Why Nice Guys Pick Bad Girls by Laure Justice

I knew something was wrong the moment my old friend walked in the door. I caught the sour look on his usually smiling face and the way his shoulders drooped, and I knew he was ticked! I knew what was eating at him, too.
Why Nice Guys Pick Bad Girls
Why Nice Guys Pick Bad Girls by Laure Justice
We lived in a small town, and word had gotten around fast that his old lady had gone bad – long before he met her actually – he had just refused to see what she was like before. And everyone in town knew who she'd gone bad with this time, too – the ex-con who lived in the upstairs apartment overlooking the little dive bar up the street. Apparently, my friend had just heard the news. He sort of limped over and sat down across the counter from me – didn't make eye contact. He looked defeated, and I knew he was hurting, so I just waited quietly for him to talk. He finally asked about the car I'd been working on earlier, but I could tell he wasn't really listening to my answer by the way he shuffled the papers on the counter, flipping them over and then putting them back, and from the way his eyes wandered vacantly around the room. I kind of sighed quietly. This wasn't going to be a comfortable chat, but I knew he would be there for me if things were reversed, and I was ready. What are friends for, after all? The big question... He finally spoke, in a shallow, kind of guarded voice, “Why do women pick losers and jerks?” It wasn't the first time I'd been asked that question. This case was different, though. My friend’s woman wasn't a good girl who was choosing a bad boy, she was a 'bad girl' in every sense of the title, and like I said before, everyone but him had known it all along. I was pretty sure I was going to have to choose my words carefully, though, if I didn't want to lose his friendship. I decided to start by giving him the short answer to his question. The reasons... “There are a lot of reasons why women pick guys who are losers and jerks.” I told him, trying to keep my voice even and comforting. (In my mind, I was thinking about the reasons he, a nice guy, had picked a bad woman. She was hot, sure, and from what he had said once at the bar after a couple drinks, she was a freak of a lover, but surely there had to be more to it than that. I had talked to her a few times when she was out with my friend. She had the IQ of a potato, but he always looked enchanted and happy when he was with her, so who was I to judge? But, back to the conversation...) “Some women want a guy who is more challenging than a nice guy – like a do-it-yourself fixer-upper project,” I told him, “because it gives them the challenge of fixing him. Some women have low self esteem and feel inferior compared to nice guys, so they pick guys who are losers to make them look good.” (I could tell he was weighing my words, comparing them to his own situation with his bad girl. I wondered if, deep down, he had picked her hoping to fix her or if he liked looking like the nice guy compared to her wild child routine. I didn't think that was it, though.) Going on with my reply, I said, “Some women get into a pattern during a bad childhood, that they can't escape. Some are intimidated by guys who have it all together, and still others just plain like the drama that comes from hanging out with a guy who's always got a problem.” Thinking it over... I paused and grabbed a couple bottles of cold water. Handing him one, I opened mine and took a slow drink while I waited for him to think over what I had said. I didn't really expect him to see his own actions in my description of why women pick guys who are losers and jerks, but he was apparently just ready for reality to set in. After a couple minutes of silence, and some more paper flipping, he finally spoke again. “That doesn't only apply to women does it? I picked a bad girl and kept her all this time for the same reasons women pick losers and jerks – but it wasn't just one reason.” I nodded my head without saying anything. This was his revelation. I just let him talk. “I liked that she was exciting, there was always some kind of drama when she was around, but I'd have never put up with how she treated me, and all those other guys she cheated with, and her spending the bill money on clothes and wine coolers, if I'd had any self-esteem.” (Holy cow, I thought, so he did know about her cheating. Still, I just nodded sympathetically and let him go on.) “I liked taking care of her. I always knew she needed me to fix her problems. A lot of times, I wished she didn't have quite so many, but even then, the more things I needed to fix about her and her life, the more I felt she’d never leave me.” Back on track... He finished his water and tossed the bottle in the trash. Standing up, he looked at the door. “I guess I best be heading home.” he said. “I guess I'm as messed up for wanting her as she is for wanting that creep.” “You're all right, or you will be.” I told him. “You just have some thinking to do and you need to take action and do some things for yourself, to get your life back on track so you can be happy.” He nodded a couple times, and headed back out the door, standing up a little straighter than he had been when he came in. I noticed his limp was gone, too. I hoped I had helped him by letting him sort out the situation on his own, and I wondered if he would still be with his bad girl the next time I saw him. I knew he had some hard work ahead of him, but he had taken the first step - the hardest one - recognizing and admitting the problem. I hoped for his sake he would build up his self esteem and move on with his life.

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