Why do boys like to date bitchy, bossy girls?
October 31, 2004 8:12 AM   Subscribe

Why do boys like to date bitchy, bossy girls?
posted by dame to Human Relations (48 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
tastes differ. what would bitchy, bossy girls do if no-one wanted to date them? there's always someone who wants it, not matter what it is.
posted by andrew cooke at 8:18 AM on October 31, 2004


Same reason some girls like to date difficult, boorish men. They fantasize about "fixing," them. It's kind of a Taming Of The Shrew thing, I guess.

or

A bossy woman would be very blunt about her sexual desires which would be an ego boost to a man insecure about his desirability.

or

Sheer masochism.

or

some men will take whatever they can get.

all just theories. YMMV.
posted by jonmc at 8:20 AM on October 31, 2004


They came off the teat too soon as kids?

Seriously, a lot of them are probably looking for mommies that will look after them as well as shag them.

On preview: dear god that sounds so very, very wrong when I read it back...
posted by twine42 at 8:28 AM on October 31, 2004


Because Mommy was one, thus the male in question is used to following rather than leading/compromising?

That's my Freudian theory.
posted by WolfDaddy at 8:29 AM on October 31, 2004


- insecurity
- a liking for being ordered around
- or maybe they actually don't date the person because they are bitchy/bossy, maybe those things are somewhat detrimental, but they put up with them because the things they like outweigh them.
posted by biscotti at 8:31 AM on October 31, 2004


Why do girls like overbearing, aggressive boys? Because the flip-side of "bitchy, bossy" is often "strong, decisive, reassuring". Yin seeks its yang, even when the traditional gender roles happen to be reversed inside a person or relationship.

Here's another issue that might or might not be in play: Say that person X has very high standards (which sometimes comes across as bitchy, bossy) and, as a result, is critical and demanding of things which don't meet her standards; but she hangs around you; therefore, you must meet her high standards. In that sense, it's a compliment.
posted by gd779 at 8:34 AM on October 31, 2004


Come meet me. Then go meet my mother-in-law.
posted by padraigin at 8:47 AM on October 31, 2004 [1 favorite]


Boys like dating me because I'll make decisions, I'll say what I think, I don't expect them to be psychic, and I view the relationship as something we do together, not as a series of unstated challenges and secret trials that they can only guess at the rules of. With a bitchy bossy girl there is less subtext, less guesswork. We tend to like to think of ourselves as "spirited" and "self-assured"
posted by jessamyn at 8:49 AM on October 31, 2004 [10 favorites]


eh? i was assuming "bitchy and bossy" meant something other than "cool"....
(given dame's other comments, i think you're being a bit unfair, but anyway, have you got anything planned for tonight? ;o)
posted by andrew cooke at 9:08 AM on October 31, 2004


Last train out of the station. Maybe some people are seeking out mommy, but in my experience it's because they thought they couldn't do any better. And then they get isolated because their friends don't want to hurt their feelings, but they don't want to hang out with them either.
posted by yerfatma at 9:22 AM on October 31, 2004


I appreciate what you're trying to do, as I'm pretty sick of the "why do girls only date jerks instead of nice guys like me?" meme. However, does anybody actually know many straight guys who reject nice girls in favor of bitches?
posted by Eamon at 9:29 AM on October 31, 2004


Increased sexual tension.
posted by vito90 at 9:44 AM on October 31, 2004


I have observed that when "bitchy and bossy" stems from neediness rather than a drive to dominate, it functions as a way of keeping the partner's attention focused on the person prone to complain or exert control.

In relationships where the non-bitchy partner has a short attention span, it seems to increase the length of the relationship. Therefore I conclude it's a long-term mating strategy, and possibly one with evolutionary roots.
posted by mwhybark at 9:49 AM on October 31, 2004


Boys like dating me because I'll make decisions, I'll say what I think, I don't expect them to be psychic, and I view the relationship as something we do together, not as a series of unstated challenges and secret trials that they can only guess at the rules of. With a bitchy bossy girl there is less subtext, less guesswork. We tend to like to think of ourselves as "spirited" and "self-assured"

As a male, I totally agree that some guys (ie me) like this.
posted by Stynxno at 9:51 AM on October 31, 2004 [1 favorite]


Eamon's got a good point. I think that bitchy bossy girls might get guys more readily since they are more inclined to initiate and pursue a relationship in the first place.
posted by shoos at 10:33 AM on October 31, 2004


It's the other way around. Bitchy bossy girls seek out guys who can't say no to them.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 10:34 AM on October 31, 2004


Often, a person with the luxury of being bitchy and bossy has other traits that make them socially or romantically desirable, such as pulchritude, sexual enthusiasm, wit, or wealth.
posted by nicwolff at 10:40 AM on October 31, 2004 [1 favorite]


jessamyn nails it. As a guy, she describes some of the traits that I look for in women, and some of my very best relationships have been with such women.

In our haste to denigrate and belittle our personal caricatures of "bitchy, bossy" women, let's not forget that no one is perfect; and that all of our favorite personality traits can also be flaws in other circumstances, and vice-versa.
posted by gd779 at 10:45 AM on October 31, 2004 [1 favorite]


What Jessamyn said.
posted by SpecialK at 10:58 AM on October 31, 2004


Jessamyn is right as usual. Confidence is a turn on for guys, at least this guy, too.
posted by bonehead at 11:22 AM on October 31, 2004


If you think a merely confident, independent-minded woman is "bitchy bossy," the problem is with you, not with the woman.
posted by kindall at 11:24 AM on October 31, 2004


nicwolff nailed this one.

Recall that scene from Heathers:

"Heather, why are you such a total mega-bitch?"

"Because I can be."
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:37 AM on October 31, 2004


There's a difference, though: "spirited", "self-assured" and even "assertive" aren't the same as "bitchy" and "bossy." I think of "bitchy" and "bossy" as having no regard for the mutuality of a successful relationship (as Jessamyn alludes to) and as characterized by a self-centered insistence on getting one's way every single time.

Assertive, spirited self-confidence is great. Bossy is not.
posted by Vidiot at 12:12 PM on October 31, 2004


Bitchy and bossy chicks tend to be the alpha females, so are naturally attractive to people who seek powerful women. Alternately, people love drama and friction, and with those chicks, they'll get it. (This is particularly true the other way around, women will often go for men who cause drama - cheats, bums, bikers, etc)
posted by wackybrit at 1:42 PM on October 31, 2004


Thanks everyone. To be clear, bitchy and bossy are adjectives I often find myself bumping into, and yet there are boys who cannot get enough, it seems. I have my theories. (Dominating mothers is a big winnerr.) But I like to hear others.

(And I'm so not into alpha males. But I guess that's self-explanatory.)
posted by dame at 1:49 PM on October 31, 2004


winner
posted by dame at 1:51 PM on October 31, 2004


I'm so not into alpha males.

*raises eybrows*

I've met your SO, dame. He's not clint eastwood but he ain't alan alda either. I'd say he qualifies as a species of alpha male.

Also, I hate the term "boys" when applied to grown men. Makes me feel like I should be wearing overalls and carrying a pail and shovel.
posted by jonmc at 3:12 PM on October 31, 2004


Assertive, spirited self-confidence is great. Bossy is not.

The choice isn't always that clear-cut. Spirited self-confidence may be the ideal, but sometimes the choice is between bossy and weak. We live in a society which values confidence over kindness when it can't have both (which is why George Bush is president and not Al Gore).
posted by IshmaelGraves at 3:13 PM on October 31, 2004


We live in a society which values confidence over kindness when it can't have both (which is why George Bush is president and not Al Gore).

I dunno about that. I figure myself to be a fairly conventional guy when all is said and done, and I fucking hate confident people. I always figure them for backstabbers or egomaniacs.
posted by jonmc at 3:17 PM on October 31, 2004


Jon, he ran away to avoid getting beaten up in high school; I think that forever disqualifies him from alpha-male status. As for Alan Alda, *sigh* my kingdom for a time machine.
posted by dame at 4:10 PM on October 31, 2004


Often, a person with the luxury of being bitchy and bossy has other traits that make them socially or romantically desirable, such as pulchritude, sexual enthusiasm, wit, or wealth.

I'd agree with this.

Having the "luxury" of behaving poorly often occurs because a person has gotten away with it in the past and one of the prime reasons they may have gotten away with it in the past because people have been willing to overlook the bad behavior because they think trait x is "worth" it.
posted by juv3nal at 4:20 PM on October 31, 2004


I wouldn't even consider it myself, so I can't help you on this one.

And what Vidiot said.
posted by rushmc at 4:28 PM on October 31, 2004


Jon, he ran away to avoid getting beaten up in high school;

So has every male on occassion. It's called a survival instinct. I have. I've also stood my ground and fought as well.* Violence is not the only characteristic of an alpha male.

You couls make the argument that alan alda (or at least Hawkeye Pierce) was an alpha male by virtue of his intelligence, wit and commitment to his beliefs in that he was the natural leader of whatever group he was in. And Frank Burns was the weaker male that he abused (to the point where I almost started to feel bad for the schmuck.

I had apoint here. Let me know if you figure out what it was.

*not that I'm describing my self as an alpha male. I'm somewhere down in the sibilants.
posted by jonmc at 4:37 PM on October 31, 2004


psst. is the point that you hated her significant other? cause that's what you seem to be arguing towards...
posted by andrew cooke at 5:21 PM on October 31, 2004


No, andrew cooke, not at all, I actually quite liked the guy. I'm just a little drubk and fumbling towards an insight in my usual fashion.
posted by jonmc at 5:27 PM on October 31, 2004


> Why do boys like to date bitchy, bossy girls?

Wow. Only a woman could ask this question. Do you think men choose to date sub-par women? First off, you have to realize on the male side of things we are the ones who constantly go out on a limb and ask girls out and get rejected until one says yes. We date for a while to feel things out.

Women on the other hand just have to show a little skin and can pick from dozens of men.

Its supply and demand.

Not to mention it makes sense for women to take over-bearing positions knowing the male will have to put it a lot more work to find another mate than the woman. The woman always has the advantage in that she can find a mate much quicker and easier than the male and there is no shortage of males waiting to attempt fertilize her eggs while on the rebound.

Humans are just animals. The female role has its advatages in matings and in many social situations. This is one of them.
posted by skallas at 6:55 PM on October 31, 2004


More than once I've chosen the bitch over the nice girl. I don't know why and have berated myself endlessly about it.

Personally, I think it's how they bring out the competitive instinct *and* keep the thrill of the chase going virtually for ever. Bitches rarely say "I'd do anything for you", but always leave something you can do to try and get them to. Sneaky.
posted by bonaldi at 6:58 PM on October 31, 2004 [1 favorite]


You couls make the argument that alan alda (or at least Hawkeye Pierce) was an alpha male by virtue of his intelligence, wit and commitment to his beliefs in that he was the natural leader of whatever group he was in.

You could. But you'd be wrong. He might be a leader, but not an Alpha Male. I tend to think those are rare things. There are plenty of people in around 20-45 who act the part, but the real thing is thin on the ground.
posted by yerfatma at 7:19 PM on October 31, 2004


They say that the personal characteristics of your opposite-sex parent become the basis for what you are eventually attracted to in another mate, most especially in regards to personality. Therefore, guys like to date bitchy, bossy girls, because they had, (or have) bitchy, bossy mothers. It's just a theory, but I think I have seen this play out more often than not. (This of course, does not bode well for me, since I hardly saw my father at all when I was growing up, hello spinsterhood!)
posted by lilboo at 8:01 PM on October 31, 2004


I had a friend who was controlling and abusive, and she always had boyfriends and is married now - but they were all low quality guys without much going for them. The one she married, though he does have a number of good qualities, is not at all intelligent. His IQ is probably barely in the normal range. She dictates his every move. If she's going out she tells him what he should do while she's gone ("You can have something to eat and watch this video.") She dated one other guy who really wasn't very smart, and others who were smart but were boozing or drugging their lives away, or who were too messed up to be able to accomplish anything. I figured their letting her annex them was all of a piece with the way they ran the rest of their lives.
posted by orange swan at 8:05 PM on October 31, 2004


Also, I hate the term "boys" when applied to grown men. Makes me feel like I should be wearing overalls and carrying a pail and shovel.

But ... but ... the older I get, the more boys there are. And even if they're half my age, they're still legal. Don't fuck with my alpha-WolfDaddy-heaven dude. :-P

Gay culture uses the term 'boy' to signify its endless obsession with eternal youth (or immaturity, if you prefer), not pedophilia/pederasty/racism. Just making that clear.
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:26 PM on October 31, 2004


Boys date bitchy, bossy girls because bitchy, bossy girls are single.
posted by NortonDC at 9:47 PM on October 31, 2004


I date bitchy, bossy women because I'm Jewish. It's a lesser-known law of Moses, I believe.

Seriously, though, there's a world of difference between the confident, assertive/aggressive type and the scowling, brooding, needling and controlling type. I think that guys date the latter type out of low self-esteem. I date the first type because I love women and love those who love them, too. Which is to say that I seem to get along with clear-sighted, outspoken women who realize that they deserve the world's attention and consideration. Such women are often viewed as bitchy by my friends, but I don't agree. Some men just can't handle confident women.

And those of you who know me can attest that I'm no Alan Alda. It's a myth that strong women need weak men.
posted by squirrel at 11:24 PM on October 31, 2004 [1 favorite]


Boys date bitchy, bossy girls because bitchy, bossy girls are single.

lol NortonDC wins!
posted by rushmc at 11:41 PM on October 31, 2004


This seems to me to be a weird question. Not a bad question, just sort of weird. It's hard to know how to answer because a) I'm not sure I understand what dame means by "bitchy" and "bossy"; and b) I'm not sure it's true (depending upon what "bitchy" and "bossy" mean).

Kindall makes a good point, but perhaps it's a little too pat. Assertiveness, self-confidence, and authoritative behavior are almost always seen as positive for men, but only when carefully moderated are seen as positive for women. Our society is sexist enough in this respect that a particular person doesn't have to be sexist to either a) perceive an assertive, self-confident, and authoritative woman as "bitchy" and "bossy"; or, b) be an assertive, self-confident, and authoritative woman who expresses these charactieristics in a "bitchy" and "bossy" manner. It may well be that there's hardly any way for women to be assertive, self-confident, and authoritative and still be perceived as non-bitchy and non-bossy...and so women with these traits are essentially forced to be bitchy and bossy by a society that doesn't give them other options.

That said, I think there is something perversely attractive (not just to me) about a truly bitchy and bossy woman. Catherine Keener's character in "Being John Malkovich" immediately comes to mind as exemplary.

My guess is that, as other have said, a non-dysfunctional reason that guys might like bossy and bitchy women is because they're attracted to self-confidence...as they should be. The dysfunctional reason is the low self-esteem stuff mentioned above.

I'd like to seperate out "mean-spirited" from "bitchy" and "bossy" in this question.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:10 AM on November 1, 2004


In my (slightly bitter) experience, guys who have dumped me for high-maintenance (in the relationship sense) women have seemed to be attracted to the idea that a relationship wasn't "passionate" unless there was constant fighting/reconciliation going on. A woman who bossily demands a great deal is going to be unsatisfied a fair amount of the time, and a guy who struggles to keep her pleased gets to feel like a White Knight on a fairly regular basis, even if he has to tie himself in knots to do it. And then, the process of tying oneself in knots gets confused with passion or love or devotion or whatever.

This is obviously not true regarding all confident women, but I think it holds for those women who think everyone should be waiting on them hand and foot -- the ones who demand to speak to a manager and refuse to pay when the steak's not cooked to their order rather than just calmly and authoritatively asking for a new steak.
posted by occhiblu at 8:36 AM on November 1, 2004 [1 favorite]


Or who blame the boyfriend for the steak being wrong!
posted by occhiblu at 8:43 AM on November 1, 2004


Hi,

Dame's SO here, (the one who runs away from fistfights, the only time i got hit was when i couldn't run fast enough) giving my side of the story. (and jommc, i like being between Clint Eastwood and Hawkeye Pierce, i'm not sure why andrew cooke took it as an insult )

And since i'm too lazy to word all of these points into something eloquent i'm just going to stick with outline form

1. First off in the whole spectrum of bitchy and bossy ladies i only prefer the ones who care deeply about the ones they love (even when they are pissed) and generally have their SO's best interests in mind. And while they occasional may be deluded about the bitchee's motivation, they are never delusional about facts or past agreements.

2. It is really rare for me to find people who will call me out on my faults, or push me to achievement levels i have trouble obtaining on my own. For me to be involved with somebody i need for them to be able to ignore my feelings and make me look at my behavior honestly, even when it is really uncomfortable,. This is true even when my motivations may be incorrectly interpreted and i have to make myself more transparent. While there are other ways to communicate with me that might work a little more smoothly, having bitchy qualities pretty much guarantees me that somebody isn't afraid to call me out.

And i'm not talking about obvious criticism here. I'm pretty much my harshest critic. I play well with others and get a lot of stuff done. But i want to play better and get more stuff done. A bitchy partner helps me achieve even more than i do now. My personal evolution is more important than about anything.

3. I do like the challenge. I wouldn't go as far as the Taming of the Shrew analogy (i never want my ladies to lose their Shrew-ness,) maybe more of a Partnering with the Shrew. I also like the rewards, because when you work through a difficult issue with a Shrew, you know you have successfully resolved the issue. Why? Because Shrew's will never give up until mutual understanding happens.

You see, i hate like lingering issues, but unfortunately i'm a bit of a procrastinator, having a bitchy girlfriend helps a lot with this.

4. While i do come from a pretty matriarchal style of family, there is very little bitching and bossing around. Lots of subtle sustained obsessive compulsive behavior modification, but no bitchiness. One thing it guaranteed though is i could never imagine going out with somebody who wasn't on my level in inner strength and intelligence. But on the other side, I think the lack of conflict and argument in my family could possibly be a factor in being involved with people who have no issues what so ever with conflict

4. One of the more important reasons, bitchiness and passion often come together. I can't imagine not being in a relationship with somebody who isn't passionate, and unfortunately passion isn't something one can turn off with a switch, its going to be around when you want it and when you don't.

I liked gd779's statement: all of our favorite personality traits can also be flaws in other circumstances, and vice-versa.

really good point, and not just other circumstances, but from other perspectives as well. Observing bitchiness without seeing the root causes for it definitely looks like pure spite. Seeing the causes (if legit) sometimes makes you wonder why the person isn't bitching more.
posted by lips at 12:34 PM on November 1, 2004


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