Dear “that nice guy” referred to me by “the girl that was too late”,
I attached this dramatic yet sexy pic to draw attention to this article. The picture on your friends’ article was deep: it represented the lost love and painful memories it brings. I followed your cue and have a picture too: it represents me standing on the beach.
Now that you’re here: I have a confession to make.
I’ve been a nice guy.
Yes, in the past, I’ve held doors open for strangers, done favors for people and even…donated to charity at convenience stores. So I’m completely with you on supporting the elitedaily article that’s being everywhere today! I didn’t have time to read it of course but now I do and…
Ohhhh, we’re talking about that kind of “nice guy”. Okay. Then I immediately retract my support.
Let’s define the term “nice guy” for the purposes of this post. The definition will be, “A guy who is friends with a girl while being expectant of a serious relationship to develop. These feelings may not initially be the reason why they became friends, but circumstances have changed and he is counting on a relationship now.” <-If you’re a “nice guy” and this definition is incorrect for you, then you’re the kind of nice guy that I mentioned in the first paragraph. If the definition does fit you, then Buddy, we need to talk.
I’m going to be serious here and admit, I’ve been in the “nice guy” position before. So when I call you out here, I’m also calling out past me. He’s actually kind of an annoying guy.
Yes, it’s fantastic that you’re nice and respect women. I think it’s great that you’ve listened to all of that girls’ concerns and were a rock when it was needed. And the fact that you’re doing this out of the kindness of his heart and that satisfied you is great!
And you should be satisfied.
When hear “nice guys” like complain because they were so awesome to the girl who is the target of their affection and she doesn’t return that, I reflexively say, “So what?” Are there really that many of you who honestly believe that doing good deeds for a girl you’re attracted to is enough of a foundation for a relationship? Let me put it this way:
You have a 60 year old neighbor, Ethel. Since you were 9 years old, she’s baked you pies, driven you places and even listened to your problems. And hey, Ethel is also a fox that looks quite good for her age. One day, Ethel says, “Hey “your name”, can I collect on all that goodwill now and can I start dating you?” Nine times out of ten, you would not accept the offer on the spot. Is it because she doesn’t know you? Nonsense, Ethel’s seen you go through puberty. Is it because she’s not attractive? No, I mentioned earlier that she was a foxy lady. So what is it? Why don’t you just give into Ethel? You guys have been friends for so long! Are you saying you just want to continue the friend thing that has worked all through the 90’s up until now and not commit to her even though she was really nice???
Oh, that’s exactly what you’re saying.
Although the above situation may seem ridiculous and overexaggerated (how many Ethels do you know?), that is essentially what is the main misunderstanding every nice guy situation. Yes, you may have genuine and developed feelings for the girl in question. And maybe there were times when you were the only person she could count on. But, and I want you to really think about this:
How does she feel?
I know you. You want her to be happy and away from all every single asshole out there(Btw, this is not your responsibility). Would this girl that you care so much about be happiest with you? Really ask yourself this. Are you the best fit for her? Are you guys perfectly compatible in every way? This goes deeper than those movies you both like or the concert you went to with your mutual favorite band. I mean: is there a genuine spark that both of you share?
Yes, there are relationships that can develop over time. But if she doesn’t want to develop it…then why guilt her when it doesn’t work? Why is it her fault that she didn’t reciprocate your feelings? Think about Ethel. Are you feeling guilty that you’ve lead Ethel on all these years now? She hasn’t dropped any hints up to this point. Or maybe you’ve missed them. Do you feel guilty? Honestly, probably not. So the crux of the nice guy argument, that you are entitled to a relationship, is broken. And not remotely fair.
I think that the media is a big part of why you think this way. When you were little, you saw princes constantly save damzels in distress and then end up with the girl at the end (with little feedback from the princess). When you were teenagers, you saw action movies where the big strapping hero gets the girl he rescues (with witty banter in between, but little resistance from the woman)And now you’ll watch a few rom coms, where the nice guy always gets the girl…in the end (you get the point). From birth to adulthood, you’re taught that this model works. Every time.
You’re also taught one other constant: the other guy in the movie is an asshole. You are hard-pressed to find a rom com wherin the guy who the hero competes with isn’t a bad guy. It’s always boils down to, “bad guy insults her cause he doesn’t know what she really likes!” Or the movie will depict the girl in a bad relationship that she doesn’t get out of until the nice Owen Wilson comes along and saves her from Bradley Cooper. (somehow that seems backwards) How would it be if the movies depicted the 2nd guy as a decent person who is just trying to meet a new romantic interest? Or if he was…gasp…also a nice guy! Then the final scene where the hero stops his love from getting on the plane/train/altar at the end would make you cry…for the poor nice guy left standing at the altar, wondering what he could have possibly done to avoid it.
So to counter all this bad media, nice guy, go watch Love Actually. Pay close attention to Rick Grimes. He is a nice guy that is in love with Elizabeth Swann, but she is marrying his friend, Solomon Northup. At the end of their section of the movie, he (kinda) confesses her love to her. And what happens next? Elizabeth thanks him with a single kiss and returns back to her husband. It is such a poignant and well-crafted moment. It should be shown in a lot more romantic comedies: because it’s realistic. And sometimes it’s the best we can hope for.
“Nice guy”, I hope this letter got you thinking a bit. To recap: If you think you deserve a relationship solely on the virtue of you being nice to a girl, then you are wrong. If you think you two have excellent chemistry and would be good together, that’s fantastic! Try asking her out and seeing if it works. And if you make it to the dating stage and she decides it isn’t working, accept it. At the end of the day, if you are the nice guy that you claim to be, then you should want what’s best for the both of you.
Sometimes relationships will develop like Jack and Rose from the Titanic. Other times, it’s one of the sad endings of Love Actually. Keep an open mind. Keep your niceness, because if it’s honest, somebody, someday, will appreciate it.
And for goodness sake, call Ethel and tell her you’re just not that into her.