Nice guys finish last

Everyday Stranger shares her thoughts on the matter: Why do women go for bad boys? Best Friend is a good boy (er…man). He is nice, sympathetic, worries about the woman’s needs, etc. Yet somehow he never seems to get the girl. Which leads me to think about the 4 men in my life that consitute my closest friends and (in a tribute to the comments discussion yesterday), I will say this: they are all men, and not one of them am I sexually interested in. And they are not sexually interested in me, either. All 4 of them I met at work and quickly became friends with, all 4 of them have had turbulent or non-existent love relationships…and all 4 of them are good guys.

First, assuming that Everyday Stranger is in approximately the same league as the four men in her life, she’s almost surely wrong about their lack of interest in her. The ability of women to overlook the most obvious when it comes to recognizing the lovelorn anguish of their little posse of hangers-on is astounding. Nearly every woman I ever dated had a “just friend” who would look absolute daggers at me every time the object of their affection wasn’t paying attention; I’m not sure what purpose this denial serves, but it certainly exists. I’ve seen it in every attractive single woman that I know. Women, if you don’t believe me, have someone else, preferably another guy, interrogate your “friend”.

As for the appeal, there’s two facets. One, when a woman simply wants to get off without too many emotional consequences, she can hook up with an obvious bad boy and then walk away knowing perfectly well that there isn’t going to be any of that tedious lingering breakup stuff. Better yet, she can blame him for her doing something that she wouldn’t normally do, and there’s not a man or woman on the planet who will argue with her, especially not the user she’s using. I didn’t realize that I was being used this way until years after the fact, when I suddenly realized that the reason those relationships ended so easily was that the women never had any intention or expectation of a lasting one in the first place. The biggest fear of women in their twenties is that they’ll be trapped. Most don’t start thinking seriously about marriage, much less the possibility of spinsterhood, until they’re approaching thirty, and in some cases, thirty-five.

The other aspect is the one that Everyday Stranger hits on. Excitement and the maternal urge to fix. I don’t agree that bad boys are all broken, however, some are that way by choice, in cases like mine it was learned behavior, and some are just naturally self-centered monsters. I personally suspect that it’s the love of potential drama that turns women on; why else would a girl get all hot and bothered simply because you’re speeding through downtown at 100 MPH? Everyone likes to feel that they’re living in a movie now and then.

It’s a sick, messed-up culture. Nice guys find it hard to get dates unless they act indifferently, even cruelly towards women, and if they begin acting nice once within the relationship, they’ll often get dumped for being boring. If you suspect your girlfriend is getting bored with you and you really want to keep her interested, I suggest breaking up with her out of the blue. Don’t give any reason, just say that you think perhaps you need a little space, but you hope the two of you will stay very close friends. After about a week, on the 50th time she calls you trying to figure out what on Earth happened, you can allow yourself to be convinced by her that you get back together. She won’t be bored, you’ll still be together, everybody’s happy. And if it doesn’t work, well, you just moved up the timetable on the inevitable breakup by a few weeks anyhow. Bored men entertain themselves with their interests and hobbies. Bored women go in search of someone else to entertain them.

The strange thing is that every arrogant jerk I know who wanted to be married has been married for years, meanwhile, the nicest guy of my acquaintance is not only still single but essentially dateless despite being tall, rich, good-looking and Christian. It’s no great mystery why – every time he’s interested in someone, he tries to befriend them first and takes months before getting around to asking them out, by which time they’re in a relationship with someone. Which leaves one to wonder what the point of dating is, if it’s not getting to know someone.

I guess I have to conclude that the fact that nice guys finish last with women can’t be fairly blamed on the female taste for bad boys; they can’t say yes if you never ask. And if you don’t ask quickly, it’s guaranteed that someone else will.