In high school, I started to talk to a girl who was sweet, smart, and a good athlete. I asked her out on a date and she turned me down.
She told me that although she liked me, I was just too nice for her. It turns out she was romantically stuck on a bad boy who was dating someone else.
I’m not alone in this and almost any guy can give multiple examples of losing out to a jerk. Consequently, many good, decent guys have asked throughout history…
Why Do Women Like Jerks?
Women prefer bad boys for one simple reason: evolution. Liking jerks is wired into their brains. And, the younger they are, the more likely they are to prefer the reckless bad boy to the nice (but boring) science major with a promising career in engineering.
Evolution made the male of the human species larger and more dominant. While modern day technology has slightly changed this dynamic, brain wiring hasn’t quite caught up. Because of that brain wiring, women want a man who shows he can provide for her and protect her and her offspring.
This is true even of independent women who, even though they have incomes and safety, still want to date a more traditionally masculine guy. For example, in one study the vast majority of high income earning women wanted their partner to work (compared to 14% of men wanting the same for their partner).
Still, in spite of the whining of “nice guy” types everywhere, I don’t think that most women (except maybe the psychologically troubled ones) want to date a true jerk, in the sense of an abusive, bad person who mistreats them.
Ultimately, they want a confident, powerful, masculine guy who can take care of them (if needed) and stand up for them. What they don’t want is a guy who is weak, passive, boring, and whiny. Most guys who claim to be nice don’t realize that they are also boring and come across as weak.
When a woman can’t have a confident, masculine leader, because these men are somewhat rare, they look for the next best thing. And, which type of guy more closely resembles the confident, charming leader: the passive “nice guy” or the cocky jerk? The answer is the jerk or bad boy.
The jerk often gives the appearance of being a confident protector and provider. Jerks are typically mouthy, assertive or aggressive, and extremely cocky. They often get their way through intimidation and force. They show evidence to women that they can provide and protect, even if they really can’t. After all, most of the bad boys young women prefer have no real power. They’re all mouth.
But, that bluster and fake arrogance still go a long way in being attractive. At the very least, they are interesting.
The nice guy, on the other hand, is boring. He may kill fake enemies in video games, but that means nothing when women in his real world see him get walked all over. A steady job on the bottom rung of a company is admirable, but it doesn’t scream powerful. Showing up to work everyday on time and paying his bills is great for his community, but it isn’t exciting.
So, women like jerks because they mimic the confident, charming, powerful leaders, the guys they are really attracted to. But, when there aren’t any of these guys available, their brain makes them attracted to the closest thing: a bad boy. It’s bad news for the nice guy, but he’s a very distant third.
Is He Really A Jerk?
I also want to address an issue that happens a lot during the discussion of women liking jerks. A lot of guys look at women who won’t date them and get jealous. So, they find flaws in the attractive guy she actually likes.
Usually, they like to think such a person is a “jerk” or a “douche.” However, just because a guy is edgy, assertive, or rough around the edges, doesn’t make him a jerk. He might actually be a cool, successful guy who treats the girl well and gives her what she wants.
It’s not right to shame women and certain types of guys by claiming that women go for jerks, when, in reality, they are just going for someone who isn’t you.
The Confident Man Wins
Find success in something people value. Be confident (even a little cocky). Make women laugh. Develop an edge. Be charming.
Above all, be attractive. Attractive good guys beat attractive jerks any day. But, both are preferred to unattractive boring nice guys.
Still, be a good guy. Be an excellent guy. Be an awesome guy. But stop being the “nice guy” everyone walks all over! Women may like jerks at times, but they don’t want to be with a perceived loser.