We’ve all heard the boring old cliché about how "nice guys finish last," but is it really true? Do girls
really prefer jerks?
It all depends on your definition of jerk.
If a jerk is a guy who is cruel to women for no reason, is a drunk or a drug addict, engages in violence,
or kicks the neighbor’s cat for a laugh, then no, girls don’t love jerks. Unless, of course, they have some
serious problems themselves, which is why we see sad pairings like this all too often – but that doesn’t
apply to you, so let’s move on.
If your definition of a jerk is a guy who takes a brazen, devil-may-care attitude toward his interactions
with the fairer gender, has plenty of options and knows it, and practically oozes confidence, then yes,
girls absolutely do love "jerks".
The most important element of the second definition is the word options. This, essentially, is the
crux of why so-called jerks are showered with feminine love and attention, much to the chagrin and
agitation of their fellow "nice guys." Nice guys can’t understand why the object of their affection –
likely viewed from afar – still chase after that one guy who doesn’t even bother to return her phone
calls, who flirts with her friends right in front of her, who even stood her up on their last date. That
jerk. And the worst part is, he isn’t even that good looking! What gives?!
Before we find out, let’s examine the classic behavioral patterns of the Nice Guy™. Unlike his aloof,
cocky brethren, he always returns a girl’s calls right away – hey, he wasn’t busy, and he was overjoyed
to hear her on his voice mail. Why wouldn’t he call her back? When he’s fortunate enough to get a date,
he’s sure to assume a role befitting of the perfect gentleman. He picks her up right on time (if not a few
minutes early), slathers her in saccharine compliments, opens doors for her, and of course, pays for
dinner and a movie. If he plays his cards right, the evening might even end with her kissing him back
(no tongue) after a few minutes of awkward conversation on her doorstep.
If you had to guess, which one of our two friends here has more options pertaining to the affections of
women? The jerk, or the nice guy?
Right. The jerk.
You see, the jerk can act like a jerk specifically because he has options. The jerk is analogous to a
wealthy man in a large city full of restaurants. If he finds himself waiting for a table too long, is the
recipient of poor service or an incorrect order, he knows that he can go to a different restaurant the next
evening, and he isn’t shy about letting the restaurant staff know it. Whereas our nice guy is a yokel in
a small town with only one dingy little diner – he knows that he’d better not make a fuss, because that
restaurant is his only option. Sure, Deb the waitress might forget that he’s deathly allergic to peanuts
and hates sugar in his coffee, but what can he do about it? It’s not like he can go anywhere else.
Girls can detect when a man has options – female competition – and when he does not. A man who
lavishes her with affection on the first date is a man who, clearly, must not have many other women in
his life, because the interaction means so much to him. Conversely, the man who can’t seem to pick up
two out of three phone calls and doesn’t fall all over himself while basking in her radiant presence must
have options. Why else would he be so carefree?
The reason why girls love jerks like this can be explained in a tidy little psychological nutshell.
Whether the jerk knows it or not, acting the way he does exhibits an air of personal value. If he can
afford to be a jerk, it means that he has girls lined up around the block. If he can garner so much female
attention, he must have "something going for him." A girl who comes to this conclusion will find
herself attracted to him, even if it conflicts with the advice of her friends and well-meaning nice guy
How do we even know it’s true that the jerk even has so many options? We don’t, but by acting as
though he does, consciously or otherwise, a perverse self-fulfilling prophecy begins to emerge. He
might not have always been a jerk. He might have been a Nice Guy at some point.
This revelation leaves the typical nice guy in a quandary. Shall he continue on with his status quo,
or begin to emulate the behavior of the jerk? Reaping the benefits of jerkdom will require the
abandonment of what he was instructed was noble, civilized behavior. Is it worth it? That’s up to the
nice guy in question, but readers may find themselves surprised to learn how many "nice guys" are out
there masquerading as jerks.
To quote the erudite wisdom of urban scholar and world renowned cocksmith Ice-T, "Don’t hate the
player; hate the game."