I dated three guys (one after the other, not at the same time) in my early years that I thought of as bad boys – not so much with the criminal record (although the one got so weird by the end that I wouldn’t be that surprised to read about him in the news), but more along the lines of the “last guy standing at the party” type. You know, up for anything, any time, any place. Wild, I guess. Bad boys with hearts of gold. At the time, I didn’t think too hard on my reasons for thinking they were my “type.”
Looking back on it, I think there was an element of competition going on. I liked to fancy myself the wild girl who was up for anything etc etc. Dating a bad boy helped me complete the image I had of myself. This really wasn’t good for anyone involved, because we’d tend to egg each other on to even greater (and stupider) feats of craziness.
Hmmm, the more I think about this, the more I think maybe this is missing the definition of bad boy that the OP is looking for. They didn’t treat me badly, but at the same time, all our energy went into creating this image – we spent more time on our public presentation than we did on our relationship. It seemed like we were very busy being the Ultimate Party Couple, but not, ya know, a couple involved with each other.
For whatever reason, I wasn’t very self-reflective about my dating experiences until I met Mr. Del. Then I was startled to realize how weird it was that in the past, I had often dated people who I thought were like me, as opposed to people who actually liked me, if that makes sense.