Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Nice Guys Don't Have to Finish Last


[ Interestingly enough, at OverOpinionated.com, the author has come to some of the exact same conclusions that I come to here in her Nice Guys article. I recommend it. In fact, it's a bit shorter than my article and probably packs just as much punch. ]


I'm fairly certain that every day at least three new blogs are written supporting the idea that nice guys finish last. Usually these blogs are written by lonely frustrated boys who long to be more than friends (with someone who perhaps isn't even a friend), but occassionally they are written (or at least quoted) by gals who take pity on these poor guys.

I'm tired of this. It's absurd.

For one, just because a guy is a pushover does not mean he is necessarily a nice guy. The fact that he's passively hating some girl for not coming onto him implies that he's maybe even weirder than the "assholes" his potential dates always end up "choosing" "over him."

But I'm not going to argue that route. By the end of this, I am hoping to show that the idea of a "nice guy" in general does not exist in reality. I'll accept that there are "assholes" out there, but I claim that this idea of a "nice guy" simply does not exist.

Contents

A Woman's Role in Attraction

Now, to start, women rarely are in a position of approaching a man in the same way that a man typically approaches a woman. Women will often purposely make themselves very attractive to a particular guy. Women will often make themselves very available to a particular guy. This is the effort that women typically put into starting a relationship with men. A lot of effort goes into this; it is no small task. And if a woman isn't drawn to one particular guy, she may in general go through a period of looking attractive to a number of guys in order to find out who is available for further investigation and eventually selection.

The Difference from a Man's Role in Attraction

Now, this is very different from the effort guys put into looking attractive to the opposite sex. For one, men primarily are trying to look better (or more unique) than other men. The hope is that this will make them attractive to every woman around. The hope is that the man will gain a reputation for being attractive. A man will devote his entire life to these sorts of ends. It's a broader movement than what goes on with a woman. A woman specifically chooses to dress up or dress down for one particular event. A woman specifically chooses to flirt or not to flirt with a particular guy. A woman is making choices that could go either way. A man is choosing a lifestyle with which he will be consistent until he decides to make another lifestyle change.

[ of course, I realize that there is some blurring between men and women on these things; men do dress up for particular events, and women do choose to lead particular lifestyles just like men... but I'm going to argue that for human beings it's safe to assume that intentions are still pointedly different ]

The Sequence of Events of Attraction

So the sequence of events is that a man advertises his lifestyle. A woman becomes interested and advertises her interest. It is then the man's role to assert his own interest. The woman has put herself out there, and if the man does not respond on her timeline, then she assumes that he isn't interested and she should invest in showing her own interest elsewhere.

Now, of course, misinterpretations happen. People change their mind too. And thus rejections can occur. And thus people have their own safety nets. And things can't move too fast. People have their own timelines.

The Typical Role of the Typical "Nice Guy"

Now enter the timid male. He does not feel confident about the things on the surface that are easy to evaluate. He works hard to show that he's very sensitive on the inside. He works hard to show his intelligence. He works hard to show that he has lasting traits that can be very attractive. And included in those lasting traits is his ability to just want to get to know the girl for who she is, and eventually love her for who she is. She can feel safe around him. He won't approach her unless she wishes for it. But there's where we have the problem! That's not how it works!

The Problem with the Typical "Nice Guy" Approach

If and when the female becomes attracted ot the timid male, she's going to expect him to bite. If he doesn't bite, that makes perfect sense because he's advertised himself as the male who doesn't bite. She might really want him to be the male who didn't bite for other girls but wants to bite for her, and that might be a real compliment to see him bite for her; however, if he doesn't bite, she assumes she's just not his type. He just doesn't want to make that catch.

And so she keeps him on as a friend, and she becomes very comfortable with that. She stops flirting. She just starts being comfortable around him. She discusses other guys with him. This makes sense. He's almost ASKED FOR THIS. By not asserting his affection WHEN SHE WAS LOOKING FOR IT, he's said to her that he doesn't want to be affectionate with her. She quickly gets over it and moves on.

Driving a Steak Between the Typical "Nice Guy" and the Object of His Affection

And so it becomes very weird if and when he does show himself to want more from her. It almost seems as if he has been using her up to this point. It seems weird that he didn't accept her when she wanted him to. And the WORST part is that now that she knows that during all that time where she felt comfortable and SAFE he was thinking about finding a way to get more from her.

So of COURSE things go sour. After he confronts her ONCE, he'll not ever understand why she doesn't respond favorably, and he might keep bringing it up. He'll start to hate her. (and thus, was he ever really a "nice guy"?) And on top of that, she'll feel confused or put off or simply will refuse to think of him that way. Things just don't work at this point. It was HIS FAULT for not seeing this earlier. The nice thing to do would be to drop it and accept that it's just not the right time (and perhaps the "right time" has completely passed).

Lesson 1: Guys Should NEVER Count on a Girl to Approach

If you're getting the feeling that there's something between you and a girl, she's probably done a lot to help project that in your mind. If you FEEL like there's something between you, then give her a break and act on it.

If worse comes to worst, you'll at least learn that things aren't supposed to develop between you two. It's good to know this SOONER than LATER. For a girl, finding out that your best friend of 8 years spends every night making out with your high school picture is a LOT creepier than finding out the guy you just started talking to might kinda like you.

And besides, if you're REALLY a "nice guy," then you'll understand her choice not to date you and continue being her good friend as if nothing happened. If suddenly you don't feel there's anything in this relationship for you, then you're NOT A NICE GUY.

Now, Assume the "Nice Guy" Does Land Himself a Relationship

Sooner or later in any relationship (between man/woman, man/man, or woman/woman), the different priorities of the two partners become very clear. People want different things, and "nice guys" have the hardest time dealing with that.

Consider the timid guy from above. He spent a long time being whatever the girl of his present dreams wanted him to do. When she said jump, he jumped so quickly that his "how high?" came off in mid-air. If they end up dating somehow, the same thing is going to occur for a while. He's just going to be per personal slave for a while.

Enter a Common Problem, Jealousy (of People, Places, and Things)

But he's going to get very jealous of the rest of her life very quickly. For one, if he's already so close to her, there's not going to be much to change. In fact, if they're already so close, often the relationship is just used to relieve the male's sexual frustration. At first, getting even a little bit of affection from the woman is going to appease him. However, eventually he won't understand why she won't give him more. It will be the relationship argument all over again!! Additionally, if he does grow closer to her in ways that aren't sexual, he'll start getting an idea of all the other things she does with her time. He'll start wanting more time. After all, they are dating now, right?

As Problems Develop, to the Outsider the "Nice Guy" Becomes the "Asshole"

So eventually there will be a clash. He'll need more and she won't be willing to give it. Or she'll need EVEN MORE and he won't expect it. Earlier in the relationship they might have been able to figure this out about each other and figure out a way to compromise. However, now that it's so late in the relationship, neither one of them will want to change.

Eventually the relationship is going to become HARDER THAN THE FRIENDSHIP WAS and the "nice guy" will turn into the "asshole."

Lesson 2: Lucky "Nice People" Quickly Become "Assholes"

All men aren't assholes. All women aren't bitches. This SAME SEQUENCE OF EVENTS occurs in homosexual relationships as well. Problems develop between people simply because EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT.

The Appearance of the Success of the Asshole

Now, clearly if all "nice guys" end up looking like "assholes" to other "nice guys," it's going to be hard to ever find a girl who is NOT dating an asshole.

However, let's consider an "asshole" from the start. The asshole is only looking out for himself. The asshole is ALWAYS asserting his own wants. If a girl gets attracted to him, he does his best to take advantage of it and ride it out until it becomes a drag on him.

So let's go through the same sequence of events. The guy looks attractive to at least SOME WOMEN. Those women show their interest in these assholes but THEY ALSO SHOW THEIR INTEREST simultaneously with "nice guys." The assholes take advantage of it. It's their nature. IF THE WOMEN HAD THE CHOICE of a nice guy and an asshole, they'd choose the nice guy; but they NEVER GET THAT CHOICE.

Assholes are the only ones who play the game. Thus assholes are the only ones who win.

So while nice guys shouldn't aim to be assholes, they should RESPECT why assholes have so much "luck" with women! If nice guys would take a cue from assholes and actually SHOW SOME SPINE and assert themselves, they would show the girl something a whole lot better than the asshole. (unless she's specifically consciously looking for the asshole, but that's another topic)

Lesson 3: Assholes Only Win Because Assholes are the Only Ones Playing

Don't you dare hide behind some special "objections" you have with "the game." It's not a matter of scruples. "The game" isn't a bad thing. And even if it was, you're not playing it because you object to it; you're not playing it because you're too cowardly to enter it.

If you really wanted to give the assholes a run for their money, you'd go in and show the ladies what they're missing.

So I blame YOU for there being assholes. If YOU weren't so timid, maybe there wouldn't be so many assholes.

Nah, who am I kidding? Like I said before, you're as much of an asshole as any of the rest of them, so it's no loss to women that you've fouled yourself out. You'd be doing them a disservice by entering, you miserable pathetic passive poor excuse for a mate.

Conclusion: Nice Guys Who Finish Last Aren't Really Nice Guys


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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey - Loser, I am a nice guy. I have taken in a women with 3 kids from 2 marriages and 2 of the kids are troubled with the law, sexually and she is in financial ruin - but in your eyes I'm a pathetic asshole with a problem. Get a life...... There are nice guys out there, but hopefully you never meet one, you don't deserve them.............................

Theo said...

Wow. This is the first negative response I've ever had to that posting. This is fascinating.

I'm not quite sure how my post about nice guys calls you pathetic. Do you feel like you're finishing last? Where were you before this woman starting having troubles? Do you really believe that all of the things about you that are "nice" are driving women away?

Nice guys don't finish last. That's just an excuse. If you were really that nice you wouldn't be so selfish to spend time you could be using to show your niceness to instead whine about your circumstances.

Regarding whether I deserve a nice guy, my gender nor my sexuality drives me to want one... and if I was a woman and I ran into a man behaving in the way that I describe in the posting, I wouldn't want him either.

Either you misread my posting or you need to spend a lot of time thinking about whether you really do have good intentions. Try to think about what women you meet might want. Try to think about how they are going to react to your passive-aggressiveness. Deep down, I really don't think you actually believe nice guys finish last.