I’ve often heard that girls all want nice guys, but never go for them. I heard it in high school and I have heard it in college. To those suffering from, or who know someone who suffers from, “Nice Guy Syndrome,” it is not true.
I saw my first case of Nice Guy Syndrome when I was 15. A high school buddy of mine, Nick, was this sweet fresh-faced kid.
He wore Greek fisherman’s caps, loved Firefly, and created a superhero that could shoot mice out of his eyes. He was a good friend, but I let him down. I did not stop him when he first said, “Girls all say they want a nice guy, but then they date jerks.” He caught a bad case of Nice Guy Syndrome and it eventually ended our friendship.
As such I feel that it’s necessary that I discuss this to prevent the outbreak of this dangerous idea system.
Geek Feminism Wiki breaks down Nice Guy Syndrome into three related, generally non-exclusive, schools of thought, all of which revolve around the idea that women do not like “nice” men.
My ex-friend Nick believed all three.
The first school of thought says women are hypocrites who go after “bad boys” and “jerks” instead of the “nice guy” they say they want. Alternatively, women end up with “jerks” because they are too cruel or ignorant to see the “nice guy” in front of them.
The second school of thought says it is a problem with the guy. He sees women being attracted to “bad boys” and needs to learn to become one so he can get dates. He needs to become a pick-up artist because currently, he’s “too nice.”
And then there are those who subscribe to the third school of thought. They feel entitled to rewards for niceness. There is supposed to be this understood quid pro quo that being nice to a woman, treating her like a friend and human being, should be recognized and rewarded with a date.
When they are not rewarded, then they complain about being “friend zoned.”
One of the most important things to realize about the “friend zone” is that it suggests that being friends is a failure. It makes romantic relationships the only successful outcome between cross-sex friendships.
Despite thinking that being friends is a failure of the relationship, that’s where nice guys start.
They pretend to be platonic friends with women to ease themselves into the woman’s life long before showing any actual signs of interest. When it turns out they actually did make themselves platonic friends, they loose interest and dump the friendship entirely.
Based on these different schools of thoughts, it becomes obvious that being that “nice guy” is sexist.
“Nice” guys discount, ignore, or blame women for not wanting to date them. They objectify women. They think they should get dates based on deception and manipulation. They have no interest in friendships that do not advance to romantic relationships.
Fortunately, there does seem to be a cure.
Do not act like Nick. Notice who gets called “nice.”
As Lore Sjöberg of Wired.com points out, being a nice guy should not be a goal. It sets the bar to as low as “essentially lackluster, if largely unobjectionable male person.”
Go for being a kind, interesting, intelligent, multifaceted, sexy boy wonder instead.
It works for me.