Every man who has ever lost a woman to an unworthy hoser, every guy who ever cringed at the account of “Cowboy Timmy,” anyone who ever had to listen to an attractive female friend he held the torch for cry about an abusive boyfriend/husband, every man who ever considered in despair to abandon his ‘nice guy’ mindset so he just get laid and score some meaningless sex for once … every man I know … has turned this question over in his mind.
Why, why, why?
Why Nice Guys Finish Last
A man who is sweet and giving to everyone is, especially to young women, an uninteresting romantic prospect – because his kindness is cheap and available to whomever he is in contact with. You don’t have to be special to get his generosity because it’s on tap for everyone – and consequently it loses value on account of its commonness.
The deepest and most primal craving for most women is to be special – to command that complete, obsessive emotional focus from their male partner. You want to be the queen on the pedestal in your man’s life – not just another girl he treats with friendly respect.
And this is precisely why ‘nice guys’ - especially those in their teens and twenties, are so often alone: the affections of those who give it away too easily are heavily discounted. The vicious truth is that in this game, perception becomes reality: that which is commonplace is not precious – and that which is not precious, is not worth pursing.
On the other hand – a man who is cocky and self-absorbed – yet occasionally shows a sensitive side, commands inordinate attention. Why? Twisted as it may sound – it’s because women - particularly young foolish ones, hang on to the notion that it must take an extraordinary woman to bring that side out of him – and if she should succeed, she would possess this kindness all to herself.
It’s a human appetite to crave that which is just out of our reach – and though it is trite to the point of cliché, what could be more tantalizing than the prospect of finding a world-weary soul with a heart of stone, changing him, and in the process, be the sole recipient of his unswerving devotion?
If I am the only woman in the world who can bring it out of him, I can completely OWN this tenderness – this vulnerability that he denies the rest of the world.
This, gentlemen, is what we refer to as sexual catnip - and until a woman acquires the wisdom that comes with age, is the royal flush in the great poker game of romantic appeal.
Consciously or not … this sexual catnip is what drives the most young women we know – drives them to pursue infuriatingly dead-end relationships with self-absorbed pricks again and again – women who run back crying to their nice-guy friends when she is once again duped, used, and dumped by through-and-through jackasses who feigned just enough of a sensitive side to feed this fantasy, but whose lack of character or depth ultimately emerged and proved him to be exactly what he seemed on the surface: just another jerk with a silver tongue.
Turning the Tables
Every man is familiar with the stomach-churning disgust of watching fantastic women we know devote their affections to unworthy, preening jackasses. But understanding the dynamics of this irrational attraction isn’t enough unless you’re a masochist voyeur. The question is: Is there a way to convince women the folly of their pursuit of the ‘arrogant-jackass-with-the-heart-of-gold’
I believe there is.
To do so, we need to turn the tables around: what is the quintessential male fantasy? In that primal part of our simian mind, men want a woman who is sexually frigid to the world, but turns into a dynamo when she is alone with you, and you alone (“I’ve never done this before … Oh baby, it’s never been as good as it was with you … ”). Our fantasy object is the woman who is a pristine good-girl to the world, who magically turns into the Kama Sutra Queen in the sack.
There is a name for it: the Madonna/whore complex.
But men – mature men, recognize the Madonna/whore thing as the foolish fantasy of insecure boys. A woman who is frigid to everyone else is that way for a reason – and will be just as inhibited with you. Too, a woman with a healthy and positive sense of her own sexuality will, in all probability, have had great sex with someone else before she met you. Deal with it.
We laugh at 30-year-old guys who insist that they must marry a virgin, and rightly so. We should laugh harder at the women who chase fool’s errand after fool’s errand believing that this … this is the jerk-with-the-heart-of-gold who will devote his eternal adoration to her as soon as she can just win him over.
As appealing as it may be on some level, adults recognize that the notion that we must somehow ‘own’ and ‘conquer’ a partner’s sexual/romantic devotion is the height of immaturity. The best relationships are forged from a two individuals with similar levels of intelligence, compatible personality traits, shared values, a commitment to adapt to each other’s idiosyncrasies ... and a lot of hard work. Nothing more, nothing less.
By the time men reach their mid-twenties, most of us have matured in this dimension and recognize our ‘I-alone-must-be-the-only-one-to-have-ev
It is high time twentysomething women do likewise.