“Nice Guys”

An interesting topic came up at #gdldn tonight, the topic of “Nice Guys” presumably because most guys who are geeks also fall into the category of “Nice Guys” (which is why I love geeks).

It was an interesting conversation, and well over the years I’ve given a lot of thought to this topic, therefore I decided to blog about the conversation at Geek Dinner London and add my thoughts to it. I am not entirely sure what direction this will go, but hopefully some of you find it entertaining.

First thought …

Nice guys always say that girls don’t want nice guys, they want guys who are jerks (other terms were used, but I’ll clean it up for my blog). Ok I will concede there are a lot of girls who date loser guys, and put up with much more than they should. That being said though, there are nice girls out there too, but nice guys are often entranced by the mean girls, just as often as girls are smitten with jerks.

I have had a lot of guy friends over the years, really nice, really sweet guys. They always say the same thing, nice guys finish last. This isn’t entirely wrong, but I personally think it could be avoided. A lot of the nice guys I know have finished last, often because they are drooling over a girl who won’t give them the time of day, or if she will, she will string them along until something better appears. Meanwhile, there is more times than not, this really nice, really sweet girl who is absolutely crushing on the nice guy, and the nice guy never notices. And if you keep looking closely enough, you’ll realize there is another nice guy, who is actually totally into the nice girl who is watching the other nice guy, and he is thinking that other nice guy is a total jerk. And this keeps going on and on; everyone is someone else’s jerk and the reason why, they believe nice guys/girls finish last.

I’d also like to add that jerk is in the eye of the beholder and when it comes to relationships, you often don’t realize you’re dating the jerk until it is too late. Outsiders will often recognize it before you do. Looking back, I’ve dated some ‘seemingly nice guys’ who while nice guys in life, were jerks in relationships. Side note: Things  you never say to a girl “When I look at you, I just can’t think of any compliments” (yes that happened, nice guy, jerky behaviour).

But anyways, next thought …

When I was in high school I developed the following thinking/definition.

There are hot guys and cute guys. I came up with this thanks to a guy I liked when I was in grade 10, he was in grade 11. He was a jock, but also a scholar, he had a beautiful smile and these piercing blue eyes and he from afar was very charming. I thought he was a very good-looking guy, most girls in the school did I think. I’ll admit I had a crush on him, at least I did until the first time we interacted at which point I came up with the definitions for hot and cute. He was a hot guy.

A “hot guy” is a guy who is at first look very attractive, but whose appeal is mostly lost once he opens his mouth. After that he is no longer as appealing because he doesn’t have the personality to support the looks.

A “cute guy” is the guy who can be anywhere from average looking, to drop dead gorgeous, but because he is a nice guy, he is all of the sudden one of the most attractive man you’ve ever met, or at least a very appealing one.

Most ‘nice girls’ that I know, would take the cute guy over the hot guy any day. Though disclaimer, the hot guys are still pretty to look at, sorry it’s true.

Next …

Tonight the arguments were that:

Nice guys don’t get anywhere fast and/or can’t close.

That to get somewhere faster, guys need to be jerks.

And finally that girls want guys who are jerks.

Girls do not want a guy who is a jerk, girls want a nice guy, who is confident and manly (not Neanderthal manly, but classically masculine) . While we live in a world where it is more than ok for a woman to make the first move and take control,  sometimes though it is nice for traditional gender roles to play out. I personally think a lot of guys have used this “women can make the first move” as an excuse to get lazy. Yes of course it is always nice when someone of the opposite sex makes the first move and shows interest in you, but come on, just because a woman can make the first move, doesn’t mean you should make her do it every single time.  Personally I’m tired of doing all of the work and making the first move, so there are huge bonus points for any guy who makes the first move.

If a nice guy, actually likes a nice girl, this is going to be a shock to said nice girl. Nice girls pretty much think the same as nice guys, that nice guys want mean girls (which is often true in my experience – it goes both ways boys – also remember what I said above, everyone is someone’s jerk). And often because the nice guy has been going after the mean girls so long, he’s a bit afraid to do anything (IMO) due to a subconscious fear of rejection or something.  So the nice girl is completely oblivious that the nice guy might actually like her and the nice guy has been beaten into submission and can no longer convey his interest in a clear, yet still nice, manner. OR the nice guy has been beaten up so much by the mean girl, he decides to be a jerk instead so that he’ll get somewhere and he’ll end up getting shut down for being a jerk, because inevitably he tries this with the nice girl, who wants the nice guy, not the jerk.

Girls also want a guy who is confident. This ties into  getting somewhere faster and being able to close. Confidence and arrogance are two different things, and sometimes it is a fine line. Confidence is sexy. Confidence is being comfortable in your own skin and owning who you are and not being afraid to go after what you want respectfully and with consideration of others. The flip side of that is arrogance, which is often the jerk’s problem. The arrogant guy, thinks he can have whatever he wants, when he wants it, how he wants it. He also thinks he can say or do whatever he wants and shows no consideration for others around him, or at the very least for the female he is interacting with. Don’t get me wrong, there are some girls who like the arrogance, but there are a lot of us out there would much rather the honest, sincere, nice guy.

Maybe I am alone on this, but I don’t want a corny or insulting pick-up line (Unless maybe if it is done ironically or as a joke). Girls want a guy who is secure enough to come up and say “Hi, my name is _________” and then continue on getting to know her.  Again maybe it’s me, but I will blow off a guy, who makes no attempt to learn my name and/or objectified me. If a guy asks me my name and tells me I have a nice smile or something and maybe even takes an interest in me by asking a question, I am much more receptive to that than I am to, “Hey babe, you have a nice rack” (Yes that has happened before). Or like tonight, I got a message from a very attractive man on a dating site, I opened the message to find “Hi, would you be open to a threesome with me and another woman?”. Seriously? Worst part was, he didn’t even include a first name. You’re soliciting me for sex and don’t even offer a name? Seriously?

Also a note on ‘closing’ and ‘getting somewhere faster’ – patience is a virtue my friends and good things come to those who wait.

Let me also get straight what the female definition of nice guy is. From a female perspective (and correct me ladies who read this if I am wrong) a nice guy is someone who is smart, charming, kind, considerate, empathetic, confident and secure. An appealing nice guy is not the nice guy who is a doormat. He is not the guy who sits back hoping something will work out or feeling sorry for himself telling everyone that “nice guys finish last”.

I also think that maybe part of the reason a lot of nice guys finish last is because they don’t put themselves out there, they think they are, but they really aren’t. I will openly admit, I am completely oblivious to a guy hitting on me; my Mom picks up on it before I do. So while women often joke  that you have to hit men over the head with it before they get it, women are not always that different. Not that mystery and uncertainty isn’t sometimes charming, but sometimes it’d just be nice to know one way or another instead of having to try to guess (some of us suck as guessing, again maybe just me).

The Perfect Nice Guy

I may be alone in this thinking,  but here is my go at what a perfect guy may be like (which may explain why I am single … oh look a unicorn):

Not sure where this will go so my apologies in advance.

Perfect guy may include any or all of these characteristics:

The “perfect” guy is a nice guy, who does thoughtful things for next to no reason (and they can be little tiny things, not huge gestures). He is someone who is kind and considerate of others around him, especially the woman he is interested in or that he is with. He is interested and pays attention; he makes an effort to care about the thing she cares about. He is a bit of or entirely a geek and proud of that; he has an interest in learning  and being aware of the world around him. He is a strong masculine man; by that I mean, not just physically strong (maybe not even), but emotionally and mentally strong (and sometimes that can mean being vulnerable too) and he has some of the interests that a guy stereotypically has. He understands the value and importance of communication, even if actually doing it is incredibly hard. He is passionate about the things that are important to him and he will defend them. He knows that violence and abuse solve nothing. He’s comfortable in his own skin, meaning he can have an interest in something no one else does, but totally own it and because of that he draws others into his interest. He is a man of character and morals. He will fight when he believes he is right, but willing to admit when he is wrong (even if it is not easy).And this is the last part is the thing every man will likely cringe at, he needs to be a good friend, someone who can listen, be supportive and be encouraging.

Of course there is the physical aspect of it, but the physical attraction, as I mentioned before can be increased, by possessing some of the traits mentioned above. I know I have met guys before who I’ve thought I wasn’t attracted to, and then I got to know them better and because of the personality, I started finding them more physically appealing.

Final Thoughts

I actually wrote a paper on this in University, Disney movies and Romantic Comedies have ruined relationships for us all. They give us unreal expectations of love and relationships and they often romanticize flawed relationships. So (IMO) unless we shed these notions of romance we’ve been fed through Hollywood and readjust to realistic expectations, we’re pretty much bound to be the nice guys who finish last for the rest of our lives. Anyways I may go on my Disney/Romantic Comedy rant in another blog.

Now that I read this back, this has been more targeted at guys, I apologize that was not my intention. This can pretty accurately be flipped around and applied to nice girls as well. There are nice girls and nice guys and there are mean girls and jerk guys. There are both sides for each sex and while we may not realize it, they both have the same problems.

Absolutely last comment, maybe I’m wrong about all of this, but I know for certain there is at least one girl out there who is looking for the perfect (for her) nice and geeky guy.

*** For another excellent read on the “Nice Guy” check on Amanda’s Blog post, she is another blogger from down around #ldnont. She has a great take on “Nice Guy” vs “Good Guy”, it is an excellent read, you won’t regret it. 


4 responses to ““Nice Guys”

  1. Pingback: “Nice Girl” | Thinking Out Loud

  2. I would take exception with certain things. Namely, it doesn’t necessarily follow in my experience that classic “geeks” and social outcasts are nice guys. It’s been my experience that over a lifetime of positive reinforcement, good looking and socially active people learn to be a bit more honest and direct and therefore, nicer in the end. They don’t’ have a chip on their shoulders. Not that there aren’t those good looking socially active folks that are douches, but boys looking for a woman that have had a hard time finding one maybe be a myriad of problematic behaviors in a skin sack. Smothering, relationship-sabotaging, inability to turn away from affection and, therefore, more likely to cheat, and just plain whiny. I think the better idea than “nice” is “well-adjusted.” This person may not be the best at every category, but they’ve made piece with their ins and outs and can walk through life with a good deal of confidence and also consideration.

    It’s also important to note that well-adjusted people can come off as jerks because they’re so direct about some things. If they see problems early on, they can cut the relationship short and seem harsh; but in fact, they’ve done the right thing and have tried to be as gracious and gentle about it yet as quick about it as possible.

    Just some stuff to keep in mind.

    • Thank you very much for your comment Elias. You are exactly right not all geeks are nice guys, but in my experience a lot (but certainly not all) of the geeks I know do fall into the nice guy category.

      I do like the term well-adjusted. I was using the term “nice guy” because of it’s some what socially accepted definition. The term ‘nice guy’ is something with pre-established ideas behind it; it has been shaped not only by society, but by mass medias use of it in fictional narratives.

      As I somewhat suggested in my post, everyone to someone is a jerk. Even the nice guys and girls, for someone appear to be a jerk. I consider myself to fall into the ‘nice girl’ category, but I am certain I have had at least one guy and/or girl classify me as a mean girl at some point in my life.

      And the issue I think we were discussing was less guys breaking it off with girls (because as you said, it can suck, but be for the right reason), but more guys treating women with disrespect to get what they want and having no consideration of the other persons feelings. Or guys being douches to girls and girls still buying into it and staying with those guys.

      Again thank you for your comment, gave me more to think about!

  3. Someone made a great comment via twitter (@naomisayers00) that nice guys finish last because they don’t put themselves first. I kind of touched on this. Nice guys allow themselves to become the doormat, or the friend because they don’t go for what they want. They’re so busy being nice and considerate of the girl, they miss or don’t take their opportunity to make something happen.

    I get this, once you’ve gotten to know someone or to be friend with someone, there is the fear of screwing it up, because what if you make your move and the other person doesn’t feel the same? At the same time, what if you don’t make your move and miss out on the person who is perfect for you?

    If you make your move and it doesn’t work out either two of you will find a way to still be friends, or you won’t. And if you don’t, yes it sucks, but that just means that that person was only meant to be in your life for a season.

    Don’t be afraid of what you have to lose, look for what you have to gain.

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