Do Women Prefer Jerks? Bad Boys Versus Nice Guys!
Jerks, 5 miles ahead...
Looking at the sign above, guys could easily assume majority of women would form a very long (and eager) line in the direction of "jerks". Is it a subconscious mentality? Is there any hope in sight for a nice guy? Or is it a learned psychological defect somehow rooted in the biological/evolutionary make-up of women? Would women knowingly pick the jerk out of a line-up of eligible bachelors, even above a nice guy? If you're dying to know, read on...
The dating game: I realize we live in the day and age of cyber sex, chat rooms, and on-line dating (as if that's progress). In reality we haven't come that far from a corny 70's-90's TV show called "The Dating Game". I am a child of this time period and distinctly remember the show.
**Don't give up yet though- Arnold Schwarzenegger was on the show twice and didn't receive a date either time. He's proved himself as a bad boy, being a cheater and liar. This might mean there's hope for the nice guys!
Back up a bit: On this dating show, a woman would ask specific questions to a panel of three eligible bachelors, hidden from her view,...sound a little like on-line dating? See, we haven't come that far really. After the men answered the bachelorette's questions, she would then decide whom she would date from the panel of men. Bachelor number one..."Will you treat me nice and respectfully or like trash and likely have multiple affairs only to break up with me every other week and spend our rent money on booze?" Just kidding here, but you are probably still wondering if women truly and purposefully pick jerks.
Today we have:
- A bigger pond to fish in: On-line dating, chatting, texting, and email.
- 50 Shades of Grey- Rising popularity of women exploring their sexuality, leaning toward vampires/paranormal and kinky encounters.
- The Bachelor and other TV shows featuring competitive dating.
- Fine line between genders- Women work and play a lot more like men now, both socially and professionally. And on the flip-side, men are more involved than ever in rearing children.
I believe there is a difference between bad boys and jerks though. Jerks are the truly bad apple among the bad boy bunch. I'd also label them womanizers as well. Some bad boys aren't' that bad, just more complex, aloof/loners, the one to stand out in a crowd (or not go along with the crowd), do what he pleases.
Does a woman always know whether she has just noticed the jerk or bad boy type of façade, but an OK guy under it all? No! Women are not able to pick up on the difference between a guy who doesn't follow the crowd or the guy that sleeps with a different woman every night for sport or the perfectly respectable guy who just has lots of tattoos. There are fine lines between all of these. The one common denominator is that most of these guys stand out, catch a woman's eye in the crowd.
For the ladies: One difference I've noticed is that guys who merely look like bad boys do not settle for any woman. These guys can actually be quite deep and insightful, truly looking for the right woman. Yes, they may play around a little before they meet her, but that's typical. A jerk isn't too low to take home just about anybody...any time.
- Why Good Girls Love Bad Boys
The main male character in almost any movie has a lot of typical bad boy characteristics. To be a hero, chase the bad guy, and save the girl, you need manly characteristics, resourcefulness, and a willingness to do whatever it takes, even break a few
Pickers- How Women Pick Men
With all the changes in society, one thing remains constant: Bad boys and jerks have significant advantages with the ladies. So how do women pick men in general? There are several theories on this topic:
Modern psychology theories believe women are looking for what they don't have and since they are able to achieve more nowadays on their own, this list is smaller than ever for a companion they actually need. This could mean they are looking for a great family man who can parent and clean house as well as most women or it could mean another advantage for a jerk: women looking to date causally as many are less interested in marriage/kids and more focused on independence, career, and traveling.
Our society is geared toward the "power of now" and instant gratification. More people than ever are not taking a job for long term benefits or making retirement plans. Just as women are focusing on short term goals like school and career. It used to be the main focus for women to search for a man to have a lifetime together and a husband to be a good provider. Things have changed so this leads to the question of whether the same rules apply for how women pick men.
It's chemical, it's physical:
"Ovulation: One University of California, Los Angeles study found that ovulating women have evolved to prefer beefy, dominant guys when they’re most fertile." The younger the women, the more fertile and this might be why younger women tend to go for jerks who place importance on looks and their own looks, or bad boys who seem a little tougher than most guys, or men perceived stronger as well. "Women subconsciously perceive macho guys as offering the most robust sperm."
I don't know how dating was back before the 70's era of dating theories and self-help books (i.e. Men are From Mars and Women are From Venus), but I believe today we place such importance on some magical formula or a list of qualities for finding love, believing there must be a method that always works right? Wrong! It's mostly biological and chemical.
Meeting someone is purely based on something we can't explain, but for starters it is based physically and chemically. No checklist as many self help books (and Oprah) have dreamt up. Ask any happily married woman if her husband was everything (or most things) on her checklist. Likely, he was not. We have taken the magic right out of finding our mates.
There is scientific evidence that shows certain chemicals and parts of the brain light up when we are around someone we are in love with, feel romantic toward, or a connection with. How could there be one formula or method for everyone, when it's so personal? But there are signs...
- Men who are jerks know/read women better (well, they've been around a lot more and have a lot more experience than nice guys). Women send out a lot of subtle signs, like eye contact- if you don't catch onto it quickly, there will be a guy who does. She may flip her hair, smile then turn away quickly. She may cross and uncross her legs, be talking with one guy but looking in your direction periodically.
- No fear: Bad boys and jerks have been rejected, but to them it's a numbers game. They may strike out, but they may not. They have a 50/0 chance of getting the girl. Whereas a nice guy may hesitate and not opt to pursue her until he thinks his odds are better. Bad boys don't wait or hesitate to pick up on a woman's cue. They beat every man in the room to her. Science within psychological fields repeatedly suggest that people are more interested in someone who likes them. Seems obvious, but many nice guys wait too long through the whole dating process- from contact to first kisses.
- Men Don't Always Prefer Feminine Faces, Says Science | Shine's Spring Beauty Guide - Yahoo Shine
A study of nearly 2,000 men from 28 countries published Wednesday found that certain beauty traits such as feminine faces, aren’t as
Cave days or common gender?
The Caveman Theory: According to traditional evolutionary psychologists, our modern minds are very similar to the human brains millions of years ago. In other words, you have to ask yourself if we have evolved enough to dismiss the caveman argument? By now you've heard the ancient explanation almost as old as the time period it refers to- The caveman mentality is supposed to explain psychologically why women prefer bad boys that may resemble our early ancestors.
Bad boys commonly display characteristics associated with cave men such as: aggression, lacking intelligence (or low importance on intelligence), taller, bigger, dangerous, strong and strong willed. The list goes on. But all of this is such an obvious detachment from what really brings home the bacon in today's society or what makes for a healthier man. The Marlboro man may look like a bad boy but he's destined to die prematurely with all that smoking.
Don't we all have the same tendencies and preferences that existed in cave days? Are men inclined to spread their "seed"? Are women searching for the most aggressive male? Ancient tribes hunted wild animals, lived in caves, and gathered in designated communities. However, women didn't necessarily "pick" their mates- the most aggressive male "won" or "took" his mate. Perhaps he had to fight for the best female or prove his place in the community.
Some scientists within Evolutionary Psychology also believe that because the human brain is so complex, it evolves and changes at a very slow pace over a very long period of time. Of course it would be difficult to pinpoint which aspects of the brain change slower or faster.
We could attribute some of today's mate selection to the caveman theory, but there is plenty in today's society that influence us to pick the way we do.Our media perpetuates the bad boy image as well. You have the star-studded couple, Kim Kardashian with Kanye West (a known bad boy, badass, and bad mouther).
(My) Common Gender Theory: As women progress, and compete with men, like men, women are taking on very masculine traits, displaying obvious similarities in the two genders. I was a former career woman and now a stay-at-home mom- I've seen how women act in both environments. I've seen myself act like a man to compete in the business world. I couldn't believe how masculine I had gotten from years of this environment and society's pressure for the equality of women. Yes, I dressed like a lady, but my drive, competitiveness, and overall personality traits would confuse anyone with the other gender. Not to mention keeping a boy-toy at my side.
The line between male and female is wearing thin in today's society. In cave days, men picked their mate, but today women typically decide on mate selection. Does a man have to be a bad boy to get noticed by women? Because the genders are blurring together, we know that women prefer a man to help raise the children and fill in where the woman can't. We can also assume that if a woman is seeking a bad boy, she is not thinking of raising children...yet. It depends on the woman's needs, on the type of man she picks.
Women also assume, even a bad boy will be tame over time. There might be truth to this. Men tend to mellow out their bad boy ways around age 40 and today women are having children later in life so this is an even match. From everything explained above, you can see why jerks/bad boys still have an advantage.
- Do Girls Really Love Assholes? | Psychology Today
I don't really like assholes, do I? By Jen Kim...
Psychology of Seeking
- Good guys seek or seem attracted to bad girls or damsels in distress while jerks seem to prey upon good girls. If you want to know how to pick out a good girl, ask a jerk. And likewise, nice guys seem to have a radar for women who need a lot of help (basket cases). This is why nice guys seem to end up in rebound relationships with a girl who has been duped by a jerk and in that moment of time she is a damsel in distress and not the best person to seek a relationship with.
- We are drawn to people that "entertain" us...a little. I had a seasoned psychologist explain this to me: I am as predictable as still water in a stagnant pond, but my husband is up and down, a little moody like an unpredictable ocean- clear and sunny then grey and stormy. Psychologically, that is entertaining to me. I remember some of my guy friends (who were nice guys) ending up with women that were on the drama queen side, but psychologically it was fulfilling (and entertaining) to them. A yin for every yang!
- What women want: It is with great relief that while jerks may attract more women, ultimately a woman wants who she wants so there is no reason to waste time pursuing a woman who doesn't want you.
Ladies...Have you had BAD?
How many bad boys have you been with?
- How to Be Confident: 9 Steps - wikiHow
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Faux Bad Boys: A sheep in wolf's clothing
The best bad boy to be is the sheep in wolf's clothing. Nice guys pay attention! Personally, I was very attracted to the bad boy type and I was the stereotypical good girl. But attraction is just an initial feeling, based mostly on a short term physiological sensation. If you read that last sentence carefully...I was "attracted" to a bad boy, but when he turned out to be a real bad boy with all the bad habits, etc it turned me off. All nice guys have to do is attract a woman, and being genuinely nice KEEPS a woman (if that is the goal).
One thing I learned through the comment section of my other hub on this topic, is a lot of guys found more success with the ladies when they acted like a bad boy but remained a nice guy and true to themselves in the long run.
Ladies are similar with guys. We may not dress in sexy clothes every day, with lingerie under all of our outfits. When we're at home, we lounge in entirely different clothes than the type we'd ideally meet a man in. Ultimately we know that the sure way to get a guy's initial attention lies within peaking his visual interest and dressing the part. Nice guys must act the part of bad boy (or just similar to) to attract the ladies.
- I'm not encouraging you to hide who you are, rather be MORE of who you are. Put more of yourself out there. Amp it up guys! Something needs to stand out about you- appearance, mannerisms, attitude, confidence. Real life: I knew a guy who got all the girls in high school. Strangely enough, before we were in high school, he was the same guy I turned down numerous times. He ended up being most popular. His trick? First day of school he wore jeans that he reconstructed to have wooly material on the butt so girls of course noticed this right away and it made him available to get his butt pet by girls. Clever!
- Put your expectations on the back burner. Don't try to find your future wife in every woman you meet. Nobody wants to hear about how you're looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right, especially during the initial dating stage and it pouts too much pressure on yourself. Nobody wants to be the face behind a cardboard cut out.
- Don't pick bad girls! So many nice guys wonder why they can't "get the girl" and then they tell me how they look in strip clubs or going back to a girl who keeps using them. Don't chase the wrong girl. Sometimes I think nice guys are destined to be lonely when they go around chasing all the wrong women and become bitter about them. Just like the women who chase the jerks.
BBA (Bad Boy Assets)
What do bad boys and jerks have that nice guys don't? BBA (Bad Boy Assets).
Confidence: This isn't a shocker. It's probably the number one listed characteristic that makes a bad boy a bad boy...and a woman fall for him. You can't fake confidence- you either have it or not. It's never too late to get it though (please see link to the right). In addition to those tips, I'd like to add that if you aren't confident, define why you aren't. Once you define your problem, you can deal with it.
Don't care what others think: I think women base their self-esteem largely on what others think, and we feel constantly judged...even by other women. Being around a guy who doesn't care what others think is refreshing. It's an escape. Our entire modern world is based on escapes from video games, to TV, to recreational dining, to drugs. A bad boy can be an escape from what others think. It's also a unique characteristic in a world with a lot of imitators and sameness. Jerks, on the other hand DO care what others think- they've got a big ego to feed. Women can fall prey to this because we feed that ego and in turn can feel needed by a jerk. Sad, but true.
Flaws are more attractive: Yes, it's true! I was astonished while in one of my college Psychology courses, to learn that people rated equally attractive people better if one tripped or showed a flaw. Contrary to all we think we know, women don't want Mr. Perfect.
Creativity: This also helps a man stand out to a woman. Just refer to my example of the guy I knew in High school. I rest my case.
I need you: Bad boys are a little needier, even a little more possessive while nice guys seem to have everything they need. What more could a woman possible add to their perfect life?
Stop second guessing! Nice guys seem to talk themselves out of all the right things to do to impress the one they're interested in. They often go overboard. All that second-guessing and gibberish talk in their head.
The Curse of Human Nature
This is the bottom line- logically most women do not seek out a jerk or even a bad boy. They stand out in a crowd. Just the same for men who's eyes are first drawn to the most attractive female in the crowd. It's human nature.
What else is human nature? Women have been brought up to see the best in people. Girls are raised vastly different than boys so many men may not understand what women see in bad boys. Women like to nurture. As I'm writing this now, my son is probably trying to step on a bug while my daughter is trying to nurse it back to health in her homemade bug hospital. This is innate- it's not a conspiracy against nice guys. Bad boys bring out the nurturer in women. We feel needed.
It's actually quite cultural too. We believe we can change anything or anybody and this can certainly be applied to women believing the bad boy will shape up if we try harder or it must have been our fault that jerk cheated on us. We are also encouraged to be positive and overlook the negatives or turn negatives into positives. People adopt stray pets with issues as much as buying a brand new pup at the pet store.
- Second Marriages and Step Families
For second marriages, the statistics are a bit more gloomy. At least 70% of those marriages fail. In fact, they are more likely to fail if they involve step-children. There has to be something to this statistic and not just because step mothers are e