One of my most popular public speaking events is when I discuss why women like jerks and bad boys. It usually gets a unique combination of women wanting to know why they wasted time and energy on a loser and men who have lost out to bad boys in the past. Plus, it’s a topic few people are willing to discuss openly.
These talks inevitably lead to questions from women who want deeper insights into the inner thoughts of men. As a dating coach and a man, I’m happy to give as many insights as possible. One particular question I get is this: why are men jerks? Women can’t believe how a guy who can be so attractive in many other ways and whom they love so much can be giant jerks.
Not All Men
Almost all women have experiences dating jerks. In fact, you’re probably thinking of your own as you read this. Most experiences with jerks are typically very memorable, both in good and bad ways.
The women I talk to tell me that the jerk started out so attractive and charming, but then, after awhile, he turned abusive and mean. So, the relationship had a lot of high highs and low lows. It was extremely passionate and definitely not boring.
As a result, these relationships are far more memorable and influential than the boring ones you had with average guys. As a result, it’s easy to let the “all men are jerks” mindset guide your thinking once you’ve been burned.
Remember, however, that not all men are jerks. There are a lot of guys who are kind, loving, and nice while also being attractive and assertive.
With that said, here are the reasons why some men are jerks.
Bad Boys Are Attractive
Did you see the movie about the mild mannered, bland, chubby accountant who was a hero and got the hot girl for showing up to work everyday, paying his bills on time, and keeping his lawn mowed regularly?
I didn’t either.
It’s a simple fact that bad boys are attractive to women. Now, I’m not saying most women want to settle down into a long term relationship with a bad boy. But, there is something very alluring to them about an independent, assertive, rugged guy who does exactly what he wants and shows them an exciting time.
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Those traits are ideal for a guy who is going somewhere in life (like a CEO or successful actor). But, if it’s out of a regular guy, you’re going to typically get some unwanted behaviors, as well. Many attractive bad boys also have criminal records, abuse alcohol and drugs, and possess violent tendencies. And, those can spill over into the relationship. That’s when an attractive bad boy becomes a jerk. It’s also when sensible people want to jump ship in the relationship.
Because bad boys are desired by women, there will always be guys who gladly play that role. Many of them will act like jerks. And, if you look at the next point, they will typically get away with it.
Jerks Have Options
An acquaintance in my high school was a prototypical bad boy. He had long hair, rode a motorcycle, and was involved in some serious shadiness, like doing drugs. He also had tons of girls chasing him, whether for his allure or to try to “fix” him.
When he’d inevitably cheat on his girlfriends, push them around a little, or get verbally abusive, most would leave. But, there would always be another girl ready to take him on as a project.
If a guy is attractive in some way, then there is little punishment for his bad behavior. Sure, a woman might dump him, but he can get back on Tinder and easily get more dates.
If a guy can continuously get what he wants, whether it’s dates, sex, or relationships, he’s going to have little incentive to make meaningful changes in his behavior. So, in this case, the answer to the question to “why are men jerks?” is because they can be.
They Have Issues
Let’s unpack what women mean when they say a guy is a jerk. It might mean extreme behavior like being physically or verbally abusive. Many women use jerk in that sense. However, women also refer to guys as jerks for other behavior such as cheating, manipulating, leading her on, lying, or being a “player.”
While adults are ultimately responsible for their own behaviors, a lot of guys learned the bad behavior because they watched their fathers do it. Or, maybe they lacked a father and had no positive male role models. As a result, they don’t know how to be good men.
Also, sometimes bad behavior is a result of untreated mental health disorders such as anxiety or depression. He also might genuinely have issues related to expressing his feelings or dealing with his anger.
Again, this isn’t to make excuses for jerk behavior. But, some guys try to be good people, but they can’t quite get past their problems. Perhaps you can see these issues in the jerks you’ve known.
It’s Basic Evolution
Even though it’s the modern world, humans are still primarily driven by biological urges. Sure, we can put a man on the moon and invent smart phones, but it’s much harder to get over basic instincts related to love and attraction. And, men are hard wired to be jerks.
Natural selection is pretty ruthless. The strong (and smart) survive and pass on their genes. The weak don’t. While the small, nerdy guy fits into human society today, throughout history the most successful men have been, by modern standards, jerks. In fact, evolution tends to select for jerk guys.
These guys were the strong, tough, brutish ones who could help the tribe survive in difficult times. They were the warriors, chiefs, and kings spoken of throughout history. Not only were men wired to act this way, but women were wired to find them attractive. Even in a more civilized era characterized by logical thinking, those evolutionary habits are hard to break.
So, this article should at least begin to answer the question why mean are jerks. Whatever the reason for this behavior, just remember there are guys out there who are both good and attractive. Seek them out instead. Your life will be a lot easier and more fun.
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