Why Do Women Like Jerks?

This is probably one of the most common questions I get from men: why do women like jerks? The saying goes that nice guys finish last, but is that true? Many women will tell you that they don’t like jerks. Some women don’t like jerks. Most of them do.

However, you DO NOT need to be a jerk to attract women. You don’t have to choose between becoming a jerk, asshole or douchebag, or living a life of solitude. It’s possible to be the nice guy who finishes first.

When you understand why women like jerks, then you can attract women without being one. And the good news is that if you are the nice guy who also has these “supposed jerk” behaviors, then you will be the total package–the nice MAN that every woman is looking for.

Here are five major reasons why a woman might be drawn to a jerk like a moth to light:

1. She Has Low Self-Esteem

Most people have low self-esteem; therefore most women have low self-esteem. That includes women with incredibly hot bodies. Even if you or other men put her on a pedestal, chances are she does NOT put herself there.

Women might say that they want to be treated well, but what most women want even more than that is to be completely and totally understood by a man.

If she thinks of herself as garbage, she will feel understood by a guy who treats her like garbage, and she will feel like the guy who treats her well “just doesn’t get it.”

Jung said that “we marry our unconscious mind.” We attract those that reflect our deepest unconscious beliefs back to us. In other words, if a woman has a low opinion of herself, she will be more attracted to men who also have a low opinion of her.

Women who have high self-esteem are not attracted to jerks for the same reason. Therefore, if you respect women and treat them well, seek out women who respect themselves and treat themselves well. You can tell the difference by how healthy she is, how happy she is, and how well she sets boundaries in her life.

2. She’s Ms. Fix-it

Some people restore old cars. Some people restore great works of art. And some women (try to) restore jerks and bad boys into nice, well-behaved men.

This process doesn’t work, but that doesn’t stop these avid hobbyists from trying. And hobby is the correct term, because the motivation is very similar. Someone who has a hobby of restoring old cars gets much more satisfaction from their finished product than if they went and bought that car off a lot (even if the cars on the lot are safer and better designed)!

So it is with the women who fix men. This kind of woman is not looking for a man who is ready for a relationship. She doesn’t want one that’s already put together; she wants to build him up herself.

3. She Doesn’t See It

You might see a jerk, but she might not. It’s a cliche to say, “I just see a side of him that you don’t see,”but in some cases, this is true.

Different people have different points of view (shocking, I know). Our nervous system is bombarded with much more sensory information than we can handle (about 2 million bits of information per second), so our unconscious mind filters out what we don’t need before we ever become aware of it. After the filtering process, we are left with 126 bits of information. That’s 126 out of a possible 2 million!

What gets filtered out is determined by our values, beliefs, memories and other aspects of our unconscious. In other words, whatever beliefs you have, you will find “evidence” to support it, because your unconscious will choose the relevant 126. Someone else with an opposing belief will also find evidence, because their unconscious will filter out a different 126.

If you are seeing a world where women only like jerks, you are, quite literally, missing out.

Now it’s possible that he is a jerk and she doesn’t see it. Or it’s possible that he is not a jerk, but you see a jerk anyway because of something that’s inside of you. Either way, you are the only one you can change, and it’s possible that “women like jerks” is just a belief that you need to let go of.

Of course, if that’s true, you’ll probably think that this one is the “least useful” of the 5 things listed here. 😉

4. She’s a Drama Addict

Similar to the Ms. Fix-it, the Drama Addict thrives on drama, not the stability of a healthy relationship. As a recovering drama addict myself, I know this one particularly well.

Drama is interesting; it’s entertaining. And it makes us feel important when we are in the middle of it.

Jerks create more drama than nice guys. Even if a drama addict is attracted to a nice guy initially, it’s likely because he is different than the last three jerks she dated. And different means a new storyline in her life!

Have you ever noticed that on TV shows they will rarely have couples stay together happily, or if they do, those couples’ story lines go to the background of the show, leaving more air time for the drama of the single and unhappy folks? My favorite example of this is The Office (American version). In earlier seasons of The Office, the will-they-won’t-they sexual tension of Jim and Pam was one of the major story lines. Once they got together–and especially now that they are married with a family–their characters’ story line gets much less screen time.

Same with the drama addict. She is not looking for her life to be good, she’s looking for her life to be entertaining (Like I said, I speak from experience). She is constantly scripting her life for maximum entertainment, and if you become too boring and stable, she will bring in a new character to shake things up.

5. She’s Turned On By His Perceived Strength

Jerks often appear stronger than nice guys, and women crave strength. Note the word appear, though, as I believe jerk behavior is actually a sign of weakness.

If a woman dates a guy who waves money around or makes a scene so he doesn’t have to wait for a table, then the man who waits his turn like everyone else might seem weak in comparison.

Again, she might not see him as a jerk–her 126 might give her the experience of a strong, powerful and results-oriented man. I know I’ve fallen for this. I’ve dated a few jerks who were great at masculine qualities like making money, solving problems and getting things done.

The key here is masculinity. Jerks are a constant show of masculine energy. Women see this and think they ARE masculine.

However, jerks are a show of masculine energy because often they lack true masculinity inside (a *real man* doesn’t act like a jerk because he doesn’t need to). Think of it as a green leaf. Leaves absorb light waves, but they don’t absorb the green light waves, so they reflect the green back out. So the leaf looks green to us, but that’s because there is NOT any green inside.

Developing your masculinity is the key to attracting women without being a jerk. There are many facets to doing this; however, the first and most important is to know your life purpose and to live it. Women will often prefer a purposeful jerk to a purposeless nice guy, but most of all, we want a nice, purposeful man.


  1. Liz,

    Interesting post, I’d be curious, whatever you’re comfortable sharing, of your own personal experience with dating jerks, ie do any of these points come from personal experience ?

    (And see, if I was a jerk, I wouldn’t have added the qualifier of ‘whatever you’re comfortable sharing’, I would’ve just flat out asked you to back up what you’re saying with personal experience)

    “Most of them do.”

    This is what’s so discouraging Liz, because it’s not just a small subset of women, it’s most as in 99.9% (at least the women I know) And these are intelligent, driven, successful (whatever that means) bla bla women. 

    • Anonymous says:

      “most of them do” refers to women that choose jerks over nice guys because they don’t meet nice MEN.

      • Is this some sort of James Bond qualities,what is your idea Liz hehe now I know that jerks are just insecure guys with an alpha nutshell which is not genuine than nice guys.Actually If there’s any justice in the world, eventually women will come around to liking the nice guys why women make themselves hard for a challenge which in the end they are the ones who will suffer where as nice guys will treat them definitely good.

    • Anonymous says:

      Personal experience: when I was younger, I was drawn to guys who did not treat me that well because it was more interesting. I wanted to “win them over.” No particular guy comes to mind–I was never in an abusive relationship or anything like that. Once I started working with self development materials, I broke a lot of the patterns described.

  2. Fantastic post, as usual, and I’d like to add that ‘jerks’ are often guys who have developed (naturally or otherwise) very attractive, masculine traits — and they work (at least until a chick figures out where they’re at on the nobility scale :D)


    1) Claim their space.
    2) Do what they want, when they want.
    3) Make no apologies, and take responsibility for what they do.

    They may be jerks, but they’re jerks who claim their space, do what they want, and admit it pretty openly.

    The above 3 traits are powerful, attractive tools and can be used for ‘good’ or ‘evil’ 😀

  3. “You don’t have to choose between becoming a jerk, asshole or douchebag, or living a life of solitude. It’s possible to be the nice guy who finishes first”

    It might be possible, but it seems incredibly more difficult. But like so many other things, this seems true for other aspects of “male development” ie. leadership, career, etc…

    • Anonymous says:

      Skwadim, the same is true for women developing their femininity. This is true for EVERYONE. What is possible and what is easy are two very different things.

  4. I think what’d be helpful for me is maybe a couple scenarios and how each of these “types” might react. For example

    Let’s say someone (lets say a hot girl – this happened to me…) bumps into you with their car from behind, no one’s hurt but little damage:

    1. NG (nice guy) response: oh it’s alright, it should be ok.
    2. NM (nice man) response: please give me your insurance information.
    3. J (jerk) response: what the fuck bitch ? 

    Something like that?

  5. fuzzbuster111 says:

    Women don’t like “jerks” necessarily. Women are naturally attracted to guys who are in control, confident, assertive, natural leaders and who act with authority. Some (not all) guys like this are also jerks. But, these “jerks” also share some of the same attractive traits as do decent guys who tend to be natural leaders. Men who are non-assertive, passive aggressive, followers, insecure, or unambitious simply don’t understand this. They loose out to the more assertive “jerk” in matters of female attraction, but focus on the negative traits rather than the positive traits the jerk has which they lack. To the non-assertive male, it’s “ok” to loose out to a decent leader-type (eg football captain) because he perceives this leader to be better than him; better than most males around as well. But, he sees the jerk as someone on his level and doesn’t understand why women fall for this type of guy over him. The truth is that what the non-assertive guy lacks makes him quite unappealing to the majority of mildly attractive to beautiful women.

  6. fuzzbuster111 says:

    One more thing, if you happen to be a non-assertive male who tends to loose out to jerks, here are a couple of things to keep in mind:

    1. You are lacking a fundamental personality trait which women find attractive. You need to figure out what that is before you can even begin to correct the problem;

    2. Until the unassertive male changes himself to the core, he will never be able to compete with a Jerk for female affection. He will always be settling for whatever he can get and generally be dissatisfied with who he is with.

    3. The unassertive male needs to do a “reboot”. Not just to get women, but really for his own personal development. He must shed his fearfulness; learn to be an independent thinker; become comfortable being a loner before taking the next step of being a leader; seek out new adventures for the fun of it; embrace fun; learn to enjoy some danger just for the thrill of it; embrace commitment – whether in a job, education or some other way that has nothing to do with male-female relationships; become a true authority on something; pursue friendships; actively pursue sexual relations just for the fun of it. This kind of person really needs to start over and incrementally morph from a follower to a loner to a leader, if he can.

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