To the Nice Guys

Says he's there to listen, gets annoyed when you mention your boyfriend.
This is you. Now read.

I know you. I used to be like you. I was a self-proclaimed “nice guy” myself. We should start a club. Dibs on President. My first motion as President of the Nice Guys Club: I move to disband.

I’m going to give you the advice that I wish I could have given myself: take a look at yourself, and knock it the fuck off.

Let me first define what I mean by “Nice Guy.” Note the capitalization, it’s a proper noun. It’s a type.

Are you always in the “friend zone” with women you are interested in? Do you then decide to wait it out, be the bestest friend ever ever ever and hope that one day she’ll turn around and declare her undying affection for you and live happily ever after?

That’s what I mean by Nice Guy, and let me be clear. It is not going to work for you. Life isn’t a RomCom.

The Friend Zone is very real. It is a real place in a woman’s mind, at least for the purposes of our little intervention. For a man pursuing a woman, it is a pit that is tough to climb out of. The solution? Don’t let yourself fall down there, unless you’re absolutely not interested in the woman romantically.

You’re not going to be the exception to the rule. If you choose to continue down this path, at least prepare yourself for the fact that it leads to nowhere. Only pain waits for you (and her) down that path. See the links at the end for examples.

I’m going to simplify a bit here, so indulge me. The truth, as always, is more complicated and flexible than this. When a woman meets a man, and she puts him in a box. Is she attracted to him? Then she puts him in the “would date” box. If not, but he’s easy or fun to converse with and hang out with, then he goes in the “wouldn’t date” box. If you’ve expressed interest romantically, and she’s not biting, but still wants to be friends, you’re in that second box.

(Let me explain what I mean by expressing interest romantically. This doesn’t mean that you contact her on Facebook and in the middle of the conversation you ask her if she likes to suck dick. Be a fucking gentleman.)

RULE: A man and a woman cannot be friends if there is any possibility of sexual attraction on either side.

There is only one exception to this rule, and that it requires a vast amount of maturity that most people don’t exhibit until they begin to approach middle age. When you’re younger and ruled by hormones, it just won’t happen.

See, I used to do this shit. I’d meet a girl, and usually it’d be unsuccessful (for reasons I’ll get into in another post). I still liked her though, and wanted to make her like me. I see this as a symptom of low self esteem, and it probably was. So my solution, and the solution of millions of guys out there, was to let myself slip into that friend zone.

Before I knew it, I’d be listening to her cry about how shitty her boyfriend treats her, the guy she’s been with for six months and will continue to be with for the foreseeable future. You think to yourself “Why do women date assholes? Why can’t they just date a Nice Guy like me?”

You might also think in this position that you’re strategically in a good place. You listen to her cry about this guy, and you slip in little bombs, trying to get her to leave him. For you, ideally. But guess what: that ain’t gonna happen.

She might leave him, sure. But it’s not gonna be for you. She just opened up to you and showed a side of herself that she would never show to someone she was romantically interested in. She shared some deep shit. Besides, she doesn’t want to take the risk of destroying this valuable friendship with this guy who will pick up the phone at 2 AM and listen patiently while she works out her shit, and all just for a little sex.

And let’s face it, you’re not really a nice guy. You’re a Nice Guy. You’re not being nice for the sake of being nice, you’re being nice because you hope you’ll get some pussy out of it. Is that nice? It’s really important to be really fucking honest with yourself right now. Really fucking honest. Sit down, turn that brain on.

So how do you avoid the Friend Zone? Simple. Refuse. It’s the reason I’m married right now. When I met the woman who would become my wife, she was talking to another guy as well. Whatever, we’re all dating, it’s single life. We had a date but I was too much of a nice guy.

Woah, settle down. Yes, you can be too much of a nice guy. At the end of our first date, I asked her for a hug. One of the running jokes in our marriage is to spread your arms and sheepishly say, “Hug?” as I did that day so many years ago. I didn’t make her feel wanted. She’s never said as much, probably hasn’t even thought about it, but I have. I’m convinced that the reason I lost that battle to that other guy was because I wasn’t aggressive enough about my wanting.

Later, when it became clear that I had lost, she made the offer. “Yeah, I guess I’m dating that other guy, but I’d really like to be your friend.” It wasn’t the first time I’d heard that, but it was the first time I snapped. Not in a crazy shooter way, but in a man way. I said no. No, I’m sorry, but I can’t be your friend, it would never work because I’m too attracted to you. I could never be a real friend. And she was sad, and so was I, but that was that. Maybe she appreciated my honesty.

We didn’t speak for over a year.

That relationship didn’t work out for her, and we met again. I was a changed person, a different attitude. We had good conversation, I absentmindedly touched the small of her back as I led her to her car, something I hadn’t realized I was doing until she pointed it out (in an agreeable way). Different body language, different attitude. I was more confident.

Long story short, I married her a year and a half after that reunion.

If I had remained her friend, that happy ending never would have happened. And now, we’re best friends and lovers.

There’s a deeper issue for Nice Guys, and I’ll get into that in another post. Basically, it all comes down to self esteem and confidence. In the language of 40 Year Old Virgin, you tend to “put the pussy on a pedestal.” You think no one else will ever come along and ignite the feelings you feel for this particular girl.

It’s bullshit, and you need to realize that. That initial blaze of glory in a relationship is temporary, and it’s not real love. Real love is built block by block, through every little conversation, argument, and moment of silence. I’ve had that blaze we call love with a lot of women, but the only time I’ve ever experienced True Love was with my wife.

Love at first sight is also bullshit, and a dangerous idea for people like you, but that’s also a topic for another post.

There are many fish in the sea. True Love is real, and you will find it. But True Love goes both ways. True Love and friendship go hand in hand, and True Love can grow from friendship, but sometimes the juice is not worth the squeeze.

Links & Resources

When you’re looking on the internet for places to solve your “Nice Guy” problem, don’t look for things written from the Nice Guy point of view. Nice Guy Apologists, if you will. They will do nothing for you. They will bitch and moan about how women only go for “assholes,” and decide that the obvious solution is to become some kind of asshole yourself.

This isn’t the solution. Instead, introspect. Find your darkness and tear it out. Become a real nice guy, a man, capable of giving love and expressing sexual and romantic intention without being a dickhead about it. The goal is to become a 21st century gentleman.

Now read.

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