Skip to content

What Bad Boys Know That Nice Guys Don’t

What Bad Boys Know That Nice Guys Don’t

The debate of bad boys vs nice guys, and which kind of men are better when it comes to serious relationships, just doesn’t seem to end, does it?

One of the more tedious ideas in dating advice is the idea of “nice guys finish last” and “girls love bad boys”.

It’s a truism that never seems to fully go away – the idea that women love assholes and will pick them over the self-described “nice guy”.

The idea of assholes and bad boys underpins the PUA and Red Pill philosophies of learning how to be an asshole so women will love you. The whole “alpha fucks, beta bucks” mentality, dread game, negging women in order to prove your value and so on are all ways to try to dress up in bad boy drag and convince women that you’re “alpha”

Frustrated nice guys will point to the success of the rape-tastic 50 Shades series, articles proclaiming that studies of dubious provenance have proven the high-octane sexiness of bad boys, women of their acquaintance who say they want nice men but go for scoundrels and of course, the asshole who got to their crush before they did. “I’m doing everything right and I’m still single, so what does he have that I don’t?” demanded the lonely Nice Guys.

But the key to attraction isn’t about treating women like shit, it’s about understanding the underpinnings of why women seem to go for bad boys – even when they say they want someone nice.

The Zen of Douchebags, Assholes and Bad Boys

One of the biggest mistakes people make is assuming that it’s asshole behavior that makes bad boys appealing. Despite what RooshV and his compatriots may tell you, women aren’t looking for a partner who will gaslight them, neglect them, and generally treat them like shit.

Rating high on the dark triad of personality traits doesn’t magically make you look like a clone of Stephen Amell who also smells like freshly baked cookies.

Now to be fair, it is an understandable mistake to make. Guys who are frustrated by their lack of dating success often look to some singular cause for their failure – especially when it feels as though they’ve been following the path that society and pop-culture have told them to follow.

Related: Why Women Love Bad Boys And Dump Nice Guys

However, in trying to reduce their lack into a single cause – women like assholes, not nice guys – they end up missing the forest for the trees.

It ends up being a case of the illusion of validity, assuming that they’ve correctly understood why women seem to like douchebags and sticking to that interpretation no matter what.

All other evidence gets folded into the idea, regardless of whether it actually works or not.

“Look, It Makes Sense If You Squint.”

Take the stratospheric sales of the 50 Shades series. Men committed to the idea that women want assholes will point to Anastasia Steele as “proof” that women want to be dominated by “alphas”; after all, look at how many women got the screaming thigh-sweats over Christian Grey and his floggers.

Of course, for this to work, one has to ignore that what works as fantasy isn’t necessarily something you would want to do in the real world. Horror movie fans aren’t secretly hoping to be eviscerated by Jason or impregnated by a face-hugger after all.

Nor is it a case that asshole behavior triggers Evo-psych mating instincts in women. In fact, altruistic behavior is much more successful as a mating strategy – prosocial behavior benefits the group overall. While some aspects of the dark triad help with an initial impression, the advantages disappear with familiarity and become a net negative.

Instead, what makes bad boys more attractive is the behavior that tends to exist alongside the more negative traits. It’s not the asshole behavior that makes bad boys attractive, it’s what they do that nice guys don’t.

Make Your Move

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a shy nice guy has a crush on an attractive woman.

He spends weeks trying to tell if she likes him back. Then… after days of building up his courage, he makes his move.

That, of course, is when he discovers that she’s dating someone else.

This story is so common that it’s actually the secret origin of half the most notorious PUAs on the net1. It’s a variation on the same story: while they were waiting for the right moment, somebody else swooped in and snatched their crush out from under them.

And of course, this just means that they themselves decide to treat women with disrespect because hey, assholes right?

Ironically enough, this can often result in more dating success. Not, mind you, because being an asshole is attractive but because they didn’t hesitate.

The problem for so many nice guys (and Nice Guys, for that matter) is that they are afraid of rejection. They refuse to make an approach unless they are 110% sure that they’ll succeed.

Related: Why Nice Guys Stay Single

They will dress it up in any number of excuses – they want to wait until the moment’s right, they don’t want to make it weird – but it all comes down to the same problem: they don’t want to take the risk of getting hurt.

As a result, they freeze themselves in place. They dither and wait. Shy guys will convince themselves of the nobility of loving from afar. Nice Guys will spend time trying to collect Friend Tokens in order to pay for the Platonic Best Friend Back Door Gambit.

Meanwhile, some asshole whose interest starts at her cleavage and ends at her crotch rolls up on her. And while the asshole may well not be as good of a match for her as the dogged nice guy, he still is the one who actually asked.

Because he wasn’t as worried about “making it awkward” or whether or not she’d want to be friends afterward, he felt confident enough to actually ask her out.

Even if the woman in question liked the nice guy, she isn’t going to wait forever for him to make up his mind.

If you like someone, then you want to be the guy who actually makes his move. The asshole may not like her as much, but he actually took his shot.

The nice guy doesn’t get a chance because, frankly, he never gets in the game in the first place.

Remember: he who hesitates, loses out.

Know How To Present Yourself

One of the most famous studies on the appeal of men with high levels of narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism focused on the halo effect – the way that one’s appearance affects how others perceive you.

Narcissists, in particular, tend to be perceived as more attractive than other people. In fact, narcissists are often seen as being nicer, funnier, and more appealing overall than others.

They are, in short, taking full advantage of the halo effect; because they look good, they’re seen as being better than they are in real life.

To some, this seems like yet another unfair advantage, something that dark triad men have that leaves nice guys in the lurch. In reality, however, genuinely good guys have the upper hand.

See, the key isn’t that narcissism isn’t an inherent charisma buff, it’s that narcissists put more effort into their appearance.

Narcissists spend more time grooming, working out, and otherwise showing themselves off to their best effect. Their egos won’t let them look anything other than their best.

This is something that literally anyone can do; getting fit and dressing sharp are very easy ways to upgrade your looks in short order.

And by doing so, you actually gain a greater advantage over narcissistic bad boys. See, while narcissists seem more attractive at first, that overall effect fades very quickly. In fact, over time, people see narcissists as unpleasant, hostile dicks.

Meanwhile, legitimately good guys – people that others like to spend time around – become more appealing over time. In fact, they become more attractive regardless of their physical appearance.

So if you want to get the advantage over an asshole, take a page from their book – spend more time on your presentation and the first impressions you make.

The bonuses of “well put together” and “fun to be around” stack, while the charisma boost from narcissism alone fades, giving you the net advantage.

Related: Girls We’re Friendzoning All The Good Guys

Don’t Be Easy

Another reason why bad boys are so appealing is simple: they’re more of a challenge than a lot of nicer guys. Part of what makes the difference between sexual attraction and platonic friendship is behavior.

A guy with many female friends may well be a good guy with lots to recommend to him, but he’s missing that spark or oomph that catches people’s attention. More often than not, they tend to be agreeable and eager to please… almost too eager in some cases.

In fact, for many men, that eagerness crosses the line from “easy going” to “desperate for approval” and “afraid to rock the boat”.

While there is a lot to be said for somebody that’s easy to get along with, a push-over who over-values the opinions of others is, frankly, not that attractive.

What Bad Boys Know That Nice Guys Don’t
Bad Boys vs Nice Guys

This tends to turn into “no spine whatsoever” with very little warning.

Part of what makes bad boys more appealing is that they feel just a little out of reach. They’re tantalizing in their unavailability – not so out of reach as to be unattainable but far enough to require a little effort on her part.

That hint of effort, the push-pull dynamic makes him that much more interesting. We tend to value the things we have to work for over the things that come to us easily after all.

Of course, as with all other aspects, it’s very easy to go too far. Part of how pick-up artists try to maintain a woman’s interest is through forced scarcity and manipulation.

Negging, for example, is supposed to be part of how they show that they’re no push-over… and in doing so, make her crave his approval.

They may try to inspire feelings of jealousy or competitiveness or use the loss of his attention as a way to try to prompt women to try harder to keep his interest.

Going cold or trying to play to the “she can fix him” narrative are other ways that assholes go from not being easy to being manipulative pricks.

Being just enough of a challenge is appealing because it keeps things interesting. This is important because frankly…

Related: 6 Reasons Why We Are Addicted To The Bad Boys And Men Who Hurt Us

Boredom Kills Attraction

Straight talk: the main reason why nice guys (as opposed to Nice Guys) do poorly with women is that, quite frankly, they’re about as exciting as dry toast.

Every time a guy complains about the woman who said “she wished she could find a nice guy,” it’s because he has missed the unspoken follow-up: “…who doesn’t bore the tits off me.”

Bad boys may be drama bombs waiting to go off, misery factories who are just waiting to shatter a woman’s self-esteem but they’re not boring.

The edge of doing something they know isn’t good for them can be thrilling to many women – it’s a bit of excitement that comes with doing something wrong or naughty that they just don’t get from a guy who’s “safe”.

But being interesting and exciting doesn’t also mean “horrible human being”. Nice guys can be more interesting as well, without being a gaping asshole.

Using a little uncertainty – building that sense of anticipation – for example, makes someone much more interesting than a guy who is Johnny-on-the-spot. That will we/won’t-we spark and the tension between desire and release can be absolutely delicious.

So can going out of your way to lead an interesting lifestyle. Part of the reason why the “bad boy” image seems to have coalesced around a James Dean manque of rebellion is because of what it represents: a shock to the system, someone who stands outside the societal norms. They’re something new and different… and that novelty is incredibly attractive.

Don’t get me wrong: this doesn’t mean you need to invest in leathers and a pan-head Harley to be attractive, though it couldn’t hurt.

What it does mean though is that you need to be interesting. Dating someone new should be an adventure. That adventure may be a life with fewer attachments and travel. It may mean taking more risks with your career. What it shouldn’t be is dull.

Related: 7 Reasons Why You Should Date A Beta Male and Not An Alpha Man

Being nice doesn’t mean you finish last. Women don’t like bad boys, they like what bad boys do. Take a page from their book and women will wonder why they never realized just how fun a nice guy can be.


Written By: BY DR. NERDLOVE
Originally appeared on Doctornerdlove.com
Printed with permission

It seems like even in the near future, this discourse of bad boys vs nice guys will continue for a long time. If you are a nice guy reading this article, then you know now what you need to do to win the heart of the woman of your dreams. Be the real you, and just go for it!

If you want to know more about what bad boys know that nice guys don’t, then check this video out below:

Bad Boys vs Nice Guys
What Bad Boys Know That Nice Guys Don’t
Bad Boys vs Nice Guys
What Bad Boys Know That Nice Guys Don’t Pin

2 thoughts on “What Bad Boys Know That Nice Guys Don’t”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

nv-author-image

Harris O’Malley

Harris O' Malley is a dating coach who provides geek dating advice at Paging Dr. NerdLove, as well as on Kotaku  and elsewhere. He and his work has been featured on Nightline, Vice, The Guardian, New York Magazine, The Huffington Post, Wired, Sex Nerd Sandra, Daily Life, Slate, The Austin-American Statesman, Austin Monthly, Geek and Sundry, Boing Boing, Everyday Feminism, Buzzfeed, The Daily Dot, The Washington Post, Kotaku, Lifehacker, NeilStrauss.com, The Good Man Project, MTV’s Guy Code, The Harvard Business Journal, and many others. Paging Dr. NerdLove has been featured as one of the top 10 dating blogs on DatingAdvice.comView Author posts

Up Next

What Men Look For In A Partner According To Science

What Men Look For In A Partner Science

Men aren't that hard to please. Experiments and research have figured out what men look for in a partner. Take a look at the top ten things below.

Have you ever wondered why some women easily attract men more than others? While charm and attitude are vital, it isn’t everything.

For men, looking for a partner is one of their most critical decisions. They naturally put A LOT of effort into this thought.

After all, men are not only looking for a person who looks good but can also support them, share their joy, and ride the rollercoaster of life with them.

Nowadays, the secret to making a guy wants you to be his partner is promised in every magazine, blog, or podcast.

But what

Up Next

5 Things Men Look For In Someone Who is Marriage Material

Things Men Look Someone Who Marriage Material

Finding "the one" is an important choice that men make in their lives. They give it considerable thought. Are you marriage material? Here's how to find out. Below are five things that men look for in a wife, check them out!

I know that, for many women, knowing what men look for in someone who is marriage material is confounding.

We hear stories all the time about men who are in long term relationships with someone they aren’t ready to marry. And then they break up and he marries the next woman who comes along.

What is up with that?

We all know exactly what wom

Up Next

Omega Male: 35+ Traits Of The Man Who Walks His Own Path

Omega Male Traits Man Who Walks His Own Path

Men are supposed to be strong, smart, successful, attractive, ambitious and bold. Or so we have been told. But the omega male is a bit different. They don’t chase after money, women or validation, rather they dance to their own tunes.

Most of us are familiar with the alpha, beta and sigma male stereotypes, but we have rarely heard about the independent and unique omega male. The exact opposite of the Alpha male, the omega man is not ordinary or average in any way. 

While strength, leadership, domination and competition are closely associated with the social definition of masculinity, not all men are made the same. As the omega male doesn’t match our definition of the stereotypical male, they often get overlooked.

Up Next

What Men Really Want From You: 5 Laws Of Attraction

What Men Really Want From You

When it comes to thinking about what men look for in women, we are quick to assume that their needs and desires must surely revolve around physical appearance. But is that the only thing men care about? Do we actually know what men really want from women?

Watch the video as I share my first-hand insights into what men really want from you. Then read on below for the five laws of attraction.

So, as I said in the video, what men really want from you has little to do with your waist-hip ratio, your looks, or even what underwear you’re wearing. Here are the five laws of attraction that will help you create a deep connection with your guy.

What Men Really Want From You: 5 Laws Of Attraction

What Men Really Want From Y

Up Next

How To Identify A Delta Male? 30 Signs Of The Common Man

Delta Male Signs

Life can be challenging as a man. And for women in relationships, not understanding their male partners well can make things more complicated. As all men are not created equal, it is crucial to know where a man stands in the socio sexual hierarchy. Enter the delta male.

As alpha, beta and sigma male personalities are already popular, today we are going to explore the lesser known, yet extremely common, delta male personality.

What is a delta male?

The delta male is the common, everyday man who can be f