Dating a jerk can be underrated. Your friends say, “Ugh, why are you dating that guy?” Your parents fret that they are “worried” for you. Magazine articles delineate all the reasons your relationship is “unhealthy.” But as long as a guy isn’t dangerous (i.e. threatens you, gets violent, or breaks any laws) or is cruel (to you, animals, or children), there are certain times dating an average garden-variety jerk can be advantageous.
What makes a guy a jerk? Let me count the ways. Actually, you count them, since every woman has a different jerk tolerance level. But we can agree there are some basics: Someone who is unreliable, who lies, who cheats.
Don't try to change a jerk or, heaven forbid, deliberately marry him or bear his children. But jerks can come in handy. Here are 9 times it’s forgivable to (briefly!) date a jerk:
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After a bad breakup. This might sound contradictory, but after the breakup of a long-term relationship, you might need a jerk. A nice guy would rush in to take care of you in your time of woe, which keeps you from figuring out how to do it on your own. Dating a jerk when you’re at your weakest point guarantees you’ll have to figure out how to be strong -- this time, by yourself.
When you’re fighting with people. The sensitive guy might empathize when you’re battling with your friends or hating your boss. He might say, “That’s terrible, honey. You’re not being treated right.” But the jerk says, “You want me to take care-a 'dem?” You say no, cause that wouldn’t be right. But you smile anyway, knowing he’d do it.
When you’re horny. A jerk may not call you back, he may not commit, and he may not be there for you during difficult times. But he wants sex. There’s no wondering about it, negotiating over it, or trying desperately to make it happen. A jerk will take care of business -- so long as it’s that kind of business.
You don’t want a relationship. Despite what ladies' mags would have us believe, there are times a woman genuinely doesn’t want to be in a committed relationship. Maybe she’s busy with her career, or school, or the kids. Jerks can fill in the gap (so to speak!) between serious relationships.
You want to learn about men’s dark side. Have you ever really wondered what goes through a guy’s mind sometimes? Why he juggles women? Why he lies? Why he avoids? Most nice guys have been less than nice at one point or another, but rarely will they admit it. Jerks, on the other hand, are usually proud of their jerky behavior. If you don’t judge them for it, they’ll even tell you all about why they do it.
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You don’t want to argue about the garbage. Nice guys are definitely the ones you want to live with. If you’re lucky, it’s almost like living with your best friend. But let’s face it: It can suck the mystery and eroticism out of a relationship. Arguing about the garbage (or whatever) isn’t exactly conducive to wanting to try out your wildest fantasies in the bedroom.
Anger can lead to great sex. I’ve heard it over and over from women: Some of the hottest sex they’ve ever had was with the guy they liked the least. For whatever reason -- maybe anger pumps the body full of adrenaline -- hating the person you’re having sex with can be a lot of fun.
It cushions the breakup. When you inevitably come to the realization that being with a jerk isn’t going to be a long-term thing, you can break up with little of the gut-wrenching heartache that comes with splitting with someone you truly loved and respected. You might miss the jerk -- people can get attached to their kidnappers, after all -- but you won't be devastated. You’ll probably be relieved.
You want to appreciate the nice guy. After dating a jerk, that nice guy you dumped for being a bit too boring is starting to look pretty good, ain’t he? Give him a call. Maybe he’s still available.
Have you ever dated a jerk? If so, why?
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Something my kids handmade
A fun holiday at home with my family
Some time off!
Something just for me, like a plush robe