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.

Leave a comment

Advantage: You

by Michael on February 6, 2010 · 0 comments

Under the new rules, she has to consider you now. (Photo by nDevilTV)

Some light weekend reading: in case you’ve been away from newspapers, radio and TV this week, the big self-help book being promoted to women is Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough by Lori Gottlieb.

The good news for men who want a relationship: institutionally, women are being told to “settle.”

The better news for men who want a relationship: you don’t have to “settle.”

What we know is that you can do better, if you’re willing to do the work and improve yourself. A fit, well-groomed, well-rounded man is in demand.

Time magazine interviewed Ms. Gottlieb and touched on a few things that anyone reading profiles knows is true:

Q: Are women pickier than men?

A: When I asked men and women what they wanted in a partner, men were far more open-minded. They mostly talked about finding someone cute enough, kind, warm and interesting enough to talk to. Women got absurdly specific — he has to be successful but not a workaholic. He has to know how to order wine in a restaurant. He has to be stylish but not too into fashion in a feminine way. And the lists went on and on.


Q: Do women overestimate their own desirability? Is that part of it?

A: I think they do.

You can read the whole interview for yourself if you have a few minutes. And be ready for the backlash (there’s always a backlash), which is sure to feature a book called Dump Him: The Case for Holding Out for Mr. Right, Even If It Takes ‘Til You’re 80.

Is it Time to Stop Waiting for Mr. Right? [Time]

Leave a comment

How to Get Girls, the Howcast Way

December 11, 2009 Mating & Dating

If you haven’t heard of Howcast, you’re missing out. From how to escape from kidnappers to how to play rock-paper-scissors, it’s a treasure trove of video advice. Often dodgy advice, sometimes advice you really didn’t need in the first place, but advice nonetheless. They try hard. How to be Better at Small Talk For your […]

Read more →

Tiger Woods’ Affairs and What It Means to You

December 8, 2009 Mating & Dating

I don’t want to have to write anything about Tiger Woods and his “woman problem“: I don’t care how famous you are, these things are really between you, your spouse and the eight or nine girls you’ve been sleeping with. But now that his infidelity has been laid bare, guys are doing their best to […]

Read more →

Hump-day Links XVIII

October 14, 2009 Dressing

Today I dedicate the Hump-day Links to Charlie Davies, who was involved in a horrific car accident the day before the US Men’s Soccer Team played their final World Cup qualifier. In the ninth minute of tonight’s game, the fans paid tribute by standing and cheering while waving cards with a white number 9 (Davies […]

Read more →

Hump-day Links XVII

October 7, 2009 Dressing

I know, I know — the lack of 24-hour Brett Favre hype on ESPN is getting you down. Don’t worry, they can only program the World Series of Poker so many hours a week. They’re just taking a break so everyone can stop hyperventilating. In the meantime, might I suggest you occupy your mind with […]

Read more →

Hump-day Links XVI

September 30, 2009 Dressing

The days are getting brisker, the leaves are turning, and overweight guys with helmets are bashing into each other. Of course, that means two things: 1) Fall is here, and 2) Australians are laughing at us. This week’s assortment of links follows: Why Not Just Wear Underpants and Leggings?: Complaint Box | I See London […]

Read more →

Texting for Dates: Yes or No?

September 20, 2009 Mating & Dating

So you’ve met a woman, and got her digits. Two or three days later (depending on who you believe in Swingers) you pick up the phone, look for the number in your contacts, and then… …you get that certain twinge of fear. We’ve all had it. “What will I say? What if she doesn’t remember […]

Read more →