A little over 3 years ago, I asked a crucial question that had been troubling me for quite some time – why do girls tend to prefer “bad “guys over “good” guys? Or in the evergreen slang of my mother tongue, why do girls prefer “Atti” (short for Attitude: [at-i-tood, -tyood] noun – Aeronautics: the inclination of the three principal axes of an aircraft relative to the wind, to the ground, etc…. oh sorry, Ctrl+V mistake. Manner, disposition, feeling, orientation etc, you get the drift) boys over “Paavam” ([Paa- vam] noun – terminally hopeless guy forever relegated to the background of a relationship, usually serving out his life term as the carrier of ice cream and soda. Also known as appavi, wallpaper, samosa)
The post set off a war of words. My readers had all sorts of opinions – ranging from “I feel you macha” through “How dare you stereotype girls? You MCP” to the more thoughtful “There might be something in what you wrote. But for the life of me I can’t figure out what. Try taking a few English language courses. It might help”
I patiently read through all the replies. Then I sorted them into 3 piles – “helpful”, “useless criticism” and “how do I find out her number?” The objective was to figure out a quick rule of thumb to help my hapless brothers who, as I mentioned in the post, cannot seem to cross bridges without jumping off them. I did make some headway in the rule, but refrained from posting it on the internet for the entire world to read and follow, because, like all good engineers who turned their backs on the discipline, I wanted some empirical evidence to conclusively prove my theory.
I didn’t get it until I came to Singapore.
The lifestyle here, for better or for worse, provided a lot of opportunity to test my theory. In a nutshell, the theory is this.
“The magnitude of a girl’s initial attraction to a guy is inversely proportional to the ease with which she can interact with him and the chance of her having him as a boyfriend”
Let me explain.
“Initial attraction”– this means exactly what it sounds like. It may be plain lust, a simple interest, disinterest, or pure disgust. It is founded on a healthy mixture of biases, first observations and image associations. In short, what girls call intuition and what Siddhucalls cricket commentary.
“Ease with which she can interact with him” –If the guy can pretend to be aloof and disinterested, he moves ahead on the points board immediately. The Game, as Neil Strauss puts it, is run relatively. You need not be the best guy in the world (aside: you are not). The trick is to position yourself as better than the guy next to you. This means that guys should ideally hang around with friends who are shorter and more rotund than they are. Better still if they have oiled hair and three surnames. Conversely, if it seems to the girl that she doesn’t have to expend much effort to interact with the guy, the challenge vanishes. Her interest wanes. She goes off searching for the tall guy with the tousled hair and one surname. It’s counter intuitive, but the more engaging and charming a guy tries to be, the less success he has.
“Chance of her having him as a boyfriend” – The most elementary mistake good guys make is to assume that girls want to meet boyfriend material everywhere. Not so. On the contrary, initial attraction levels towards potential boyfriend material tend to be very low. The reasoning is simple. Guys who are boyfriend material are like black cotton pants. Ever reliable, they can go with any outfit, can be fitted to your liking and can be stored and retrieved for later use. Not so the aloof guy with one surname from the paragraph above. He must be had immediately, before the season is over. The black cotton pants will hang around in the background, waiting to be worn sometime in the future. In short, good guys are taken for granted. With such guys, there is no challenge. They are safe. So it’s more rewarding to relegate them to the background while she tries her luck with the more intriguing ones.
Combining the three variables together, we can see that “bad” guys with an attitude, attention deficit disorder or a drinking problem (preferably all three combined) have a better chance of impressing girls than do “good “guys.
It’s a cruel world out there, my fellow samosas. We are outmaneuvered at every turn. Try shampooing your hair, wearing platform sneakers and legally changing your surnames. If nothing else, you’ll appear less ridiculous.