Why Girls Go for A-Holes

Why do nice guys finish last and douchebags get first crack at the girls of the nice guys’ dreams? Why do all women seem to go through a phase where they are inextricably drawn to as*holes who make them miserable? These are the questions asked all throughout high school, college, and even beyond, when the real world crashes all those Saved by the Bell ingrained clichés. I think I’ve got a clue.

Well, more accurately, I’ve got some opinions. Maybe a few ideas. Even a couple of timey-wimey theorems. They all center around one main fundamental premise: women will delude themselves into thinking that, deep down in places they don’t like to talk about at parties, they deserve the as*hole, they need the as*hole, they want the as*hole. They use words like “misunderstood,” “temperamental,” and “rugged.” They use these words as the backbone of a relationship defending something, we use them as a punch line to their self-created and self-perpetuating doomed-to-fail situation.

There are times where it just feels like being a decent, courteous, guy, is a futile f*cking enterprise. If you’re “sweet” then you can’t be sexy. If you’re “generous” then you’re a pushover. If you’re “sensitive” then you’re either gay or just a p*ssy. For some reason, acting like Mr. Right eliminates you from the running of being Mr. Right Now. Mr. Right Now oftentimes treats her like crap. And she knows it. So, why does she put up with it?

One common reason I’ve heard from many a gal who’ve gone through their bad boy phase, is that they know it won’t go anywhere so it was harmless. Meanwhile, they end up crying into a bin of Ben & Jerry’s for two to three months after the break up. Another longtime cliché of an excuse is the ol’ “he’ll change.” WRONG! He won’t change. He doesn’t change. Not while he’s with you because somehow you allow him to be every bit of the jackass he was before he met you.

A lot of folks seem to chalk it up to confidence. The as*hole actually makes the first move. He acts like the alpha male. He takes his shot. That’s sexy. That’s attractive. And let’s face it, he who waits is left behind with his dominant hand for company. Is it really that simple? The as*holes get the worm because they’re the early birds? Can it all be reduced to something so…pedestrian and preventative. That basically means that all these nice guys are lacking is a set of vocal chords and timing. Does that sound right to you? It sorta does to me. It also sorta sounds like BS.

What does happen is you get a whole generation of nice guys who think that they need to become as*holes in order to get laid, to get attention, to get the girl. Therefore, they aspire to be as*holes and what does that produce for the world: MORE DAMN AS*HOLES! Talk about a vicious cycle. But it keeps getting perpetuated and both genders are to blame. Hell, the whole social experience from the ages of twelve to twenty-three seem to blame.

One thing I kept hearing all my life was: “Wait until you’re older.” As if age and maturity actually had a definite correlation. How many uncles do you have that act like twelve year-olds? Seriously, that’s just a band aid for a guy’s broken and battered self-esteem. Always the friend, never the f*ck buddy.

If I sound P.O.ed it’s because I AM! I’ve seen many a decent gal and guy put themselves through the wringer, invite years of emotional trauma, and degrade themselves with experiences they knew would only lead to catastrophe, and all for seemingly no reason at all. So, this article full of opinions really is one big ploy to pose the question directly to you, ladies: Why do girls go for the as*holes? Why does it take having your heart Cuisinarted for a bunch of years to get you to give another like at the nice guys? Please, I’m begging you. Make me understand.

What we have here is a failure to communicate,

Cool Hand Dude

And check out a gallery of the biggest a-hole celebs in Hollywood!



  1. Liz says:

    The reason why we actually go after idiots is.. because they mean danger, a new possibility of seeing normal things. Everyday life can become dull, the same things at the same time, with the same people. And while we are in the age of not wanting to have family or something truly stable, it's easy to be tempted by the as*hole. It's not like we want to spend our whole life with them, just a few moments. As*holes make good topics for discussions with girlfriends. They mean Drama, and we (usually) want to have that, at least at some point in life. As*holes are also those guys whom our parents always warned about. Let's face it, even with being out of the house it's nice to break the rules.
    Besides, do you know anyone (I mean, besides Heidi Montag and those Hollywood women) who has actually married the as*hole to spend their whole life with them?

    1. SwingoutScott says:

      I know a few. Most ended in divorce. Some are still going, and going badly.

    2. The Dude says:

      Same here.

  2. Krystyna says:

    I'm not saying that women don't go for as*holes, because they do. But sometimes I think women have been burned by guys they thought were nice guys but were secretly as*holes. At least with a*holes you know what you're getting, they're up front about the negative aspects of themselves. I can't tell you how many guys I've been with or know who basically have the mentality, 'I'm a nice guy, therefore you should like me.' First of all, I think 'nice' is too general of a word. Nice might mean things like being courteous, sweet, sensitive, easy to get along with – but it might leave out things that are really important to women like a sense of humor and common interests. Just because a guy professes to be nice doesn't obligate to me to like him. The guy I'm with now has never once professed to be a nice guy and I'm perfectly happy. I think the term 'good guy' might be a more helpful label, to the extent that labels are helpful at all. But this is just one woman's opinion.

    1. The Dude says:

      I like your opinion. And I agree, a lot of snakes on two legs out there who profess to be nice and are complete jerkoffs. And I'll completely agree that most "nice" guys don't say, they show it.

  3. Amy says:

    I never go for the as*hole guy. I always like the "nice guys." It's just frustrating that a lot of the nice guys don't make the first move. Be bold! We like that :) And guys, don't lose hope. There are so many nice girls out there who WANT the nice guy!

    1. The Dude says:

      Like I said, a lot of it might be the "nice" guys' fault for not taking the initiative. I'm sorry our subspecies is so frustrating at times.

  4. Suzy says:

    The attention is nice, and, speaking from personal experience, I didn't realize he was an a-hole until a while into the relationship. He expressed interest and made the move (He was really forward.). He was a bit intriguing, too. Next thing I know, I'm making excuses for his behavior: "It's just a bad day." "He'll get better after this stressful week." But then it hit me… this guy is just an a-hole. Seriously, I think friends just need to be more honest. I didn't get my senses straight until one of my friends called out his behavior to me… but then again, I'm not sure if I would have really heard her if she told me from the beginning.
    I'm not sure if my answer helps at all, but I'm the type of girl who'll give most guys a chance… hasn't worked out too well for me yet…

  5. Sophia says:

    I don't think people purposely go for the ass. A lot of the time you don't realize they were a jerk until a few months in. I don't think it's fair to say girls always go for the asshole since technically anyone can be an asshole.
    I think girls are attracted to certain traits that jerks have, but most will realize those few traits aren't worth being miserable and being treated badly.

  6. Lolita says:

    Personally, my reason behind going for the "bad boys" is because I figure if they take the initiative, are bold, speak their minds, that maybe they will use that attitude to protect me, show me an adventure, and be fun. Being with the "bad boy" for me isn't because I like to get treated like crap, it's because i hope that he will use his "alpha male" personality against those who do wrong onto me.. (untrue unfortunately -_-) but good article! either way, the thing i DEFINITELY want my guy to have is..respect. nothing is more appreciated than that in my book

  7. […] Why Girls Go for A-Holes […]

  8. Andrew says:

    Thanks for writing this. I am going through the very same frustration.
    It would be nice to not be king of the friend zone. Unfortunately, being out going and confident doesn't do it. I know this personally.

  9. criolle johnny says:

    You are confusing "girls" with "women".

  10. Kimber says:

    Uh you've hit the nail on the head, answered your own question. Assholes tend to be hot, and know it, and are therefore are more confident. Girls are shallow, even though we never admit it. Except me, I admit it. I want a hot guy. And more often than not, because they know they can get any girl, they are assholes. It's that simple. I drove myself crazy for a year over a super hot guy who CLEARLY didn't feel for me what I felt for him, but I just figured he'd wake up one day and realize what a great catch I was. WRONG!! He just moved on to the next pretty girl without any care in the world. Hot asshole guys always want the milk without buying the cow, and they can get away with it.

  11. melissa says:

    I spent years dating and getting totally hung up on a*holes. I still wonder why. It's probably a combination of factors. I was really, really insecure for a long time(I probably still am)- I worried that my friends would judge me and make fun of who I chose to date. I tended to be into guys for the wrong reasons- because they seemed like the kind of guys that I should be into, who seemed like they could turn me into a different person, a better person. I think women worry a lot about who they choose to date because, more so than men, women have been conditioned to define themselves by their relationship status, to the point where many honestly believe that being in a really shitty relationship is still better than being single. If a woman can "land" a man above her perceived social status, he can redefine who she is in turn- hence, why she won't break up with an asshole. She'd lose her new social standing and, depending on how long they had dated and how attached she was, a part of her identity.
    Also, as you mentioned, a*holes tend to be assertive, which at first is very attractive to women that have always been taught they shouldn't make the first move. Many a*holes do also happen to be pretty hot and fully aware of their attractiveness, which of course makes them more confident and more assertive. Many nice guys are also really boring and/or somewhat spineless.
    Another angle here: Many nice guys are a*holes to certain girls. Just like how you can get hung up on chicks who won't date you, I've been dumped by several guys that I was crazy for, who were totally immature and treated me like crap, who are now in serious, long-term relationships. How exactly does that happen if they're all a*holes who treated me badly? I know I don't think I'm an a*hole either, but I broke a friend's heart in college when I told him I couldn't date him, after he had been in love with me for years. I'd guess he probably disagrees.
    The only reason I'm no longer dating a*holes is because I'm not dating anyone. At all. I haven't been on a date in almost two years. I gave up- I can't find anyone to date who's NOT an a*hole.

  12. Nice_guys_are_boring says:

    The problem with nice guys, is they never go after the girl they want because of rejection. It is cowardly, spineless, and pathetic. Speaking as a girl who was totally all for a nice guy, he ended up never advancing despite my encouragement that I liked him. And he liked me too, he was just a coward who didn't know what he should do and often did nothing. The a**holes are always the ones with the chase, they flatter and compliment their way to a girl's heart. And they aren't afraid because they know they'll probably break her heart first. No offense nice guys, but grow a pair. If you don't, you deserve to end up losing your dream girl. Also, just cause a guy is nice, doesn't mean he has any other qualities worth liking. Sometimes, the guy is just nice, not charming or funny or smart…. just nice. Frankly that is boring, there has to be other qualities worth liking to make a girl swoon.

  13. Caitlin-University of Alabama says:

    Nice guys can be a-holes too.

    1. The Dude says:

      Of course, that disqualifies them from being "nice" doesn't it?

  14. alan says:

    It is sad to say but only in the movies does the "nice girl" realize that the "nice guy" is sexy and then makes the first move and initiates everything. Think Lea Thomson and Steve Gutenberg(seems to be a million movies like this). In real life the "nice girl" is only available at a certain time of night on a certain night(for ex 12 PM at the Halloween party). Since the a-hole guy is always probing for weakness, he will always get the fence sitting "nice girl" esp for sex. I think back to my dorm and there were a couple of guys over 2 years that seemed to get every girl at some time or another even thought they probably batted about 15%-they were always probing. The girl usually regrets it and even denies it- and in the long run everything kind of works out. Funny thing the biggest a-hole in my dorm was just arrested for selling oxycontin- made all the TV news- and a few "nice girls"were watching with their husbands remembering the night they werent such nice girls.

  15. SwingoutScott says:

    I think it is learned behavior. The guys and girls who grew up being told (not just by their family) that they were the most attractive and were fawned over become the most self-centered and learn early that they can just have whatever they want. They are above society's rules.
    Not to say that there are not attractive "nice guys", but usually they had to go through an awkward stage and not just a Zooey "look at me, I'm awkward in that totally fake and cute, not at all awkward way" Deschanel kind of way. Otherwise, they will be douches.
    Of course, that's just IMHO.

  16. laura croft says:

    i don't like one guy on the "biggest a-hole celebrity list" …just saying

  17. Rebe says:

    As a female who has an admitted track record of dating the wrong men over and over, I'm happy to say I'm finally coming to some understanding of why I have continued a cycle that has left me heartbroken too many times. I'm not sure if my story represents other women, but maybe it can help.

    I have never let the idea that the key to happiness involves being with a man leave my head. I am a strong, smart, independent, successful woman in EVERY other aspect of my life, but when it comes to men, I am weak because since the beginning of time, culturally, socially, watching the way my mother and father interacted, I have been force-fed this belief. Some of us are influenced by these things more strongly than others.

    And so – since the belief that true happiness exists with a man in my life, I have consistently found myself with men who are not even half the person I am because being with someone is better than no one. At first, I never know that the guy is a jerk (probably deep down, but not consciously). Whenever someone starts dating they put their best face forward, even jerks. So as the true colors come out, even if they come out in a very short period of time (after a few dates), I get stuck on thinking that the niceness he showed me at one point exists much more strongly than his actions clearly show they don't. And so I cling to something that doesn't even exist because its less scary than the alternative of being alone.

    I've finally realized that I am worth more than what most men bring to the table and it has helped me to recognize asshole tendencies much more clearly – before I even indulge the guy – because I have the confidence to know that another one will come along tomorrow and possibly be better. However, nice guys need to also show confidence the way assholes do – assholes tend to be attractive because they know that if I reject them, there will be another one tomorrow. So nice guys out there – be confident, project yourself and one of these days, you'll meet a nice girl who likes confidence and is also confident in her own self-worth and will recognize that you are someone to give a chance.

    Good luck to everyone trying to date out there. It is a tough place.

  18. I haven't been in a relationship for over 3 years. I'm not attracted to nice guys, but I refuse to settle for a jerk. If a guy doesnt take the initiative to put himself out there and let me know he's interested right away, I assume him to be in my "friend-zone". And then once there in the friend zone for x-amount of time, they want to date me. But at that point I have a hard time finding attraction for them because they weren't brave enough to say something /make a move when they should have.
    A*sholes don't just TAKE chances, they CREATE chances. That in itself is sexy, even if the dude isn't even that attractive. The bad boys keep you on your toes. You don't know what to expect. And thats intriguing to me. I welcome and celebrate change, I need spontaniety. A*sholes have that, in the fun, romantic, you-don't-know-what-i'm-thinking way. But all in all, a*sholes are just more exciting to be with because they aren't predictable. Just like men like women who aren't predictable and needy.

  19. girl anonymous says:

    It's really just all about the challenge. Guys like a challenge when going after a girl, and well, girls do too! Also, assholes can only get away with being an asshole if they are attractive and/or successful is some way (money doesn't equal success BTW) that is considered cool (like having a job in the entertainment industry, an athelete or a doctor). An unattractive (overweight) guy who has nothing going for him but is an asshole will not get any girls! And typically guys who are successful and attractive are assholes because they are so into themselves. It is totally not about the guy being an asshole which draws women to him. It's the fact that this guy is attractive and successful and many woman want him, so we want to be that one woman he picks and are too willing to put up with his crap because we try to look past that and think oh he's so charming, funny, smart, cute, and I'm lucky to have him. Also, EVERYONE is an asshole sometimes, even if you are the "nice" guy. I've known plenty of "nice" guys who were dicks too. And assholes have bought me presents and been super sweet to me too! So I don't agree with this "girls like assholes BS."

  20. It's amazing how little insight women have into this. The reason you go for the a**hole is because his attention (if you can get it) is supremely validating. To whatever level you experience sh!tty self-esteem on a day-to-day basis, nothing does better to ameliorate that than the interest of someone you think wouldn't even give it to someone prettier/smarter/sexier/"better" than you. If you have to chase him for months/years for even a shred of attention, all the better . . . it just makes him even more valuable. His physical and emotional unavailability is tantalizing . . . because WHAT IF you could crack it? What if not only could this guy pay you attention, but what if you could get the douchebag to love you and treat you like a princess. That's worth 10,000 times what having a nice guy can offer, because getting that from the douchebag is the rarest jewel of all and tells you really are "worth it " and special. The problem is that you will never get it, because he's just an a**hole. You're either going to end up alone, when the asshole is done using you, or divorced when he leaves you for some dumbass who's willing to play the game you'll long since have grown tired of. But don't worry . . . men do the same thing with the hot tw@t b!tch they can't get. So you're not alone. Cheers!

  21. amberlynn says:

    please tell me where these nice guys are. i would love to find some

  22. Ahsan Raja says:

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  23. Jaime says:

    I'm currently dating a guy I would definitely consider a "nice guy." He's not afraid to tell me how much he loves me, cooks for me, listens, and doesn't get mad when it's "that time of month." He was actually the first one to use the l-word (and only a month into dating "officially," too!). And I love him back and am super happy to be with him.

    But, honestly, if I had met him at a party, I wouldn't have given him the time of day. He's cute, but not stand-out hot. And his humor is sarcasm directed only towards people he knows. We met working full-time together in a small, genetics lab as the only two undergrads. We were put into a situation where we were forced to get to know each other. And I realized how sweet and funny he really is.

    I think the reason girls go for assholes is because they have stand-out personalities. Most times, we meet people at parties. And we go for the person that we remember, the person that makes an impression. And it's usually the ass-hole, not the nice guy. At least that's what has happened to me in the past.

  24. rocklesson86 says:

    Some of these guys shouldn't be on the list.

  25. TRW Observer says:

    Dude, if you are seriously trying to understand, I have two things for you that you should think about:

    One, you have confirmation bias. That is to say, when you see an a*hole with a girlfriend or a "nice guy" without one, you say: "Aha! This proves women only go for a*holes!" When you see an a*hole who's alone or a "nice guy" with a girlfriend, you don't notice (or dismiss it as fluke and don't register it in your head). How do I know this? Because most truly nice guys don't have special problems with relationships, and because people fall victim to confirmation bias ALL THE TIME. It actually takes a lot of mental discipline not to block out observations that disprove our preconceived notions.

    Two, it's kinda silly to reduce half of humanity to two personality types. Men don't categorize into a*holes and "nice guys"; there are more than two personalities in existence. Human nature is complex and fluid. You know what? I know men who are "nice guys" with some people and raging a*holes with others. I know men who seem like a*holes, but actually turn out to be okay guys if you think about it. I know men who seem like "nice guys" until you realize their "niceness" is just passive-aggressive cowardice. I know men who can't be described as either a*holes or "nice guys". People are complicated. The sooner you accept that as a basic fact of life, the sooner you can start letting go of your frustration.

  26. @amberdaaawn says:

    I have never been attracted to the Bad Boy, asshole, douchebag, whatever type of guy. The type of things that attract me to a guy is being intelligent and well spoken, treating people kindly, being nice to their kid sisters, being friends with their ex girlfriends (not in a creepy way) being respectful, etc. I also don't mind making the first move. The problem a lot of "nice guys" have is that they're either Nice Guys(tm) (look it up, y'all), they like the wrong kind of girls, the girls they like are afraid of making the first move too (this is the girls' problem as well, I guess) or they are sad sacks. If you go on and on about how you are a nice guy and girls don't like you and you just don't understand…. it's not because you're nice that girls don't like you, it's because you won't shut up about how much your life sucks. Nobody wants to listen to that, unless they're making $100 an hour to do so. If this is you, start enjoying your life, and start liking yourself even single, and then girls will like you better. Seriously.

  27. sedsimplea says:

    These comments will be biased because the females dating the as*holes won't be admitting to it…and those that are posting are either the exception or trying to justify their own as*hole.

  28. NJ Bill says:

    One word sums up the reason: DRUGS…the chicks go for the creep because he's their source for getting high. Women are more interested the "white lines" up their nose. You'd be surprised at the seemingly nice girls who have secret little Coke problems…

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