What women want isn?t this great unsolvable mystery ? you just need to listen when we talk!
Photo by Carly Rae Hobbins on Unsplash
I?m sure you?ve all heard the following statements ?Nice guys finish last? or ?Treat ?em mean, keep ?em keen?, though I?d argue that it is more like a firm belief. Many men believe women don?t know what they want. To them, we may say we want the picket fence and family but what we want is the ?bad boy? who will break our heart.
The idea is so embedded in the culture that there are movies and TV shows about it and most recently people are even profiting from via self-help books on teaching men a practice known as negging:
The idea is to undermine a woman?s confidence by making backhanded or snide remarks give a compliment with one hand, and take away with the other. It is about control, putting the man in charge of the interaction by pushing the woman to earn his approval.
A few years ago, Diana Tourjee wrote a piece entitled Why Women Want To F**k Bad Boys, in which she claimed his concept of nice guys finishing last was scientifically verified. In the article, she referred to a study which suggested that some men smoke and drink because this makes them more attractive short-term partners. Her correlation was debunked when many people (rightly) pointed out that badness is a lot more than drinking and smoking.
Also, there have been many studies that have shown this claim to be untrue. One found that women found altruistic men more attractive than those who didn?t mention such qualities. Another found that women prefer men who are confident, easy-going and sensitive, and very few preferred men who were aggressive or demanding. Though they did like confidence and assertiveness, other studies have even shown that characteristics such as warmth, basic decency and warmth can make us appear more attractive, regardless of gender.
With men, I tend to go for guys who look stereotypically ?bad?. I?m talking big built, tattoos and piercings. Though I love the feminine form, I find the appearance of hyper-masculinity incredibly sexy (my latest crush is Henry Cavill as Geralt in The Witcher).
However, even though they may look like this, that doesn?t mean that I want them to be aggressive with me (maybe just in the bedroom). I am attracted to the look, but I like my men with gooey insides ? I find kindness a turn on, and I do go for nice guys. After all, these days, it is getting impossible to decipher the wolves from the sheep just from appearance. However, I am not every woman, so I decided to write a piece on the many reasons why certain men may be getting passed over.
1. The women don?t think they can do better
I have had many friends come up and ask me why women go for bad guys. Though I think more often than not, this statement is simply not true. Some indeed go for guys who they know will break their heart. This is a small percentage of all women ? though I?m sure many men will disagree and say it?s more.
Some do go for the dirtbags; however, I believe it?s because they believe deep down that they?ll never be able to do better. For some, these men are all they think they deserve. For others, they have been raised in toxic environments, so it?s all that they know. They see the mistreatment and pain as love.
Other women simply didn?t know the person was terrible until it was too late. Narcissists, for example, are often perceived as very attractive when you initially meet them due to them putting a lot of effort into their appearance and their charm.
Other women may have already fallen in love, moved in or perhaps even already had a child before knowing they are with an abuser. The isolation from friends happens during the honeymoon stage of the relationship, so once the abuse starts, it is harder to break free, which is why it takes women on average seven attempts at leaving before she goes for good.
2. You?re boring
Many fall into the trap of believing being kind is all that it takes and in turn lack in personality. I have gone on dates with guys who lacked any substance. Most women like confidence and assertiveness (not to be mistaken for being domineering or controlling).
I am an independent woman, but I need a co-captain who will also take charge. Predicability can get a little dull. I?m not saying you need to be outlandish but being less passive is a start.
3. You?re not that nice
Many men believe they are nice, but they?re quite the opposite. Any guy who claims they are a nice guy rarely ever is, they?re opportunistic. They leave out favours and breadcrumbs in the hopes of catching bait. 1 + 2 = 3 and they?re systematic with the kindness they share. But actual nice guys aren?t nice to get sex. Nor do they need to megaphone their greatness and accomplishments at every single turn because they are too busy being genuinely kind.
My rule of thumb is any guy who calls themselves a nice guy isn?t one. Generally, after this quote, they proceed with tales many instances where they didn?t get the reception they deserved from specific women. In reality, there are only so many times the same issue can occur before we clock that the problem is you.
4. You don?t seem genuine
Nice guys tend to be people-pleasers due to everything they do being goal orientated. Because of this, any affection shown doesn?t seem genuine or unique. Many have an agenda to give with the expectation of receiving, which makes everything feel fake.
For us, when we see it, we see this as proof that you don?t want us specifically, but you want to use us to prop your ego.
Gestures of goodwill aren?t meant to be transactional. Nor is kindness a gateway into relationships. It takes more than that. There is nothing more offputting than a male friend thinking you owe them sex for doing the bare-minimum requirement of human decency. These men are snakes trying to pretend to be a Labrador. Entitlement isn?t sexy.
5. You forget that attraction is complex
When discussing ?Nice guy syndrome? Psychologist Dr Jesse Marczyk told The Independent:
The men who tend to get stuck in the friend-zone might not be attractive enough on their own (physically, socially, or otherwise), and so try to compensate for their shortcomings by investing in women more than their peers. In other words, they might use kindness to try and make up for what they lack elsewhere.
Which I have to agree with. Many guys have claimed that I stuck them in the ?friend-zone?. Even when there was never any attraction there. Being ?nice? isn?t enough to make up for the deficit. I have had male friends shoot for the moon with girls they would never have a chance with, hoping that by being kind, they could somehow get there. But it isn?t enough.
I personally blame movies and TV shows. The media we consume has been male-dominated for so long and has obscured real life. Hollywood has a problem when it comes to casting. It was found that many movies feature couples that could be father and daughter (on average the age difference is 20 years). There is also a difference regarding appearance. Whereas men are allowed to age on screen, many actresses hit their peak in their early 20s, and the roles start dwindling. There have been many times I have watched movies where an average male actor is paired up with a super modelesque woman.
All this, I believe, has given us a warped sense of how attraction works. As Sex With T.S. said in her piece Note to Men: Stop Chasing Women You Can?t Afford:
See, the problem with this scenario is this: too many average men believe a woman should lower her standards (whatever they may be) to be with them, regardless of what her options may be. These men think they are entitled to extraordinary women while being rather ordinary themselves and then want to complain about it, saying it?s the woman?s fault for not being able to see their value.
As they say, entitlement breeds contempt.
A lot of men would sooner listen to the advice of other men than listen to women. We haven?t hidden what we like nor is it this great unsolvable mystery. We look for genuine connections, someone who can be our confidant and friend. Someone who listens. Not someone who plays fast and hard, giving love to every woman he can get his hands on in the hopes to catch one.
We do go for nice guys however being nice isn?t enough. Nor does being nice make up for the other things you are lacking. I?m not interested in getting into a relationship, but if I was my standards would be high. There is no prize for doing the bare minimum.
My advice to men stuck in the ?friend-zone? is simple. Maybe it?s time to listen to women?