Because most of my time not spent reading or writing is now spent watching Gilmore Girls, I’ve started thinking about bad boys.
Gilmore Girls wasn’t a show I watched when it was on t.v.; as a high schooler with a short attention span, the CW had too many commercial breaks for me. Now as a thirty-smmmmm year old, and watching it with actual life experience, I wonder, what is it that makes a guy a bad boy?
So: because I’m nothing if not thorough, I did some research.
First, I dismissed the myths. Leather jackets, slicked back hair, a motorcycle, does not a bad boy make. It’s predictable, and a bad boy is not predictable.
Predictability, or lack thereof, I’ve discovered, is the hallmark of the bad boy. Thinking literarily (which is a word— I double-checked with Merriam Webster), a female character interested in a bad boy is always confused.
What does he want?
Where is he?
Why does he show up at the most unexpected times?
What does he think? Does he love our female main character or hate her?
Take Fitzwilliam Darcy. If Pride and Prejudice was less well known, and Darcy and Elizabeth’s fate not common knowledge, we the reader would be as surprised as she when he proposes.
A bad boy in breeches… sigh.
Our literary bad boys don’t have to be from classic lit either. Edward (Twilight), Gale (Hunger Games), Four (Divergent), Cole (Wolves of Mercy Falls), The Darkling (Grisha Series), Travis Maddox (Beautiful Disaster). All kept our female main character off-balance. All of them kept us guessing. All of them maintained a poker face and the perfect combination of sweetness and assholery.
There is no case to make for the bad boy, because he doesn’t care what we think, and he’s not here to impress us (except… he kind of is. Because here’s the big bad boy secret— he actually does care, and he’s looking for some special girl to finally give him the acceptance he has always yearned for).
So even if he pretends Valentine’s Day is for losers, it might actually melt his cold heart to get one.
Wondering who your bad boy soul mate is? I found some fun quizzes online. Enjoy.