Bad Boy Syndrome

The battle between Bad Boys and Nice Guys has been waged on the relationship battlefield since the beginning of man’s time on Earth. Although the dynamics of relationships have changed significantly over the years, the addage that “nice guys finish last” is still as relevant today as it was hundreds of years ago. Unfortunately, that means there are a lot of Nice Guys out there who feel they’re so far behind the relationship finish line that they’re not even sure it actually exists. Moreover, there are many Nice Guys out there who have developed the belief that the only way to “get the girl” is by being a jerk.

Well, I’m here to tell you that’s not true. Sorta.

I’d like to preface this post by reminding you all that I am by no means a relationship expert. I just have a lot of opinions, and unless I cite some expert report or something, everything I write is just that — my opinion. Having said that, here are the most popular reasons why women go after the Bad Boy instead of settling down with the Nice Guy:

1) Women often want what they can’t (or shouldn’t) have
2) Low self-esteem (I’ve told this to many men, who have immediately scoffed. Anyone who just scoffed at this should be shot. Or at least punched repeatedly. Low self-esteem can be very serious, and oftentimes the reasons behind a woman having low-esteem are very serious, including abuse, whether physical, emotional, sexual, what-have-you.)
3) Women want to be treated badly

The first one you can chalk up to immaturity. The second is pretty self-explanatory. The third may sound outrageous but is often a product of reason 2 or a combination of reasons 1 and 2, resulting in the erroneous belief that they deserve to be treated badly. They’re all valid and all true in their own ways. But they’re not the ONLY reasons women go for the Bad Boy.

I think the real reason women go for the Bad Boy harkens back to a less civilized time, when life really meant survival of the fittest. Even though women are capable of being completely independent, there’s still a part of us (whether conscious or not) that needs to know our partner can take care of us when the chips are down. Because Bad Boys are, well, bad, they are constantly demonstrating their ability to be assertive and even agressive — think Animal Kingdom and males fighting for dominance. They may not be demonstrating this ability in a positive way, but they’re at least demonstrating it. Nice Guys, however, get a bad wrap as the weaker of the two because their niceness does not lend itself to agressiveness. That doesn’t mean they can’t be assertive or aggressive; it just means women aren’t getting the chance to see that side of them.

So do women want men to treat them badly? Is the only way to get the girl by being a jerk? I hope by now you’re all shaking your heads and thinking a resounding “no” to those questions because, as popular as those beliefs are, they’re just not true. Bad Boys may be exciting, but they’re not relationship material. Sooner or later, most of us want to settle down and stop playing dating-Russion-roulette.

So what does that mean for the Nice Guy? Don’t be a jerk. Seriously. The jerkiness of Bad Boys is not what attracts us; however fake it really is, it’s the Bad Boys’ strength and assertiveness that we want. We want a Bad Boy who treats us well. Or a Nice Guy who we can trust to be there for us in a big way when we really need them.

Think of it this way: In Grease, Sandy liked the real Danny, not the jerk-off Greaser Danny. Yeah, she could have gone with the All-American Jock Boy, but after Danny wised up, he was both loving and tough as nails.

Too good to be true? You decide.

Love and hair grease,



~ by Mika Doyle on June 25, 2010.

10 Responses to “Bad Boy Syndrome”

  1. Can you be tough as nails without being physically strong?

    • Absolutely! There are men out there I’d consider incredibly strong, and it has nothing to do with muscle strength. I think many people take emotional strength for granted.

      • I see… Good to know. Emotional strength does not often get the respect it deserves. Gaining emotional “muscle” is a workout all of its own.

  2. Well said honey! I agree whole heartedly. I was with a pseudo good guy for 7 years and then dabbled with a few variations of bad boy before returning asap to the good guys. He was one of the good guys who had definitely gotten into the mindset that they finish last. He’d been single 7 years because he refused to date girls that fell into the immature, scary, confused category and thought he’d hold out for something real. (Leaves me wondering how I snuck in there *wink* ) Anywhoo, it’s sad to see that he’d been off the market that long because he’d been burned that badly, but my win, I suppose! Ladies need to wise up and guys (good guys) need to hold out a little longer. Again, well said and keep writing!

    • Thank you! And I totally agree with you — ladies need to wise up! And to add to the Good Guys holding out a little longer, I’d add that not being afraid to be a little more assertive now and then is always a plus, as long as they don’t wander into jerk-land. It’s a fine-line, but the Good Guys can handle it . And congratulations on finding someone who appreciates that you are “something real” and worth being with because you definitely are!!

  3. In my experience, quality girls are more attracted to confident guys than cocky, arrogant, or even abusive ones. Confidence, even the faked kind, goes a long way. Look at me and my wife. I married WAY out of my league (I hope she’s reading this), but was able to land Stephanie because of the confidence I portrayed when we were dating.

    I also believe that some women have it in their nature to want to change their “bad boys”. I’ve had women actually tell me that they look at it as a bit of a challenge. They date/marry the bad boys in an attempt to change them. By the time they realize they can’t, they’re knee-deep in an abusive relationship that is difficult to get out of. Obviously I’m generalizing, and this doesn’t apply to every single person or situation.

    On a side note, my mother told me when I was very a young an interesting idea (take it for what it’s worth). She told me “Girls marry guys with the hope that they can change them, but they never can; guys marry girls expecting them to stay the same, but they never do.”

    -$0.02 from Scottie Lindsay

    My mother once told me that

    • Really great points, Scott! Girls wanting to change the Bad Boy is another reason women go for them, however misguided they are. And confidence is really the true point of the post — Nice Guys need to remember to be confident without coming off as arrogant because confidence is really sexy.

  4. Great post Mika! Normally in today’s society, woment want to make a case for dating the “Bad Boy”. Its good to read a different point of view!

  5. […] Guys out there who are being overshadowed by their pervy counterparts, check out my past blog post “Bad Boy Syndrome,” which talks about why I think the bad boys have been […]

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