It's Not Your Fault You Keep Falling for Narcissistic Jerks

charming man with womenIt's that age-old question: Why are we women attracted to jerks? And by jerks I mean narcissists, those charmers who dazzle us with their flattery and attention and magnetic sex appeal. Well ladies, science finally has an explanation.

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(Me: You mean it's not because they're dazzling us with their flattery and charm and magnetic sex appeal?)

We know narcissists do not make good long-term partners. So why are so much more attracted to them than "nice" guys? Researchers Carrie Haslam and V. Tamara Montrose of Hartbury College looked at straight women between the ages of 18 and 28, and found that the more romantic experience they have, the more likely they are to be attracted to players. Oh great -- that means we're not even learning from our mistakes!

But here's the draw, according to Haslam and Montrose: “The narcissistic personality, whilst having many negative qualities, possesses qualities associated with status and resource provision." Apparently we're tricked into thinking they'll be good mates because they seem like they'll be good providers. 

I guess!

The thing is, I don't think we need science to tell us why we're attracted to narcissists. We all know they're more charismatic. They're bright and shiny, and bright and shiny things attract more attention. They're FUN.

More from The Stir: 8 Signs You're Married to a Narcissist

But let's turn this around. Instead of saying "okay, ladies, let's stop falling for these narcissistic jerks," let's take this message to the supposed "nice" guys out there.

Sick of losing out to those pompous bros? Well then, borrow a little bit of their game without sacrificing your integrity and soul. Put on some clothes that actually flatter your body. Get a good haircut. Stand up straight. Look us in the eyes and smile. Fake your confidence if you don't have it. Ask us lots of questions about ourselves. And actually be interested in the answers -- you're not even that "nice" if you're not doing that much.

Give those narcissistic jerks some competition! Please.

Because the truth is, this is a false dichotomy. We're not living in a world of players vs. frumpy nice guys. The men who are really winning (as in, attracting beautiful women who are also kind and loyal and then making a long-term relationship work with them) are a bit of both. They have a pulled-together look, and they're friendly and warm and engaging, and they show confidence and comfort in their own skin. But they're not a-holes.

Am I talking about a unicorn?

Kind of? Maybe? I'm just saying, they're out there. So I don't blame anyone for falling for narcissists. They're a lot of fun. And caring about things like financial stability is prudent, as long as it's not the only thing you care about. We're just playing with the hands we get dealt. And we keep playing because every once in a while you win against the house.

Do you feel like you've fallen for too many narcissists? What's the attraction for you?

 

Image via Ammentorp Photography/Shutterstock

 

 

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