In Marriage, Nice Guys Come in First

Amy Kuras

Every woman goes through a hot for bad boys phase. (Mine was called "high school and college.") The tattoos, the drinking, the general bad-ass behavior ... swoon. There's a reason James Dean remains an icon and the black leather jacket one of the sexier items of clothing a guy can wear.

The bad boy fascination sticks around until we are ready to settle down, and then all of a sudden that nice guy we previously overlooked becomes a lot more appealing. Funny how that happens.

It may seem like bad boys get all the girls, but in fact, nice guys are a lot more likely to marry them. And in fact, when guys get married, they get nicer still. 

Researchers at Michigan State University found that men with fewer antisocial behaviors in their late teens and early 20s were more likely to marry, and married men displayed considerably less antisocial behavior over time.

It's not that the love of a good woman changes a bad-ish boy into a good one, the plots of several sappy movies notwithstanding. It could be a whole bunch of things ... married men tend to spend more time with their spouses and less with their friends, who sometimes reinforce bad behavior (think of the time your husband rolled in at 3 a.m. from the bar ... he wasn't out with you mostly likely). Also, being married comes with a lot of societal approval, which can make a former bad boy see himself in a new way.

And it just may be that as the bad boys see all the nice guys ending up with the quality women, they start thinking it might not be so bad to access their nice boy side themselves.

Do bad boys or nice guys make better marriage material?


Image via vanessa_hutd/Flickr 

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