Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Are Nice Guys Even In The Race?

"On why they finish last..."

It seems that wherever we go and whoever we surround ourselves with, conversation is always going to inevitably turn to love, lust, and relationships. This has never been a topic I have been extremely comfortable in discussing unless under the influence of enough alcohol to soften the brutal honesty with which I must approach this.

Admittedly, I am not the best mascot for love. I don't do romance, marriage, PDAs.. I barely even like holding hands (seriously?! You're sweating ON EACH OTHER)

When talking about love with male friends, I seem to be constantly bombarded with the question, 'What is wrong with you women? You all say you want a nice guy, and yet you date total assholes?!'
Gotta hand it to you, fellas. You're damn perceptive.

The truth is, it has taken me a really long time to try and form some sort of suitable answer to this. Whenever I get asked, I tend to just chuckle and shrug it off like I hadn't actually noticed, when in reality I spend most of my time fixating on morons and being completely oblivious to the advances of the genuinely nice guys who tend to lurk in the back of my mind. Don't get me wrong: I have been on dates with nice guys. I have let them take me to dinner, to the movies... And yet have always left the end of the night feeling like I just got smacked in the face by the politeness stick and feeling completely and utterly disinterested.

So what is it that switches off in a woman when she realizes that the guy she is going out with is nice? What is it that suddenly makes this man so unattractive, and somewhat un-dateable? And is this really a thing? Are nice guys done for?

Enough questions. It's time for some answers. Here are the ABCs of why nice guys appear to be finishing last.

1. The Availability clause.
I once went out on a date with a really nice guy. He was great on paper, had a good job, was good-looking, intelligent, and even made me laugh. Telling friends about him they thought I had hit the jackpot. After our date, which fell on a Thursday, he sent me a text message asking if he could see me again that Saturday. Playing it cool, I replied with a maybe. He later told me that he had made a reservation at a champagne bar down town, and he would meet me there at 8pm. Intrigued by his confidence, I went. He spent the night being himself, and generally doting on most things I said and did. The next morning, he texted me again asking if he could see me again soon. Instantly I knew I would never go out with him again.

Over time, it has become embedded in someone that something which is scarce and difficult to find has more value than something that is easily attainable. Diamonds, gold, mink... Things we see of higher value than something like wood. Truth is, wood is everywhere. Paper is everywhere. This is why we would rather the diamonds.
The same applies to men. If they are too available to us, they lose value. While playing it hot or cold is not great either, a man ideally has a subtle balance yet knows when to strike.

2. The Boss clause
Truth be told, a woman is an argumentative creature. We like to argue, and like to win. One of the reasons I went to law school was because I fancied my self a little too much as a defensive conversationalist.  And the great thing about the bad boy? They have the confidence to fight back.
Now, I’m not saying that women want to be argued with, dismissed, and told they are wrong consistently and to no avail. This is the ultimate turn-off. The nice guy, however, can have a tendency to be a little too agreeable around the female species. A guy once asked me out by saying, “I want to take you for a drink. If you don’t want to come with me, that’s fine. I’ll just ask you again tomorrow on the off chance you have come to your senses.”
The next day, he asked me again. On the third try I let him buy me a beer.

Mr Agreeable habitually asks a girl out once, gets rejected, and goes off to wallow in a corner about not even running the same race as the jerks, and never having a shot in hell. While the guy might have the confidence to ask once, he doesn’t believe fully in his ability to win the battle. The follow through is almost non-existent.  For women, this just ruins the game.

To tell a female secret; as much as we might pretend to hate the guys who play the game, we enjoy it just as much as they do. We LOVE the thrill of ‘why isn’t he texting me back straight away?’ and most of us harbour a secret desire to win the upper hand – to be chased. Saying yes on the first request ruins the chase: and guess what Mr Nice Guy? It ruins your chances too. Sorry!

3. The Chemistry clause
To put it simply: women quite often just aren’t attracted to nice guys. They don’t have any sexual chemistry with them. I’ve dated a few really sweet guys and have hated myself for having to tell them I’d rather be friends. Because, the truth is, I could only ever see myself being their friend. Yeah: they got LJBF’d.

Genetically (and this is going back a good few years) women were drawn to the hunter-gatherer: the man who could go out and provide for the family by any means necessary. The man was the predator: strong, rough, and ready. Not all women are looking for that these days (look at Liz Hurley! She’s dating Shane Warne!!) but there still has to be that element of ‘I don’t mind getting my hands dirty or my feet wet if needs be’. A strong, confident man will always let off an aroma of ‘don’t worry, I will look after you, and I know what I’m doing (in EVERY way)’ – the bad boy offers this (AND THEN SOME!!)

Besides, it doesn’t hurt to have a big ball of charm up your sleeve: and the bad boy always seems to know exactly what to say.

I am no expert (am I?)


I'd like to add a disclaimer here. I do believe the nice guy can get the girl, and I believe that more often than not, the nice guy deserves the girl a lot more than anything else. I am just trying to dissect social protocol.