Why Do Women Prefer Guys Who Don’t Treat Them Well?


While sitting behind my computer on a gloomy afternoon, I wonder—why do women prefer guys who don’t treat them well? We complain that guys nowadays don’t know how to treat women with respect, but the ones who do end up in the friendzone.

Let’s be honest, the friendzone sucks. We’ve all been there once before! Personally, I have been in the friendzone more than I care to admit and have friendzoned people as well. It’s normal human behavior but when it too much? Good and genuine men and women end up being friendzoned while the ones we obsess over are the ones who are trouble.

Last night I found myself watching re-runs of Sex and the City while trying very hard not to fall asleep at 5:30 in the afternoon. In one episode, Carrie was anxious because her relationship with Aiden was too perfect and he treated her too well. She was used to being mistreated by Mr. Big, resulting in a healthy and honest relationship being confronting. Naturally, at the end of the episode she cheats on Aiden.  Why is that?

“No girl like a nice guy, we all like a bad boy. The reason why, the bad ones help us learn after we get hurt. The nice guys won’t hurt us, so we’ll never learn.”

In October of 2013, Caroline Kent, a columnist for the Telegraph, wrote about this phenomenon and why women can’t resist bad boys. She argues that their powerful, sensitive, and artistic natures allow us to rationalize their emotional unavailability and selfish behavior. We prefer the drama and hurt that comes with that type of men because it’s exciting and keeps us guessing.

“So why do women put up with it? The reason we keep going back, for more belittling digs and more nights waiting for the phone to ring, is not because we like it. It’s because many of us feel we don’t deserve better.”
—Caroline Kent

To be honest, we all love a rebel. We like to think that a bad boy will be good just for us. Deep down, they are broken, insecure, and have inner demons that have never been dealt with. They put on a persona of confidence and independence that draws women in. Other women want them just as much, so it becomes a competition. You fully submerge yourself in him because you want to be on the top of his list. His grip on you becomes so strong and it slowly starts to break down your self-esteem. You convince yourself that he will eventually bring down his walls and reciprocate the affection. Just like every song that sounds the same, he will never change and you will be left broken, bruised, and at war with your inner demons.

So how do we tame them? This is all hypothetical but similar to taming a lion; it starts with trust. While still maintaining a barrier, you need to trust the beast. You need to believe that they can’t hurt you. Henri Martin was the first known lion tamer and his methodology involved introducing himself to his lions slowly and over a long period of time. He started by introducing his head, then his shoulders, into the lion’s cage. Eventually he fully entered the cage. By the time he did, the lion was used to his presence. Make yourself unavailable to him. Don’t always say yes to him. Show him that he is not controlling you and always on your mind.

It’s a never-ending cycle and it’s a common theme. At the end of the day, we are all skin and bones looking for someone to get along with. Bad guys are not bad for nothing; they are bad because of something traumatizing that happened to them at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, they go out of their way to behave in such a way, even after someone calls them out on it. Bad guys will manipulate good girls and keep them hoping, while good guys will stay in the friendzone until someone bails them out.

“You will think about him all day, talk to your friends about him incessantly, and then think about him some more. If all your mental energy is being devoured, you end up being completely distracted from dealing with yourself. The internal drama becomes a monologue in your mind, inhibiting you from becoming a whole person.”
—Toni Nagy