This topic is a bit different, but I had been mulling it over for a while and decided to try and share my thoughts on it.
I have heard guys complain that they have been passed over by girls for ‘bad boys’ countless times. They express their frustration that they see their women friends treated so bad by these jerks and don’t understand why it keeps happening, why do women always go for jerks? especially when there these nice guys are waiting for the chance to treat them better. (Key word is ‘waiting’ guys, don’t forget to take the initiative! but maybe that’s another topic…)
This thinking has always irritated me because I have never been the type to look at a ‘bad boy’ and think “Yes, that’s what I want!”. Do women ever really do that? and yet I’ve always felt passed over by nice guys for bratty girls. *sigh* Can anyone really win?
Well, I asked my Facebook friends what they thought and quickly discovered that for one, the definition of ‘bad boy’ is a little up for interpretation.
To me, it means the cocky, confident, trouble making types that were into drinking, smoking and drugs (uhm, gross. Well, not the cocky and confident part, the smoking and drugs bit.). These are the typical ones that you’d think were possessive and physically abusive. (I realize a lot of this is generalization, but I’m sure you see my point.)
To some it means more of the rebel, biker dude. Guy’s with that same cocky and confident demeanor who seem more apathetic and aloof but though they may be rough around the edges, once you dig a little deeper you find a sweetheart and they really aren’t “bad” in the character sense.
I think this is one of my biggest mistakes in my life, thinking that “bad boys” look like bad boys. Because they don’t all look it. Not all villains will look like villains, some look like the hero.
This is something I knew, but I didn’t quite understand.
You hear the saying “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover” all the time, but I never really applied that thinking.
I figured the shy, geeky boys were safe. The lone wolf, introverted, quiet guy just needed a friend.
This doesn’t mean that wasn’t true, but sometimes the “bad boy” hides it well. You would never look at him and think “danger, Wilhelmina, danger!”
This whole topic is way more intense than I thought it would be. After asking my initial question I felt like it brought up a billion others.
But for the sake of this post, I’ll state the question I had thought of that started this whole thing…
Why do women pass up good guys for bad boys?
First off, I don’t think we do it on purpose. Obviously, I cannot speak for all women, but from the bit I have learned about myself and have understood from listening to other women I can form a theory at least.
Confidence is attractive on anyone and generally speaking, ‘bad boys’ are usually more confident. They make their ‘move’ and ‘get the girl’ and after the initial excitement things start to grow ‘boring’ to them and their true colors come out. Unfortunately at that point the woman is so emotionally entangled into the relationship that she can’t understand what is happening when the guy starts making rude remarks about her appearance or giving her restrictions and twisting things around on her to make her feel like his issues are her fault. She’ll wonder “what happened,” “why doesn’t he love me anymore,” “what did I do?” She’ll even justify his anger with thinking either she instigated it, or she’ll think “well, he hasn’t hit me,” because we’re kind of programmed to think that if we aren’t being hit we aren’t being abused. (*Buzzer* wrong)
People are generally pretty quick to judge women who stay in these relationships, but in order to help the women you need to be able to empathize and realize that they didn’t willingly enter into these relationships thinking “hey, here’s a jerk, I’ll make a life with him!” no one in their right mind would do this, that’s a ridiculous assumption.
Women stay because they love them. Women stay because they believe the lies that these bad boys are changing, and some even do change at least tiny aspects of themselves and start trying and that is enough to make the woman stay and support him in his endeavors to become a better person. Even when she isn’t getting any of her emotional needs fulfilled, even if there is another guy willing to meet those needs and give her everything she wants, it doesn’t matter because she is in love. It may be misplaced love, but it’s still love.
Women stay because he isn’t always angry. He isn’t always mean. When he’s in a good mood he’s really fun. But when he’s in a bad mood…
My theory is that when women are met with a man who respect them, who speak genuinely and treat them how they should be treated it puts our guard up.
What does this guy want from us? because experience has taught us that only people who want something from us treat us nicely. Even when all this guy may want is to spend his life treating us well. But, the really terrifying moment comes when you start to fall for the good guy.
See, with a good guy we run the risk of actually falling and falling hard. That vulnerability is terrifying so we tend to shy away from it.
What if they turn out to not be such a good guy? what are they hiding? are they genuine? what if they are a good guy but we’re too damaged?
Really, you can’t know these answers until you know the guy better. Sure, some may be hiding some ulterior motive, others may be genuine. But until we push past the fear and allow these men into our lives we can’t know for sure.
Does this mean to ignore your gut instinct? heavens no! I did that too many times and where has that brought me? it’s good to be wary, but don’t reject something that could be good just because people have trashed you in the past.
I think the bottom line is we women need to start seeing the value in ourselves for ourselves. Until we realize that we’re going to wind up letting anyone and everyone treat us however they want.
My advice to good guys, as a woman who has met plenty of frogs in the pursuit of Prince Charming, is this:
Keep being good.
Don’t compromise your integrity because you see so many women going for jerks.
Stay true to your character and never stop respecting other humans, because in the end you will find someone who will appreciate all those good qualities you have. She may have lots of damage from bad boys, she may have none at all but I promise you that either way if you treat her with understanding and respect, she will see that you’re genuine and let you into her heart. Just be patient. Sure, take the initiative and actively pursue (we like that) but when you know she’s wary just reassure her. It’ll pay off in the end.