Why do Women Fall for Barney Stinson & Charlie Harper?

There are many of us in this world who like to think of ourselves as ‘nice guys’. We open doors for girls, make sure we’re polite at all times, we smell good and we always respect women no matter what. And time and again, women seem to choose the bad boy character – the guy with the motorcycle who smokes cigarettes all the time and doesn’t wash very often.
Barney and Charlie change the world
Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother and Charlie Harper from Two And A Half Men are great examples of this type of character. Both are serial womanisers who burn through women like its going out of fashion and yet it seems like women consistently throw themselves at men like this, instead of the thoughtful men who do things like write poetry and press flowers.

Perhaps it’s all a question of confidence. People respond well to someone who gives off an air of confidence and self-belief. They say that first impressions last and the fact is that if you meet someone (a man or a woman) and they appear unconfident, miserable or timid – the chances are you won’t respond as well to them as someone who is funny, a little dangerous and full of self-confidence – without being arrogant.
They bad boy syndrome
Or maybe it’s the idea of danger that is so appealing. They say that nice guys finish last, and perhaps nice guys also don’t get women’s hearts racing as much as guys who drive too fast and make stupid decisions.

Perhaps this is a playing-out of time-honoured roles; the man who goes out to battle and puts himself in danger and the woman who tends to his wounds when he returns full of bravado.

Both Barney Stinson and Charlie Harper treat women terribly. They construct elaborate ways to bed them and get what they want out of them (which, to be honest, is really not much more than sex) and yet women continue to be enamoured. And therein lies the crux of the matter.

It’s all about charm and both Barney Stinson and Charlie Harper have buckets of it. And those buckets are overflowing onto the floor. Even if they are chauvinistic dogs, they are charming chauvinistic dogs.

It seems that another cliché that is played out between men and women is the issue of “changing men for the better.” Many TV shows and movies show us this – where women will hook up with a bad boy in the hopes of teaching him the error of his ways, or how to love again.

The chances are quite high (given the movies and TV we have all seen) that these men are really quite happy sleeping with as many women as possible and aren’t always that keen to start wearing golf shirts and cooking supper together.

If there’s any hope for the good guys out there, it’s that guys like Barney and Charlie will eventually burn through as many girls as possible. That way, the girls that have been hurt by them can come running to the good guys like us, who would love to make them a cup of cocoa and listen to their problems.