do men prefer boring women?

A recent animated conversation with a good journalist friend of mine resulted in her suggesting she write a guest blog post for LV Loves on the matter.  An interesting subject and a great read…..

Men like boring girls.

I wasn’t really brought up to be boring.  No one actually sat me down and said ‘don’t be boring’.  It was just, implied.

I was born in the 80s; Thatcher was going in shoulder-pads first, Madonna was dancing in ripped fishnets and there was Joan Collins.  Oh, Joan.

In praise of older women ... Joan Collins in her Dynasty heyday.

It was our birthright to be seen, make our mark and conquer the world.  And apparently, in order to do this we had to get good grades, be pretty, take risks and not stand for any nonsense.

It was all going quite well.  But somewhere between 1981 and the year 2000, (when I was busy graduating, blagging my way into clubs and clocking up passport stamps in Asia) I missed a lot of episodes of Dawson’s Creek.  And therefore, a valuable lesson – Boys always pick the boring girl.

I was recently introduced to a man who I got on relatively well with.  It occurred to me that he was also pretty cute, so I decided to ask him out.  Turned out, I wasn’t for him. (no biggie). But around the same time he started seeing someone (who I don’t know) but whose Twitter feed genuinely has quite the overwhelming sedative effect. The time she was ‘being ‘naughty’ and adding chocolate buttons to her pro-biotic yoghurt after Yoga #yolo’ being a particular highlight…

Despite the whole, world-conquering-not-taking-any-nonsense thing, I suffered a case of the what’s-she-got-that-I-aint-gots. Don’t judge. We all do it. And it’s stupid. For all I know, she could be skydiving naked off the top of Mount Etna as you read this post but not tweeting about it.  I mean, I seriously doubt it… but, who knows?

Eventually, a pub discussion centered on this topic, and Glen, the husband of my friend Lauren (who also happens to be one of the most confident men I know), revealed that he probably wouldn’t have the balls to ask me out if he was single. And that I give off the impression that I might expect to go free-climbing as a first date and was the type who wouldn’t bother faking orgasms.

Firstly; Great. With fluffy socks and a Netflix subscription topping my Christmas list, I have no idea how I’ve managed to subliminally give off the impression I’d enjoy being blown to my death from halfway up the Shard in the pursuit of romance.

But, secondly. Men want us to fake orgasms?

Apparently, yes. They do. Because it makes them feel more manly than when you scowl at them for coming before you do and then getting dressed, while you impatiently stamp one (recently-shaved) leg until they properly accomplish the mission they started twenty minutes before.

Men want women who are easy to love. The girls they can absent-mindedly date for months before realising they’re actually in a relationship with. Women who laugh at their jokes and pretend they don’t notice him slip the waiter a Group On coupon for their anniversary dinner at Gordon Ramsay’s.  Ones who shop at Karen Millen and tag their night’s out in La Tasca with the gals as ‘Wild Wednesday!’ on Facebook.  I can see the appeal of a girl who ticks all the boxes. His mum likes her, his friends fancy her, she’s not going to have a job that will suddenly relocate her to Berlin. She can give birth to his children, bake them cupcakes for school and look pretty at his company’s Christmas do.  But is that really what they want?

I know so many strong, interesting, funny women who can give as good as they get. But they all seem to meet the same fate in the path of singledom; that having your own income, expecting sex (with orgasms) and having a voice you’re not afraid of is alienating men. Despite it being set 71,000 years ago, and everyone knows Wilma is clearly the fun, brilliant, feisty one who has no problem chucking Fred (and the cat) out of the window, the men still want to shag Betty next door. We might have replaced bone hair clips with GHDs but we still can’t escape the curse of the Flintstone man.

As impressionable teens, of course we all wanted to be Joey – the one everyone in the Creek fancied.

dawsons creek joey

But, watching old episodes now I can’t believe I ever aspired to be the straight-laced, bossy, dull one when I could have been fun, sexy, exciting Jen with the colourful life story and witty comebacks.


Of course, we can pretend to be the girl next door and go to the prom (Ok, Nandos) with Mr Popular, but deep down, we don’t really want to. We want a man who can challenge our political views, tell us when we’re being a bitch and (secretly) cry into his pint at the end of Downton Abbey. I believe the fire for life, debate and argument come from the same place as the passion to love fiercely. And I would be bored shitless if I settled for anything less.

As they get older, the boy who left you for the boring girl probably won’t care the twice-yearly orgasms are fake. He wont realise those incremental pay-rises that afforded the five-bed near a good school and within walking distance of the train station, came at the cost of riches from a different order.

I’m not going to settle for boring but I don’t need the danger of dizzying heights to ignite my adventurous spark. I don’t want a man to climb the tallest building in London for me. I want one who’ll stand at the bottom looking up, and tell me it’s a really stupid idea before kissing me in the shadow of it.

I’m pretty sure he is out there… somewhere *tumbleweed*


  1. December 2, 2013 / 2:55 pm

    Oooh this is an interesting one! However, I don’t think it’s as black and white as the boring and the exciting ones. Perhaps what your friend’s husband was saying (admittedly in a clumsy, somewhat sexist way), was that everyone wants to feel they’re a little bit needed (whether they’re a man or a woman!) Not in a scary co-dependent way, but in a ‘it’s nice to have someone there who’s got my back sometimes’ way. Like Pacey (rather than Dawson, who definitely fell into the needy and boring section).

    That said, I’d agree that anyone who uses the hashtag #yolo without a hint of irony is definitely lacking in the personality department….and perhaps you had a lucky escape if that’s his taste.

  2. December 3, 2013 / 9:29 am

    Well just going on looks alone, give me Joey from those two any time.

    But to answer your premise, it’s not that we prefer the boring ones, it’s that we prefer the girls who aren’t “in your face – look at me I’m stunning”. The girl who uses lots of make-up (which then tastes disgusting by the way) and who goes around as if to say “Look at me, I should surely be a model?”) immediately causes us to look at the girl behind her, in her shadows, less sure of her own beauty. Trust me, she’s the interesting one.

    Of course this is purely my own opinion and reaction to a great piece.

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