I’m female and I say Happy Scrappy Hero Pup nailed it.
I like a lot of the later responses in this thread.
When a woman says “Oh, no! We like nice guys, and women don’t like jerks!” she’s seeing the world through rose-colored glasses. We all know that there are plenty of women who dig the bad boys.
When a woman says, “The nice guys who aren’t successful at love are actually clingly doormats,” then she’s oversimplifying. As several of the later responses suggest, there are plenty of other reasons why women gloss over the nice guys.
I just had to say this. I really hate it when these threads come up, and when people come up with those token replies.
fair. And I give guys shit and they love it. Some people just enjoy some ribbing.
There are a lot of interesting theories here, and any of of them could apply to each and every woman Justin is drawing in. I think the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. I don’t want to spend time with an asshole but please, don’t be boring either.
I can add my own $.03 here…
For the last few months, I’ve kept running into issues where I have that first date, first phone call, first meeting, etc. I come across as a nice guy – and the lady loses interest. As evidence, here’s what one lady said after going out with me, a month and a half ago: “I also enjoyed meeting you… I’m not feeling, though, like there’s a strong romantic connection between us.”
I have a theory about what’s going on, and I’m drawing on several sources for this.
Dating is about looking for people who are interesting, exciting, what have you. I’m not presenting myself in a way that grabs interest. And I suspect that’s the case for many nice guys.
Personally, part of my issue is that my social skill development lagged. Severely. I went through a course this summer that included working on social skills and self-confidence. The next part of my issue is I haven’t had enough opportunities to shake down these new skills into a new technique whereby I CAN create that excitement, that possibility of a romantic connection, that interest in the first meeting.
For me, going back isn’t a good option. It’s my current vision to actively seek out ways to increase my social contact and use my new skills.
So getting back to the point… my theory is that what attracts women (and men!) is a sense of self confidence, a hint of excitement, and yes, sometimes, a touch of danger. Comments?
“Wow, you’re just a big slut aren’t you?”
I don’t think she wants to fix them. I sometimes think it’s that she subconciously enjoys the turmoil. When she was with the nice guys, she’d constantly try to pick fights, and would do outrageously mean things to them. When I questioned her about it, she seemed genuinely confused herself as to why she acted this way. It seemed that she always had to be the either “abused” or the “abuser” in every relationship.
I sort of think that when she’s with the jerks, being angry and upset about their behavior is almost * comforting. * Her relationships are a constant cycle of anger and brief reconcilliation.
And as a man, what this says to me is “I’ve got some emotional issues arising from gone-wrong past relationships, and I don’t handle them very well, and I’m going to let these adversely colour my views of every other man in the universe, regardless of how bigoted this makes me.” Wise up. There are some nice guys in the world, and I’m just one of many. We 're not all fake or insincere, and we don’t deserve to be treated as if we are in this prejudicial way.
Actually, you’re not. There’s a great book on this very subject by Robin Norwood. It’s titled “Women Who Love Too Much”. And has a lot of good info on the “Nice Guy Syndrome”.
Also, our very own Manda Jo (it is her right?) has a great series of articles about nice guys (is that in teemings? someone help me out).
Actually, it’s really simple. There’s only one word for it: confidence.
A lot of people mistake the lack of confidence as “niceness” and many others mistake assertiveness as “being a jackass.”
The truth of the matter is, women like neither spineless doormats nor real jerks.
Nope. I disagree. That’s the usual answer, but I daresay that like a lot of other canned replies (e.g. “Nice guys who get rejected are actually just spineless doormats”), it’s woefully oversimplistic.
In fact, other posters have ventured other reasons why so-called nice guys finish last – such as the thrill of dating a dangerous guy, and the challenge of reforming a bad boy. In fact, one of my favorite female friends has confessed that she entered into a lousy marriage because she wanted to change a guy that wasn’t very nice. In other words, it’s NOT just about confidence.
Heck, I remember a thread not long ago, where a couple of people opined that jerks often LACK confidence. They may appear confident, but a truly confident man doesn’t have to boss other people around, or belittle them.
There are women who say “I know confidence when I see it!” Personally, I take that with a grain of salt. While there are many women who are indeed intuitive that way, there are also many who are deceived by a man’s swagger and arrogant attitude.
Then there’s my other pet peeve about the whole “nice guy whine”.
First of all. Define “nice”.
If by nice, do you mean a man who is kind, speaks in a reasonably respectful way to women (in other words, doesn’t say things like “you big slut you”), has a decent job and doesn’t expect to have the woman foot the bill, doesn’t play the “make the woman feel like crap so she’ll be grateful to be with him” game etc, but instead just wants a nice woman and to have a nice date/relationship?
OR, do you mean, “doesn’t beat, verbally or emotionally abuse women”?
See, some men who think of themselves as “nice” are really meaning merely “not abusive”.
That type then tends to have sort of a martyred “nice guy entitlement” attitude. Better known as the “but I’m a nice guy, I deserve her, NOT him”.
These types tend to judge other men based on their appearances or possible personal habits.
Oh, he smokes (wears leather, drives a Harley, likes Heavy Metal) he’s a “bad boy” of COURSE all the “hot” women like him.
That’s the other thing, these self proclaimed “nice guys” aren’t satisfied with average women, they are sulking because the "hot " women aren’t interested in them.
And they tend to grossly misjudge and generalize women’s attitudes. While at the same time they claim they want to be with a nice girl, they attribute all sorts of heinous and cruel acts and attitudes to her.
"She’s ignoring me because she’s stuck up and thinks she’s better than me, she’s going for the bad boy on purpose, even though I “deserve” her more (since when are we women a “prize” that gets awarded to the most “deserving” man? We have the right to choose the men we want, whether or not it’s a “good/bad” choice, withOUT being labeled “stuck up” or “not knowing what we want” etc!!!).
The truth of the matter is, that generally speaking (and usual disclaimers apply here, not ALL men/women do this), you “get what you ‘pay’ for”.
If you’re a 22 year old hottie with a perfect body, naturally blonde hair and a huge trust fund, you’re going to attract and be attracted to like souls.
If you’re a paunchy, balding 30 year old, who works at 7-11 and drives a 1979 Volare’ well, again, you get what you pay for. in a manner of speaking. Or, you are more “suited” for the 30 something possibly slightly plumpish (or too skinny, or just right, but not the prettiest face) woman of like circumstances.
I’m 44, and I have 2 kids, one grown, and one just turned 13. I’m NOT going to be attracting the 24 year old beach bum hotties. I’m not Demi Moore.
That’s NOT “well, I’m a nice guy/girl, but only the bad boys/girls get all the boys/girls” that’s because I don’t have Champagne Taste with a Beer Budget.
For years I was attracted to “bad boys” Pure, unadulterated assholes. Wife beating, puppy killing wastes of air. Somewhere around the age of 27 I made a concerted effort to change my thinking because I got tired of being alone or beaten. Instead of dating the biker, I dated the banker. Didn’t help much but it was a change. I dated guys that I wasn’t really attracted to. Ones that oozed subtle self confidence instead of assholenedness. I even changed the body style I would date. Went from the he-man muscle builder type to the scrawny geek. I found I liked the way these guys treated me. My hubby now is a skinny, blind, goofy looking guy that NONE of my friends believe is the love of my life because he’s SO different from the guys I dated just 7 years ago. I’m happier than I’ve ever been and I’m married to a VERY nice guy. He’s the type that opens doors for women, carries groceries home, cleans the house and calls his mother once a week just to check in. He dotes on me and asks my opinion about everything. Yes it gets annoying at times because I’m not used to it but I wouldn’t change anything.
sk8rixtx you need to STAY a nice guy and give yourself time to find Mrs Right. It’s not a race to see how many GF you can get. Let things happen. Be yourself and don’t worry about “finding” the right girl for you. She will find you IF you get out there where she’s looking. Most “nice girls” I know of don’t go to bars… they go to book stores. (just an idea there…) Good luck and remember… BE YOURSELF!!
The simplest advice toward meeting a woman you can be happy with goes like this:
Hang out at places YOU like. There you will meet chicks that also like what you like. You will have, if nothing else, “So, this place is pretty cool, eh?” as a starter. It’s lame, sure, but it’s certainly better than the “mope in a corner” method. I spent a year frequenting “upscale” or “trendy” places in the hopes of meeting some high-class hottie that would die for me. I was so out of place that it was uncomfortable, and that discomfort was noticeable.
Have an activity that you can do on your own that also easily accommodates other people. If you play pool, go hang out at a pool hall. There you will meet plenty of people who also like to play, and you instantly have something in common. I highly recommend it, actually. When you’re at the awkward, learning phase, you’re in the same boat as 90% of chicks in bars that have pool tables. So you can fumble along together. As you get better, your confidence increases, and you can talk about how you’re doing with the random strangers (many of whom are female) who inevitably crowd around pool tables. Plus, you can then be a “teacher.” You see that average-looking guy draped over the back of that giggling hottie at the pool table? THAT, my friend, could be YOU.
So my steps are simple:
Be you. Sooner or later, pretending gets tiring, and you don’t want to be with some chick you can’t respect because she’s dating your fictitious background story.
Be good at something with a social component. ANYTHING. That way you have confidence in social situations (confident = attractive), and people will want to share your activity with you. Plus, you can then be self-deprecating without being whiny, which is also attractive (If I lose a game of pool, I can say, “Wow, I really SUCK!” and it’s funny, whereas if some mopey milquetoast does the same thing, he’s just whiny).
Enjoy yourself. People can tell if you’re having a good time. If you don’t wanna go out, don’t. Nobody wants to be brought down.
Talk to people. Chicks don’t have a spider-sense telling them you want to talk, and even if they did, you’d catch more disrespect for not being man enough to go over and actually do it. That said, talk to everyone, not just your targets. They can smell that a mile away. The guy who buys a drink for the hottie’s wallflower friend earns points. She’s more likely to listen to the friend than you.
There are more guidelines, but start with those and let me know how that goes.
But please, just stop worrying and have fun. You and Justin aren’t competing. So relax, the chicks can smell the uptightedness a mile away and they avoid it like the plague.
Back in high school, I was always appalled to see how the girls flocked around the guys with the big mouths, and giggled with glee amongst themselves when said bigmouth started spouting rude, insulting remarks. Come talk to me, I would silently plead, I’ll never talk to you like that. I was a quiet, insecure “nice guy”, raised by southern parents who taught me that it’s better to fall over dead than to be rude to someone, especially a lady. I hated being called a “nice guy”, because that generally translated to “not dating material”, but I couldn’t be anything else.
What I didn’t realize at the time was that I was begging to be taken advantage of. Had a girl shown interest in me at that age, I would have done just about ANYTHING to keep her interested. Pull stupid stunts, steal from my parents to buy her gifts, you name it. I think most girls prefer to ignore boys like this, because no healthy person wants to be worshipped. I shudder when I reflect on my pathetic teenage self with the eggshell ego, since I can see how easily I might have been manipulated into doing something unforgivable, or become a stalker, or worse. I’m very thankful that the girls who did go out with me were not the kind to indulge in the sort of sadistic puppetry that I have seen others fall prey to.
As I rapidly approach middle age, I’ve been putting a lot of thought into who I am, what I want from a relationship, and what I have to offer. And I’ve come to the conclusion that, as a person, I’m fairly boring. I don’t drink, don’t watch sports, can’t dance, don’t get out much, and my idea of a kick-ass party is sitting around for six or seven hours discussing Roman history. More importantly, though, I’ve realized that not everyone will agree that this makes me boring. No, I probably will not be attractive to anyone my brother would regard as “a hot chick.” Nevertheless, someone, somewhere out there will get to know me and find me a worthwhile person with whom to spend her time. Someone who I will also be attracted to. After all, I find most “hot chicks” to be hopelessly shallow. There are some things I can do to help this happen: take better care of my health, dress a little more carefully in the morning, and participate in group activities where I am more likely to meet people with similar tastes. My rule, though, is this. If you feel that the only way to attract the attention of a potential mate is to be mistaken for someone smarter, richer, wilder, or better looking, then you are not ready for a relationship. Take the time to gain a healthy sense of self-respect.
A healthy relationship is built on reality. You like who she is right now, not who she has the potential to be someday, and vice-versa. As the Romans used to say, “Who loves me also loves my dog.” I’m not saying that you should be utterly complacent, and that you should refuse to change anything about yourself to please your loved one. But when winning someone’s love requires you to change fundamentally who you are right now, then there is something wrong, either with you or with them.
So do nice guys really finish last? I don’t think so. If your goal is to have a long-term, steady, stable, happy relationship, then being a nice person (with a healthy dose of self-respect) is the surest path.
Excellent article, great reading.
I think one thing is that we somehow expect, for better or worse, “nice guys” to be already dating someone. Then, when we see a so-called “nice guy” who’s alone, we all start thinking that that’s the rule, not the exception.
I see this a lot with my female friends, who try to console me from my dating misadventures by saying, “Gee, Duke, you’re such a nice guy, you deserve to be with somebody!” First off, I don’t think anybody “deserves” a partner, any more than somebody “deserves” high income or loads of friends. You’ve got to go out there and earn those things. Secondly, whether or not I’m a “nice guy,” that’s not the be-all and end-all of me. I prefer to define myself by my interests and abilities, rather than whether I’m nice. I treat people with respect and I am sympathetic to other people’s problems. If that makes me “nice,” I don’t care. That’s how I want to live my life. Lastly, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why I’m alone right now. I’m working a lot of evenings and weekends on a doctoral thesis, I’ve lived in this area for a little more than a year and I don’t know too many people here, and there just aren’t a lot of single women around in my town, which is mostly comprised of young families and the elderly. If it weren’t for internet dating, I wouldn’t have been on any dates at all during the past year.
Bottom line: there are plenty of reasons why a “nice guy,” or anybody, might not be successful in dating.
(A small hijack, but probably relevant. My boss’s partner at my old job in California lived across from a former Miss Universe…yes, really. One day said Miss Universe complained to her that she couldn’t find a date to save her life! Allegedly it had been a year since her last date. So, I guess we all go through lonely patches.)
Best Advice EVER! Look, he’s right. That’s how I met my boyfriend. He is the ultimate Geek. He even has a collection of Star Wars toys.
Loves computers, the whole 9 yards. The man is unbelievably brilliant (you’d be surprised how many women like smart men). We met while taking dance classes at a local night club. Oh about 8 years ago now (wow, stops for a moment in shock :)).
He’s a natural. I nicknamed him “the Rubberband Man” which most young people won’t get, but it’s a reference from a song about a man with phenomenal dancing abilities (and now that I think about it, likely refers to “other” abilities as well :D).
Anyway, we were friends for over 2 years before we started dating.
You know what I thought about “Luke” the whole time we were just friends and dance partners?
Did I think “oh well, he’s a geek, I’d rather date a “cool” bad boy”? No.
Luke exuded such seriousness about school (he was a “starving” student at the time, I’m almost 12 years older and was in a good solid career, so see?? You don’t have to have money either), anyway, Luke was all about studying and being “successful”. He was SO serious about stuff.
Don’t get me wrong, he was goofy and a hell of a lot of fun on the dance floor with “the gang”. But as far as allowing himself to be thought of as a sexual being?
Heck, my thoughts of Luke were always along the lines of “choir boy, probably doesn’t have an off-color thought in his head”. (lol, which shows how silly I was about men :D).
Sorry, I digress, my POINT is, I had NO clue that Luke had a thing for me, we were just buds, and dance partners. Oh once in a while I’d catch him looking at me in “that” way. But, partly because of what Luke generally presented himself to be, and partly due to my lack of faith in my desireability, I always laughed it off to myself. “Oh, no not ‘our’ Luke”.
After we’d been dancing for about 5 months, Luke finally made a casual suggestion that we go catch a movie. A Friday night date that started at 7pm, and ended at 5am on Saturday, and NO we didn’t “do it”. He’s a gentleman!!
But Luke had treated me to a series of kisses that made me tell him “YOU’VE been hiding your light under a bushel”!!!
I think a lot of men who don’t believe that they’re the “ultra cool/good looking” type tend to, instead of developing their own character and being themselves, (even if that doesn’t mean tons of chicks dripping off of them), have an “all or nothing” attitude about it.
In other words, “well, if I can’t compete with Joe Cool (or Justin), then I’ll just be a lonely guy with no one”. And instead of looking to themselves for the answer, they blame women and paint them all with the same brush, “well, chicks only like bad boys”.
Not true, and if you do a search on “nice guys” on this very message board, you’ll find tons of doper chicks saying that not only are they NOT that way, but they are involved with/married to a geek!!
I used to think I suffered from the Nice Guy syndrome, but then I re-evaluated it and I decided to re-diagnose me with Average Guy syndrome. If I were to do a personal ad in a newspaper or online thing, I would list me as an average guy that is average looking, has an average sense of humor… etc, you get the picture.
I think this is because I don’t like to have confidence. For me the line between someone that’s confident and arrogant can be slim given a certain situation or personalities. This is because some ladies I know describe their boyfriends as confident, but when I interact with them they come off as arrogant… and this isn’t jealousy speaking (or is it?). and I don’t want to become a person like that.
I prefer me to be inoffensive and adapting, and I think that’s why I get labeled a nice guy. and point A leads to point B which is low self esteem. This is how I diagnosed me with Average Guy syndrome. I might be perfectly datable guy, maybe better than a few, but I know there’s plenty other guys better than me is some departments.
If I were to compare myself to someone in the movies, it would be Forrest Gump. That’s how I feel sometimes (maybe a slight exaggeration ).
I’ve been single all my life, which is why I guess this all leads up to phrase, “I don’t know if nice guys always finish last. My race isn’t over yet, but I can definitely tell you that I’m at the end of the pack.”
what’s funny is, if I meet a girl that I don’t have an immediate interest or attraction to, I end up doing well in my conversations and they somehow end up interested in me. But it’s the girls that I like, are excited to be with and attracted to, that I crash and burn with because I desperately want to more than an average guy for them. sad really, I need to change my perspective.
Hey, all of you “nice” guys:
Have you ever just walked up to a girl and been like “hey…what’s up?” Or do you just stare longingly from afar.
Do you try and hit it on the first or second dateor do you go out on dozens of platonic friend-dates?
How do you feel about hooking up with a girl on a bar counter or in the bathroom (of a crowded bar).
Have you every told a girl that you did something for a living that was so ridiculous that there was no way it could be true (ie “yeah I drive the machine that moves the road barrier back and forth on the Tapenzee Bridge”)
Have you ever made up a story to talk to some girls (ie “It’s his birthday! Buy him some shots! Whooooo!!” [not is actual birthday] )
Do you wait more than a couple hours to call a girl back?
Do you know when it’s ok to “sasuage fight”* over a girl and when it’s “I saw her first”*?
If the answer to most of these questions is “no” then the problem isn’t that you are too nice. It’s that you aren’t trying hard enough.
- explanations provide if asked
Though I think several other posters have impled this, I’d like to emphasize one point.
If a girl doesn’t notice you, then you have a 0% chance of dating her (or whatever you plan to do), period.
If you don’t make the oppurtunity to talk to them…
If you don’t ensure that they remember who you are, what you do, or what your name is…
…then you don’t stand a practical chance.
I’m a terrible introvert myself and when I was single, I had invisible-guy syndrome, not nice-guy syndrome.