One of the most ridiculous (not rediculous) things you hear about dating is the absurd claim that "girls like jerks" and "nice guys finish last."
The reality is that, sure. Some girls like guys who are kinda jerks. But they don't like them because they're jerks. They like them in spite of it.
Most likely because they have so much else to offer.
For example, say I meet a guy. Sure, he's tall and handsome... but he's also so so smart. He's funny, he's got a great career, and he likes rock climbing, mountain biking, and basketball -- just like me!
In the short time I've known him, he's sometimes said things that are a little, like, rude-seeming. Maybe even arrogant. He might even come across as somewhat of a jerk.
But is he?
Chances are... no.
My advisor at Stanford coined the term "fundamental attribution error" -- that is, the tendency to attribute your own behavior to your situation, but the behavior of others to their disposition.
I know I was rude to my friend this morning because I had a rough morning -- my boss yelled at me, I got stuck in horrible traffic, and my dog puked on the floor. I've seen my behavior across every situation, so I know I'm normally a very nice person.
But you were rude because you are a rude person.
So, no. Making snap judgements about someone being a jerk or not based on limited observations and motivated reasoning isn't necessarily going to lead to an accurate assessment. (Read more about cognitive reframing.)
Another thing to consider when it comes to jerks:
Pretty much 80% of the time you think someone is being a "jerk," what's actually going on is they have no idea what they're doing bothers you. Which is why it is important for all of us to use our big boy and big girl words.
For example, as I wrote in For the Love of GOD, STOP Asking People If They're Okay, and again in Unless the Next Words Out of Your Mouth Are Going to be, "Can I Help ___?" Do NOT Tell Me I "Look Tired", there are certain behaviors that bother me.
However, I don't get mad when people don't magically read my mind. Instead, I just tell them, "I'm not mad, but that bothered me, so can you not do it again?"
But... okay. Let's just assume that the guy actually does have dick-ish tendencies.
No woman with an ounce of self-esteem is going to like him because of that. (If her self-esteem is really that damaged, and you're a "nice guy," consider yourself lucky to have dodged a bullet.)
Side note: If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, that's a totally different thing. It's not my area, and I can't comment on it beyond saying, Here's some resources:
But the fact is...
No one is perfect. And the only way to ever, like, form lasting relationships and be happy is to embrace someone's whole humanity. Accept the good with the bad... and know when you can no longer accept the bad, because that's when it's time to walk away.
See also: I don't want to be with a man who loves my intelligence.
The other fact is... people are more willing to accept (or explore) the bad when the good is better. Like, let's go back to my tall, handsome, smart, funny, basketball playing, mountain biking dude from the beginning of this post.
I'm way more likely to put in the time to get to know him -- to understand if he truly is arrogant, or if I just perceived one of his actions that way. (I mean, people get their panties up in a bunch and think I'm arrogant all the time, just because I love the way I look or think I'm good at the things I do. Which is silly. If I were going to find me annoying, it would at least be because I say things like, "You should drop everything and chase the moon -- literally!")
From: @TheHappyTalent on Instagram.
As I write this, I'm thinking specifically of this comic I embedded in What Men Don't Understand When They Complain, "It's Only Creepy If The Guy Isn't Hot" --
I just kind of wish they made the men similar-looking. Or, better for my purposes, that blondie had all these interesting things going for him (and he didn't give money to homeless people, which, IMO, isn't that nice of a thing to do, anyway--it contributes to Slumdog Millionaire-like situations), but sometimes came across as arrogant or crass... and beardie was nice enough, but didn't have interesting/compatible hobbies and pursuits with the woman.
Also, to quote others before me, "nice guys" are often anything but. In the wise words of this Matrix guy:
The reason so many "nice guys" "finish last" is that:
1. If you're able to dehumanize women like that, you probably aren't that nice.
2. If being nice is all you have to offer... then maybe that is the problem. I wrote some actionable advice about this in You'd Get Invited to More Parties If You'd Mingle Instead of Cling.
So, yeah. Tl;Dr -- It's easy to identify flaws in others and decide they're a jerk. No one is perfect. But forming relationships is about give-and-take, clear communication, growth, and acceptance.
Girls don't like guys because they're jerks. They like them in spite of it.
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Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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