clearly this was crafted by the male species
clearly this was crafted by the male species

This cliché grinds my gears to no end. Lately, someone I know has been posting a lot of statuses and such that go something like this: “I guess it’s time to start acting like an asshole” and “Girls don’t seem to like nice guys anymore.” LISTEN, GENTLEMEN: Truly nice guys finish “last” because they wait for the right person who will appreciate their sincerity and old-fashioned morals, not because girls prefer assholes. Nice girls do not prefer assholes. They do, however, want a man who stands up for himself and takes initiative and, well, IS A MAN.

My brother went through a similar phase a few years ago, when he decided that being a “nasshole” – a nice guy with asshole qualities – was the way to go. You know how many decent girls that attitude attracted? None. Once he ditched that mentality, he found himself a lovely lady and they’ve been together for a while now.

While researching for this piece, I Google searched “Why do girls date jerks,” and Google gave me over three million results. Clearly this a problem, but most of the links I looked into were answers from guys, and why they think nice girls date jerks. Some will say it’s because opposites attract. Others will say it’s because nice girls want to change the assholes into nice guys. Here are some of the hypotheses I found on Yahoo!Answers (from males and females):

  • “Because they have low expectations of them so they know not to get their hopes up 🙂 But also, remember that jerks are jerks for a reason. They are REALLY good at tricking people in to thinking that they are good guys. Trust me, I have been tricked by alot of jerks into thinking they are actually really sweet guys. Haha what a load of crap!”
  • “i dont like jerks but girls date them because they want to try to change them into nice ppl. Source(s): im a girl”
  • “girls like the adventure of dating a badass”

Amidst my research*, the most common answer I found is that women are “shallow” and date jerks because they are (apparently) better-looking and more confident in themselves. The best, most sound answer I found, though, comes from, written by Scott Barry Kaufman. He academically analyzes the traits of the “asshole construct” and why they are so appealing. He also concludes that these types of men typically have one-night-stands, hook-ups, and short term flings, not necessarily long term relationships.

“That is, if you conceptualize winning as racking up a lot of different sexual partners. If your personal definition of winning is finding a high-quality long-term mate and making the relationship work, then research does show there are advantages to being conscientiousness and agreeable (along with other research, my own research bears this out in a large-sample dataset I am currently analyzing). Clearly, the answer to the question posed in this post depends on what you really want out of your life at each point in your life.”

However, Kaufman cites one “asshole” Roy Masters, who says that nice girls date jerks because “She wants a man not to need her. She wants a man to be so full of love that he doesn’t need any from her. You know what happens then? A women will love a man who doesn’t need love, so he gets it anyway” and this answer kind of makes sense, believe it or not. I’m obviously a girl, and it’s true: I don’t want someone to need me – that shit’s annoying. An independent man is exactly what I want, but not a cocky, manwhore, either. Nice guys: you gotta be independent, even if you think that the ladies want you to need them. Newsflash: We don’t.

Be independent. Be confident, not cocky. Be a loving guy, not a needy guy. These are hard balances to find, but once you find it, the right girl will notice. After a while, the jerks get boring and we get tired of trying to fix them. That’s when we’ll come looking for you. It might be a little later than you’d like, but hang in there. Nice guys finish last in the same way that the tortoise wins the race over the hare: slow and steady.

Oh, and do yourself a favor: don’t settle for a girl who’s a jerk, either.

*It should be noted that there are very few reliable sources on this subject. Much of the material consists of blog posts and popular magazine articles.


A born-and-raised Jersey girl with a chronic case of wanderlust, Samantha spends her days reading, writing, and planning adventures. She currently teaches classes at the community college while living at home with her parents, trying and failing to become a part of the proverbial real world. Her dream is for someone to pay her for writing and traveling, but in reality she'll probably be teaching forever. Follow her mundane musings on Twitter @SamanthaG2012, and check out her personal blog,

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