When I was younger, I used to be a nice guy. If you’re a woman, you probably knew a guy like me or went out on a date with a guy like me. Sh*t, you may be planning to get up with the younger me tonight or tomorrow for a free dinner and night out on the town…before sending me home with a church hug and a peck on the cheek so you can text or call the guy that really gets your internal lubrication mechanism going.
If you’re a dude, you probably watched a guy like me lose repeatedly. You may have even considered yourself the proverbial nice guy. The struggle was real. You thought you were respectful of women and that you showed them the meaning of chivalry. You didn’t use them for sex because it felt unnatural and contradictory to everything your parents taught.
You probably listened to every word girls spoke and offered them reassurance accordingly. You may have even tried to play the friend role without knowing that you were forever branding yourself with a scarlet F, and heading to the “I will talk to you about other guys or treat you like you’re a gay friend” zone. That sh*t sucks. It’s a funny thing to treat a woman with the utmost respect and admiration then watch it seemingly cost you the opportunity you desired.
Yeah, I used to be a nice a guy. Then reality and maturity set in.
Last week I dropped a comment over in Bougie Land about the plight of nice guys and how they eventually learn the error of their or — in many cases — her ways. After commenting, I found myself reflecting on how I used to operate versus the way that I function today. I sat there unproductively at work and relived some of the most unpleasant moments of my teens and early 20s. But, I found solace in knowing how much I’ve changed, and that I’ll never again have to worry about watching the backs of everyone in front of me as I limp toward the finish line with a valiant but unsuccessful effort. Somewhere in the last few years, I figured out something that unbound the restraints that I unknowingly placed on myself:
I’m not just a nice guy that finishes last
unless we’re talking about sheets magic. That’s an outward looking excuse for my own insecurities and inability to understand how immature and often incompatible people operate. I’m just a good person. Period. I’m drawing a distinction here between “nice guy” and “good person”because depending on who you ask in 2011, a nice guy can take on multiple meanings. Let me briefly elaborate.
A nice guy in the most general and mature sense is a selfless person that people enjoy being around. He’s always willing to help where he can, has an optimistic outlook on life, has a good sense of humor, and brings an infectious positive energy wherever he goes. It doesn’t matter if he’s introverted or extroverted. He’s the type of person that when you hear something bad happened to him or someone close to him, you feel deeply for his troubles because “he’s such a nice guy.”
But when it comes to the hunt for women, the definition of a nice guy ain’t so peachy. For a man, being called a nice guy after a first date when she’s debriefing with her friends is greater than or equal to being called ugly…despite the fact that ugly men have proven that they can win. The competitive advantage for the aesthetically deficient is confidence. Something that the “nice guy” as I’m describing him to you often lacks.
I can say this because in the 28 years that I’ve traversed through life, I’ve never heard a woman describe a 1st date guy as nice without hearing her go on to say she’s not interested or inquiring about a friend of mine that peaked her interest. Granted, she may have enjoyed her meal with Mr. Respect & Care, but that was the extent of it. His efforts to be everything she wanted and what he thought she deserved were for naught. And because he thinks he needs to win her over, he’ll continue to foolishly exert 200% effort when his fate was already decided in the first quarter. That leads me to my next point:
Nice guy is starting to become synonymous with simp — a term that we’ve all grown to know too well.
If you get your Webster or Urban Dictionary on, you’ll see that a simp (or simpleton) is defined as a fool. Today, simps are the nice guys that after making several admirable — but usually unsuccessful — attempts to impress women, complain about finishing last and how women don’t want good men. Simps are everything that women really need without the 2 things they really want: confidence and experience.
They are the lads that let women have, say, and do what they want to a fault. And while he’s showering her with wholesome goodness, his cologne reeks of nonexistent assertiveness and subsequent incompatibility. And for whatever reason, he presses on trying to impress women who, if he paid close enough attention, make it clear they aren’t truly interested in him.
Note: Doesn’t this sound like the woman that gives and does everything possible for a man that hasn’t even feigned the possibility of commitment?
What the modern day nice guy and unpleasantly labeled (and even confident) nice guy fails to realize is that it’s difficult for his kind gestures and proverbial awesomeness to be understood by a woman that doesn’t know how to separate her wants from her needs. She’s not gonna see the value and possibility of what could be with him because she doesn’t want the man that he is today. But as he gets older, those that weren’t interested before reappear with a smile and some eggs.
So how does the Mr. Nice Guy win today? That’s simple. He changes his attitude.
He goes into dating situations knowing that women are at different places on the needs-wants-values continuum and acknowledging incompatibility is part of finding the one he’ll be most compatible with. He understands that just because he plays by the rules doesn’t mean he should win; and if he keeps losing, he needs to go back to the drawing board and look at why he has a bunch of ribbons but no trophies. But most importantly, he doesn’t get discouraged by the “success” of the assholes. He just accepts that if that’s the type of man she wanted, she wasn’t the one for him to begin with, and vice versa.
It was when I had that realization that things turned around for me. I started running my own race and women started popping up like gophers at the arcade. No women were bopped over the head in the making of this man.
So when it comes down to it, it’s not about nice guys (or girls) finishing last. It’s about nice guys not finishing until she does. Well, that and not worrying about finishing in last place when it comes to love. If you approach dating as a learning experience, you’ll get to the finish line when you’re supposed to. Don’t lose yourself trying to excessively be someone for somebody that doesn’t want and isn’t right for you. Be a good person free of labels. And if you can’t do that, you need some more training before you step up to the starting line.
Are there distinctions between good and nice guys or girls? If so, what are they? If not, why not? Any other thoughts or tips for the “nice people” that came to mind after reading this post? All thoughts are welcome!