Nice Guy or nice guy? XX opinions sought.

No, not XX rated…as in, you’re female. Although if you want to…:D;) If you men want to post opinions, please ID yourselves as men or we’ll assume you have girly bits. I myself am a man.

Based on the thread about women allegedly not going for nice guys, which some women say are Nice Guys only out for themselves, I’d like some opinions. I’ll assume that nice guy=good, Nice Guy=bad. I hope that by saying that, we don’t have to be sooo careful about capitalizing. Just good or bad.

And feel free to quantify your reply. A scale of 1-10: 1 is really bad, 10 is really good.

I grew up without much guidance in love and dating. I thought bringing flowers on a first date was a good idea. I’ve since been edumacated (in part by the Dope) that this is likely to be seen as a ploy to get in her pants. Believe me, it wouldn’t be: on those occasions when a woman has offered sex on a first date, it’s a turn off, but that’s just me. Still, if that’s as others are likely to perceive it, I won’t do it. So…

Part A: Flower(s) on a first date, good or bad?
Holding doors for her, good or bad?
Insisting on buying dinner, good or bad?
Making the first move (i.e. contacting for a date), good or bad?
Listening to her problems, likely to end any possibility of a romantic relationship?

Part B: Ladies, what good (genuinely nice guy) behaviors endear a man to you while not excluding him from romantic consideration?

I didn’t read the other thread, but here are my answers:

Part A:
Flowers-good, but not necessary (maybe save this for date number 2. Oh, and don’t get me flowers if we are meeting somewhere for a date and I don’t have somewhere to store them. I don’t want to be holding a bouquet all night.)
Holding doors for her-very good
Insisting on buying dinner-don’t insist. Offer, and if she is comfortable with that, go for it. If she suggests splitting the check, then do that.
making the first move-very good. I love it when a guy contacts me for a first date, and very soon after we meet. Don’t wait. If you say you’re gonna call, then call. Soon.
Listening to her problems-I don’t know. Good, I guess, but who are you dating that she is laying out problems on the first date?

Part B:
Nice guy behaviors I like:
-open my car door
-hold doors for me
-compliment me
-be polite-not just to me, but to other people we might encounter during our date (waiters, taxi drivers, whoever)

I may have something to say later (I have to hit the gym afterwards), but for now:

None of these things are bad, but likely they are not the ones that will tip me to discuss more romantic things with him. So… eh… good if a guy does them, but not expected (nor desired)… Except the holding door things. Not for me only, but for anyone else. If the person is in front of me, they should hold the doors (and I’ll do the same when it happens to me). Also, if a person treats me special, but treats the rest of humanity shitty… well, that doesn’t look good either.

I’ll admit that I sometimes do things that make others cheer up… I like to cheer up people (at least sometimes). I hate gloominess around me and will try to improve the mood. But you know… I don’t expect anything in return (other than not being treated shitty). I don’t expect payback, I don’t expect thanks, nothing. I do it because in part I was raised that way and in part I’m that way.

I think guys that do those things because that’s ingrained and that is why they should do it… well, that’s how they are and I cannot fault them. But guys who are like that because they expect a payback. Dude, that is NOT nice.

And what endears me to a man? I won’t deny attraction has a lot to do (physically and mentally). And that can vary day to day, week to week, year to year. Also, the actions… the way I see them behave especially with other people (family, friends, strangers). Ok, enough for now, workout time.

It came up in the other thread…not so much on a first date, maybe, but when people meet and get to know each other. The theory is that guys are filed under “friend” when they do that, so when he later wants to date her, she doesn’t see him that way. I have to say, IME it’s Myth Confirmed on this.

I need to do more of the complimenting thing for sure. I often think it but don’t say it.

There is a fine line to all of these things so I will explain as best as I can, but keep in mind I am only one woman and other women may feel differently.

Part A: Flower(s) on a first date, good or bad?
Generally I am going to say it is not a good idea. If a man brings me flowers that is sweet but then I have to either have him sit around in my living room while I dig up a vase or cram them under the table during dinner if we are meeting at a restaurant. Besides that, gifts are not necessary on a first date. Bring me flowers after 4 or 5 dates because you know they are my favorite flower/color/whatever. Buy me a book sfter we’ve dated for a while because you know I have expressed an interest in it. Don’t bring me gifts that have no thought behind them (and honestly the only thought behind a gift on a first date with a woman you don’t really know is either, “Women like flowers so I have to bring them so she will like me.” or “She will totally put out if she thinks I am thoughtful so I should bring a gift of some kind. I’ll buy her some flowers!”)

Holding doors for her, good or bad?
Good, so long as you are holding the door for the handicapped man coming in directly behind me too. Showing you are nice to me and rude to other people is a guarantee that I won’t date you again.

Insisting on buying dinner, good or bad?
Good as long as you only insist once. If the check comes and I reach for my purse and you say, “I’ve got it” and I say, “No, I would really like to pay my own way” then let me. Don’t be forceful about it. Insisting more than once that you will pay the bill means you might as well scream, “I’m trying to be nice, dammit!”

Making the first move (i.e. contacting for a date), good or bad?
Good as long as you do it the right way. Saying, “You know, you are really fun to talk to and incredibly pretty. Would you like to go out to dinner with me sometime?” will go a lot farther than, “Great tits, sweetheart! You wanna grab dinner, and then maybe breakfast?” (If you think that last one is preposterous and no one would ever say that you are obviously not a woman. I get hit on like that pretty regularly.)

Listening to her problems, likely to end any possibility of a romantic relationship?
If that is the only thing we do is get together and bitch about life to one another, yeah. If we are friends and you listen to me complain every now and again but we do lots of other fun things you have a pretty good chance of moving into boyfriend territory eventually unless there is something about you that makes me think we wouldn’t be compatible.

It’s not that letting a woman tell you her personal relationship issues makes her file you under friend - it’s the other way around. A woman won’t do that to a guy she is attracted to and wants to date. If she starts wanting to talk to you about her ex, she’s already decided she’s not attracted to you and just wants to be friends.

It’s all relative and individual.

Part A

Flowers–if you know or have reason to believe she likes flowers, 7-10. It should be something fairly small and non-symbolic, though. One of those little bunches of daisies or lilies that are $3-5 at the grocery is about right. Roses are more in the 3ish range. If she’s told you previously she doesn’t like flowers, -10.

Holding doors–if you hold doors for everybody as a standard thing, 10. If you’re doing just for my benefit and letting the door slam in the face of the elderly couple behind us, 1.

Paying for dinner, making the first move–depends on the situation. If I asked you out and try to get the check and you wrestle it out of my hand, that’s bad. Really bad. Most of the time, neutral to positive, though.

Listening to general problems–that’s great, why would you go out with someone you can’t really talk to?

Listening to bitching about my boyfriend–well, either you’re being my friend, or you’re being a manipulative bastard. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and go with the friend option.

Part B: Oy. This is exactly the sort of question that makes women suspect a man is a Nice Guy. Stop asking shit like that.

There is no specific code of behavior that signals someone is a decent human being. Just be who and what you are. If who you are is someone who is kind-hearted and generous of spirit, that shows in about a billion little things you probably don’t even realize you do. Not just for me, but for everyone around you. Those are the things that endear a person to me. Not the stuff that only gets trotted out for those of us with the indoor plumbing, because that stuff smacks of a put-on, an act, and marks you as a Nice Guy.

Oh, I see. I’m not sure about this one. I’ve never filed a guy under “friend” because of this. I’m more prone to think, damn, that guy is a good listener and his opinions are really helpful. Not a bad quality to have, IMO. Then again, I don’t really have any major problems that I ramble on about when I’m just getting to know someone.

As a 24-year-old woman without a whole lot of dating experience, I’ll answer as best as I can.

Flowers are good, as long as it’s not too many and you don’t make a big show over it, meaning any more than a dozen roses just looks weird and/or desperate. But if my date came to pick me up and had one rose or a small bouquet of daisies or something like that, I think it would be nice.

But that is just me and some women don’t like flowers, or only like certain types, so it might be best to wait to give flowers when you know the woman better and know what flowers she likes or if she even likes getting flowers.

It depends on how you do it. If you arrive at the door first and open it, that would be nice and I would like that. But you shouldn’t make a big deal over it, and if I happen to get to a door before you and start to pull it open, then don’t freak out and insist that you have to hold it open or act like I can’t open a door.

If a guy called me and asked me out on a first date, I would kinda expect him to pay (just as if I called a guy and asked him out on a date, I would plan on paying). I think it would be best if you reach for the check, and if she objects, then you say that you insist, and if she still argues then say that she could buy the tickets for the movie or whatever you are doing after dinner, or she could buy dinner next time, or something like that.

After the first date, it definitely depends on the woman. I would expect to pay half the time and guy to pay half the time and would not be happy if he always insisted on paying for everything. But then I’ve known some men and women that thought the man should always pay for dinner.

I think making the first move is usually a good thing. But also, I’ve known some people that thought that only the man should make the first move and if the woman makes the first move that it’s absolutely scandalous. So make the first move if possible, but don’t freak out if she makes the first move.

This definitely depends on the woman. Some people only like to date people they already know as friends, in which case if you a friends with a woman like this and she tells you all her problems you might still have a chance. Another woman might not want to risk the friendship she has with you and you have no chance with her.

But if the problems she’s talking to you about are how the hot guy at the gym just won’t notice her or something like that, then she’s probably treating you as an honorary girl and you have much less likely of a chance of having a romantic relationship.

Maybe I’m confused by the question, but I can’t think of any good behaviors that would exclude a man from romantic consideration. There are bad behaviors that would exclude a man from romantic consideration (criminal activity, excessive anger, poor hygiene), or neutral behaviors that would just make me and him incompatible (smoking, big partier, heavy work schedule), but any genuinely nice guy behaviors will either be neutral or positive.

As I said, I was raised by she-wolves, so I’m not disagreeing (you would know your mind, not me) but rather, offering my thought process. ‘I don’t know her very well. I’d like her to know that I value her company. Women generally like flowers, so it’s ‘safe’ if bland…Back in the day it might have been a box of chocolates but many are weight-conscious now. Ten bucks to make a good first impression? Why not?’

Guess I’m just old-fashioned. But I’ll add, too, that the last time I did it, the woman and I were together for about a year. She said it took her breath away, which shocked me. That relationship, when it ended, did so in a very bad way. She was all about money, for one thing.

Listening to her problems, likely to end any possibility of a romantic relationship?
If that is the only thing we do is get together and bitch about life to one another, yeah. If we are friends and you listen to me complain every now and again but we do lots of other fun things you have a pretty good chance of moving into boyfriend territory eventually unless there is something about you that makes me think we wouldn’t be compatible.

I get where you’re coming from but women ask for a sympathetic ear from time to time. I thought that we were after the whole enchilada here, i.e. not just being there for the good times but also supporting in the bad. It seems like the antithesis of “Great tits, sweetheart!”—I do care about their problems. I do NOT expect that listening to them = getting in their pants. But hell, listening to them often preempts even a date.

Like I said over there, the notion that sex is guaranteed, implied, or anything is a real disconnect for me. If the road going from asking for a first date to having sex is like driving from LA to New York, then a date is like arriving at the California state line. Well maybe that’s an exaggeration: there seems to be an unwritten rule out there that by the third date, you have sex or cut bait. I don’t agree with the rule, but some may be planning according to it. Still, where would that put us…Omaha at best?

Start spreadin’ the news…I’m leavin’ today…:smiley:


I don’t know if you followed the other thread but a synopsis: OP (a guy) asks why women won’t date nice guys.

Women respond that guys who say they’re nice often aren’t.

Men come back that some men are really nice, but maybe they don’t have the social skills, are bad dressers, etc. and that excludes them from consideration. They’re “nice guys,” not “Nice Guys.”

So I started this looking for a definition. As I said, I’ll own the fact that I didn’t get much guidance. E.g. I thought flowers were a nice gesture, not a Nice gesture; instead of assuming I’m right, I’m asking women to weigh in on it.

Now, you might suggest something that I hadn’t considered, or you might bring up a reason why I should/shouldn’t do something. But don’t imagine for a moment that I’ll tailor my behavior to something I don’t believe in.

I think it’s a legitimate question, just like you might wish someone would take that co-worker aside and hold up a mirror: “I know you love this outfit but I don’t think you’re seeing it as others do.”

Flowers on a first date: Sweet, but reeks of desperation. Save them for later.

Holding doors open, good. Insisting on running to every door and if she reaches it first making a big deal about taking the door from her to hold it, bad.

Buying dinner, fine. Insisting on buying dinner, bad.

Making first move. Good.

Listening to her problems. Good, as has been mentioned, if she gets into too many problems too early in the relationship, that isn’t a good sigh.

Genuinely nice guy behaviors - being kind to children and animals. Having a good relationship with his family, friends, and having women and men friends. Not smoking or drinking heavily. Not spending a lot of time in bars - going to bars occasionally is fine. Holding down a regular job. Keeping your apartment or home tidy (not clean freak clean, but not “is that a new life form in your sink?”). Not having an arrest record. Being a good conversationalist on current events, movies, books, etc. Not turning every difference of opinion into an argument. Being willing to see a romantic comedy at a theatre once in a while.

Part A

It depends. You’ll need to get used to the fact that there is no playbook for dealing with women.

In general, I think bringing flowers to her door is a little much. I once had a first date ask me if he could buy me flowers towards the end of the evening…We had gone out to dinner and were walking through Greenwich Village and I turned down ice cream so when we were in front of a produce mart he asked about the flowers. I liked it. It was a great first date and he was a perfectly nice ( with a small “n”) guy and we went out another time or two but never really clicked. That’s the way it is sometimes.

I don’t see much downside in holding a door open, unless you have to dive through a crowd or perform amazing feats of strength to get there first, then just let it go.

I am old-fashioned so I believe that the man should pay on the first date unless I asked him out. I would not have a second date with a guy that didn’t.

Making the first move…you’ve just got to learn to read the signals. In general, I would say “when in doubt, don’t”. But if you walk her to the door and she kind of lingers and half closes her eyes and lightly puckers her lips you should kiss her.

No one is saying it’s easy. You really need to learn to read the situation. Behaviors that may annoy one woman may be endearing to another. The SAME woman might find one guy’s behavior annoying and the EXACT same behavior from a different guy endearing.

In terms of listening to her problems. I don’t see a downside, if she is the one and you get married or live together you’ll be listening to a lot of her problems for many years. However, by talking about her problems on a first date she may be trying to distance herself romantically…it could be a sign that she just isn’t into you. I would try to keep first date conversation a little more upbeat.

Part B

Kid, all you can do is be yourself. Be your BEST self, the one that showers and shaves and is polite, but be yourself. It isn’t always going to click and it’s not a matter of anything wrong with either of you. Just don’t get too emotionally invested or build up any elaborate “happily ever after” fantasies too soon, otherwise you’ll get bitter.

The best way to let me know you value my company is simple: tell me so. “Thank you for making the time to go out with me tonight. I really enjoy your company.” Also know that actions speak louder than words, so if you are 20 minutes late and distracted all evening I won’t believe you care no matter how many flowers you bring. Honestly the best thing you can do is be yourself and just get out there and date until you find a woman who thinks you are awesome for being you. If you try to follow rules and play games to get women the women you end up with will not be the ones that make you happy.

Yes, I’ve participated in that thread, in fact.

And surely to goodness, after having read that thread, you can see why asking about specific behavior that would endear you to women without making them dismiss you as a romantic partner could look bad? It’s one of those appearance of impropriety things–it’s frequently even more damaging than actual impropriety. And if you don’t want women to dismiss you as a Nice Guy, it behooves you to avoid stuff like that. I’m trying to help you out here, fercrissakes.

I’m a woman with a metric ass load of dating experience (age 35).

Part A: Flower(s) on a first date, good or bad?

Not horrible, but you won’t get points for it either. I had a guy bring me an iris growing set, funny tissues and a decorative bag that has a 1950s style woman on it with “She had made yet another wise shopping decision.” Heh - he got bonus points because he actually thought about what I would like. It wasn’t necessary but nice.

Holding doors for her, good or bad?

Good, but if he’s not doing it for everybody, bad.

Insisting on buying dinner, good or bad?

Good, but if he’s really pushy or obnoxious bad

Making the first move (i.e. contacting for a date), good or bad?


Listening to her problems, likely to end any possibility of a romantic relationship?

I guess it depends what date it is - I can’t imagine a man wanting to go on a second date with a woman if she dumps all her problems on him on date one.

Part B: Ladies, what good (genuinely nice guy) behaviors endear a man to you while not excluding him from romantic consideration?

Being kind to animals and little old ladies. Helping random strangers with stuff. Not slagging people off for looking weird, being fat, having a bad haircut, etc.

My two cents (I’m a guy) : Just act like yourself. If you want to buy flowers, hold the door, pay for dinner, etc, do it. If you act like yourself, then you will get rejected by women who don’t like that behavior (they don’t like flowers, they think you’re being desperate, etc) but eventually you will find someone who likes you for the way you really are, and then the good news is that you can continue being who you are during the relationship.

If you manage to get into a relationship with a woman based on doing things that are outside your character, then you will have to maintain that behavior during the relationship, and it won’t be easy or pleasant.

I wouldn’t be late…I’d probably be in the vicinity ten minutes early, since I would have figured I didn’t know what traffic might be. But I wouldn’t present myself till the appointed time.

I wouldn’t be distracted. I’ve been looking forward to it. But I might be nervous, trying not to commit a faux pas.

Thanks for the encouragement, but I dunno. I stated it in the other thread but I don’t think anybody saluted it: the fact is, if someone wants another person in his/her life, that’s do-able. I’ve met women who I’m pretty sure would have me, but I ruled them out because I don’t think we’re compatible. E.g. one is too masculine for me; another is too much of a grandma-type. And I won’t lie, the chemistry isn’t there for me, either. Actually there’s a third one, now that I think about it—chemistry aplenty but she’s a zealot.

I could ask them out, but I sense they already like me a lot and that’s just going to build false hope; I’m not any good at faking enthusiasm and I remember women toying with me. No thanks on the bad karma. The probability that I’ll change my mind about them is too low to risk it, I think.

In Spanish, I guess there are three words for “time”—tiempo, hora, and vez—and they’re used differently, non-interchangeably.

I’ve often thought that the English language needs more words for “desperate.” If I were really desperate to have somebody/anybody, that mission would have been accomplished long ago (and I’d be on divorce #2, unless I miss my guess).

But finding someone who appreciates me for who I am, who’s willing to give as good as she gets, who wants to build some kind of life together, all that…it’s a longshot. Sure, we all settle; as the best man at my wedding once told me, “We all want tailor-made, but we live in an off-the-rack world.” Touché. But I do want both sleeves, a collar sewn on the outside, you know: the basics.

In case you missed it, I had a date last weekend:


Sorry about your crappy date, lobotomyboy63.:frowning:

Where did you meet this woman? Where are you meeting most of the women in your life? I have to sing the praises of craigslist if you haven’t looked there. That is where I met my boyfriend and he is absolutely wonderful! Just keep meeting people and being yourself and I promise you will find the woman for you. The looking part sucks sometimes though, to be sure.

@pbbth: we both belong to a singles group. It isn’t a “hookup” type of thing…some go just to dance, shoot pool, meet a few friends, etc. Part of the problem may be that my initial impression of her was formed before her mother died but I didn’t date her till after. Or maybe she was just plain weird and I didn’t pick up on it earlier.

While I don’t know what Autolycus’ intentions are in the other thread, I will say that some of it resonates for me—or maybe I’m superimposing myself onto it. Looking sucks…dating some duds sucks. It would be nice to find someone compatible and forget the dating scene altogether, IMO. I’m gradually coming to the conclusion that that’s just wishful thinking, life is what happens while you’re planning something else, etc.

craigslist, eh? I haven’t looked but will. Thanks!

Sorry, can’t keep track of everybody. :smack: :wink:

Oog. Lemme try again.

I’m not really looking for dating advice per se. To return to that thread, it’s a question of who’s nice and who’s Nice. I learned awhile ago that when a woman says, “You’re nice,” it’s the kiss of death. But we don’t have little speech balloons like in the comics where I could read if she’s saying “You’re nice” or “You’re Nice.”

I just want to get my head around it. I return to the flowers issue. It always seemed like an innocuous gesture to me. Corny, trite, possibly. But you give a gift—by definition, a gift is something that isn’t repaid in any way, shape or fashion—what’s wrong with that [asking rhetorically]?

I was really surprised to see the torrent of criticisms that Nice Guys provoked. I mean, if they can make people think they’re “nice guys” IME they haven’t really furthered their cause much. So it made me wonder: what might I be doing that would be misinterpreted? Or what might I not be doing that because I thought it was a no-no?

Another example would be paying for the first date. I’ll own that my notions, while uninformed, are old-fashioned. A woman once asked me for a date (small miracle) and we went to La Madeleine. As you probably know, it’s a cafeteria line setup and for that reason, she had to declare herself before I started loading up my tray. She said she could only afford to treat me to dessert and seemed pretty embarrassed by that.

Actually, I had just assumed all along that I would be paying. She said no, no, she wanted to pay—well I know she was raising a son alone and probably couldn’t afford a lot. But even if she had been rich, I would have thought, ‘The guy always pays.’

I was bright enough not to argue too much. We finally agreed that I would get the meal and she would get the dessert. I left feeling like no matter what I did, it was probably the wrong thing…maybe I embarrassed her or made her feel like dessert wasn’t “enough” for me or—fuck, I don’t know :frowning:

Again to return to the “not really asking for dating advice” bit. I agree with Polerius, that you have to be yourself and let the chips fall where they may. I’m reaching an age where I think, ‘I can’t and wouldn’t pretend to be something I’m not.’

I appreciate your remarks, CrazyCatLady. I thought that if the things I’m doing aren’t wrong, maybe I’m failing in part by what I’m not doing, like complimenting women. And I’m really curious about things that may be counterintuitive.