“Nice guys finish last”. It’s become the mantra of men who’ve spent a lot of time and money creating an aura of generosity with the ladies, but have been rejected, only to witness an archetypal ‘Jack-the-lad’ user/player breeze into the picture and apparently sweep the girls off their feet.
But is the classic Mr Nice Guy character really as generous as he seems to believe? And do women really prefer to be treated mean?…
THE CORE OF THE CONFUSION
The “nice guys finish last” maxim certainly applies in the world of business, where success takes a high level of Machiavellian drive. Look at any truly successful entrepreneur, and you won’t find a soft character who lets other people have their way. You’ll find entitlement, assertiveness – perhaps even a disregard for the feelings of others. You might see a smile and some superficial expressions of goodwill, but behind all the pleasantries there lurks a user with low tolerance and a vicious bite.
In personal relationships, however, the above traits are considered highly unattractive. Why would anyone want a partner who disregards their feelings? They wouldn’t. But what they might want is a buzz of excitement and a luxury lifestyle with all the trappings of success.
If a lot of highly successful men have selfish characteristics, and a lot of women are attracted to the trappings of success, the result will be an incidental picture of women going for selfish men. But the picture is incidental. It’s the success the women are attracted to – not the selfishness. These successful guys, with exciting lifestyles, are attracting women despite their more negative personality traits – not because of them.
SO WHY DON’T NICE GUYS WIN THE GIRL?
The short answer is that they do. Literally millions and millions of happily-partnered men have built their lives around kindness and consideration. They have ordinary roles in society. They met a female they wanted to be with, and, importantly, who wanted to be with them, and that was pretty much all there was to it. These are genuine nice guys, and they do succeed. But you won’t see much of them on the online dating scene, if anything at all. Loyal and realistic guys who strive to increase their personal value and contribute, and who are genuinely good-natured, rarely need dating services.
So what’s all this “nice guys finish last” rhetoric about then? Why are so many men protesting that being nice doesn’t work with women, and subscribing to the view that in order to succeed, it must be essential to treat women mean?
MR NICE GUY
The real issue with “nice guys” (note the quotes) who fail with women is that they mistake being nice, with being weak, or fake. The defining traits of these men include a refusal to assimilate obvious signs of incompatibility, a refusal to recognise disinterest from women, and a tendency to make highly discriminatory allowances for attractive women.
What sort of allowances? Well, the men will consistently tolerate levels of indifference, selfishness, greed and opposing belief from “hot females”, which they would not tolerate from anyone else. What this suggests, is that these men are heavily prone to objectifying women. The female’s value as a physical object far outweighs her behaviour and personality – to the extent that the man actually suspends his own values to accommodate her.
This malleability – the man’s tendency to relinquish all semblance of control to a “hot female” – forms part of his downfall. But the greater part of the man’s downfall is that he chases women with whom he’s not compatible in the first place. The two parties often have nothing in common, they may have significant and potentially fractious differences in views, and usually the woman will have an enormously higher level of sex appeal and popularity than the man. In other words, this failure-prone male (let’s call him Mr Nice Guy) can be dramatically over-ambitious when selecting females to chase.
Mr Nice Guy might play nice, but beneath his exterior lurks quite a selfish, calculating and disingenuous individual. He’s reluctant to show himself in that light, and he does usually keep his true nature well suppressed, but evidence of his real persona can rise to the surface in the aftermath of his failure. We may, for example, hear him recite lines such as…
“Oh well I’m not going to bother being nice anymore, because nice guys finish last”.
This indicates that being “nice” does not come naturally to the guy. It’s an effort, and an act.
It can be tempting to believe that because a man has run around spending a fortune on women, leaving himself short, and leaving the women basking in the gains they’ve made, that the guy is very unselfish. But let’s remind ourselves what our classic Mr Nice Guy is doing…
SPECULATE TO ACCUMULATE
In virtually all cases where guys have blown large sums of money on females and “got nowhere”, you find yourself looking at a system of failed bribery. Mr Nice Guy is ignoring women with whom he’s compatible, in order to chase extremely magnetic and highly glamorous women, with far greater sex appeal than himself, often a lot younger, and sometimes so popular that they have a fanbase. Women who have expressed no interest in him, and in many cases have ignored the vast bulk (if not all) of his attempts to engage with them.
He’s trying to bribe or emotionally blackmail those women into overlooking an obvious mismatch in inherent desirability. If the relationship match were viable in the first place, the man would not need to be offering bribes or putting on an act.
Yes, he’s spending money, but he’s not giving. He’s speculating, with a view to accumulating. If he were truly a generous guy, he would not be making the complaint: “I spent all this, but got nothing in return!” – because generosity does not expect anything in return. In reality, every penny he spends is about him making a higher gain. That’s the only reason he’s complaining. He didn’t come out ‘up on the deal’.
Indeed, there exists evidence that some Mr Nice Guy characters will actually try to get their gifts back once they realise their attempts at befriending a woman have been unsuccessful. This perfectly illustrates that the gestures have nothing to do with generosity and are simply manipulative ploys. I’ve personally seen a case on social media in which a man asked for the return of gifts he’d sent to glamour model. And in Channel 4’s TV documentary The Fantasy Club, a man deployed a lawyer in an attempt to recover a motor vehicle he’d gifted to a lapdancer.
The mantra of these men is: “Hey, I’ve been very generous, but it wasn’t appreciated!”. But that’s roughly like someone putting £1,000 on a roulette wheel, winning nothing, then complaining that the casino didn’t appreciate his kindly gesture. It’s obviously not generosity when you’re trying to gain more than the value of your stake. And that’s what these guys are doing – plying highly attractive and popular women with niceties and financial gestures in a bid to possess them.
A WOMAN’S INTUITION
Whilst Mr Nice Guy may believe otherwise, the women he pursues intuitively know what his game is. They know he’s not being generous. They’re fully aware that he’s trying to bribe or emotionally blackmail them into becoming his possession. Again, in Channel 4’s The Fantasy Club, one of the lapdancers asserted that the men…
“… Aren’t giving you this money to be nice to you – they’re giving you it to try and get your knickers off. So they deserve it [to get cleaned out]. If they wanted to be nice they’d give it to the local children’s hospital or give it to a charity – not come and give it to a stripper.”
It’s not even intuition really – it’s just obvious. And it’s a fact: most Mr Nice Guy characters chase the same women. Women with blatant and high sex appeal. We know this from interactivity measured on dating sites and social media. So many of these guys will not look at a woman who doesn’t meet their standard of glamour. They’ll ONLY chase “hot and sexy”. The result of this is that the “hot and sexy” women are relentlessly bombarded with the same type of empty, lazy, and often ‘copy & paste’ attention.
Exacerbating the problem further still, this type of guy will often try to chase multiple “hot” females at the same time. He’s hedging his bets due to what he knows from experience will be a truly dismal success rate, but the ‘coconut-shy’ approach just makes him even less likely still to succeed.
Remember, we’re already talking here about a man who, by nature of his disproportionate deference to glamorous females, and his indifference towards less glamorous females, demonstrably objectifies women. But his tendency to objectify is highlighted further by his superficial approaches. He’s almost completely sidelined the issue of who the woman is as a person, and what she cares about (well, beyond him, that is, obviously). He’s purely focused on acquiring evidence of reciprocal attraction, so he doesn’t approach with substance – he approaches with compliments and indiscriminate agreement.
It’s a lazy policy. It’s really not difficult to tell women they’re beautiful and agree with everything they say. Online, some of these guys even have scripts.
I didn’t really set out to write a post about men who become ’emotional sponges’ to women (that’s where most other “nice guy” posts end up). The dynamics of the ’emotional sponge’ do, however, come from the same place as other “nice guy” manifestations.
The ’emotional sponge’ is a guy who wants to become a woman’s lover, but she doesn’t find him sufficiently attractive, so she keeps throwing herself at Jack the Lad, then getting used. In the aftermath of a bad relationship experience, she vents, to Mr Nice Guy, all the dregs of heartache that her female friends have no sympathy for. The male ’emotional sponge’ doesn’t really have any sympathy either, but he pretends he does, because he wants the woman to love him and he enjoys any opportunity he can get to communicate with her.
The ’emotional sponge’ will often complain in the same rather bitter manner that gift buyers do. But he’s not under any obligation to do what he does, and it appears that a large number of ’emotional sponges’ instigate the interactions themselves. If I had a penny for every time I’ve seen a random “nice guy” approach a disgruntled glamorous female on social media with the line: “If you ever feel the need to talk…”… It’s just another type of phoney support, employed in a bid to render a completely incompatible relationship, somehow compatible.
One more fairly common trait among Mr Nice Guy characters is a susceptibility to being catfish-conned by males who pretend to be females on the Internet. Once again, it’s dating site and social media research that’s revealed the staggering extent to which these superficial men will attempt to ‘date’ fake profiles, run by other males. And it’s a very damning indictment, because it so perfectly illustrates how little attention they pay to anything other than physical appearance.
Mr Nice Guy’s submissiveness in interactions with “hot females” is not only impotent as a strategy – it’s also damaging to his chances. His view is that his almost echo-like dialogue will appear supportive, but hers is that there IS no dialogue. For her, it’s like owning a parrot – not communicating with a potential soul mate.
Although he sees his submissiveness as a ticket to being liked and approved of, in reality it makes him tedious, predictable, and worst of all, weak. Whatever a woman looks for in a man, it’s almost certain that weakness does not figure in the list.
This leads to an issue of personal value relating to “nice guy” characters – or the lack thereof. There’s a widely used quote from the eighteenth century philosopher Thomas Paine that says…
“What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.”.
The line was originally buried in a piece of propaganda, but it does absolutely sum up the inevitable fate of those who make themselves too easy and malleable an acquisition. It explains why men who are, or appear to be desperate, have no real appeal to women. And vice versa of course – desperate women have no real appeal to men either. In any relationship, one needs to value one’s partner. But how can one value someone who behaves like they’re worthless?
So the concept of men treating women like goddesses is not going to cement a relationship, because that creates an immediate and pronounced imbalance of value. He acknowledges that she is worth many times what he is worth. Forging a relationship on that basis would be like buying/selling a Versace dress for a fiver. It isn’t going to happen.
MR NICE GUY’S TASTES
The drastic over-ambition of the classic “nice guy” character is often overlooked in assessments of his failure. But this is really the cornerstone of his lifelong consignment to chasing but never catching. He may also have low empathy, which blinds him to his competition. He might not see or visualise ‘the other guy’. The exciting, hunky charmer upon whom the woman’s sights are set. With no perceived competition, Mr Nice Guy develops a grossly unrealistic sense of his own chances.
But his synthetic system of trying to buy his way round all obstacles will never work, because no woman can change what she feels, or sees as attractive, due to a bribe – just as no man can. The whole notion of “I spent this, and therefore she should see me like that” is delusional. If HE were not attracted to a woman, and she bought him a £200 gift, would he become attracted to her? Obviously not. Why would it be any different the other way around?
WHAT’S THE SOLUTION?
There are two solutions to Mr Nice Guy’s plight, and neither has anything to do with becoming a bastard or treating women like dirt. The first is for the man to accept the reality of how relationship matching works, and reset his ambitions at a realistic level. In other words, stop chasing mega-popular, high-glamour females who aren’t, in any case, really on the market, and start looking at ordinary women who actually express an interest.
The other solution is for the man to make investments in personal development and increase his own desirability and status. This doesn’t necessarily have to mean physical development, although greater physical attractiveness will almost inevitably help. The real goal should be to contribute – to work on things that matter to people. All people – not just to one or two “hot women”.
In fact, a man can significantly increase his personal value (and thus his value to women) by abandoning his grovelling in favour of meaningful communication – researched if necessary, and by simply cutting out the bribes. No man is ever going to get a picture of a woman’s true interest in him whilst he’s throwing money at her. The guy needs to put his wallet away, and, if no women show interest, investigate the underlying problem(s). Are his ambitions unrealistic? Does he come across as desperate? Creepy? Weird? Boring?… These are all things he can address – WITHOUT blowing his savings on females who will only ever see him as a ‘human ATM’.
SO TREATING WOMEN MEAN DOESN’T WORK?
There’s a difference between wanting excitement and wanting to be treated badly, and I don’t believe any woman wants to be treated badly. So apart from being very strongly opposed to any advice suggesting that men cease being nice to women, I also categorically believe that such a policy will fail. As I said, successful men who treat women badly forge relationships DESPITE their inconsiderate or Machiavellian behaviour – not because of it. Inherently, MEN WHO TREAT WOMEN BADLY DO NOT SUCCESSFULLY ATTRACT DESIRABLE PARTNERS.
I’d also suggest ignoring the advice of certain male ‘dating gurus’, who say that a man should not spend money on a woman without a commitment, from her, that he gets what he wants in return – which will invariably be sex.
That really has nothing to do with dating. It’s an escorting deal. A man who abides by the above principle will always attract the same type of “pay as you go” woman, who dashes off to someone else the split second his money runs out. You reap what you sow. Treat women like escorts, and guess what sort of women you’ll attract?… Yep, escorts.
If that’s the sort of arrangement you want, fine, but don’t try to make out that it’s some kind of ‘dating success’.
To succeed, Mr Nice Guy must address his issues with objectification, stop pretending to be a saint, stop confusing “nice” with “weak” or “fake”, and start investing his time in developing himself rather than squandering it on incompatible women. But most of all, he must discard his ridiculous suspicion that women may in some way want to be treated mean. In love, nice guys absolutely do not finish last.
Fake guys, however, definitely do.