General Question

Resonantscythe's avatar

Are women in general really attracted to jerks?

Asked by Resonantscythe (2395points) May 19th, 2009

After Asking this question to a few people my older sister offered that during my relationship I was too nice and aggreable.
She’s of the opinion that guys who “act like/ are assholes” are more likely to get dates and keep girlfriends dude to women finding it attractive.
Do you find any truth in this idea? How do you think this way of thinking affects people if at all?

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48 Answers

Haroot's avatar

They way I see it, The assholes have this badass persona. It may score them some girls but I doubt it leads to a lasting relationship.

But I don’t know. For all I know, I’m an asshole.

Lothloriengaladriel's avatar

Meh.. This is probably true to a certain extent and certain situations, I wouldn’t want a complete asshole 24/7

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

I would like to think my girlfriend isn’t.

I agree with @Haroot that jerks don’t get lasting relationships. In your situation, it seems unfortunate that she regards her family more than you. If I was faced with such a challenge (I too am in an inter-racial relationship, and her parents don’t exactly approve, although they are civil to me) I would be making the choice very clear cut – me or the family.
Although I don’t know a huge amount about the situation, and I don’t really want to, it seems she has made the change because of pressure from family, and has started to forget exactly what you mean to her. Of course you could not pressure her, but maybe you should have reminded her exactly what it means to love – that is, to value someone above yourself.
Culture can be a very difficult thing to deal with. My answer is quite ignorant, as I don’t understand how anyone could allow their family to dictate their romances. The importance of the family unit varies drastically across cultures.

In short, some women are attracted to jerks, but never long term. This may be a form of protection, thinking that a jerk would deal with conflict well and defend them. However I don’t think this is relevant to your most unfortunate situation. Your situation is more a result of a clash of culture and strange priorities.

Tobotron's avatar

Well all the jerks I’ve seen about town from when I was younger, when I’m visiting old friends or the parentals are all with minging fat wives or equally ugly girls half their age…I think not being a jerk means you might have to wait longer for the right girl but with any luck she will come and be a keeper ;)

mattbrowne's avatar

No. Evolutionary-biologically speaking they are definitely not. Those who did were less likely to survive. Modern hype phenomena however can lead to the installation of strange ‘software’ in the neocortex of women (same for men of course). If a jerk follows a popular hype pattern a woman might suppress her deeper instincts.

jackfright's avatar

not jerks per se, but i think women are hardwired to find powerful / more dominant men attractive. it just so happens that most jerks are of the more dominant variety.

RareDenver's avatar

I have a female friend who admits that she is always attracted to the badass guys (we used to date, wonder what that says about me?)

elijah's avatar

There’s a difference between assholes and strong dominant men. If women are attracted to assholes it means there is something wrong in that womens head. I like the strong dominant type but I don’t let a man treat me like shit. Most women do not like passive whiny guys. Personally Im not one of those “women can do anything men can do” types. I want a man stronger than me, who can protect and provide.

kayysamm's avatar

I agree with your older sister. Not to say that all women find assholes and are 100% in love with them. But the idea that they can hold their own ground does something to say he has his shit together. I personally wouldn’t date a “nice” guy. Most women feel they are too easy to push around and its pretty much dating yourself with a tag along buddy. And trust me that’s never fun.

The boyfriend I have right now is a complete asshole ! to the utmost degree but I love him to pieces because he IS and asshole. The fact that he is like that makes me happy for the fact that he holds his ground ( and mine ) and says whats on his mind. We can disagree about things and argue about it because it’s good to be different. If he were the type to just go along with everything I say then I’m sorry. I’m sorry I wouldn’t be with him.

Try to not be so easy to push around and so nice, you will see it gets you farther in life. no matter how messed up that sounds.

Tobotron's avatar

@kayysamm your pretty much right about it all there, when I was younger I was a nice guy, I still am really…I’ve found though you have to throw your dominance around a bit as well if your gonna get anywhere…mind games sadly work every time lol infact I’m giving my gf the silent treatment right now lol, but honestly I don’t get why a girl would like a guy because he was nothing more than an asshole, the guy should have a balance of both.

kayysamm's avatar

@tobotron As twisited and messed up as it sounds, it’s all true. I wish I knew myself why any girl would be attracted to anyone that would do things like that to her. But for some reason we all are attracted to guys like that. I think that the mind games work on girls because it’s make them realize different things and it makes them fight for you. No girl likes an easy relationship. We like a challenge and we like to have to work for you.

When my boyfriend and I first started to date, the first month I never once called, texted, or walked up to him first. He was the one always to make the first move to talk to show that he WAS interested. It was like that for the first 4 months. Then things switched and it was the other way around and i always called first. Its all in the chase of the game, it’s good to have fun and thats what girls want.

I think.

veronasgirl's avatar

@kayysamm I agree, I think it’s in the challenge. I have fallen head over heels for three jerks now, all three of them have broken my heart, and I still don’t know what I did wrong. (Although I am begining to see that I might not have done anything wrong) For me it was the excitement and the chemistry. He seemed so free-spirited and passionate, and that was something that I wanted to be, and he allowed me to be that way for a little while. It might also be that you want to “save” the jerks, or at least I do. I want to be the girl that can change them for the better, no matter how unlikely that change is. Sadly, this mentality has created the cynical, untrusting, man-hater that I am today.

spresto's avatar

Well, my wife married me. I know that doesn’t tell you anything, but it tells me a lot about women.

gimmedat's avatar

I know I was – what a mistake.

spresto's avatar

It seems women tend to flock toward jerks, but what do you define as a jerk? In what context is this guy a jerk? Then we also have to take into consideration that women don’t go after men only any more. Are women attracted to female jerks too?

kayysamm's avatar

@veronasgirl you are right. The fact that we as women can help and change them by guiding them to make the right decisions makes us want to be with them. Its that. Its the chase and its the excitement. Dating an asshole can be so much more fun then dating a nice guy. yeah he is a prick but he makes things interesting and keeps things living. Nice guys do what they think is right and put too much thought into things. They don’t know how to just let things flow.

knitfroggy's avatar

I’ve never understood why a woman would be attracted to a jerk. Probably the same reason they are attracted to “bad boys”. I’ve never been attracted to an asshole man, because I can’t stand asshole men. Some men are attracted to nasty, jerky women too, so I guess it goes both ways.

spresto's avatar

@kayysamm You can’t change a man. If you do you kill something inside. That how marriages fail. Life gets sucked out of people. Also, nice guys are the ones that turn into jerks after getting burned because they are no fun as you put it. But then you ladies that don’t want to date nice guys still won’t date them because they used to be so nice but now they are just jerks. If you meet them nice you just treat them like they are nothing.

DarkScribe's avatar

No, they are attracted to guys who might often be called jerks by other guys who they offend. Guys who are unconventional, rebels, basically the “Alpha” males. Those who lead rather than follow.

Supacase's avatar

I was attracted to the “bad boys” when I was younger. It was the challenge of being the one person he treated with love and kindness. Knowing he would kick the ass of anyone who disrespected me and could handle whatever came his way, but had a soft spot for me.

It’s really stupid, IMO. For me, at least. I needed less stress in my life. I made a conscience decision to wait for a good guy. I found the right one and have found that not having to constantly work to stay on his good side, not to mention the lack of conflict between my parents and him, is a relief. Life in general is so much more pleasant now that I grew up and came to my senses.

@kayysamm I am not saying you are stupid or need to grow up. This was just my personal experience. I know being with a “jerk” works for some people.

spresto's avatar

I am a nice guy. Always have been. I am married now. I would stomp your ass into the ground if you disrespected my wife. The nice guys are the ones that will win in the end. The jerks go no where.

Tobotron's avatar

@DarkScribe I wouldn’t by any means say the jerks are alpha males, more often than not there not as successful and spent so much time being a jerk to everyone they burnt all there bridges by the time they realized this…theres a difference between being a jerk eg irrationally annoying, and being assertive…I just think women looking for a bad boy look over the nice but assertive guys…belive me having a Russian gf you HAVE to be in control its the only way but I’m not a jerk, I only tell her ‘where to go’ when its called for and I actually enjoy the control lol, maybe jerk loving girls enjoy not being in control?

MissAusten's avatar

I love me some bad, bad boys. ;) There’s nothing like a confident guy, and the more confident the better. However, there’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance or conceit. Most of the guys I dated who ended up being jerks were sweet to me at first but they couldn’t keep up the act for very long. I’ve always been more shy, never in trouble, and more likely to avoid conflict, so maybe that’s why I always liked the boys who pushed limits. Then I’d break up with them for being too jerky. My husband is perfect for me because he’s a self-reformed bad boy. He’s got all the attractions I love and is a great husband and father.

covedude's avatar

The answer is no.. If a girl is attracted to a jerk it’s not because he’s a jerk it’s obviusly something else about him. Sone attractive personality trait he has. Unless of corse the girl has really low self asteem

Clair's avatar

I agree with all this dominant stuff and with the badass thing, but i also think in many cases in real women, not girls, the womens maternal instinct takes over and they mistake the false inclination that they can fix them for being in love. Ive seen this so many times. I so hate a cocky effing jerks.

CMaz's avatar

I don’t think more women are attracted to A-holes. That particular dynamic just seems to stand out. Two people meet and they have their game on. They tend to not be noticed because they are in such a symbiotic state. Two volatile individuals get together, the A-hole and the weak individual. That sort of drama tends to stand out more.

Resonantscythe's avatar

It’s not like I let her walk all over me. If i didn’t wanna do something I didn’t do it. There were times when she would do something I didn’t like and I’d be adamant about my disapproval.If something pissed me off she definitely heard it. But I just didn’t want to act like I owned her or anything. If we were going out and had a few choices of where to specifically go I asked her opinion of what she felt like. Honestly I never much had to say “no, i want go to xx place” because we liked a lot of the same things. I guess I wanted to try for a more equal relationship rather than someone dominating. Was that a mistake?

wundayatta's avatar

I know plenty of women who are attracted to nice guys. Being a nice guy doesn’t mean you lack confidence, at least, not in all areas. Nice guys treat women with respect; as people. Lot’s of women want to be treated that way. Of course, some don’t. They like the bad guys—at least, until they learn that they want to be treated respectfully. Bad guys either reform, marry a damaged woman, or die alone.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

No. Women are attracted to confidence, assertiveness and follow through. It takes a bit of observation to sift the arrogant jerks and posers from the rest, some women do it from within involvement and some do it before attempting involvement.

MissAusten's avatar

This reminds of me a line from “Anne of Green Gables.” Anne says she doesn’t want someone “truly wicked, just someone who could be wicked, but wouldn’t.” I’m also thinking of all the Hollywood bad boys, like Sawyer from “Lost” or Han Solo from “Star Wars.” They aren’t really bad or totally selfish—they end up doing the right thing in the end.

hitomi's avatar

I hate it when nice guys say this. I have male friends who try and say that “women only date the assholes” and I take offense to that. I don’t want to date the “nice” boy because most of the “nice” guys I know are push overs and I KNOW that in a relationship I would walk all over them. I don’t WANT someone who does whatever I want and never stands up to me, I need someone I can fight with, someone who will take charge occasionally because I am ALWAYS in charge of every other aspect of my life.

I also think that the “nice” guys go after the WRONG women…they are looking for the women who are looking for the stronger more dominant men when there are plenty of women out there who WANT a guy who will pamper and spoil and cater to their every whim. It’s a vicious circle…it’s as if we are all attracted to the people who are least likely to be attracted to us.

I don’t mean to sound bitter and I’m not ACTUALLY as cynical as this sounded…I do think that there is the right SOMEONE out there for everyone…it’s just harder to find for some than for others

IBERnineD's avatar

I tend to be attracted to the type that looks like a jerk but they really aren’t. For example my boyfriend looks like he just got out of jail, but he gives me tooth aches he is so sweet. :)

ccbatx's avatar

I would NEVER be attracted to a jerk. I don’t care how cute he is, because that cuteness will go straight away if the guy is rude.

DarkScribe's avatar

@Tobotron I didn’t say that Alpha males were jerks. I said that other males who resent them are likely to label them jerks.

Blondesjon's avatar

The bitches better be, if they know what’s good for them.

bright_eyes00's avatar

Unfortunately, I am. They seem great at first then you realize who they really are. And by then I’m already hurt. Tis why I’m single! :)

augustlan's avatar

When I was young, the bad boys held a certain attraction. I’m long over it. I couldn’t be with a pushover, because I’d walk all over him and that’s no fun for either party. I want to be (and am) with my equal.

wundayatta's avatar

Why do people seem to contrast a “pushover” as the opposite of the “jerk?” Why do nice guys have to be pushovers? Personally, I think nice guys are well rounded. They just don’t treat women like things that require no respect. Relationships are not a war. It’s not about seeing who can get over on the other more. It’s teamwork, and people looking out for the best interests of each other. A jerk is never going to do that. Neither is a wimp. A nice guy can, though.

Loried2008's avatar

I’ve seen that often times people want what they believe they can’t have. Jerk guys always act like they’re better. I’ve never put up with it but that’s just me.

eupatorium's avatar

I am. (sadly) There’s something about jerks that’s attractive. They seem strong and in control. And that’s hot. I hate myself for it. But I can’t help it. Maybe I’ll grow out of it. Maybe not. But I wouldn’t advise changing who you are, because there are plenty of girls that would prefer a nice guy. And trying to be someone you’re not is just lame.
@daloon, plenty of “jerks” know how to treat women well. They just like to take charge.

Blondesjon's avatar

@eupatoriumeven the passive ones know how to be aggressive.

eupatorium's avatar


Oh, I don’t know about that…

wundayatta's avatar

@eupatorium In a relationship? Or just while courting? If it’s treating your partner well in a relationship, then how can we call them jerks?

Disc2021's avatar

I’d say it’s a true generalization – not ALWAYS true.

definitive's avatar

See I wonder about the nice guy thing…my brother who is 40 is a lovely sensitive man…he’s caring and a believer in communication but seems unable to remain in a long term relationship. The women who he has met totally seem to take advantage of him and as a result he has accumulated debt.

Also my ex husband was or is a ‘nice’ man…I didn’t want for anything as such and was with him for 18 years but I still chose to end our relationship and maybe it was because of his ‘niceness’ that I remained with him for as long as I did. Having stepped out into the real world and pastures new I admit establishing relationships does present difficulties and challenges but I haven’t had an urge to return to the security of being with a ‘nice’ stable man. Admittedly I was seeing a man briefly who was totally arrogant and belittled me so had the sense to end that relationship.

So to conclude I think dependent on individual personality and expectations in life then some women are happy to be with a nice man and then others may still be looking for that somebody to make their heart flutter…romantic fluther I know lol :-)

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