In my twenties, I knew a beautiful, college-educated woman who was madly in love with a guy. He had no job, no education, and had been in more fights than he had genuine accomplishments.
But, what about the pathetic loser that a lot of women date and stick with even though he may be unemployed, has several jail stints, and is extremely physically unattractive?
So, based on my experience, here I answer the question: why do women date losers?
He’s a Former Bad Boy
Scratch the surface of a loser and you’ll often find a bad boy underneath (or the shell of a bad boy). Bad boy traits such as recklessness, rebellion, and criminality don’t exactly lend themselves to success in the modern world. So, when a woman falls for a guy who’s a bad boy at eighteen, by 28 he’s more of a “worn out” old man.
This “bad boy” might be missing teeth, addicted to drugs, chronically unemployed, and flabby. In other words, he’s gone from an exciting and mysterious rebel to a certifiable loser. But, in spite of that new fact…
Breaking Attraction is Harder Than You Think
The brain loves familiarity and routine. It also bonds us to individuals through various brain chemicals. The brain releases dopamine early in a relationship to create that “infatuation” feeling. Women bond to men in a long-term way through oxytocin, and this chemical creates a powerful bond. In fact, it is the chemical that creates the bond a woman has with her child.
Women typically bonded to these loser men early, back when they may not have been losers (at least in the eyes of the women). However, breaking the bond of love is emotionally painful for the brain.
It literally can create withdrawal and anxiety (even panic attacks). The girl may know rationally that he’s horrible for her, but she fears the emotional pain that comes from ending the relationship. Or, she might have developed codependent behaviors. So, in some sick and twisted way, taking care of this man meets needs.
The Mothering Instinct
This may not seem like a good answer because it should only apply to kids. But, it’s not always the case. Women have evolved to be especially good at nurturing and caring. Those traits come more naturally for women than men. It’s why there are more female counselors and grade school teachers.
However, sometimes this nurturing, mothering instinct goes beyond children and applies to loser men. I’ve heard women who dated losers (and even abusive ones) tell me, in complete sincerity, that they were the only ones who “understood him” and could help him. They take on the responsibility of “saving” a grown man.
Saving a horrible and abusive grown man sounds mentally sick (and is), but oxytocin doesn’t just create romantic bonds, but as I mentioned, mother/child bonds. So, romantic love within a woman can be much more complicated than just sexual attraction. A woman could have a deep romantic desire to save a man and her brain chemistry tells her it’s normal and even noble. So, a woman might have the same difficulty abandoning a troubled man as much as she does letting go of a troubled child.
Most people have issues with self-esteem, including women. They genuinely believe they cannot land another man even if they try. So, they stick with the current loser in the sincere belief that they don’t deserve anyone else.
This isn’t a run of the mill type of low confidence either. These could be beautiful women who, for whatever reason, feel deep down they don’t deserve better. The issue is more than simply talking her out of being with a loser; rather it’s a fundamental personality issue.
She’s A Loser
Many men have trouble admitting that a beautiful girl with a loser guy could be…gasp…a loser herself. The “Halo Effect” is strong with pretty women. Guys assume that because she is pretty, or wears glasses, or whatever, that she must be nice and innocent. Plenty of women use drugs, make poor decisions that jeopardize the health and well-being of others, and are physically and emotionally abusive. So, make no mistake, a woman who dates losers probably isn’t good at making decisions. David wrote more extensively about this topic here.
How To Handle Women Who Date Losers
If you’re a guy, when you see a woman dating a loser, don’t get worked up about it. Complaining about her boyfriend choices will usually be totally fruitless. No woman will be lectured into dating you over a loser. You will likely just make her defensive and come up with new and creative reasons to continue dating him.
Instead, be excellent and attractive. This blog has tips. Our book offers many, many more. Attract her to you and show her how being with you is a far more exciting and attractive alternative. Get her evolutionarily programmed attraction buttons focused on you instead.
Avoid the temptation to be a “white knight” trying to save your female friends. Sadly, if she chooses guys you consider to be losers over you, then let her have the results of her choices. Be a good friend (if she is your friend) and supportive, but don’t expect to rush in and “save” her from herself. And, don’t gloat over her choices. You may make bad choices at some point, and you don’t want judged.