Why do girls like bad boys?
It is, perhaps, a question as old as time itself. But many men find themselves puzzled by it.
Perhaps a better way to describe the question is like this…
Why do women spend all of their time and attention on ‘bad men’ who are not good for them, while ignoring the ‘nice guys?’
Men, I’m about to pull back the veil and tell you the truth.
Are you ready to hear it? You may be surprised by what you learn!
Let’s dig into it.
The Basics: What Is A ‘Bad Boy?’
Throughout the ages, there have always been two different archetypes of men featured in our stories and lore.
And nowadays, pop culture really emphasizes this.
The nice guy… and the bad boy.
The good guy… the nice guy, is known for being portrayed as a passive, gentle, harmless gentleman. He may wear a sweater-vest, go to church on Sunday, and take his mother out to lunch.
He doesn’t break the law, he is careful not to rile other people up, he shows up to his job on-time, and he apologizes if he upsets anyone.
This stands in stark contrast to the bad boy.
A bad boy is a ruffian. He’s edgy. He’s dangerous. He may be portrayed wearing a leather jacket, smoking a cigarette, drinking a fifth of vodka, and riding a motorcycle.
He may get into fights if someone crosses him. When he walks into the room, people are a little bit intimidated. They know that this is a man with a tendency for violent behavior. At the very least, he is unconcerned with how other people view him.
He seems to live life on the edge, shuns traditional ‘nice guy’ behaviors, and isn’t even necessarily pleasant or polite all the time.
But… we also know that there is some truth to the idea that women LOVE bad boys.
But why? Why are women so drawn to the dark, edgy, gritty character, and not to Mr. charming church-goer?
Let’s dig into this psychology a little bit more.
It Starts With Evolution – As It Usually Does
Let’s rewind time and think about our ancestors.
In the earliest days of humankind, life was much more primitive and dangerous.
Humans had shorter life spans, and danger abounded. If you wandered too far from the safety of the tribe, you were just as likely to be eaten by a wild animal as you were to be caught, raped, and killed or enslaved by hunters from another tribe.
If your tribe wasn’t strong enough to defend against attacks from neighboring tribes, you would be easy-pickings for more powerful raiding parties. It would be much easier for them to steal your tribe’s food, supplies, and even women and children than it would be to source their own.
Now, let’s take our two archetypes and take a look at them within this setting.
The bad man, and the nice guy.
The Nice Guy
The nice guy wants to be friendly. He wants everyone to like him. He doesn’t want to make waves. He wishes for the world to be a nicer place where everyone plays by the rules.
He sees conflict as a negative that we should all try to avoid. And if we need to have conflict, we should have it fairly and conclude it without violence.
To be fair, he visualizes a better world for humanity. He sees the good in things, as opposed to the negative. He is, perhaps, even an intellectual… and proposes that if everyone lived according to a well-intentioned set of rules, that the world would simply be a better place.
In his mind, this makes sense… because avoiding needless suffering for all humans is the goal, and a good idea to aspire to.
Now, when you put this archetype into a primitive setting, you quickly see that he may not be the best candidate to have at the head of your tribe.
He may be a visionary, but he isn’t effective.
He may preach about peace. But at the end of the day, when warmongering raiders come to burn down your village, his words are going to be pointless… and all of the work that he has done to try to maintain peace is going to fall apart.
Because the truth of the matter is that our world is a cold, dark, brutal, violent place… and while there may be a place in society for ‘nice ideas’ and ‘nice feelings,’ the reality of our human existence is mostly characterized by incredible, unbelievable amounts of violence, brutality, and suffering.
The Bad Boy
Now, let’s take a look at the bad boy.
He is the type of man who looks out for himself first. He’s not above breaking the law if it gets him ahead. He realizes that his large size and muscular body earn him privileges in life – and he’s not afraid to flaunt them.
He realizes that nobody can stop him from living the way he wants. So, he pretty much does whatever he desires and wishes. He lives by his whims. He may intellectually appreciate the desire for peace. But he also knows that it will never happen.
Why? Because he understands that living in a peaceful society where everyone obeys the same rules would put him at the same level as everyone else – and would certainly not be in his best interest.
And nobody else with the capacity for power would play by those rules anyway… so what is the point of it?
He gets what he wants because his violent, aggressive, power-driven mindset gives him power.
And he uses this power to gain an advantage over others.
In a primitive setting, this type of man may not be well-liked among the weaker men in the tribe. But… he also understands violence. And he understands that if he wants to be as powerful as possible, he will need to make his tribe as powerful as possible.
He is more likely to seize power over the tribe by force, and command all of the weaker humans to obey and follow him.
He is also the type of man who forms raiding parties, and survives by overpowering other tribes and taking their food stores.
Since he is familiar with violence, he thinks in violent terms, always paying attention to the weaknesses in his rule and his vulnerabilities… which he seeks to plug and fill before they are taken advantage of.
If he sees that he could benefit by spreading mayhem and suffering, he does so… because it is all a means to an end for him.
He is on top. He has power. He does not want to lose it. And so, peace really isn’t all that advantageous to him.
Why The Bad Boy/Nice Guy Analogy Matters For Female Sexual Selection
In primitive settings, women were very vulnerable to all forms of physical danger.
And so, mate selection was very important.
I’m going to put this as simply as possible.
If a woman chose a nice guy as a mate, he might be very kind to her and treat her very well. He may even worship her beauty and her sexuality! But if a bad boy were to decide that he wanted what the nice guy had, the nice guy would be powerless to stop him.
Because in the absence of true, raw, practical power, ideals are only so useful.
This is not to say that ‘nice guys’ are never powerful. But they do tend to put more of their energy into group ideals, intellectual pursuits, and trying to point out how everyone should work together, instead of investing that energy into furthering their own selfish goals, status, and state of being within the tribe.
So a woman who mated with a ‘nice guy’ was much more likely to end up destitute, poor, and in a life lived mostly at the bottom of the food chain.
She would be stolen from. She would be pushed around. She would be looked down upon. She would have no real power over her own life or over anything else. And perhaps worst of all, she would always be in danger of other men taking advantage of her.
Why? Because her nice guy mate has no power of his own… and cannot do anything to stop them.
Now, let’s contrast this with the bad boy mate example.
If a woman chose a bad boy as a mate, he might not be kind to her. In fact, he may treat her terribly! But… if she learned how to please him well enough, he might look favorably upon her, especially if he was a ‘bad boy’ with some kind of moral/ethic code.
But the difference is that, this man is more likely to hold a place of power within the tribe.
Because he probably has the mentality and the mindset of taking whatever power he could get by force. He is not concerned with other people being happy, aside from the fact that when they are happy, they will fall in line.
He is concerned with taking whatever he can get in life, and making his own life as good as possible by climbing to the top of the social dominance hierarchies… even if that means stepping on some heads as he goes.
And so, such a man would either be killed/expelled by the tribe for being ‘bad,’ or he would end up ‘in charge,’ in some kind of position of authority.
If he was bad enough, violent enough, charismatic enough, and wise enough, he may even end up as the ‘chief’ or ‘king.’
Of course, many of these qualities sound negative. But don’t misunderstand.
Having such a man at the head of the tribe would give the entire tribe the added benefit of better odds of survival.
And a woman who chose this type of man as a mate would enjoy many benefits as well.
She would enjoy higher social standing. She would have plenty to eat, as she would benefit from the spoils of his raids and plundering.
She would have money, trade goods, and things to barter with.
She would have a nicer living space.
She may have slaves to help her with her duties.
She would also have protection. Other men in the tribe would think twice before touching her or violating her in any way… because doing so would carry the risk of eliciting the wrath of her violent, high-status, war-mongering, bad-boy mate.
What Does This Have To Do With Women Today?
Women today have a different situation in front of them.
The world is not quite as violent or as brutal, thanks to the rise of modern society, law enforcement, legal systems, and technology.
Therefore, it would make sense that women might change their behavior, and seek out ‘nice guys’ instead of ‘bad boys,’ now that the advantages of being with a bad boy have been somewhat minimized.
But that isn’t quite true… at least, not to the fullest extent.
You see, while it might seem slightly more rational for women to choose ‘nice guys’ as dating partners now instead of ‘bad boys,’ there is still a deep evolutionary instinct at play in the female mate selection process.
Through millions of years of adaptive problem solving, women adapted to seek out men with ‘high status,’ men who had ‘power,’ as mates, to give themselves and their young their best chances for survival.
And while it might seem like it has been a long time since this was important… keep in mind that even a few hundred years ago, life was still very primitive for humans.
Women still needed to consider their survival, and the survival of their children, when selecting a mate.
And as weird as it may sound, choosing a ‘nice guy’ as a mate could absolutely spell out a death sentence for women living in primitive settings!
So, this instinct… the instinct to seek out the men who have the highest status and hold the most power, is still very much alive and well within women today.
And it still brings them a plethora of benefits that are difficult to ignore.
Most bad boys in our modern, civilized world may not be quite as violent or ‘brutish’ as they used to be. But they are still primarily concerned with furthering their own goals and agendas over the agendas of others.
They also tend to be willing to sidestep rules if doing so means that they will gain a competitive edge.
They are also much more forceful, outgoing, and dangerous to cross.
They still emanate an aura of danger. They are flawed characters, but they are also mysterious, dark, opportunistic, unpredictable, and violent (to a point).
I Used To Be A Chronic ‘Nice Guy’
But this earned me nothing but trouble.
I followed all the rules, and I could make a sound argument for why other men should do the same thing.
But at the end of the day, I was living life in a little protective box. There was nothing mysterious about me. There was nothing really dark or foreboding about me.
But even more importantly… I was truly harmless. There was nothing violent about me. I was so harmless that I was no real threat to anyone or anything, and that made me controllable.
And that is exactly what happened. Everyone around me was able to control and manipulate me, because I constantly tiptoed on glass and didn’t want to upset anyone.
And my life got absolutely wrecked as a result. Even my wife left me for a man who obviously didn’t have any care or concern for my happiness or well-being. He acted totally against any sort of code.
But… in the end, my wife decided to go with him and not with me.
This was when I learned just how dangerous and ineffective it is for men to be ‘nice guys.’
Women Like Bad Boys Because They Tend To Be More Effective
That is simply all there is to it.
Bad boys, despite their flaws, tend to hold higher status, tend to be more formidable, tend to be more dangerous, tend to have more power, and are much more difficult to control and manipulate… than nice guys.
There is also that element of mystery to them, and women like that. It’s like a smokescreen.
It drives women wild to know that there are unseen things hidden behind the screen.
And it drives them to want to learn what those things are. It piques their curiosity!
For all intents and purposes, this takes women right back to their primitive instincts. If they can manage to attract this man, bring him into their fold, and work their way into a position close to him, gaining his favor and his affection, then they could stand to gain many benefits.
They can even try to fix him and heal the rough parts, thus making him an effective and loving partner, all at the same time.
It is, quite literally, the perfect plan for survival-minded females.
What Does This Mean For Men?
Men, I’m going to put it to you simply.
Quit being such a nice guy.
Don’t get me wrong. You can be a good man, and still be a bad boy.
But being a ‘nice guy’ is different. Nice guys are harmless, having nothing real to offer anyone, and just get walked over.
We need to toughen up. We need to become tough as nails. We need to become formidable men who can hold our own… whether that be in business, in confrontation, or even on the battlefield.
We need to learn to stand up for ourselves, uphold healthy boundaries, and dish out consequences when people cross our boundaries.
We need to behave more like warlords, and less like goodie two-shoe nice guys.
This doesn’t mean that we need to kill, raid, and plunder.
But it does mean that we need to cultivate a certain amount of power over our own lives.
Being a bad boy isn’t about being an asshole, despite what you might believe.
It is about gaining enough power, status, and prestige that other people around you think twice about crossing you, and for good reason.
You know the saying…
I love this quote, and find it to be very powerful.
We can be ‘good’ men, and still be ‘dangerous men.’
We can be ‘kind’ without letting people walk over us.
We can stand up for our boundaries without attacking people or causing needless pain and suffering.
We can relentlessly pursue power in our lives while still abiding by a code of honor. For me, the Oath of Kings is the alpha male code that I live my life by… and it continues to serve me well in my day to day decision making.
It is a compass that helps to keep me on track.
Above all, men, we need to stop trying to be harmless. We need to become strong men.
I will leave you with another quote that I love, that I feel goes right along with this.
In Conclusion – Why Do Girls Like Bad Boys?
Hopefully, this post has helped to clarify why women are more likely to be attracted to ‘bad boys,’ than ‘nice guys.’
If you have any more questions on this topic, please consider sending me a message. I would love to speak further with you about this matter.
Go with grace, my friends. And never give up your power.
Until next time…
Joshua K. Sigafus