doesn’t give women like Frida an adrenalin rush, and so they keep drawing the bad boys to themselves, like moths to a light bulb.

They know that they’ll get hurt eventually, but they keep seeking them out.

musheneafrica@gmail.com

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