I’ve met my fair share of bitter “nice guys,” but I’ve never been one of them. I’m a nice guy; I’m just not a bitter nice guy or ex-nice guy. You know whom I’m talking about: the guy who seems nice, fawns all over some girl he likes who happens to like jerks herself, and then when she doesn’t return his affections and says she thinks of him only as a friend, he gets all bitter about it and whines about how girls like only jerks. Eventually, he decides to be a jerk himself so he can get more girls.
And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can read some of these rants from bitter ex-nice guys:
Why Nice Guys Finish Last
Nice Guys Finish Last, Assholes finish with time to spare !
“What Happened to All the Nice Guys?”
Now you know what I’m talking about. Well, I’ve never been like that. See, in my book, if you’re a nice guy only because you think it’ll get you girls and then turn into an asshole because you think that’ll get you girls instead when your nice guy act doesn’t work, then you’re not really a nice guy. You’re an asshole who pretended to be a nice guy to get what he wanted. You were always an asshole—you’re just now finally owning up to it.
If you’re nice, you shouldn’t be nice to reach some end goal. You should just be nice. It should be a part of who you are.
The phenomenon, which is widespread but not absolute, of heterosexual women going for “jerks” instead of “nice guys” is complex, and I’ll try my best (as a het man) to explain it to all the pretend-nice-guys out there.
Here are some reasons she may not be digging your nice guy act:
- Many women find assertiveness attractive, and a lot of jerks tend to be more assertive than their nice guy counterparts. Granted, the jerks can be overassertive (re: obnoxious), but these women find it better than nothing.
- A lot of nice guys are attentive to the point of being suffocating. I know the stereotype is that men are the ones always complaining that they need space in the relationship, but women need space, too (it’s a human, not a male or female, need).
- A lot of nice guys like to whine (as you can see from the above links) about being nice and getting the shaft. This kind of bitter self-pity isn’t attractive.
- Jerks create drama, and (for a time at least) drama can be fun, particularly if you can share it with your girlfriends and have them commiserate in turn. A rite of passage for het women is the ability to complain about what bonehead thing your boyfriend has done lately.
- Many women subscribe to the notion of females being the more virtuous of the two main sexes. A jerk makes a normal woman look great by comparison, and she doesn’t even have to do much. The more of a jerk he is, the more a martyr she looks like.
- Men aren’t the only ones who like the thrill of the chase, or as The Tao of Steve says, we pursue that which retreats from us (or something like that). Traditionally, people tend to think of men as being the pursuers and women as the passive pursuees, but women can also enjoy a good chase, and some women may find supposed nice guys too readily available.
- On a similar note, a lot of women enjoy a challenge. They can sometimes view boyfriends as a makeover project, and if the guy is a jerk, all the more to make over. If the guy appears too much of a nice guy, she might worry that she’s the one who’s the makeover project for the guy.
- On a very basic level, the media portrays the “bad boy” as exciting. You want to be with the hunky guy, not stuck with Ducky.
I should also add that it’s entirely possible that a lot of these snubbed “nice guys” might in turn be snubbing nice girls and going after jerk girls themselves for many of the same reasons these girls are going after jerk guys.
Cheesy as it sounds, be yourself, and you’ll attract whom you’re supposed to. Relationships and dating may have game-like elements to them, but they are not games. The more you play games, the more you will also be played.
This is the same reason het women shouldn’t debate about whether they should ever ask a guy out or not. If you’re afraid asking him out will turn him off, and you want a guy into traditional gender roles, don’t ask him out. If you don’t want a guy into traditional gender roles, don’t be afraid to ask him out. It’s not that difficult.
If you’re nice, be nice. If you’re an asshole, don’t be pretend to be nice. Be who you are and confident in who you are. Confidence and a strong sense of identity are attractive to everyone.
No More Mr. Nice Guy