This was originally posted on my Getting Inside a Woman Blog; I recently added to the article and posted the updated version below:
This is probably one of the most common questions I get from men: why do women like jerks? The saying goes that nice guys finish last, but is that true? Many women will tell you that they don’t like jerks. Most women don’t like jerks.
…But, most women end up dating jerks anyway (Almost every woman I know has at least one story about an asshole ex). Why do we do this? Because, for the most park, jerks are sexier than the tame guys who would actually be a caring boyfriend. Because of this, many women either end up dating a constant stream of jerks, or yo-yoing between jerks and nice guys.
However, as a man, you DO NOT need to be a jerk to attract women. You don’t have to choose between becoming a jerk/asshole/douchebag, or living a life of solitude. It’s possible to be the nice guy who finishes first.
When you understand why women like jerks, then you can attract women without being one. And the good news is that if you are the nice guy who also has these “supposed jerk” behaviors, then you will be the total package–the nice MAN that every woman is looking for.
And women, by learning why you keep ending up in the arms of Mr. Douchebag, you can finally break the cycle and find a good man.
Here are five major reasons why a woman might be drawn to a jerk like a moth to light:
1. She Has Low Self-Esteem
Most people have low self-esteem; therefore most women have low self-esteem. That includes women with incredibly hot bodies. Even if men put her on a pedestal, chances are she does NOT put herself there.
Women might say that they want to be treated well, but what most women want even more than that is to be completely and totally understood by a man. If, deep down, she thinks of herself as garbage, she will feel understood by a guy who treats her like garbage, and she will feel like the guy who treats her well “just doesn’t get it.”
Jung said that “we marry our unconscious mind.” We attract those that reflect our deepest unconscious beliefs back to us. In other words, if a woman has a low opinion of herself, she will be more attracted to men who also have a low opinion of her.
Women who have high self-esteem are not attracted to jerks for the same reason. Therefore, if you respect women and treat them well, seek out women who respect themselves and treat themselves well. You can tell the difference by how healthy she is, how happy she is, and how well she sets boundaries in her life.
2. She’s Ms. Fix-it
Some people restore old cars. Some people restore great works of art. And some women (try to) restore jerks and bad boys into nice, well-behaved men.
This process doesn’t work, but that doesn’t stop these avid hobbyists from trying. And hobby is the correct term, because the motivation is very similar. Someone who has a hobby of restoring old cars gets much more satisfaction from their finished product than if they went and bought that car off a lot (even if the cars on the lot are safer and better designed)!
So it is with the women who fix men. This kind of woman is not looking for a man who is ready for a relationship. She doesn’t want one that’s already put together; she wants to build him up herself.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with being a Ms. Fix-it–this is really an instinct to grow and improve things. Better to turn that instinct inward, though, and work on yourself.
3. She Doesn’t See It
You might see a jerk, but she might not. It’s a cliche to say, “I just see a side of him that you don’t see,” but in some cases, this is true.
Different people have different points of view (shocking, I know). Our nervous system is bombarded with much more sensory information than we can handle (about 2 million bits of information per second), so our unconscious mind filters out what we don’t need before we ever become aware of it. After the filtering process, we are left with 126 bits of information. That’s 126 out of a possible 2 million!
What gets filtered out is determined by our values, beliefs, memories and other aspects of our unconscious. In other words, whatever beliefs you have, you will find “evidence” to support it, because your unconscious will choose the relevant 126. Someone else with an opposing belief will also find evidence, because their unconscious will filter out a different 126.
If you are seeing a world where women only like jerks, you are, quite literally, missing out.
Now it’s possible that he is a jerk and she doesn’t see it. Or it’s possible that he is not a jerk, but you see a jerk anyway because of something that’s inside of you. Either way, you are the only one you can change, and it’s possible that “women like jerks” is just a belief that you need to let go of.
Of course, if that’s true, you’ll probably think that this one is the “least useful” of the 5 things listed here.
4. She’s a Drama Addict
The Drama Addict thrives on drama, not the stability of a healthy relationship. As a recovering drama addict myself, I know this one particularly well.
Drama is interesting; it’s entertaining! And it makes us feel important when we are in the middle of it!
Jerks create more drama than nice guys. Even if a drama addict is attracted to a nice guy initially, it’s likely because he is different than the last three jerks she dated. And different means a new storyline in her life!
Have you ever noticed that on TV shows they will rarely have couples stay together happily, or if they do, those couples’ story lines go to the background of the show, leaving more air time for the drama of the single and unhappy folks? My favorite example of this is “The Office” (American version). In earlier seasons of “The Office,” the will-they-won’t-they sexual tension of Jim and Pam was one of the major story lines. Once they got together–and especially once they were married with a family–their characters’ storyline got much less screen time. That is, until the final season where they were in conflict and in danger of breaking up–then suddenly they became a major focus again.
Same with the drama addict. She is not looking for her life to be good, she’s looking for her life to be entertaining (Like I said, I speak from experience). She is constantly scripting her life for maximum entertainment, and if you become too boring and stable, she will bring in a new character to shake things up.
Underneath the surface, a drama addict is really someone who craves a passionate relationship with a good polarity. Learning how to be the nice guy who creates sexual tension that keeps this woman on her toes is the secret to making it last (withOUT drama!).
5. She’s Turned On By His Perceived Strength
Jerks often appear stronger than nice guys, and women crave strength. Note the word appear, though, as I believe jerk behavior is actually a sign of weakness and narcissism.
If a woman dates a guy who waves money around or makes a scene so he doesn’t have to wait for a table, then the man who waits in line like everyone else might seem weak in comparison.
Again, she might not see him as a jerk–her 126 might give her the experience of a strong, powerful and results-oriented man. I know I’ve fallen for this. I’ve dated a few jerks who were great at masculine qualities like making money, solving problems and getting things done.
The key here is masculinity. Jerks are a constant show of masculine energy. Women see this and think they ARE masculine.
However, jerks show a lot of outward masculine bravado because often they lack true masculinity inside (a *real man* doesn’t act like a jerk because he doesn’t need to). A jerk is like a green leaf. Leaves absorb light waves, but they don’t absorb the green light waves, so they reflect the green back out. So the leaf looks green to us, but that’s because there is NOT any green inside.
Developing your masculinity is the key to attracting women without being a jerk. There are many facets to doing this; however, the first and most important is to know your life purpose and to live it. Women will often prefer a purposeful jerk to a purposeless nice guy, but most of all, we want a nice, purposeful man.