Jessica is a multi-talented actress, comedian, and writer who I was lucky enough to meet while hosting a comedy show last year. She will be writing a twice a month column on relationship, dating, and sex advice. If you have any questions you want answered email [email protected] and I’ll get them to her. Also, follow Jess on Twitter @jessmazo and check out her website jessicamazo.com Here is her first piece.
Why Nice Guys Are Not Nice People
Urban Dictionary definition of “Nice Guy Syndrome”
An annoying mental condition in which a heterosexual man concocts oversimplified ideas why women aren’t flocking to him in droves. Typically this male will whine and complain about how women never want to date them because he is “too nice” or that he is average in appearance. He often targets a woman who is already in a relationship; misrepresenting his intentions of wanting to be her friend and having the expectation that he is owed more than friendship because he is such a good listener. He is prone to brooding over this and passive aggressive behavior.
I want to make it clear, “nice guys” are very different than guys who happen to be nice. This article is not about the many guys I know personally and professionally that I think highly of, who also happen to be nice people who treat others (including women) with respect. I’m talking about the guys who declare themselves “nice” while they:
-Expect their female friend to suddenly have feelings for them (and then get angry when they don’t).
-Expect their feelings for a girl to automatically be reciprocated.
-Is shocked that a girl isn’t interested in them after they do nothing to cultivate an attraction or romance.
-Tend to only be interested in a girl based on her appearance.
I first noticed when I was in High School that the kinds of guys who declare themselves “nice” tend to be anything but. They are the ones who whine that their dream girl doesn’t like them, while they continue to crush on the most beautiful girl in school who they’ve never even had a conversation with while ignoring the girls who are probably a more realistic option. They are the ones who stare longingly at the cute girl they barely know, projecting all kinds of qualities onto her, assuming they know what she is like and that they are “perfect” for each other. Where as a normal guy sees a girl they find attractive or intriguing and thinks, “I want to get to know her better,” or even “I want to try and hook up with her,” the “nice guy” automatically assumes he “deserves” her, and then she is a “bitch” when she does not magically return his feelings. Check out this link here for a great example of the creepy approach of a very entitled person claiming to be a “nice guy.” The girl rightfully puts him in his place!
A normal guy understands that in order to date, or even hook up, he has to put himself out there and risk rejection, and that rejection sucks but it’s an inevitable part of life. When he does get rejected by a girl, he moves on to someone who returns his feelings (or at least puts out).
The self declared “nice guy” does not understand this. He has no humility, but plenty of low self esteem. He compares himself to others, yet refuses to understand why they “get girls” and he doesn’t. The “nice guy” blames his disappointment on women and the supposed douche bags they like instead of taking an honest look at himself and his actions. He refuses to empathize with the object of his desire, to place himself in her position, and understand that there could be hundreds of reasons why she does not like him, or only likes him “as a friend.” Maybe he has done nothing to cultivate attraction (yes, attraction sometimes has to be cultivated and is not always immediate for a female), maybe he once said something that turned her off, or maybe he is just not her type and she knows inherently that she’ll never be attracted to him. Basically, if you are a guy who is truly nice you don’t have to say it, your actions will speak for you.
I have had my share of experience with “nice guys.” Here is one example: My best guy friend from college (let’s call him “Mr. Nice Guy”) decided he liked me shortly after we graduated. I first met him as a freshman and after becoming friends he awkwardly asked me out, and I awkwardly declined, trying to be honest telling him I thought he was a great guy (this was not a line, I really thought he was) and that I just wanted to be friends (again, I spoke the truth). He accepted this and we remained platonic friends throughout our four years of undergrad. He had a lot of friends, and many of them were female. He was not effeminate at all, but he fit in with me and my female friends and to me it felt like he was “one of the girls.” He even became one of my shopping buddies. Right around graduation time he started to behave strange around me, then I received an email from him that blew my mind.
He said he was a “nice guy” and so he did not understand why I didn’t like him, choosing instead to date all of the losers and douche bags he had to witness me date. He also said that a lot of people in school thought I was weird and when they would say this he thought to himself-but not out loud of course- how stupid they are for not appreciating me the way he does. So he didn’t even have the backbone to stick up for me? Wow that’s attractive!
It read on like a rom-com monologue gone wrong. He ended the email by saying that if there was a chance of me returning his feelings, to give him a call, but otherwise I shouldn’t bother. Although very upset, I respected his stated preference and did not call him. He angrily called me several days later, not understanding why he hadn’t heard from me. I explained that I did not want to mislead him since I did not return his feelings. He just could not comprehend why I did not want to suddenly date him. We did not speak for at least a year even though we shared many mutual friends, including a lot of the females he met through me and remained platonic friends with. He even complained about me to them, saying I must be very shallow not to agree to date him. When he reached out to me again, he apologized, telling me I was “like a sister to him.” I accepted his apology despite how much his confusing behavior had hurt me. We became friends again, and this lasted for several years.
I dated a string of emotionally damaged older men while he dated a smart, beautiful girl from our college. Everything was cool. Until I began dating the man who is now my husband, who also had attended the same college. “Mr. Nice Guy” was single again at this point, and just like before, abruptly ended our friendship, telling me he didn’t think he had anything to offer me anymore and that I “could have at least avoided a mutual acquaintance.” I did not meet my husband through him – we are from the same hometown and went to the same high school. When photos from my wedding were posted on Facebook , “Mr. Nice Guy” passive aggressively complained on a mutual friend’s photo about not being invited to my wedding.
I shared this personal story not to vent, but to demonstrate a few of these typical “nice guy” behaviors:
-He was not honest about his motives.
-He expected his long-time platonic friend to suddenly have romantic feelings for him.
-He became angry when these feelings were not returned.
-He adopted a victim mentality.
To end this on a positive note, here are behaviors that a normal guy who also happens to be a nice person does that self respecting women find attractive:
-He is honest with himself about his motives.
-He is honest with the other person about his motives.
-He reveals his feelings through actions, not only by words.
-If he gets rejected, he moves on.
-He only wants to be with a woman who wants to be with him.
-He respects other people, including women.
-He respects himself (he has a backbone, opinions, doesn’t tolerate bullshit, etc).
I realize this was a bit of a diatribe, but this whole “nice guy” thing (and men defending this behavior) needs to come to an end. It is not “nice” at all. If you are a guy looking for a relationship, or even just a hook up, you will only find frustration by playing the “nice guy” card. Instead, be the nice person you are but be upfront, be charming, and be yourself (unless your self sucks, then be Ron Swanson ).