Why good girls like bad boys


I distinctly remember having a conversation a few weeks ago with this smart, pretty girl whose boyfriend of two weeks was tall, muscular and had a notorious reputation as a player. I asked her how she could be so interested in him in light of his dating history. Her response? She liked him because it made her feel special that he was awful to everyone — but sometimes not to her. She felt that she knew, just knew, that this time, with her, his treatment of women would be “different.”

It wasn’t. Most of you probably saw that coming; I’m pretty sure that deep down, even she saw it coming. She saw exactly what she would be getting into; yet she still just sat there and let him tear her apart.

Perfectly nice girls seem to constantly be falling for guys that mistreat them.

If you exist on planet Earth, are over the age of 13 and have a gender, you’re probably familiar with this question: Why do girls like jerks?

Textbook definition of “jerk”: a guy who leads a girl to believe that he cares about her without actually caring about her. Truth: They’re very popular with the ladies.

I’ll be honest, I used to like jerks; it’s taken a few weird experiences to learn my lesson. Like the time this guy, on our first time out together, casually pulled out a condom from his jacket and said, “Wanna have sex?” Really? That literally cannot work on girls. In my experience, jerks are stupid, self-centered and overall awful people who will use their looks and charm for as long as they can to get girls. Girls recognize that; most of us aren’t really stupid enough to fall for tacky pick-up lines. Women can easily see through jerks and rarely take them seriously.

No, women don’t love jerks, but they do love bad boys: men who act like jerks but really aren’t. No matter how many times a girl says that she’s looking for a nice guy, she always seems to fall for the bad boy. That’s because everyone likes a challenge — the challenge in this case meaning his emotional unavailability.

I dated this one guy for three years. Each and every year, we’d have a messy breakup, blame it on “emotional unavailability.” Long story short: We were clearly not right for each other. But that couldn’t stop me from being so committed to having my heart broken by him that by the very end it was like he was making a hobby of hurting my feelings.

Many girls seem to just want something they can’t have, preferring the chase to the catch. And many bad boys possess that emotional unavailability girls like. Not because they’re sociopaths, but because they just might be heartbroken themselves. They’re scared of commitment because they fear the possibility of having to endure more pain. They avoid having their own hearts broken by adopting the role of “bad boy” and playing with girls’ hearts. These types guard what’s left of their pride with a detached, inflated confidence, a sob story; bad boys take advantage of the fact that girls like jerks by combining those behaviors with an appearance of brokenness. And that’s why good girls love bad boys: Every girl — particularly the bleeding heart type — wants to think she can fix the broken bad boy and be the one he falls for at last. Chances are she isn’t.

Textbook definition of “nice guy”: a guy who shows care for the well-being of girls he’s interested in. Truth: They regularly reside in the “friend zone.”

Nice guys want to really get to know a girl, fall in love with her, treat her right. Maybe they’ve been hurt in the past — in fact, they probably have. But they’re still willing to give love a chance, even though they’re scared to be bold about it. They don’t go to parties looking to hook up; no, they want things like that to mean something, and not just any girl will do. Basically, nice guys are nice. They take a harder path than the bad boys; sometimes it requires lots of rejection and frequent feelings of inadequacy. But nice guy is more likely to chase after the girl of his dreams and consequently more likely to win her over, even if only in the long run.

It might take a long time for them to stop losing, but when nice guys win, they win big.

Why? Because although it may take awhile for us to figure out, at some point, girls learn to fully understand the immense benefits of being with a nice guy. Eventually we come to realize that if we want to start a career, or follow our dreams, or even just have anyone take us seriously, we’re going to have to start believing in our own self-worth. And for that to happen, we have to be with someone who believes in us — who isn’t always threatening to leave us, who’s likely to be there for us when we need him. We want someone who treats us with respect and someone we can trust.

It may seem like we like jerks, but in the end, it’s the nice guy that gets the good girl.