“Nice guys finish last” and “Girls like bad boys.” You hear it all the time. It’s common knowledge, so it must be true, right? I’ve even said or thought similar things my self — “He’s a nice guy, but I just don’t find him attractive” or “I know he’s a bad guy, but there’s good in him.”
There are several psychological reasons why girls are attracted to “bad boys.” They might be looking for someone who reminds them of their father, or someone who is his complete opposite. They might enjoy the thrill of being around someone who takes risks and seeks out adventure and excitement. They might want to redeem him or enjoy the idea of being the one person he actually cares about.
I think one of the main attractions, though, — and a reason that stereotypical “nice guys” fall short — is confidence. Bad boys project an image of “I know who I am, I like who I am, and I know what I want.” That’s incredibly attractive. Even if it’s covering a vulnerable core, that self-assurance tells girls that you aren’t looking for them to complete you or mother you. You don’t have to be good to be confident, or for that confidence to be attractive.
The problem with the stereotypical “nice guy” isn’t so much the fact that they are nice, but rather that they are self-effacing and lack confidence. They project an image of “I don’t expect you to like me, but it would be nice if you did anyway.” Most girls would like to be treated well, but it’s not exciting to be treated well by a guy who doesn’t like himself and doesn’t give you much reason to see him as a romantic option.
But what happens if you pair being nice and gentlemanly with confidence? suddenly you’re the most attractive man in the room. You’re King Arthur or Thor. Even if you’re not confident romantically, simply having confidence in other areas and knowing who you are, why you have value, and what you want is still very attractive. Think Captain America and Mr. Darcy.