The Self-Proclaimed Nice Guy

I’ve been running dating advice sites for nearly 14 years now. I’ve seen it all over and over again. There’s ones who “get it” and ones who don’t. There’s ones who have healthy attitudes and ones who don’t. There’s good ones and bad ones, but most people are somewhere in the middle. Most people have good intentions, but might not know what best to do with their intentions. There’s very few really bad apples, but there’s a lot of apples that have a few bruises and soft spots. Maybe a few wormholes.

Men and women really aren’t that different. One of the biggest differences between men and women posting on the forum, is that women typically ask for advice on a specific situation with a specific person, rather than general, abstract advice. There seems to be a little less, “Why do guys do this?” and more “Why did this guy do this?” Again, not always. I don’t want to generalize about who generalizes more.

While we’ve heard from quite a few women who complain that guys beeline for bitchy hot chicks, and ignore normal, decent women, by far, there’s a lot more guys whining that “nice guys finish last.” That women like jerks, where “jerk” is defined as “any guy who is not me.”

There’s a difference between someone who’s a genuinely good person, and a self-proclaimed nice guy. Genuinely good people let their actions speak for them. They don’t need to tell anyone they’re nice.

Think of the song “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield. Jessie is his friend. Yeah, I know he’s been a good friend of Rick’s. But Rick can’t understand why Jessie’s girl likes Jessie and not Rick. He’s been funny, he’s been cool with the lines, ain’t that the way love’s supposed to be?!

No. Rick is being a douche! Jessie’s girl isn’t available. Period. She’s chosen who she likes and if Rick was a decent guy, he’d respect her decision and be happy for his friend, instead of being petty and jealous, scheming ways to get her to change her mind.

And while that’s a cheesy song by a dude who I’m sure had no problems getting girls on his own, being both a soap and rock star at the time, it’s how a lot of these self-proclaimed (key words there!) nice guys think. “I’m doing the right things… why isn’t it working?!”

It’s because someone’s affection isn’t a bank account, where you deposit good deeds and withdraw dates, sex or a relationship. If you’re doing something nice (ie, giving her flowers, helping her move or study for an exam, giving her a ride to the airport) because you want her to want you, that’s not the same as doing it because you’re a nice guy. It’s with ulterior motives. The intention isn’t pure.

Think of it as the difference between someone who returns other people’s shopping carts to the store, vs the guy who’s job it is to collect the carts. They’re both doing the same thing, but one is doing it to be helpful, the other is doing it because he’s getting paid to do it. Guess who feels better about himself after doing the job? The one who didn’t have to do it. He did it because he wanted to, without expecting any praise or reward.

I’m not saying, “Don’t be nice.” Of course you should be nice. You should be courteous and respectful, to everyone. Just don’t be a doormat. Or an asshole. Honestly, the guys who act like assholes are just as insecure as the ones who act like doormats. They’re just hiding behind a facade of cockiness. It’s still a matter of altering your behavior in hopes of a desired result… just more pathetic, if you ask me.

Now, I know a lot of guys who do good things just for the sake of doing good things. They don’t have expectations for their actions. Those guys are kind, compassionate, generous, and typically very humble about their actions. They don’t wear their Nice Guy title like a pageant banner across their chest. And they’re not the ones complaining that nice guys finish last.

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Updated: November 25, 2013 — 12:06 pm

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