I was once a nice guy who used to run a retail computer repair store. Turns out that nice guys are a terrible businessmen, as I found out in a particularly rude manner. For almost nine years, we had a policy of free diagnoses for customer computers. We’d let people bring their computers in and we’d run several tests, utilizing pricey tools and a tremendous amount of time in an effort to figure out what was ailing their computers. Most folks had us perform at least a minor paid repair. Late one afternoon, a gentleman wandered into my store with a broken computer. After several hours of hard work, we determined there was a problem with the memory on the video card on his computer. When we offered to sell him a fairly priced replacement, he said, “Nah, I’ll pick one up myself.” I asked him why he would take his business somewhere else, considering the favor we had already done for him. He replied with words that will forever be etched in my mind:
Well, you’re stupid for doing something for free. Who does that?
As he left smiling smugly, I entertained the thought of purchasing a contraband rocket launcher and firing it directly into the back of his shiny new Mercedes. The more I thought about it, I discovered every man I know who drives a Mercedes is pretty much a dick. But this dick was absolutely right. Any non-deity who amounts to anything does anything for free. After that epiphany, I wouldn’t pick up a screwdriver without an upfront diagnostic fee.
I learned that trading in a used vehicle is the stupidest financial mistake you can make, so I decided to help my wife sell her used Honda. We did some research on market values, and decided on a bottom line price. Some nerdy engineer offered the magic number, we accepted it. At work the next day, he later tells my wife that I am a poor negotiator, since he would have paid more. I waited in the parking lot the next week to confront that prick. I asked him why he didn’t just pay more instead of being a backstabbing douchebag? He denied everything as he cowered in fear as his morbidly obese wife rushed him into the car to drive him home.
It was that day when I realized most guys are dicks. But why do women pursue dicks rather than nice guys? Why do we constantly end up alone or with sloppy seconds — women well past their prime, emotionally damaged, and laden with someone else’s baggage? And why does it always seem it’s my responsibility to fix the fucking world? Just ask anyone you know, and I’m sure you’ll find this ridiculous behavior is all around you too.
My friend’s now ex-husband, who happened to drive a Mercedes, was a successful salesman. He traveled well over half the year, attending various meetings and conferences all over the world. His wife stayed home and tended to their children. She admits that she enjoyed her perks, including a membership to a swanky tennis club, unlimited spa treatments, and a nanny. She considered herself a “stay at home mom,” but now realizes she was nothing more than a well-compensated whore (her words). Upon questioning her marriage and getting involved in a heated argument about certain expenses that showed up on his credit card statement, he spit in her face and called her ungrateful. She filed for divorce. She now lives on an exuberant child support check. She lost her Mercedes and settled for a high-level Hyundai, and has begin to date well-to-do non-spitting men who, to me, seem to resemble her ex-husband.
But the worst thing I’ve ever seen happened in a bar. He was an all-American blonde-haired blue-eyed bad boy bartender in a shitty Philadelphia suburb. He had his choice of hundreds of women, but kept a very pretty girl at home at his apartment. He used to brag that he forbade her from coming to the bar, telling her it was too dirty or dangerous for a girl like her. And everyone at the bar knew he was playing his concubine. Apparently, this proved to be a bit too tempting for one certain female patron. She was going to sleep with this bartender no matter what it took. Somehow, he jokingly brokered a deal with her, promising he’d do her in her car if she paid him five hundred dollars. She left the bar and came back with the cash a short time later. Sure enough, shortly after 2 AM, with a few hundred people surrounding the car during the event, he fulfilled the contract. She came back the next week telling him she was pregnant. The manager banned the psycho. She stalked him for a while, confronted the girlfriend, and it turned into a disastrous situation for the psycho and the concubine. He let them both go and moved on to his next victim.
Why are women attracted to mean-spirited men?
If you believe that genetics has at least something to do with your overall personality and disposition, think about how humans have selectively bred mean people. For millenia, your ancestors stoned, mechanically separated, and burned those who questioned stupidity and preached progress. We’ve effectively eliminated a large chunk of pacifists and smart folks, leaving us with a disproportionate number of warriors, sheep, and idiots. Others surmise that women learn relationship norms from the behavior of their parents. An abusive father may unwittingly program his daughter’s mind to believe she too desires an abusive man. But that cannot possibly explain why the bad boy syndrome is so prevalent in today’s society.
Clinical psychologist Vinita Mehta thinks women may be drawn to “bad boys” who demonstrate confidence, stubbornness, and risk-taking tendencies. Dr. Mehta cites a study led by Gregory Louis Carter of the University of Durham revealing that more men than women possess the Dark Triad personality traits of narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellism. The hallmarks of narcissism include dominance, a sense of entitlement, and a grandiose self-view. It is believed that narcissism may advance short-term mating in men, as it involves “a willingness and ability to compete with one’s own sex, and to repel mates shortly after intercourse.” In line with these capabilities, the authors note, narcissists are adept at beginning new relationships, and identifying multiple mating opportunities. Mehta postulates that sexual conflict may be at play. Women may be responding to a man’s ability to ‘sell himself’; a useful tactic in which men convince women to pursue his preferred sexual strategy. Like a “used-car dealer,” men may be effective charmers and manipulators, furthering their success at short-term mating. There’s a sucker born every minute.
Caroline Kent writes about relationships and dating for The Telegraph, and seems to be an authority on dating bad boys. Kent says she is most comfortable in chaotic emotional relationships, and bad boys are “some sort of screwed-up safety blanket.” Kent writes, “Perhaps I am so used to being independent that I’ve become scared to let someone really be there for me, so I select emotionally unavailable people.” The attraction seems to stem from the belief that bad boys are exciting and spontaneous, perhaps supplanting an inherent need for entertainment. Kent follows with what may be the ultimate lame excuse: “It’s because many of us feel we don’t deserve better.”
Women eventually figure out that bad guys are a bad investment. All the excitement and drama she thrived on has turned into painful memories. She has learned that she deserves a man who will love her unconditionally and treat her with respect. Ironically, by the time she realizes this, her youth is well past her, her safe child-bearing years have eclipsed her, and the only available men are the same pool of assholes she’s trying to avoid.
For a brief moment, in between my first and second marriages, I became one of those bad boys. Somehow, I could easily and clearly identify women who appreciated narcissists, and I morphed into that person for my own gratification. I was scary effective, too. I’m not gonna lie — my experience was fucking fabulous. I got tail I know for a fact was way above my pay grade — tail I never dreamed a guy like me could tag. At the same time, it was frightening to know my daughter might someday fall into the same trap. I affixed my bad boy switch to the off position permanently, and turned my attention to identifying the potential threats to myself and my children.
For those who care, and for those who care about someone else who may be affected by the bad boy syndrome, here are some of the incredibly effective attributes I used when I was a bad boy:
- I was smooth as Ex-Lax on a warm summer day. I held the door open for her, I pulled her chair out, I paid for her drinks. And I complimented her on everything – hair, eyes, nails, even shoes. Women eat that shit up, even if they know you’re full of shit.
- I molded myself to look a little too perfect. I asked leading questions, and I filled in her blanks. I made myself everything she wanted and more, whether I could deliver or not. I created a persona that she couldn’t resist. By the time she found out I was bluffing, it was too late. I was already gone.
- I was very busy — all the time. Told her I’d be out of town for the next few weeks on business. That made me even more desirable.
- I came on very strong and fast. I didn’t hesitate to ask for exactly what I wanted, and I made it sound like it was now or never. And I always got it.