Why Are Men Jerks? Finally, The Answers You've Been Begging For

It kind of makes sense, really.

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When I ask my friends what's one thing they've always wondered about men, the answer is almost universal:

"Why are they jerks"

"Why are men such a-holes?"

"Why are men so mean?"

It's fun sometimes to rip into men for their various failings. But the truth is, if we do that too much we may miss out on a real opportunity to learn something about the way men behave in relationships and grow from what we've learned. 


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Why are men jerks? Very often, they are jerks for reasons that a lot of you, me, and every other woman can be a jerk sometimes. 

Are there real jerks out there, bad guys who are impossible to reason with let alone reform?


But there's also a sea of men who don't know how to be in relationships, and they shouldn't be written off as 100% jerks until you understand where they are coming from.

Here are five of the most common reasons why men are jerks. Let me help YOU separate the wheat from the jerks. 

1. They aren't. 


Let's get this one out of the way first. 

It can be exceptionally tempting to generalize, especially when our experience with dating men has been repeatedly exhausted and riddled with bad eggs or men behaving badly.

But, the fact remains, not all men are jerks. 

Men can be frustrating, they can be rude, they can be obtuse, they can be mean, they can be abusive, sure, all these things.


But there are men who can be kind, who can be funny, who can be sweet, and who can be communicative. 

It's just not fair to lump them in with all those rotten eggs, even when you're furious at the male of the species. 

Men do stupid jerkish things sometimes, but hey, so do women. 

We aren't perfect. That's part of what makes being human so damn wonderful, our lack of perfection. We are all stumbling around constantly failing.

What distinguishes the jerks from the good men?  Whether or not they are content to keep stumbling blindly without a care in the world, or whether or not they are trying to do the right thing. 

2. They're scared. 



When a man does something that hurts us, and they are almost casual about it, it's not always because they are a monster garbage person obsessed with our undoing.

Sometimes it's because they have never been taught how to behave in a relationship and they are scared of messing up.

That doesn't make their bad behavior okay. If he said he would call you, or he said he would meet you at the party and he didn't: that's jerkish behavior, to be sure. 

But it isn't necessarily coming from him wanting to be a jerk. It could be coming from him not having the skills in a relationship to say "I'm sorry, I can't make it," or "I want to be your friend, not your boyfriend but I'm scared of hurting you." 


Very often these big ol' babies let their immaturity and cowardice win.

If they knew that their bad behavior was making the situation even worse, they might think twice before behaving that way. 

3. They've got baggage.

Dating is amazing, because it means you get to meet a world of new people.


That's always why it sucks. 

Because people aren't always the easiest to get to know, and if you hitch your star to one of them and try to make a romantic relationship work and it doesn't, you're not going to walk away unscathed. 

If a guy clams up when you ask about his family or he gets irrationally angry when you talk to him about his career, there's a really strong likelihood that while he's being a massive dick-and-a-half, it isn't because of you.

It's because of baggage from a prior relationship that's given him some hang-ups.

Again, this isn't an excuse for him to be a jerk, but it is a context, and sometimes having those contexts can be MAD helpful when it comes to figuring out whether or not this guy is the real deal or a total jerk who deserves to get the boot. 


4. They're men.

The average man thinks about sex 19 times a day to a woman's 10 times a day. 

That's largely in part due to their hormonal makeup.

(Here's where I take a quick time out to say that not all men are powered by excessive amounts of testosterone, and that your sex drive and your hormones are not the things that define your gender: YOU define your gender.) 


Testosterone makes men aggressive and sexually driven. 

Sometimes, men live their lives at the beck and call of what seems the most likely to sate their sexual urges. 

When you operate that way, you're going to be a jerk sometimes. 

Because let's be real: you talking to him about needing advice regarding asking for a raise at work when he wants to be having sex, that's not gonna make him be the best person he can be. 

That said, again — not an excuse! 

I don't think that men are any more chained to their hormonal makeup than women are. 

If I can make it through my period never missing a day of working or screaming at a stranger while beating them to a bloody pulp, any man is capable of checking his penis's needs for a second and just being a person. 


5. They are. 



Some men are jerks. 

Men who string women along — repeatedly, just to serve their own sex rosters: those are jerks. 

Men who use sexist and condescending language and behavior — jerks. 

Men who gaslight women for expressing feelings jerks. 

Men who abuse women without remorse jerks. 

Men who think that the accident of their gender makes them superior to you jerks. 

Men who lie to you in order to have their cake and eat it too jerks. 

Yes, there are men out there who behave like jerks for reasons that make a lot of sense. 

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But there are also men out there who do not DESERVE your love and understanding. 


Let those jerks work out their issues with a therapist and leave you out of it. 

You deserve a person who treats you like a queen, communicates like a champion, and loves you like crazy both inside the bedroom and out of it. 

At the very least, you deserve a good man ... who every once in a while acts like a goofy jerk.