Most Women Don’t Dream of Dating Nice Guys

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I love infographics, even when they’re based on silly, not-peer-reviewed, not-statistically significant, research, especially if they prove something illuminating.

That’s why I’m sharing this infographic from a site called Dating Metrics. I’m not sure what they’re selling, so don’t worry about it. Just pay attention to the part about women preferring bad boys to nice guys. It’s amusing and a good leaping-off point for a discussion.

In short, this guy looked at lists written by women about the 53 “sexiest TV characters” and realized that:

40% of women’s “fantasy TV boyfriends” are cold blooded murderers!
21% are vampires…
And only 14% are nice guys!

Now, it seems to me that this was a question that had a very predictable answer. Because the question wasn’t about “what kind of man would you like to marry?” In fact, the question was about the “sexiest TV characters” and “fantasy TV boyfriends”. When you frame it like that, whoever says that her fantasy is to marry Jason in accounting, who is kind, stable, consistent, communicative and relationship-oriented?

It seems patently obvious that damaged, rebellious, mysterious and brooding are pretty much the OPPOSITE traits that one would look for in a life partner.

As a result, this infographic is amusing, but much ado about nothing.

To me, the real question is why we glorify the traits associated with the bad boy: damaged, romantic, manly, rebellious, mysterious, smart, brooding.

It seems patently obvious that damaged, rebellious, mysterious and brooding are pretty much the OPPOSITE traits that one would look for in a life partner, yet women still undeniably find them attractive and sexy.

I am not even friendly with anyone who is damaged, rebellious, mysterious or brooding, so I’m not the most objective judge, so let me ask you: what is it about these exciting inscrutable bad boys that continues to have a pull on you? Is being with someone “nice” really all that bad or boring? And do you know of any dark, damaged bad boys who have turned into happy, healthy, stand-up husbands?

Your thoughts, below, are appreciated.

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Comments:

  1. 21
    Sasha

    This issue really speaks to me as I find myself currently hung up on a guy I have ‘great chemistry’ with, but he actually showed very little interest in me when we wne tout on a few dates. Reading Evan’s blog really helped me do the basic arithmetics on this one: ok, so he’s charming and witty and you have that great vibe when you spend time together, but does he give you the feeling that you really matter to him? Does he call you and show interest in what you do? Does he make an effort to make you feel comfortable? The reality is that he doesn’t do any of those things. The reality is, in fact, that I spend more time waiting for him to ask me out and anxiously deciphering his ambivalent cues, than I do enjoying this ‘great vibe’. At the same time   I have also met a man who is the typical ‘nice guy’. Although I don’t have that sense of ‘high’ when I’m with him, he is actually sweet, reliable, and a genuinly good person. And although he is introverted and does not have the kind of charisma that just captivates you immediately, he is actually really interesting and fun when you get to know him.
    I think women (I can only speak for women, because I am one, but men probably do this too) tend to confuse excitement with love. And yes: the mysterious, charismatic, dominant type brings more excitement. But the flipside of that excitement is the anxiety that comes from not being truly appreciated. Further, it’s one thing to be entertaining on dates, but being a loving partner is a completely different ball game.
    A big thanks to Evan for helping me see this difference. I hope you continue your writing about relationships as nice guys can surely use a little more campaigning on their behalf!

    1. 21.1
      Karl S

      I remember reading somewhere that the neurotransmitters involving in wanting/needing something are actually different to those that give the pleasure high, which is why so many drug/gambling/other kinds of addicts stop enjoying the activity but still feel compelled to continue doing it and suffer the withdrawals of avoiding it. I think the same effect happens when we get attached to people who give mixed signals because we’re constantly trying to recapture the original high we got when we first met them and they seem to hint at it being possible, but in reality they’re always just out of reach, leaving you anxious and frustrated but still driven to keep trying.

      1. 21.1.1
        Me

        Yes, yes, and yes!!!

        So much of what we do is based on how it makes us feel. I once asked my alcoholic father why he continued to drink if he ‘logically’ knew that there was nothing good that could come from it. He said he was chasing his first high.

        I’ve never made that addiction connection to romantic relationships, but it does make sense! When I’ve been attracted to men who are just out of reach, I hung on to the relationship much longer than I should have, hoping to get back that first high. Leaving those relationships (physically and mentally) has always been more difficult than it logically should have been. Those men (and their just out of reach/mixed signal qualities is not what I want), but (unfortunately) must be to what I am ‘attracted.’

        I’m not sure which came first, the fairy tale/romance novel (neither of which I have ever been a fan) or the feelings they invoke, but it is certain that what we ‘want’ and that to which we are ‘attracted’ are very different things.

        I believe this is true of both men and women (though men are not the fairy tale/romance novel demographic). When men list qualities they don’t ‘want’ in a partner (they don’t really want those qualities), but those are the qualities to which they are ‘attracted.’

        *I am speaking in general terms. I know that this does not apply to all people.

        1. m

          There have been experiments that replicate what you’re talking about.

          There is, I believe, dopamine and partial reinforcement involved. And rats.

          🙂

    2. 21.2
      355

      There’s no need to. I’ve given up for good. I can’t compete with the more charming guys who create that excitement.

  2. 22
    Alena

    would be fun if guys just applied that knowledge to reality and showed up in a vampire or werewolf costume with fangs at their next date. I would marry that guy even if he was short and poor just because of the high entertainment factor he ´d bring into the realtionship. 😉
      

  3. 23
    Lia

    I have to admit, I don’t get the bad boy attraction. I never found the “bad boys” attractive. Brooding, mysterious, dark and damaged is BORING! It is self-indulgent and seems childish, all I can think is “get over yourself!” That being said, I have been drawn to men who turned out to be unavailable in one way or another.  
      
    I am in a relationship now with a man who is kind, loving, and easy to be with. He is very intelligent but does not need to show everyone how smart he is. He is funny but not in the “life of the party” way, we can laugh about almost anything and we laugh often. He is educated and financially successful, yet he likes a lifestyle that is simple, he does not feel the need to have all the material things that he can easily afford. He is one of the good guys and he makes our relationship a priority. I find that very attractive.

    1. 23.1
      josavant

      Totally agree with this Lia: “Brooding, mysterious, dark and damaged is BORING! It is self-indulgent and seems childish, all I can think is “get over yourself!” ”

      You will never see a generous and selfless guy act brooding, mysterious, dark, even if they have been damaged in some way. And haven’t we all been damaged in some way? It’s just that some of us get over it and don’t use it as an excuse to be self-centered, and that is the type of partner one should want.

  4. 24
    Kj

    It’s not so much the damaged and brooding qualities that women find attractive in these men but it’s the confidence and charisma they have! A strong leading man, vampire or otherwise, are what makes these types of men sexy. Confidence is always the sexiest quality in a person, IMHO.  

  5. 25
    Karmic Equation

      
      
    I think that women are attracted to bad boys because they free us to be bad girls. There’s a reason why there are so many movies with theme of wrong-side-of-the-tracks boy dating the preacher’s daughter.
      
    Women “dream of” marrying the stand up citizen, good provider, faithful man. The guy who inspires us to be better human beings and role models for our children.
      
    Women “fantasize” about the guy who makes us forget our responsibilities. Bad boys do that.
      
    I dated nice guys and married one.
      
    After I divorced, I lived with my reformed bad-boy bf for 6 years before being forced to call it quits. He couldn’t conquer his demons. He was sensitive and thoughtful. Something you wouldn’t expect a reformed bad boy to be.
      
    After him, I dated a definite bad boy and a bad boy wanna be, for about a year each.
      
    The bad boys remind you how to be young at heart. I needed that. And I also needed to NOT be emotionally invested as I healed from the demise of my 6-yr relationship.
      
    Dating bad boys when you’re older reaps benefits that dating bad boys when you’re young doesn’t. The former reminds us how to be young at heart. The latter embitters you towards men.
      
    If you’re divorced and have had children, date a bad boy or two, without expectations of commitment. There is something extraordinarily liberating about that. Give yourself permission to “be bad”. You won’t regret it. Just do NOT allow yourself to fall in love with said bad boy nor hope for a committed relationship with him. Live in the moment. Enjoy the freedom of being a bad girl. Don’t stop dating “nice guys” when you’re dating your bad boy. That’s part of what makes you “a bad girl”.  
      
    And just to be clear, I’m not advocating cheating. If said bad boy asks you to be his gf, say no. No matter how high the chemistry. Stay a free agent. If said nice guy asks you to be his gf, well, that’s up to you. Don’t cheat on him if he asks. But if you want to continue to see the bad boy, then you have to say no to the good guy. You’re in the driver’s seat. Do what you want. You’re not beholden to either man if YOU don’t commit to them. That’s also part of being a “bad girl.”

      
      

  6. 26
    Paula

    As a woman, the men I like are men like Jon Stewart because he’s funny. My #1 crush now is Ed Snowden. After watching citizenfour, he came across as incredible intelligent, thoughtful and has nice teeth. He is also good looking. Not all women have the same type of crush but for me, if a man is attractive and funny, I will crush but the men that are the bad boys have never been my type. I liked Snowden because he’s a man with courage. I’m Canadian so please don’t bash me as a traitor because lots of us feel he did what’s best for the people

  7. 27
    Stacy

    Karl,
    Any hint of being damaged and I run as fast as my 6 inch heels would allow. Yes, I get the hell out of dodge. And again, the fact that these characteristics in the bad boys are deemed ‘irresistible’ according to this study, does not mean that a woman will want to settle down with said bad boy (EVEN if she wants to date him temporarily). Also, we don’t know the size of the study or the age group(s) asked – which can be a factor.
    I would be so bold to say that women aren’t generally attracted to damaged men. However, by the time she realizes he is damaged, she may have fallen in love and may in turn choose to stay hoping that Mr. Damage may change because he may have the other positive characteristics you mentioned. But, it’s not different than a man sticking around because the girl is hot! I dont think one gender outweighs the other in this. The majority of women that I come across do not like damaged men and especially over 30 when ready to settle down. We may want to screw him (although I personally have no interest in doing that), but just like men, we would rather settle down with someone far different! So they say that’s who they would like to date…again, we dont know the demographic so the study is lacking. Additionally, many men also date women they know they dont want to marry. I don’t see the difference between the two genders.
      

    1. 27.1
      Karl R

      Stacy,
      Perhaps you and your friends avoid “bad boy” traits like they’re some form of communicable disease. There are certainly women who do. If you’re one of them, it seems reasonable that you would have surrounded yourself with like-minded women.

      But there are no shortage of women who are drawn to those traits. The techniques that pick-up artists use depend on women being drawn to those traits. Evan and I both agree that “nice guys with an edge” are the most successful at dating.

      I deliberately cultivated “an edge” by exhibiting several of the negative traits on that list … in moderation.

      Even with mature, secure, stable women, this has never counted against me. And in most cases, it has worked in my favor. (With some women, I wasn’t sure.)

      Stacy said:
      “Additionally, many men also date women they know they dont want to marry. I don’t see the difference between the two genders.”  

      With men, that decision usually boils down to two things:
      1. She’s hot.
      2. The sex is great.

      It’s really that simple. We don’t consider mysterious, brooding, or a dark and troubled past to be some sort of romantic / fantasy bonus.

  8. 28
    Mickey

    Looks like niceness/goodness is just one more disability and one more strike if you’re a guy. Deep sigh…

    1. 28.1
      Clare

      If you read what everyone is saying you will realize that girls DO dream of settling down with and marrying the nice guy. Women DO want men who are nice. BUT they want them to have backbone and confidence, not be pushovers.

      1. 28.1.1
        jeremy

        @Clare
          
        I think the problem that you and Mickey are having regarding this point is that you are each using the same word, “nice” to mean different things – and thus are talking past each other IMHO.
          
        When a man is told that he should be nice in order to attract women, he considers the way he hopes a woman would be “nice” in order to be attractive to him.   And what he figures he must do in order to be “nice” is to put the woman’s needs before his own.   He must anticipate her feelings, her desires, her needs.   In cognitive psychology (or personality theory), we would call this using the function Fe (extroverted Feeling).   People whose personalities are dominant in Fe typically put the needs/wishes of others before their own – even to their own detriment.
          
        Men consider that this is what would make them seem “nice” to women, because it is what makes women seem “nice” to men.   A woman who puts a man’s needs before her own is very very attractive to most men.
          
        Problem is, such a man is not generally attractive to most women.   Most women are attracted to men whose personalities are dominant in Fi (introverted Feeling).   This means that they primarily consider their OWN wants before the wants of others.   Men whose personalities are dominant in Fi are confident, they have backbone, they know what they want and go after it.   But they do NOT put the needs of others before their own.   In fact, personalities dominant in Fi abhor Fe, and only use it when it confers them some tangible advantage (in other words, they will be “nice” when it gets them something in return).
          
        When a woman says she wants a “nice guy with balls” she does not use the word “nice” to mean what men think.   She does not mean that she wants a man who will put her needs before his own – that would make him a push-over in her eyes.   It would make a woman attractive to a man, but not a man attractive to a woman.   In the expression “a nice guy with balls”, it is the “balls” part that is attractive, not the “nice” part.  
          
        What this means, in cognitive psych terms, is that women want a man whose personality is dominant in Fi, but who occasionally uses Fe regarding his girlfriend/wife.   They don’t realize that this is an inherent contradiction – these are 2 different men.   The bad-boy (Fi-dominant) and the nice-guy (Fe-dominant) are 2 different men.   The “nice guy with balls” is Bigfoot.   He doesn’t exist.   One cannot be dominant in both Fi and Fe.   If one is Fi-dominant, he may demonstrate “niceness” as long as it is in his interest to do so, but it will not be his nature to be giving.   If one is Fe-dominant, his nature will be to be giving, but women will not perceive him as having “balls”.   He may learn what women expect and demonstrate it on occasion, but it will not be his nature.
          
        Nice guys can learn to “up the alpha” and act more dominant, but it will never be their true nature.   Alpha men will never learn to “up the beta” and act nicer – they have no motivation to do so.
        One type of man objectively makes the best husband and father.   The other type of man is the one that women objectively find more attractive.   They are 2 different men.   I wish that people would stop the “where are all the nice guys with balls” stuff.   Realize that this is a contradiction in terms.
          

        1. Karmic Equation

          I agree, Jeremy. Women want the two types of men in one body 🙂
            
          But I disagree that she wants the guy to NOT be a pushover for her.
            
          In fact, I would say the opposite. Most women want a guy to do whatever SHE wants him to do (don’t look at other women, don’t use porn, don’t be friends with his ex, don’t fart too much, yada yada) but stand up for himself with OTHERs. Have balls when talking to his boss. Have balls to stand up to his mother.
            
          And this man doesn’t exist. If he’s the kind of guy who’ll stand up to his mom, he’ll also be the guy who says “I’m going to watch porn because I like it”. So women have to pick. You want a guy who has balls? Which means she’s NOT going to be able to “control” him. Or does she want the guy she can control? Which means others can also easily control him.
            
          As Evan says, men don’t go both ways.

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          Close, but still a little binary, KE. You can be a guy with balls who is still sensitive to others’ needs. That’s what I try to be, and I consistently make the small sacrifices to be a good husband and father, rather than asserting my will all the time.

        3. Clare

          Sorry Jeremy, but I cannot agree with you.
            
          Your theory seems to state that people who are kind, generous and loving cannot also be assertive and have boundaries. This is blatantly untrue. I am such a person. Being kind and loving and being capable of being selfless does not equal putting others’ desires ahead of your own in 100% of cases. This is such a vast generalization you are making that it boggles my mind that someone so clearly intelligent as you cannot see it. I am capable of putting my boyfriend’s needs ahead of my own if he wants us to go and visit his family and I would rather stay home and ride my horse. In this case, I am making a conscious decision to give up what I would rather do in order to make him happy.
            
          This same principle will not apply however if we have plans for our anniversary and he would rather stay home and play video games. Me capitulating to his wishes in this scenario would signify that I am a “pushover”.
            
          Two very different scenarios. People who are kind and loving with relationship skills, yet who are ALSO not pushovers, can tell when it is appropriate to assert boundaries and firmness, and it does not make them any less kind or loving.
            
          This is a long way of saying that I think your example of a pure Fe person (someone who would put other people’s needs ahead of his own 100% of the time) is a figment of some psychologist’s imagination.

        4. Stacy

          How I define ‘nice’: Kind, considerate, giving, not a player, respectful
          How I define ‘guy with balls’: assertive, confident, not a yes man.
          I do not want a jerk who only thinks of his own needs before mine.   I think both of these men can exist in one man. I have met  a  few of them and my best friend (who is married) is one. I think when we are talking of two extremes, that theory is true but I don’t believe most women think of a guy who has balls  as one  has to have this overwhelmingly dominant personality.

      2. 28.1.2
        jeremy

        @Clare, you make a valid point and I realize that my post was a bit unclear.   The problem is that I am trying to describe something complicated in a limited space, so perhaps I’m not doing a good job of it (or perhaps you legitimately disagree).   Nevertheless…..
          
        Your post describes a very typical Fe-dominant viewpoint (not a bad thing, BTW).   Fe-dominant personalities rely very heavily on their perceptions of “roles.”   What is my role, and what is your role….based on the opinions and values of the society we live in or the groups in which we want to be accepted?
          
        A woman may perceive her role as a girlfriend/wife as involving visiting her man’s family.   She may perceive her man’s role as attending an anniversary dinner.   She expects herself to adhere to her role, and she expects her man to do the same – and in adhering to these roles, they demonstrate “niceness”.   Hence your examples – of course an Fe-dominant woman would choose to go to her boyfriend’s family over staying home to ride her horse.   If she stayed home to ride her horse, she would have no choice but to view herself as selfish through her Fe-lens.
          
        Similarly, of course the Fe-dominant woman would expect her boyfriend to go to the anniversary dinner with her and not stay home and play video games.   If he stayed home, she would have no choice but to view him as not adhering to his role and acting selfish, thereby showing disrespect to her through her Fe-lens.
          
        The Fe-dom asserts her boundaries while trying to stay kind, but both of those things – the boundaries and the kindness – are defined by her   Fe-based values rather than her own internal emotions.   She acts the way she believes it is PROPER to act.
          
        To contrast, what an Fi-dominant man wants when he says he wants a nice woman, is a woman who puts his needs first regardless of what her “role” may be.   If she wants to go to church on Sunday morning and he wants to stay in bed and have sex, he wants her to want to stay with him, not to adhere to her role.   His perception of what makes her “nice” as an Fi-dom is different from an Fe-dom’s perception of what makes a person “nice”.   The Fe-dom expects niceness as an adherence to roles.   The Fi-dom expects niceness as being giving in SPITE of roles.
          
        Women want a man who has boundaries, who does not put up with nonsense (including her nonsense).   A man who has confidence, who knows what he wants and goes after it.   Thus far, we are describing an Fi-dominant man.   Yet they also hope for a man who understands his ROLE and adheres to it, and by adhering to it he demonstrates his “niceness.”   That describes an Fe-dominant man.  
        The confident man, the man that women are attracted to, will demonstrate kindness when his own emotions dictate he should do so, not when his role dictates.   And Fe-dominant women may well not perceive that as the kind of “niceness” they hope for. And similarly, when an Fi-dominant man is trying to demonstrate his own niceness to attract a woman, if he does so by violating his ROLE as a man (in acting needy), she will not perceive that as being nice, but rather as a role violation.   Unattractive.
          

        1. Clare

          Ok Jeremy, I understand what you are saying.
            
          I dated such a man, an Fi-dominant man as you describe him, and it lasted as long as it did mostly because I did not mind him asserting his wishes and demonstrating his niceness when he wanted to, and I mostly did not hold him to a traditional role as my boyfriend. These things were possible because I am very independent and I probably don’t have the same extensive needs that some women have.
            
          HOWEVER, this will only take you so far. There comes a point in every relationship when you have to be able to put the needs of the relationship or your spouse above your own. In this case, sticking purely to your own version of what your feelings or wants dictate you should do, as you described the Fi-dominant man, really comes across as and boils down to selfishness which jeopardises the relationship. To take an example from my relationship which I described above, the father was extremely ill with cancer in intensive care. I was distressed and wanted my boyfriend to come with me to visit him (not necessarily every time, but once or twice for moral support would have meant the world to me). He refused because he had never met my father before and thought it would be awkward. Any attempt on my part to appeal to his sense of support and compassion just made him dig in his heels further.
            
          This one incident demonstrated many things to me. But for the purposes of our discussion, a man who is Fi-dominant who is incapable of EVER being selfless is either going to leave a string of failed relationships in his wake, or will have a very unhappy marriage/relationship.
            
          So basically, yes, many of the qualities that an Fi-dominant man possesses may be attractive in the short term, but if he is incapable of ever tempering them with selflessness under any circumstances, his relationship success is likely to be very limited.

        2. jeremy

          @Clare,
          I agree with you 100%.   That is why I wrote that, objectively, Fe-dominant men make better husbands and fathers – their dependable propensity for giving makes them so.
            
          But to clarify, it is not that an Fi-dominant man can not be giving or appear selfless.   Rather, such a man will generally only do so when he perceives some benefit to himself in doing so.   That benefit may be benign – it may be the benefit of preserving a relationship that matters to him.   But his motivations matter, because when the motivations no longer exist, the behavior will no longer exist.
            

        3. Clare

          Yes, I see what you are saying.
            
          Going back to my boyfriend above, he was certainly capable of being generous and caring, but only as you say when there was some benefit for himself – whether it was that he got pleasure out of giving in a certain way, or whether he feared losing me and momentarily capitulated to my wishes. He could be kind and nice, and yet he was very different from another ex of mine who would do things purely to make me happy (yet was also not a pushover).
            
          It is interesting because it would seem that for such a man, the Fi-dominant man as you describe him, for a relationship to work he must really value the relationship or person very highly indeed.

        4. jeremy

          Clare, you wrote: “It is interesting because it would seem that for such a man, the Fi-dominant man as you describe him, for a relationship to work he must really value the relationship or person very highly indeed.”
            
          Not necessarily.   He would just need the relationship to satisfy his needs. For as long as it does, he will hang around and prioriitze it.
            
          So often what happens is that a young Fe-dominant woman and Fi-dominant man get together.   She is attracted to him because he is a confident go-getter.   He is attracted to her because she puts his needs first.   She does so because her ROLE, at that stage of the game, is the role of the good girlfriend who wants a steady boyfriend and husband.   She will see it as her role to prioritize his needs, and will do so.   And he will enjoy that very much and become accustomed to it.   Hence the often-heard comment by men “I married her because she put my needs first.”
            
          What is often missed is that the role of the Fe-dominant woman will change at different stages of her life, and she will see it as natural that her priorities should change as well.   The wife has a different role than the girlfriend.   The new mother has a different role than the wife.   The mother of older kids has a different role still.   And with each new role, priorities change – he will no longer be priority #1 – and she will see that as the natural state of “growing up.”
            
          He will not see it so.   His personality does not change with roles, but rather is based on his feelings.   So as long as his feelings have not changed, he will remain the same guy he always was.   He will wonder what happened to the woman he married, and not understand that she expected her priorities to change with her role, and thus no longer puts his needs as priority #1.   She will wonder when he will “grow up” like she did.   He never will.   He was fully grown when they first met.
            
          Hence the most common joke about marriage – men marry and hope their wives never change….and they do.   Women marry and hope their husbands will change….and they don’t.

      3. 28.1.3
        Mickey

        Clare:

        So they say…

  9. 29
    Ames

    That is not me at all. I grew up with an alcoholic, sometimes angry dad and I’ve always dreamed of being in a quiet, stable relationship with a man who is also a best friend. I’d take something a bit boring over crazy any day. I haven’t found that guy yet, and sadly I seem to be pursued mostly by men who are troubled or married, and planning to stay that way. Walter White and Gus Fring have their sexy character personas but at the end of the day I want the Dan Connor to my Roseanne.  

  10. 30
    KM

    Super interesting question. This very much applied to me until a broken engagement a couple of years ago forced me to grow up, so I wanted to ponder this one out for my own benefit.  

    I used to like characters like Tristan from Legends of the Fall or Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind. My favourite was the poor boy who no one’s family approved of but love overcame. I was reading books and watching movies before I had an interest in boys and I think it skewed my perception of how love might look.

    I think I liked the idea that they might not possess a lot of qualities that the stereotypically alpha (and mainstream) guy might have: materialism, preoccupation with image and status and most importantly, a sense of entitlement where women are concerned.   You actually think they wouldn’t womanise on you because they’re lucky to have you and they are more likely to know it.   There’s also a lot of freedom in the idea of being with a bad boy: that they’d be more likely to let you be who you want to be because they know from personal experience how wrong society’s judgment is.  

    Yup, it’s pretty immature and it’s clearly rooted in a certain amount of vanity but that’s the stuff that used to be in my head.   

  11. 31
    Henriette

    A guy friend of mine often whines about women wanting “bad boys.”   I always point out that some women are attracted to drama, adrenaline and ~ eventually ~ trying to totally makeover the bad boy into a totally different man.   Is that the kind of woman he, himself, actually desires?!?!   Wouldn’t he prefer a woman who is kind, sane & honourable and who values the same qualities in a boyfriend?
      
    Honestly, I find it difficult to believe that vast swaths of women prefer damaged men.   But if this is, in fact, true then great: more healthy, kind, decent men for me & my friends!

    1. 31.1
      Clare

      Henriette,
        
      I SO agree with you. I am sick to death of men complaining that women only want bad boys, when the emotionally unavailable/incompatible woman they desire doesn’t want them back.

  12. 32
    Anne Seidel

    I want a nice kind gentleman….not a bad boy! Kindness and love are perfect for me.

  13. 33
    Ruby

    This article sounds like it’s from a PUA site. It’s geared to meek men who have problems being assertive with women. If someone ever hung up on me mid-conversation with no explanation of why, I’d just think they were crazy. Anyway, once a women is past a certain age, bad boys lose their appeal quickly. Most women want a man who’s responsible to help raise the kids, help pay bills, take care of you when you’re sick, etc. All the long-term responsibilities that bad boys can’t handle well.
    Bottom line, what we fantasize about and what we would like in reality are two different things. We can have all sorts of wild fantasies, but we are still in control of them.

    1. 33.1
      deep6

      Hear, hear!

  14. 34
    Sex Dating

    Yes it’s really better to date bad guys… When I say bad it doesn’t mean assholes or jerks! Rough but intelligent guys. Guys that rocks! ^^  

    1. 34.1
      Mickey

      I got priors! Interested?

  15. 35
    N

    I suspect women don’t necessarily prefer bad boys who are “damaged”, womanizer,   vampire 🙂 or cold-blooded murderer :))

    I met my beau whom I consider a bad boy– hot, (the Kennedy look of) dark hair, chiseled jaw, charming, sarcastically witty, well-educated, successful, trans-atlantic sailor hobbyist, handy man, highly athletic, assertive, sharp-tongue with abrasive tendencies.  I characterize him as a bad boy being that in a nutshell– he has balls. The man will not put up with BS and woman craziness of any kind. Needless to say a bad boy and me who’s 8-9 crazy on an average day is in one word. Disaster.  

    I proposed summer fling. We went to a B&B; wrote on the guestbook summer fling 2014 ends on Labor Day. No love lost. No shed tears. Just fun. Signed. Sealed. Delivered.

    It was a fiery summer. But as he proposed to extend our contract through the winter and says he loves me and he wants to grow with me; that made me realized he is turning into a self-aware grounded empathetic bad boy. And so am I. I realized I’m a self-centered brat who has a lot of growing up to do. Is this going to turn into an LTR between a recovering bad boy and a 9 crazy. We don’t know. We live in the moment.   One day at a time. Nonetheless,   we sure are happy we are growing together. Nic

  16. 36
    Suzanne

    Throughout my dating life I have flip flopped between “nice guys” and “bad boys” and as I’ve reflected on my choices, I think there are a few nuances to why I’ve leaned one way or another that the infographic doesn’t address.
    My first serious boyfriend was a stereotypical nice guy – intelligent, kind, sensible. His main hobby, however, was playing video games. It didn’t seem like an issue when we were dating, but when we moved in together, we lived in a major city with an incredible riches of things to do and experience, yet the mall was our main destination to pick up a new game. Now in my 30s, I have a busy enough life of my own that I could have more tolerance for gaming, but in my early 20s I was scared that the rest of my life was going to be spent on a couch in front of the TV.
    After that, I dated two guys – one artistic and well read, yet hadn’t finished a bachelor’s degree, and the other who had just finished a degree in accounting, sweet and earnest. I had to weigh the good guy vs. bad boy in real time, since I had to decide who to become exclusive with. I ended up with the bad boy not only because our chemistry was off the charts, but because the good guy was so good, I felt like I would never measure up. He wasn’t critical, but because he was incredibly in shape and was poised to advance in his career while I was struggling in those areas, I felt inadequate. If I had enough self esteem at the time, this choice would have turned out differently.
    After dating a really bad boy (verbally and emotionally abusive), I made a conscious effort to break my pattern and seek out a good guy. My next boyfriend was kind and a gentleman but ultimately couldn’t make a commitment to me for the long term, so I broke it off. My current boyfriend is a good guy, and I have the self esteem now to feel secure in the relationship. Plus, he has a couple of the traits that I would normally associate with “bad boys” – worldliness and a wicked sense of humor. I feel that we’re high on both chemistry and compatibility around values and what we want in the future, so I hope that this is the person I’ll finally get to build a life with!  
    -Suzanne

  17. 37
    Karmic Equation

    If everyone is defining “bad boy” to be the dark, brooding type, then I’ve never dated such. I’ve dated the fun, irresponsible bad boys who had great senses of humor and made me laugh. I would classify players as bad boys, too. Most players are not dark and broody.
      
    Dark brooding types are dark brooding types. They’re not bad boys, imo. Damaged yes, “bad boy”, not at all!
      
    So yeah, if most women go for the dark brooding type, it’s no wonder so many women are unsatisfied and/or have trouble finding love. Dark brooding types are only going to drag you down.

    1. 37.1
      Noemi

      I agree that not all bad boys are dark and brooding. I’ve dated so called “bad boys” before, but they were charming and always had a herd of girls chasing after them. They weren’t damaged per se, but enjoyed the female attention so much that having a relationship with them proved to be difficult.  

      1. 37.1.1
        Karmic Equation

        That’s the thing, Noemi.
          
        You don’t have relationships with bad boys. You just f*ck ’em 😉

        1. Noemi

          That’s what I’ve learned along the way 😉

        2. starthrower68

          For those women who can or are willing to compartmentalize, sure.   I’m not willing to be less than authentic or wholly integrated just for sex.   As good as sex is, it’s not worth that.

      2. 37.1.2
        Adam

        That’s our point Noemi. So many women like you and many others, sleep with these guys. Of course when other guys see this, we become bad ourselves. Why not? Why not be the “hot” bad boy that all the girls love? I care nothing about being “authentic,” I care everything about being effective. Things have gotten so bad, there was a case recently of a group of young men who were at a party, dressed like thugs playing loud music. The neighbor was disturbed and called the police. Long story short, the men dressed as thugs, were actually honors students who had recently graduated from a top tier university facing a bright future in law. I can’t blame them, most women at the party probably would have been turned off had they known the truth…
          
          

        1. starthrower68

          Well if all you want to be effective at is getting laid, then of course authenticity won’t matter. But if you meet a woman with whom you desire an actual relationship, she’s not likely to trust you if she detects lack of authenticity. If you want her to feel safe enough with you to be vulnerable and intimate (other than sexually) you’ll need to be authentic.

        2. Adam

          starthrower68

          Well yes, I do want to get laid. If it comes down to being involuntarily celibate for years on end, or pretending to be a bad boy, I would pretend to be a bad boy. Of course women are not into long term relationships with either guys who pretend to be bad or real bad boys, but at least I wouldn’t be celibate plus I would be giving women what they want. I don’t understand why a woman would prefer a bad boy to an educated, respectful guy with a good job, but I don’t make the rules, I only live by them. And of course, a guy with a promiscuous, former bad boy / jerk reputation which you will get if you pretend to be a bad boy long enough, will definitely improve your chances of finding a woman who wants you for a long term relationship.

          Of course it is necessary to be honest to have a real relationship, but the truth can be broken to a woman slowly, over many months so that it doesn’t shock them too much. For example, if I were to say I believe in monogamy, want a family one day, I have a good job, am continuing my education during the evenings and regularly attend church and actually believe in cherishing my woman and not verbally abusing her or playing games, this could all be quite shocking and she would probably run away. She would think of me as a “nice guy” and lose all attraction. But if these facts are broken to someone I want to have a real relationship over a period of time, perhaps, just perhaps, she will stay around.

        3. Noemi

          Adam, I might consider sleeping with a man that I have a hot connection with, but the nice guy wins more than that–he wins our hearts, minds, and bodies…long term.

          You can be a bad boy, but the only experiences you’ll have will be short-lived affairs, and the only girls who will be dragged around are the ones seeking validation from these types of men. Is that what you want?

          We want a nice guy with balls. We want confidence, not cockiness. We want gentlemen, not pushovers. We want a man who is interested, but not desperate. We want a warm bed at night, not a cold one becaus

          I happen to know a bad couple of bad boys. One approached me at a bar one night while I was out with my sisters, and we had a nice chat. I was flattered that he found me attractive, but declined his offer to meet at his house for the after party. I heard that by the end of the night, he had locked lips with my sister.

          If you know anything about these guys, you’d be envious of them. Both are successful entrepreneurs. Both own mansions in California, along with a boat, jet skis, a hummer, Mercedes, Audi, and other nice cars. They take girls out in their nice “rides.” In every picture, they have not one but 5 or 6 girls under their arms. They bed each one if them and show then a good time before they move on. Yes, they are the envy of their friends, but they have nothing meaningful with these women who use them for their money. Nothing.

        4. Adam

          Noemi, I am not envious, but I do admire the guys you described. They not only are able to sleep with whatever women they want to sleep with including your sister, they will also have no trouble when the decide to settle down and have a real relationship with a woman who actually loves them and they actually love.

          Women will consider all of their bad boy womanizing a major positive and she will love him just that much more. Women love former players. They all dream of being the one who captures his heart and they also love the idea of other women wanting to sleep with their man and not being able to. I don’t see anything negative in the scenario you described at all.

          If I were to to say that men prefer fat, unattractive women and if a woman is fat and unattractive, she shouldn’t worry about all the great guys who are passing her by and instead should be happy. After all, eventually she will get some guy after he has given up on other women, has gotten older himself and has tons of emotional baggage. And why worry about that? Just because these men loved the other women far more than they love you and are settling, this is nothing to worry about. Just be happy you are with him at all. And don’t try to lose weight and change yourself, because that is not “authentic.” If I were to say these things, you would think of me as an idiot. You would say, obviously the woman needs to change herself. And I feel the same way about nice, respectful, non-player guys. They need to change themselves.

          Nice guys are essentially the equivalent of fat, unattractive women. Nothing wrong with having these women as friends, but the vast majority of men are not sexually attracted to them. They like them, might marry them because they are nice, respectful and provide stable income, but they don’t really get their motor running like players, jerks and other bad boys do.

      3. 37.1.3
        isayimnothere

        After reading your conversation with Adam I thought I would throw this in there. Just think how this looks from the perspective of a truly nice guy, with no ill intentions and decent job but a socially awkward   personality and severe confidence issues.   You make it out to be a big deal to “win more than that—he wins our hearts, minds, and bodies…long term.” but a lot  of guys just like the one mentioned above can’t even get a date let alone a life partner, and if they get a life partner they eventually cheat on him with another “player” at some point after. Then they  see guys like that get whatever they want, PLUS the girl they want to have  a relationship with. It tramples on their confidence even more when decent guys see this making them even less confident. I’ll be the first to say the moment I stopped caring about women, and treated them like someone who had to prove themselves to me. It was the first time, women paid attention to me and it felt great. You say its “only girls who will be dragged around are the ones seeking validation from these types of men.”   but all women started treating me 100% better from that day forward. Women I used to know, women I knew and women I’d later meet. Unless you are saying that in my microcosm of existence all the women I have known and ever will know react better just because they are a “certain type” then I don’t know what to say. Confidence, cockiness, and all around being attractive personality wise is the first step every man should make. Sadly that step requires men to give up their good guy personality as the two often times clash.

  18. 38
    Sharlee

    I think that the article did not take into account is that there can be an enormous disconnect between fantasy/daydreams and reality.   Pulse pounding excitement in a daydream or mental fantasy is safe because that dream is not going to come true.   However, excitement is excitement and stirs up chemical reactions in the body, reactions that feel alive and passionate and are very appealing in our often hum drum lives.   But come face to face with a real murderer type?   No way.   He is dangerous, so dangerous that you literally take your life in your hands with him.   He is so dangerous that you would pass him by in real life once your danger danger danger signals had been tripped – and hopefully before its not too late.   

    That being said, there is something to be said for excitement and for novelty.   And that is easy enough to satisfy by getting out there and doing things with a man that are different and fun and yes, exciting.   Instead of sitting on a couch, go dancing and show off those sexy moves – most men respond immediately and you can see the passion in their eyes just as you can with those smoking hot criminals.   Especially true if you look in their eyes as you share in fun, novelty and excitement.   My personal observation has been that most men (and I guess most women too) do the same old same old when it comes to dating .   Me?   I’d like to jump on a zipline or go swimming or tube down a river or dance crazy sexy.   Makes a huge difference in how I regard the man I am with!  

    1. 38.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      The funny thing about novelty is that it’s a double-edged sword. Couples need to have novelty to keep their spark alive, and yet people who are novelty seekers are (not surprisingly) more likely to cheat or divorce.

    2. 38.2
      Karl R

      Sharlee said:
      “I think that the article did not take into account is that there can be an enormous disconnect between fantasy/daydreams and reality.”  

      I would say that many people don’t take into account that enormous disconnect in their real dating life. Men and women get hurt when someone doesn’t want a second date after a promising first date. Why? In their fantasies they built that good first date into something far more significant.  

      Why do people feel that they’ve “fallen out of love” when the feeling of infatuation fades? They fantasized that they would have that magical high for the rest of their lives. Why do they leave a good relationship for the excitement of a relationship with someone they barely know? They fantasize that this time the “magic” will last forever.  

      People often fail to recognize that reality isn’t going to match their fantasies.  

      Sharlee said:
      “But come face to face with a real murderer type?   No way.”  

      Serial killers have groupies.

      Yes, those groupies are on the extreme end of the scale. But there are a lot more women who would find the brooding guy at the party attractive … then decide months later that having him constantly brooding is a real drag.

      There are no shortage of women who have started dating married men … and then are shocked when he eventually cheats on them.

      It’s not just women who make this mistake. I’ve met a few men who dated (or married) strippers. They didn’t really think through the reality behind their fantasy.

  19. 39
    Liz

    Bad boys are too much work.   I’m not into rehab projects.   Brains, competence,  compassion for the less fortunate, independence and a well-developed appreciation of all things silly are what’s hot.   Now, if I could only find a man who will build me a pie-hurling 1/10 scale trebuchet, I’ll be set for life!

  20. 40
    Rose

    I’ve been attracted to lots of bad boys but they’ve never been attracted to me.   Maybe I was too nice?   All the guys who were interested in me were nice.   Some of them were nice with weaker backbone, some of them were nice with stronger backbone.  

    So I guess it’s never been an option for me.   At the time, I felt sad I never caught the attention of a hot bad boy but I guess I was pretty lucky?  

    I married a nice guy with a backbone this summer.   More often than not, he puts my needs first.   But if I act out, he doesn’t hesitate to push back.   The thing is, his “pushing back” is always based on principles.   And all that makes me respect him more.   It’s a constant dance, perpetual adjustment.  

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