Thought Catalog
October 7, 2014

Why Women Date Jerks

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Kiselev Andrey Valerevich / (Shutterstock.com)
Kiselev Andrey Valerevich / (Shutterstock.com)

We’ve all heard that “nice guys finish last,” and in so many cases, this proves true. But why?

If you’re a self-proclaimed nice guy, you may have already hit up the World Wide Web for the solution to your lifelong question of why women choose to date jerks. Before I clue you in, let’s review some of the commonly listed reasons as to why women choose the bad guy/jerk type over the nice guy:

• Bad guys are more fun. Every girl wants to be shown a good time, right?
• Jerks are confident and confidence is sexy.
• Daddy issues.

Now, I’m not saying those reasons are false, but I’m looking to dig deeper. What causes these bad-boy qualities to become so attractive to us ladies? I don’t know of a single girl who hasn’t pined for jerk at some point in her life. We all know of at least one sly, smooth-talking Casanova that we’ve maybe fantasized about once…or maybe twice. And I know plenty of ladies who have been burned badly by a jerk they thought would stick around. In hindsight, these guys are temporary fun during a time in a girl’s life when she doesn’t want serious and heavy.

But what on Earth goes through a woman’s mind when she falls for a jerk knowing it won’t lead to a happily-ever-after scenario? What does Mr. Jerk have that Mr. Nice Guy doesn’t? Girls want nice. They want charming and chivalrous and emotional and a guy who really has his life together—and that’s the whole problem. Ladies that choose to fall for Jerkface over the sweetheart have likely been utterly crushed in the past by someone who was supposedly perfect.

Women tend to over-romanticize their idea of happily ever after. So when we meet a nice guy who starts out doing everything perfectly, we fall in love, and it becomes hard not to have ridiculously high expectations for the rest of the relationship. I speak from experience, I know this is relatable to at least someone, but when Mr. Perfect starts slacking…stops talking as much, has too many other priorities, pushes off plans for your future together, starts saying all the wrong things, it can be heartbreaking and you begin to realize you wouldn’t feel so crushed if you’d realized how things would be from the start.

So is the reason why women date jerks: Jerks are the safest way not to feel disappointed. When you date an asshole, your expectations are already low. You know his history of cheating, that he “doesn’t do relationships,” the fact that he is terrible with words, drinks too much, and talks to his girlfriends more than he talks to you—and that’s all fine and dandy because that’s all you expect from him. The jerk can’t break your heart as easily as the nice guy can. That’s all it comes down to—knowing absolutely what you’re getting yourself into from the get-go and protecting yourself from disappointment.

So to my dear self-proclaimed nice guys who are out there looking for a fast fix, there isn’t one. There’s no way that you can promise a girl that you’ll be 100% perfect all the time, and we know that. Having realistic expectations for a relationship comes with growing up. Being OK with disappointment comes with trust, and trust comes with time. TC mark