Love FAQ

Love FAQ
Nice Guys Suck

Lara Crigger | 25 Nov 2011 16:00
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LoveFAQ is a weekly advice column for geeks, by geeks about love, life and maxing out your romance meter. Got questions for LoveFAQs? Send them to advice@escapistmag.com.

Dear Love FAQ:

I read with interest your comments to "Pressed A Too Fast" in last week's column, "Stop Camping Your Girlfriend for Sex". I'm shocked at your attitude towards "nice guys"- yeah, there are "nice guys" who are actually not so nice and use mind games; but you actually suggest that stereotypical nice guy behavior is actually fundamentally wrong!

I hear this time and again at the moment (must be trendy) to put down the nice guys: they try too hard, they want to be your friend first, they think about how to approach a relationship as a developing thing rather than rushing in based on gut feeling. And yes, there are certainly nice guy traits which are common which are bad (e.g. they moan about losing girls because of their approach, or they are just pretending to be the nice guy). But seriously, are we really at a point where "Nice Guy" behavior should be frowned upon!?!

I'd like to think of myself as a nice guy. I don't sleep around. I work hard. I want to get to know someone and discover feelings for them, rather than go on gut feeling and work out there's no future after 3 days. I'm not lucky in love, though I realize that's born of social anxiety issues rather than the "nice guy burn".

So I guess my question is: am I doomed as a Nice Guy™?

Thanks,
I Am A Nice Guy

Dear Nice Guy,

You weren't the only one to call me out for my apparent disdain of "nice guys". And while I stand by my answer, I thought it might be best to clarify a little.

In this world, there are nice guys and Nice Guys™. The nice guys are genuine, honest, likable people: Men of generosity, of kindness, who treat those around them with respect. Nice Guys™, on the other hand, are passive-aggressive babies who feel entitled to a woman's affections simply because they've "been there for her"*.

A nice guy sees a woman as an individual with the capacity to make her own choices, even ones he may or may not agree with. He does not begrudge anyone her self-determination.

A Nice Guy™, on the other hand, sees a woman as an Achievement to unlock. He thinks that as long as he mashes the right sequence of buttons (Listen to her problems! Give her presents! Cheer her up when she's sad!), then he's entitled to collect his just reward-and if he doesn't get it, then he'll whine about what he perceives as bugs in the game. What a woman wants or chooses makes no nevermind to a Nice Guy™, because should she have the gumption to actually want something different than what he wants, then clearly, she's only trying to torture or take advantage of him.

A nice guy likes you for who you are. A Nice Guy™ likes you for what he thinks you represent, or what he wants you to be.

A nice guy complains that the pretty girl who he asked out didn't say yes. A Nice Guy™ complains that the pretty girl who is the love of his life and he'll never meet anyone else like her again, who he didn't ask out but just pretended to listen when she talked about her problems for three hours because he was too chicken-shit to ask her out didn't say let me completely validate your existence for you and by the way why hasn't anyone ever realized what a Nice Guy™ you are?

See the difference?

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