Dear Ask A Woman,
Why are women attracted to jerks, why don’t you actually like nice guys? I’m currently working on my Tinder and online dating profiles and I kind of want to lie and say I’m a jerk because being a nice guy isn’t working. Thoughts?
Thanks, D in Asheville
I think it’s because there’s no such thing as a “nice guy.” I’m sorry, what’s a nice guy? Who is this person? Is it someone who just walks around with a permanent smile plastered on his face, constantly holding the door open, and stumbling over himself to make everyone happy? That sounds super creepy and unrealistic. Nobody is nice all of the time. Someone who dubs themselves as “nice” is kind of boring, and perhaps suspect.
The “nice guy” figure is like a bad faith ideal men cooked up because they realize most of their brethren are reprehensible pigs. But human beings are attracted to other dynamic, flawed human beings, with vulnerability and honesty being front-running emotional traits. We are generally not attracted to someone who presents as a cookie-cutter, unrealistic notion of themselves. It’s not interesting and, more importantly, it’s dishonest.
I realize I’m coming off a little harsh because I’m guessing you think of yourself as a nice guy and I’m guessing (and hoping) that your definition of that involves being kind and respectful toward women. Don’t get me wrong. Those are great traits. But I’m sure you also have your flaws, and things that you are working through, and the ways in which you have changed, or are hoping to change, and all that emotional jazz. These are the things that make you human, and these are the qualities that most people are attracted to.
I think the term “nice guy” should be retired, along with the outdated notion of the “good girl” or the “bad boy.” No one can or should be defined by a singular definition, especially an outdated binary. Most of us are as wonderful as we are fucked up, and we are all flawed in one way or another. There is beauty in our flaws, especially when we acknowledge them, work on them and have a sense of humor about it all. That’s the good stuff.
Now, I’ve never been on Tinder, so take this advice with a grain of salt, but if I were you I would veto the “Nice guy looking for a soulmate” blurb you’re currently tinkering with and instead just present yourself honestly. I’m not suggesting you throw up all your emotional garbage right away, but there’s something charming about a dash of humorous self-deprecation. Also, be sure to insert a humble brag about something that makes you special and don’t forget to say you love animals. (Unless you hate animals, which technically makes you a monster.)
If that doesn’t work, try replacing your photo with a picture of a serial killer, but you know, a dynamic serial killer, with a sense of humor and heart of gold, one who has found God or something.
Just kidding, please don’t do that.
Sincerely, A Woman
Ask A Woman is an anonymous advice column wherein this Asheville writer gives candid, honest advice about everything from consent to dating to harassment and whatever else you people cook up. I’m providing a platform of anonymity, not so either of us can hide behind invisibility, but to eliminate egos and insecurities and cut out the bullshit in an effort to perpetuate education. If you would like to ask me a question for my column, drop me a line here. -Eve S. Dropper