Do Nice Guys Finish Last?

by Michael on March 2, 2010 · 0 comments

That's your ex's new boyfriend. Yeah, he's a Dick. (Photo by Alan Light)

“Nice guys finish last.” They say Leo Durocher coined the phrase in reference to a baseball team, but we’ve adopted it as a description of how supposedly respectful, deferential men are pushed aside by women for the “jerks.” And while it’s true that there is a segment of women who live to “fix” damaged guys, the real problem is usually with the Nice Guy—who may not be so nice after all.

But what could possibly be wrong with the guy who shows up at a girl’s doorstep with a rose, takes her out for a classy dinner and drops her off at her door with nothing more than a peck on the cheek? Can’t a guy treat his woman like a queen without her running off with the first knave to cross her path?

The Problem With Nice Guys

The first issue—and a big reason Nice Guys turn women off—is that many nice guys are deliberately non-sexual. A Nice Guy believes that women will be attracted to him because he’s not a threat, and in making himself non-threatening, a Nice Guy buries his masculinity. Buying drinks, gifts, dinners, deferring to her on decisions and letting her lead the interaction indicates a lack of confidence. Without an undercurrent of desire, there’s instead a feeling that he’s hiding something.

And this brings us to the second issue: by burying their true desires under the pretense of non-threatening platonic supplication, the Nice Guy is being dishonest. He does what he does because he expects her to reciprocate. He really does want to take her to bed and do the things people do there, but he won’t admit it. He’ll stay as far from the issue of desire as possible, hoping perhaps that she’ll broach the subject when his niceness finally wins her over. When she ultimately never does, he shuts down, or mopes, or maybe even gets mad and acts out.

Yes, I know how wonderfully romantic it sounds that a guy can’t live without this girl he barely knows (or has known from afar for a really uncomfortably long time), but if a Nice Guy is pinning his future happiness on someone else, that guy is going to blame others for his unhappiness.

What’s He Got That I Don’t?

So what is it about the “jerks” and “bad boys” that lets them steal the women right out of the arms of the Nice Guys?

It’s their confidence. Their self-esteem. Their audacity. Jerks may suffer from addictions, lack of respect or delusions of grandeur, but they also project masculinity. They may have some huge warts, but they’re embracing life, warts and all. A Jerk is his own man, but he’s definitely a man. It’s a vibration women respond to, often against their own better judgment.

What Nice Guys don’t want to hear is that they could learn something from the Jerks.

Instead of Nice, Be Real

Listen, men have desires. Women want to be desired. You don’t have to talk like a sailor or grope your date to demonstrate that you’re all man, but you do have to prove you have backbone and resiliency. Instead of worrying about showing how respectful you are to women, show how you respect yourself. You can be incredibly giving, as long as you give with no expectation of anything in return, because affection isn’t bought. Make decisions. Lead, don’t follow.

A confident man doesn’t pin his self-esteem on a date. He knows that even though this woman is beautiful and charming there’s a big world out there, and plenty of beautiful and charming women. He has the huevos to make a move—and if she rejects him, he respects her wishes and moves on. He’s going to have the greatest time tonight, and she can come along for the ride or not.

Men with integrity, self-esteem, and direction can be extremely successful with women, and they don’t have to be Jerks to do it. They’re Real Men, and women will take a Real Man over a Nice Guy any day.

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