Friday, November 21, 2008

Why are women attracted to jerks?

One question I have been asked repeatedly is why are women attracted to jerks? One view that has been widely presented in the media and in many books about “relationships” is that women want to exchange sex for a concept known as “emotional commitment.” This frame might appear to offer women control over a relationship in a way that would make them happy. However it has been my experience that most women are not happy in a relationship that they can completely control and will lose interest and leave. Because most women want and respond to a man who is strong and independent and challenging.

Unfortunately many men buy into the notion that being strong and challenging and doing what they want to do is somehow bad for women or being a jerk. The answer of course is that most women do not want to be with someone who is actually abusive, disrespectful and insulting. Most women will not put up with a relationship that is actually abusive.

What women are attracted to are the positive qualities of a man:

  • He doesn't need to seek approval from others
  • He will stand up for himself, show anger, and call people on disrespectful behavior without worrying about the disapproval of others
  • He doesn’t put women on a pedestal or kiss ass to try to win her over
  • He pursues what he wants because he wants it

No matter how much a person will complain about a relationship, know that each person is always doing exactly what they want to do, whether they will admit it or not. Often when she is complaining to others it is really a frustration that she can’t completely control the relationship. In that case the root cause of her complaint is also the very thing that is contributing to her attraction to him. If she chooses to stay in the relationship she is in she is basically saying that the positive qualities or benefits outweigh the negatives.

In the case of a woman who is willing to accept a guy who is actually abusive or horribly disrespectful, it is a reflection of her own self-image. Perhaps you have know a person who constantly complains about what a jerk the guy she is with is like, but she continues to stay no matter what her friends and family say to her. However until her own expectations for what she deserves improves she will most likely just replace one jerk for another.

So the takeaways for the “nice” guy that feels he has been missing out are:
1) Not to take what she says at face value and instead look for what she is actually responding to. Realize that some of the same things she is complaining about are things that she is also attracted to.
2) Realize that the kind of person she chooses to be with is at least in part a reflection of her overall self-image.

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