Nice Guys Finish… Far Away from You.

Hat Tip:  Some guy I’m trying to track down.  This is my Quote For Truth moment for 6/23/09, and it deserves to be all over the web right now.  Sort of the ultimate answer to the “Maureen Dowd School of Dating and Reciprocal Bitterness.”

I see this question posted with some regularity in the personals section, so I thought I’d take a minute to explain things to the ladies out there that haven’t figured it out.

What happened to all the nice guys?

The answer is simple: you did.

See, if you think back, really hard, you might vaguely remember a Platonic guy pal who always seemed to want to spend time with you. He’d tag along with you when you went shopping, stop by your place for a movie when you were lonely but didn’t feel like going out, or even sit there and hold you while you sobbed and told him about how horribly the (other) guy that you were dating treated you.

At the time, you probably joked with your girlfriends about how he was a little puppy dog, always following you around, trying to do things to get you to pay attention to him. They probably teased you because they thought he had a crush on you. Given that his behavior was, admittedly, a little pathetic, you vehemently denied having any romantic feelings for him, and buttressed your position by claiming that you were “just friends.” Besides, he totally wasn’t your type. I mean, he was a little too short, or too bald, or too fat, or too poor, or didn’t know how to dress himself, or basically be or do any of the things that your tall, good-looking, fit, rich, stylish boyfriend at the time pulled off with such ease.

Eventually, your Platonic buddy drifted away, as your relationship with the boyfriend got more serious and spending time with this other guy was, admittedly, a little weird, if you werent dating him. More time passed, and the boyfriend eventually cheated on you, or became boring, or you realized that the things that attracted you to him weren’t the kinds of things that make for a good, long-term relationship. So, now, you’re single again, and after having tried the bar scene for several months having only encountered players and douche bags, you wonder, “What happened to all the nice guys?”

Well, once again, you did.

You ignored the nice guy. You used him for emotional intimacy without reciprocating, in kind, with physical intimacy. You laughed at his consideration and resented his devotion. You valued the aloof boyfriend more than the attentive “just-a-” friend. Eventually, he took the hint and moved on with his life. He probably came to realize, one day, that women aren’t really attracted to guys who hold doors open; or make dinners just because; or buy you a Christmas gift that you mentioned, in passing, that you really wanted five months ago; or listen when you’re upset; or hold you when you cry. He came to realize that, if he wanted a woman like you, he’d have to act more like the boyfriend that you had. He probably cleaned up his look, started making some money, and generally acted like more of an arsehole than he ever wanted to be.

Fact is, now, he’s probably getting laid, and in a way, your ultimate rejection of him is to thank for that. And I’m sorry that it took the complete absence of “nice guys” in your life for you to realize that you missed them and wanted them. Most women will only have a handful of nice guys stumble into their lives, if that.

So, if you’re looking for a nice guy, here’s what you do:

1.) Build a time machine.
2.) Go back a few years and pull your head out of your arse.
3.) Take a look at what’s right in front of you and grab ahold of it.

I suppose the other possibility is that you STILL don’t really want a nice guy, but you feel the social pressure to at least appear to have matured beyond your infantile taste in men. In which case, you might be in luck, because the nice guy you claim to want has, in reality, shed his nice guy mantle and is out there looking to unleash his cynicism and resentment onto someone just like you.

If you were five years younger.

So, please: either stop misrepresenting what you want, or own up to the fact that you’ve screwed yourself over. You’re getting older, after all. It’s time to excise the bullcrap and deal with reality. You didn’t want a nice guy then, and he certainly doesn’t want you now.

Leave a comment


  1. Mike

     /  June 23, 2009


  2. I wish I could agree with the author of the article, but what he’s describing under the aegis of “nice guy” is “weak feckless guy pretending to be a friend when he’s really a would-be suitor who doesn’t have the guts”. Said men certainly don’t deserve physical “reciprocation” for their “nice” behavior; the behavior isn’t really nice, but rather is the aping of nice behavior. When a man purports himself to be a friend, it’s nothing if not reasonable for the woman involved to act as if he really is the friend that he’s pretending to be, rather than a nice-guy suitor with the guts to actually put his feelings on the line.

    The article would have been hella effective if it had actually be discussing nice guys, though, and I’m in general all for Maureen Dowd’s brand of entitled harridan getting the nothing that they have coming for them, but the author does everything but indict himself as a total loser in the process of attempting to skewer the Dowds of the world.

  3. Well, once you get past this gentleman’s fairly intense bitterness (not all of it unwarrented), I have to admit that there is truth to his general argument – women like alpha males and always have, and alpha males are quite often not “nice” guys. That said, the idea that this self-professed “nice guy” feels justified in expecting his “friend” to reciprocate his emotional intimacy with physical intimacy is, quite frankly, creepy and not so “nice”. At least you know where you stand with the bad guys – this “friend” sounds like a bad guy in disguise without the benefit of sex appeal.

  4. Entirely possible… depends on the “moved on” vs “creepiness” factor, and I’ve seen that one on both sides.

    The “nice guy turned misogynist” part, though, I’ve seen at least a dozen times, and seems to be a truism.

  5. Oh, I just realized there might be regionalisms at play here, as well… Dallas being infamous for gold-diggers who like to inspect your wallet long before your personality, might make me more likely to agree with the snark in question.

  6. Mike

     /  June 24, 2009

    Well, lets not forget that once upon a time the Alpha Males were the guys who held open the doors and had great manners and stood up when ladies entered the room. They were the old style “gentlemen” who often get ripped on these days. My Grandfather would fit this category. A very nice man, kind and polite, had great manners. And was a deadly shot and a guy tough enough to earn some serious metals killing nazis. Alpha type through and through.

  7. Your keepers still react well to men acting the way they should. Lot of gals don’t. Longterm, like the OP, I call that a win.

  8. In either case, the crux of the matter though is that the guy’s pretending to be “just a friend” when that’s not the case. Alpha or Gamma, if he just put his intentions out on the table, then he can either succeed or else get rebuffed and move on. But the whole “I’m just a friend even though I’m really a lover-aspirant and don’t want to be just-a-friend” is the kind of creepy behavior you expect of stalkers and molesters. This guy’s the complete antithesis of the old-fashioned gentleman Mike cites, the modern tough-guy, or anything respectable in between. Granted, I’ve had fewer than 20 lovers, so my I’m not exactly Don Juan here, but I just don’t see where being truthful about your desires/intentions gets optional. That’s not weirdly morally conservative is it?

  9. drteine

     /  June 25, 2009

    I’ve never worried about any of this. I’m content being the Omega Male. I’ll clean up in the end and I don’t have to compete.

  10. @Jimdesu: I suspect you’re confusing two things.

    a) slightly pathetic behavior from guys who haven’t figured out the self-confidence how-to-date thing (some of whom are admittedly grade-A creeps)
    b) women who *claim to desire those guys* but who have pursued jerks for years and years, now that they’re older and said jerks no longer bother with a second glance in their direction.

    A lot of the “not quite there guys” are creeps — and a bunch just needed polishing up. That they didn’t get a date isn’t the issue… it’s that the premise presented by these particular gals is *fundamentally false.* They don’t want those guys — they want the attention they no longer receive.

    I wouldn’t call myself Don Juan, either, but I do see this sort of behavior all the time (and was that pathetic guy in high-school, too).


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