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It’s not that women are masochists—most have very good reasons to reject the nice guys.
It's a question we've pondered since junior high: Why do assholes get all the girls? Turns out, it’s not that women are masochists and want men to treat them badly. Some are, but most women have very good reasons to reject nice guys.
But first—it’s only mostly true that women love jerks. If the woman you want is with someone else, it’s easy to dislike him and think he’s a jerk. In fact, he probably is a bit of jerk to you, and you’re probably not exactly friendly to your rival either. Or he might be one of those guys with a hard exterior who only opens up to that one special woman who has broken through his shield and earned it; that’s a powerful fantasy for many women. All in all, he might be a jerk most of the time, or to you specifically, but not necessarily to her.
Still, even with that in mind, it’s a fact that a lot of women date guys who are genuinely assholes. Here are the five biggest reasons why.
Nice guys are everywhere. A beautiful woman can meet a dozen of them every time she goes out. Nice guys are also boring.
Assholes are different. She doesn’t meet as many of those, so they stand out. They make things happen. There’s rarely a dull moment. She might be alternating between exasperation, attraction, dislike, lust, and frustration, but at least she’s feeling something. Most women prefer a man who takes her on an emotional journey, even (or especially) if it has more ups and downs than a nice guy who flat-lines.
It’s futile for a man to try to impress a beautiful woman with how nice he is. Almost everyone is nice to her at first. It’s like expecting her to be interested because he has a penis and pulse.
The man with enough confidence to come in with a bit of an edge or to tease her a bit is going to stand out. Most men don’t have the balls to approach women this way. But it’s more fun and engaging to most women. That doesn’t necessarily mean such a man is a jerk, though it’s easy to feel that way if you’ve been complimenting her for a half-hour before he swoops in, doesn’t say anything nice about her at first, and wins her attention from you within seconds.
A man who tells a woman how amazing she is after knowing her just a few minutes is obviously insincere and has an agenda. Just like when a homeless guy compliments your suit or a salesperson calls you “my friend." Our instincts tell us to be suspicious. Attractive women, who have been approached time and time again, can smell insincerity a mile away.
Longer-term, it’s not natural to always be nice, always defer to others, and always hold back your own needs. Some nice guys do it their whole lives, and others snap. There’s a phenomenon called “submissive rage” where such a person can’t take it anymore and explodes, often violently.
Say what you want about jerks, but at least they’re authentic. The more attractive she is, the more you should err on the side of making her earn it. Even if you think you might be coming across as an asshole.
As I wrote in my dating handbook for men, “flirting is a fun game, and women want to play, too.” Nice guys who come in offering their hearts on silver platters provide no challenge at all. Without a challenge, there’s no tension, anticipation, excitement, butterflies, and all the things women want when they feel attracted. Plus, people value what they have to work for. If she has to work for your interest, she’ll be more attracted to you.
Would you rather your team win the Super Bowl with a last-second touchdown against all odds, or win in a forfeit because the other team didn’t show up? (If you’re a Chargers fan like me, you can skip this question because they’d find a way to screw up either of these scenarios).
If a guy is overly nice to a girl because he wants her to like him, that doesn’t say much for his standards, or social status. A woman wants to be with a man who is “on her level” (or above), not with a guy who is desperately sucking up to find a girl – any girl – who will give him the time of day. Even if a guy isn’t desperate, being overly nice will make a woman think he is. Last I checked, “desperate” ranked somewhere between “leprosy” and “impotent” on the list of Top 100 Least Attractive Traits in a Man.
Women like men with high standards – it’s more validating when they reach them.