Posted by: | 26th May, 2014

Why Do We Date People Who are Bad For Us?

By: Skyler (Maple House Residence Advisor)

So you remember that time when you couldn’t decide what to do with this new person you are seeing? They are perceived to be bad for you – emotionally unstable, take days to text back, doesn’t really show how they feel about you, a wild card, someone you are absolutely unsure of. And as you contemplate your next course of action, you somehow always find yourself praying for someone who consistently puts you first, is never unavailable and will do everything you ask of them. But when a person like that shows up in your life, you almost always take them for granted, and your fantasies of the bad guy will re-emerge.

Why are humans like that? Why do we always go for what is bad for us? It’s like a drug that throws all rationality out of the window. We find ourselves going back to the bad guys over and over again. But are we programmed to be like this? Or are their underlying societal forces?

Turns out, it is in our nature that we like unpredictability. “A recent psychiatric study, which monitored subjects’ brains via MRI scans, found that when presented with rewards in an unpredictable pattern, people’s pleasure centers lit up far more than when the pattern was predictable. The greater joy was in the surprise. To come back to our issue, most people seek a stable, loving, desirable and supportive partner, but the uncontested reality of infidelity among married partners and the enduring attraction to “bad boys” bears out the study’s findings. Call it a conscious desire for “variety” or a subconscious jones for “unpredictability,” there is now a possible reason why human beings have a hard time resisting pleasure that is erratic — even when it goes against our self-interest or belief system. We’re just wired that way.”

There we go. It’s in our nature to play with fire and go for what we are unsure of. That being said, we can’t expect to fall back on these findings as an excuse for poor life decisions because we’re supposed to “use our conscious knowledge to override our unhealthy or undesirable impulses.”

What are your views on this, ’cause I wanna hear them.

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