Wednesday, June 16, 2010
If and Why nice guys finish last.
Every once in awhile I find myself writing a perspective on a topic that I hate myself for having to admit - i.e. the Why Girls Go For Assholes explanation or Sexism: Guys v. Girls on Marriage Thoughts. This blog isn't about the way I wish things were or the way I'm trying to pretend things are. It's about the reality of things. And sometimes that reality is crappy.
Today's topic is one of those topics. It comes via a male reader who is a fan of both this blog, comics from the U.K. and Suburban New Jersey - so, my new best friend.
"One of the things I don't think I've ever seen you touch on is the topic of 'nice guys'. Being one, I can tell you that it's not a very enviable position. If I watch one more good female friend whine about how horrible guys are then run off after a terrible guy I might lose my mind. Yet most (those who I've chosen to make feelings known for) have spurned all advances. I feel like I'm stuck in this weird middle ground where every girl I meet either completely ignores me or ends up in the very good friend category. I already know all the textbook advice, like don't look like a slob, like yourself, etc. but apparently I'm just too nice. At least that's all I can think of; but I'd love to hear from some women what a truly 'nice' guy has to do to be seen as dating material."
The cliche - "nice guys finish last" is a cliche for a reason. Overtly loving, instantly affectionate, clear-with-their-emotions guys aka the best-big-brother-in-the-world types often have less instant success with the ladies than their brasher, rougher, asshole-ier counterparts.
(Massive disclaimer of this post: not all nice guys finish last, not all assholes finish first, not all girls like assholes, not all girls hate nice guys, I don't hate nice guys, I don't love assholes, etc, etc, etc)
Now here comes the part where I hate what I'm about to say.
There is something instantly attractive and sexy about a guy who is rough around the edges. He makes you work for a compliment. He gives you a look that might say, "wow" but could just as easily say, "hhmm." His jokes are edgy. His approach to things is a little rogue. You're not quite sure what he's going to do or how he feels about you. All you know is that you're attracted to him and turned on by his whole cocky energy.
This is not right or smart or universal or advised - it just is. Kind of like how guys are attracted to mysterious, coy, flaky girls instead of their overtly mature and together counter parts.
We want what we're not sure about. We want what makes us wonder. And some of us want that hate-to-love someone relationship.
I am not proud to admit this, but for the sake of this post I'll reveal that I have on more than one occasion referred to a guy as "too nice." I would never say I'm attracted to assholes, but I do love a guy who isn't afraid to make fun of me, who likes an edgy joke, who doesn't necessarily jump the minute I say, "want to get dinner?"
I cannot begin to explain the psychology behind this. Maybe I want someone a twinge mean because I'm a twinge mean and would feel uncomfortable around a sugar sweet companion? Maybe in some sick way I love the chase, and a nice guy makes it too easy? Maybe it all dates back to my childhood obsession with Beauty and the Beast? I don't know. I just like a little edge.
My conclusion isn't to say, "stop being so nice" or "blow her off once in awhile" or "tell some off-color jokes and you'll start hooking chicks like the best of 'em."
You should be your kind, caring, loving self because many, many women will be looking for just that. And - frankly - many more will be after they (and likely I) realize that around 29-35 "edgy" just becomes annoying...
Agreed, ladies? Equally frustrated, nice guys? No longer a fan of this blog, new best friend?...