Sam & the City – SMH Blog: 14/02/2007

On Valentine’s Day, Samantha Brett from SMH’s Sam and the City posted the following blog:

Why some women are always attracted to jerks

“He wasn’t as bad as everyone thought,” sneered Kylie Minogue after she dated the late Michael Hutchence, notorious for being the bad boy of Australian rock. “And I wasn’t as good,” she continued, “we met somewhere in between.”

What do Kylie Minogue and blogger Julie have in common? Both are bottle-blonde, both are pint-sized and both are addicted to dating the jerk.

“It’s the thrill of the chase for me,” laments Julie when I ask her why she’s dating yet another bloke who is clearly more interested in spending time with his Xbox and flirting with bar chicks than spending the night on the couch with her.

Yet, despite the pitfalls, she’s completely head over heels in lust with the spiky-haired hunk. “He’ll change,” she says uncertainly. I think not …

No one sets out deliberately to date a jerk. When a woman pictures herself with the man of her dreams, she’s living happily ever after behind a white picket fence, not waiting past midnight while her womanising, heartbreaking, cheating, wheeling cad prefers porn surfing and internet flirting to romantic nights out and home cooked meals for two.

Yet some women just can’t seem to escape their wrath. Hence they date one bad boy after another; getting used, abused and discarded like yesterday’s news.

It seems ever since 50’s icon James Dean roughed it up as the quintessential bad boy, women have been falling head over heels for the jerks.

Kylie Minogue is one such gal.

Along with the big bubble-perm, cut-off jeans and nice guy Jason Donovan, she ditched the pleasant gents and her Miss Goody Two Shoes image for the naughty, sex kitten sort of femme, who dates only men who don’t call back when they say they will and act like they’re just not that into her.

Thus she slept with Hutchence, sang with Robbie Williams, went on a date with French heartthrob (and supposed jerk) Olivier Martinez, and ended up wasting four years of her life wondering if Martinez was sleeping around and why he wasn’t home by 2am.

So why do so many women find themselves falling for the jerk again and again? Don’t they learn their lesson after the first time around?

It continues to baffle me that so many successful, gorgeous women shun the nice boys for a taste of the jerk. I wonder if it’s about self esteem; of settling with the jerk because they feel they’re not worth anything more. Or is it because they’re hoping that they can eventually change a jerk into the nice guy they always thought they’d end up with?

“I fall hard for people who don’t want me,” writes blogger Melissakp. “And the only people who fall hard for me are ones I don’t care quite *enough* about. It’s a vicious cycle which may well continue my whole life. I’m just hopeful that one day I’ll have a big love that’s a two way street.”

True, dating a jerk might be better than sitting at home with your lengthy checklist and tub of Sarah Lee. True, it makes you feel special – like you’re the lucky one who managed to snag the “unavailable”, uninterested bloke. True, it adds a little crumb of fun and excitement to a humdrum dating existence.

But is it really worth it? Why is it that so many women fall for Mr Wrong? Again?

Well, judging by the number of sob stories I hear from women across the country as to why they continually fall for the jerk, you’d think that there weren’t any decent guys out there for us to grab onto.

“Not true!” retort the throngs of nice guys who email me daily with their inability to meet decent women. “They’re just looking in all the wrong places.”

Why are women attracted to jerks?

My response below:

Sam, you are right about not setting out to date jerks, yet it seems to be my destiny to be dating all the jerks in Sydney.

I’ve been engaged to a jerk who couldn’t keep it in his pants, engaged to another jerk who sucked 6 years of my life down the gurgler, and dated yet another jerk who promised me the world and delivered me a shell. There are more jerk stories in between, and I’m beginning to wonder if I have a “Jerk Beacon” on my head – the flashing light that screams “Hey, you, Mr Jerk, come hither!”

The latest jerk spent the better part of a month chasing me – emailing flirty little messages at work, sending saucy SMSs, etc. After our first date (and subsequent kiss), he decided that he didn’t really want to date me after all. He waited 2 weeks to contact me, and then, by email, he told me that I wasn’t really what he was looking for.

My whinge is – all the nice guys I meet are either taken or gay. Where are the nice single guys who have had the jerk kicked out of them? It’s time to turn off the Jerk Beacon – help me out here, nice guys! 🙂

After posting my comment, I went to sleep (it was well and truly after midnight on a school night by this point).

A few funny things happened yesterday – the first of which was Emily asking me if I’d been replying to Sam’s blog. SPRUNG! Yes, ’twas me; big smilie face.

The second funny thing was reading the responses my comment elicited (see below) and how I would have responded to them:

No Gloria, there is no “jerk beacon” on your head.
The jerks are not looking for you.
You, and all the other women it seems, are always out looking for the jerks.
Why women are so collectively stoopid in this respect I don’t know. I suspect some kind of conspiracy by the gay media folks to encourage straight women to chase after jerks, as some kind of entertainment ( for them ).
Posted by: mich at February 15, 2007 1:21 AM

Mich, surely the gay media folk have better things to do with their time?

If you have a “Jerk Beacon”, why aren’t I responding? 😉
Posted by: Matvei Groznyy at February 15, 2007 2:17 AM

Matvei Groznyy, looking forward to receiving an flirty email or a saucy SMS from you soon! ;-p

Your story is sad but familar…and as you asked for some advice I’ll offer you a snippit.
If the thrill of the chase is the trade mark of the womanizing jerk… perhaps you enable them by being so predictably seduced by these party tricks.. I dare to even think you see this kind of attention as devotion..
Perhaps the “nice guys” – are less into the chase and more into the woman. These guys may have less tolerance or passion for the chase and don’t abide jumping through and over unneccesary hoops that some women seem to enjoy testing them with… Leaving them unintrested in the game and you unattached and available for another game player.
Posted by: sean at February 15, 2007 8:50 AM

Sean, I don’t play games – they are a waste of time, and my time is precious to me. The trick of jumping over and through hoops is best left to trained animals, and whilst I have never stipulated the ability to perform this trick as a criterion in a potential suitor, more often than not I’ve been asked to perform the trick myself. Double standards? Go figure!

“Where are the nice single guys who have had the jerk kicked out of them”
Ever thought that they are with nice girls? Girls that use a little bit more than “is he hot” as their yard stick for chosing a guy to pick up in the club?
Face it – nice guys aren’t going to sit around and wait for you to have your fun with their better looking mates till
you are ready to settle down.
Posted by: Broken at February 15, 2007 9:08 AM

Poor Broken. Were you always the last kid to be picked for teams at school? The “is he hot” yardstick is so last century – one I haven’t used since I was 16. And are you implying I’m not a nice girl? Last time I checked, I am a kind and caring person who is generous and considerate, almost to a fault! By the way, sorry about passing you over for your hot mates – they weren’t as bitter as you.

“Where are the nice single guys who have had the jerk kicked out of them? ”
You just seem to want a compliant puppy. . Why would you want a relationship with anyone or had been kicked into servitude ?
One guy had the temarity to say you weren’t what he was looking for and got called a jerk . . I didn’t think there was any law against not entering a relationship yet . . . .You can’t force men to go out with you !!
Posted by: halberstram at February 15, 2007 9:13 AM

Halberstram, I don’t want a compliant puppy. There is no sadder a sight than to see a rubber-backed man cower behind the skirt tails of his partner / wife. I would much rather a man who has a spine and who can hold his own, in any situation. As for the jerk who changed his mind, you’re right, there’s no law against him changing his mind, but it was the way he ended things that gave him the jerk title – a phone call would have been much better. PS – if you want to use big words, learn how to spell them first.

No, it’s not that you have a ‘Jerk Beacon’ but that jerks tend to be the guys more likely to come up to you and speak with you, as they have nothing to lose…but the nice guys tend to hold back (and lose out) and watch the jerk in action… it’s hard to find a good man, but with patience, it’s worth the wait!
I’ve never dated a jerk, but always have them approach me in public places, pubs, etc…. and I always think the same…why me?!?! what makes you think I would even talk to you? 😛 But I do politely tell them ‘thanks, but no thanks!’ as I’m sure, they get it all the time… rejection.
Women just have to learn to accept their decisions…if you are going out with a guy who’s a heartbreaker, he’s definitely going to break your heartn – sooner or later!
Posted by: Desiree at February 15, 2007 10:09 AM

Desiree, life is too short to hold back and watch others in action. Please tell all of your nice guy friends. 🙂

Yeh ok, but what about girls?
I date nice girls who tend to end up releasing all their insecurities and then go overseas to “find themselves” happened 2 time in the last few years.
I am patient with them, look after them when they cry, cook for them ,clean for them and iron their blouses so they are fresh for the morning and still l get treated like I am second rate.
The moment I don’t pay attention I am “being insensitive”
So I basically gave up.
Being honest and guenuine doesn’t seem to work for me.
But I wont drop my standards or my boundaries just to get a girl.
Women can be jerks to as much as men can be I think and I have experienced them.
Anyway what do I know I just flew in from O/S and am over tired and prolly not making sense lol
Posted by: TAFKAL at February 15, 2007 11:11 AM

TAFKAL, I stand corrected – YOU are the compliant puppy I’ve been looking for. Please feel free to cook and clean and iron my clothes for me, wifey!

The jerk sent you saucy sms’s?? Gross!! I would have told him where to go in an instant if I were you – and mind you, I also attract many jerks! You just have to raise your standards, stick to them, because it’s okay to be picky… If you’re not, you’ll end up wasting your precious time on idiots and jerks who have no real intentions or motivation to get to know you better.
Posted by: Gloria-Star at February 15, 2007 12:31 PM

Gloria-Star, you should have seen the SMSs I received last weekend, 2 weeks after the rejection email … classic!

Funny stuff indeed.

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