By EMMA RUDD In 1116, the esteemed philosopher Abelard wrote to a friend that he was sure he could seduce a brilliant scholar named Heloise. “I was famous myself at the time, young, and exceptionally good-looking,” he wrote. “And I could not imagine that any woman I thought worthy of my love would turn me down.” Annoyingly, he was correct. Abelard dominated Heloise’s time as her teacher and later married her after having a baby out of wedlock. He lived recklessly and with a long list of enemies while she lived devoted to him. The two were persecuted for their unconventional lives and eventually forced to live separately – Abelard at a monastery and Heloise at a nunnery. In their separation, she wrote of her longing for him and he wrote of his most recent sufferings.

Today, their love story seems predictable. In the 900 years since, we’ve witnessed pairings like Sandy and Danny of Grease or Claire and John of The Breakfast Club. We’ve ogled at the antics of men like James Dean or Johnny Depp and fallen deeper into the trappings of the rebellious man. Even this year’s Oscar front-runner, Lady Bird, adopts a similar storyline between leading Lady Bird McPherson and her cigarette-smoking love-interest, Kyle Scheible. The influence of the bad boy is endless – dominating movies, television, and our own relationships – with no signs of disappearing.

This enduring influence may be due to an inherent attraction to dark personalities, says psychologists Nicholas Holtzman and Michael Strube. In a 2012 study, they coined the term “dark triad” to refer to the three most alluring traits – Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy. They found that men who exhibited these three characteristics are actually more appealing, not less, at first glance.

As an original bad boy, Abelard exhibited the darkest of triads. He used perfectly crafted words to manipulate his enemies, boasted of his successes, and repeatedly claimed that his eventual castration didn’t compare to the pain he felt when his book was burned. Heloise was hooked.

She wrote to him “the name of wife may have the advantages of sanctity and safety but to me the sweeter name will always be lover or, if your dignity can bear it, concubine or whore.”

We can relate. While our interest in bad boys may be due to their dark personalities, our attraction to dark personalities might be caused by sexual fantasies. All three of the dark triads were linked to various sexual fantasy themes, according to a 2014 study. The thought of a satisfying ending to that dinner where he only talked about himself or those three weeks of mind games is what keeps us hanging on.

Although, we won’t be hanging for long. The dark triad isn’t meant to form a lasting relationship, says Holtzman and Strube. Typically, the appeal of these traits wears off with time and the sexual desire is probably soon to follow.

“For someone who is a good girl, I like the idea of having something different,” said 20-year-old Daniela Weinstein. “It’s not something to rely on but it’s thrilling in the moment.”

Heloise felt a similar disillusionment. In one of her later letters to Abelard, she wrote “you sadden my spirit.”

Maybe you’ve completed your sexual fantasy checklist or your spirit has been saddened after waiting three days for a text back. You might have even come to see the qualities you once saw as dangerous and exciting for what they actually are – a dark triad. Either way, you’ve got your thrill and can now move on to more serious attractions. Leave it to Danny Zuko or John Bender to fill that bad boy void in your heart.