Nice Guys Finish First
I know the popular saying contradicts what I’m calling this piece. I’m here to argue otherwise.
Ladies, admit it. There’s something about the bad boy that’s a complete turn on. He brings danger, a sense of adventure, and total drama into your life. Rarely a day goes by where you’ll actually be thinking to yourself, “wow, this day was boring.” It’ll usually be the complete opposite.
But with all this excitement comes a price usually paid for in tears and hurt feelings. For some reason I’ve still yet to figure out, we’re under some kind of crazy misguided notion that we’ll be the ones to change him! We magically delude ourselves into thinking that we’re somehow special enough to be the one who’ll turn him around.
I’ve been there and done that. By “done that,” I mean that I was a card-carrying member of the Delusional. I’m also way over it because I’m onto something way better. It’s called NORMAL. (More on this in a bit.) Whenever I think back on this period of my dating life, I recall Fergie’s wise words in her epic song “My Humps”….
You don’t want no drama
No, no drama
NO NO NO NO DRAMA
Fellas, I know what you’re thinking. If you’re the nice guy, you’re probably thinking I’m smoking some goooood [fill in the blank] because you’re always the one holding the short end of the stick. You’re the one who spends hours upon hours comforting girls like the one I used to be when our rebels-without-a-clue stomped on our feelings. You’re thinking we’ll come around one day when we see how nice and sweet you are. You start believing we actually mean it when we say, “God, I just want a nice guy!”
When you hear those words, you’re probably doing the happy dance to end all happy dances. You’re about to make your move… only to have the music come to a screeching halt when we run off with our bad boy the second he shows something that vaguely resembles remorse.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
So what’s my point? My point is that I used to be one of those clueless girls. I wanted to save them like they were some kind of wayward puppy. But, you know what I realized? They’re not wayward puppies. And even if they were, puppies have teeth. And they bite. And they’ll eat your shoes after they pee all over them.
I’ve seen the light because I don’t want to babysit anymore. That’s essentially what dating a bad boy is like. I felt like I was babysitting a manic eight-year-old boy and trying to house-train a not-too-bright puppy the entire time:
“No, you can’t do that. Why? Because that’s battery and assault, and you don’t want to go to prison, do you? Good boy. Here’s a treat.”
“No. Don’t drink that entire bottle of wine! No!! Bad!!! BAAAAAAD PUPPY!!!! BAD!!! GO TO YOUR ROOM! I SAID YOUR ROOM!! NOT MY ROOM!!!”
Fast forward to today. My boyfriend is a nice guy. He’s thoughtful, sincere, genuine, and all kinds of awesome. He brings me little treats like ice cream (I think it’s more for him, and he’s just ensuring he has a supply of ice cream at my home. I eat it all when he’s not looking, and then he brings more! Just like magic!! Haa haa haa!). And to this day, he opens my doors. He treats me like a lady, and I think he’s the best thing since humans figured out how to make fire.
You know what? I have to thank the guys I dated in the past because they showed me exactly what it is I don’t want. They showed me how I don’t want to be treated and that I don’t like crying. They taught me an invaluable lesson because now I know what I do want. I appreciate Clyde for the man he is and for everything he does for me. Thanksgiving doesn’t come once a year. It’s an everyday occurrence for me, and I let him know every day that I am thankful for everything he does for me.
Granted, I have no idea what kind of person he was before we met, but that’s irrelevant because that’s not whom I’m with now. People change and people (hopefully) grow. I know he’s not perfect (Heaven knows I’ve got my own issues and am pretty weird, but he’s still here…and he likes it! SCORE!!!!!), but I’m not looking for perfection. I’m looking for someone who’s broken pieces will fit with my broken pieces. Through trial and error, we learn what works for us and what doesn’t. Whatever doesn’t pass muster gets kicked to the curb as fast as my stiletto-heeled feet can make contact.
Whatever is left standing is therefore considered the winner. And guess what? In my case, the nice guy won. Which means he also finished first.
What is there to convince a man that he shouldn’t simply go around acting like a bad boy until he’s 30, then only turning “nice” when the women realize that’s what they really want?
On the flip side, there’s a danger that sexually frustrated “nice guys” flip to bad boys too late in life and then die virgins.
How would you raise your sons and daughters on this subject?
Well, if they die virgins, then they’re not really hurting anyone, right? So… their loss.
As for convincing the bad boys to change, I think that’s the biggest mistake women make… trying to “convince” a man that he should do this or not do that. If you have to “convince” him, then there’s something inherently wrong there.
As for raising sons and daughters… funny you should ask that. We’re bringing in a new writer (hopefully you’ll see him in the next few weeks) who has some lessons he wants to share with his unborn son. 😉
I never got into the whole bad boy routine. It isn’t that I don’t see the appeal – who doesn’t like a cowboy, right? But it seemed to me that all the “bad boys” I knew were knuckle dragging apes or brain-dead stoners. Neither of which were on my short-list.
Being something of a tom-boy, I think I just decided to become my own cowboy. If I need a rush, I go rafting. But in a relationship, I don’t want danger – I want safety, comfort and respect. Bad boys don’t offer those things.
I’ve always wondered if the concept of nice guys finishing last also applies to nice girls. Being a nice girl often gets you walked all over and broken-hearted in the end. As much as you hear guys say they dont want a demanding, high-maintenance girl . . . sometimes it really seems like they do.
Love the article!
And I have to say to all the girls out there STILL chasing bad boys:
Eventually some nice girls (like above) who have figured it out snap up and marry those nice boys, so don’t complain later in life that there aren’t any left! 🙂
I think this whole concept is just part of growing up and finally realizing you want a *companion,* not a *project.* It also has a lot to do with self-esteem and coming to the realization that you deserve to be treated with a certain amount of respect.
random note: this is the first time I’ve commented here. why is my avatar so angry looking? 🙁
No, guys want to take a nice girl home. also, guys want a lady in the streets but a freak in the sheets.
@Sam: Ha, sorry. Unless you have a WordPress account, the site automatically assigns you an avatar. Maybe it figured you sounded like an angry person? 😉
As for the bad boys, I feel like it’s a huge cliche, but you can’t change them. Well, actually, that’s not true. You can. But you can’t force them to change. You can’t go into a relationship or a hookup with a bad boy with the intention of taming them or the expectation that as soon as they get to know you, they’ll “come to their senses.” They have to want it, and you have to let it happen.
As for nice guys… well, it depends on how you define “nice”. That’s a huge catchall that doesn’t really mean anything to me anymore. It seems as if it’s become synonymous with shy or introverted, which isn’t the case. You can be nice and extroverted, and you can be a total d*ck and introverted. It’s all about how you present yourself, and how you want to be perceived.
I don’t think there is ANY way to convince a man to stop behaving a certain way. I think it’s one of those things where you just have to learn the hard way or encounter something that forces those peepers wide open.
As for the nice guys, while I can’t speak for every female, I can only tell them that I love the nice men but you have to let me know you want me. Grow some balls and grab me by the hand (not the hair….unless I want you to. Haa haa haa) and never ever let me put you in the “friend” category.
I would raise my daughters to date only someone who makes her feel special, respected and cherished. Don’t date a boy who honks at you from the curb because I don’t think that’s respectful.
I would raise my sons to treat their ladies well. If they have sisters, I’d ask them what would they do if their sister came home crying because of a boy and then I’d ask them not to be that kind of a man.
To the Other Anonymous –
I am the nice girl and you’re right. In fact….you know what…I’ll address this in another post. Thanks for the idea!
Papa Geek – thanks!! You’re right too. There are girls who still chase them and to all those females out there….well….what is there to say, you know? If that’s what they like and they’re honest about it then so be it. There’s someone for everyone, you know? 😀
* sam * – you hit the nail dead on and I’ve no idea why you look so angry. x)
Allison – It is a huge cliche but it works for a reason. The “bad boy” and the “nice guy” are total catchalls. To me, a nice guy is one who is genuine, sweet, honest, loyal, who doesn’t ditch me in my first ever 10k but jogged along next to my sweaty half dead ass till the end and plays well with others but follows the rules of kindergarten. 😀
I love what Allison said about how nice and shy are not synonymous. Some of these guys who you think are “nice,” simply because they are nerdy and introverted can really surprise you and turn out to be total jerks. I am totally into nice guys and have to concur with Miss Bonnified and Allison that they’re even nicer when they show some spine and go for what they want. 🙂
You know what I hate? When a *bad* boy is SO bad, that he manipulates you into thinking he’s a nice guy, waits till you fall for him, and THEN walks all over you! A lot of us nice girls really WANT a nice guy, but we get fooled into falling for bad boys who know the right moves to make. That’s why I don’t trust a guy who’s too romantic and giving at first – it doesn’t seem sincere. I want a nice guy who will treat me as if I’m special only AFTER he gets to know me and learns just how special I really am. Otherwise, he’s probably just a fake, manipulative, bad boy.
Now, wait it minute, Laura. Isn’t that sort of a catch-22 that you’re imposing on guys then?
If he’s too nice from the start, you’re going to be suspicious and think that it’s an act.
But if he acts uninterested and “not nice” from the start… well, is that what it’ll actually take to pique your interest?
Because if the second explanation is true, then you totally validate the concept of “negs” that pickup artists employ, and which I know you despise for being manipulative.
Just playing Devil’s Advocate here…. 🙂
I get what Laura’s saying about not trusting guys that are too nice or too giving from the start — they haven’t gotten to know you, so what’s so special about you that makes them so nice to you? It’s generic behavior they use to get ANY girl, not just you.
Dennis, I don’t think she’s saying she’d rather have a guy be a d*ck to her (and thus validate the concept of “negs” [and it makes me a little sad that I know what you’re talking about there]) than simply be a normal person trying to get to know someone. You don’t have to go out of your way to be nice or civil to someone without seeming that you want something out of them, and you don’t have to go out of your way to be rude to them to get them interested. There’s a big grey area in between those two extremes where normalcy lies, and where we’d prefer our guys to be.
Did that make any sense? It’s early, I haven’t had my coffee yet.
I can tell. Where’s the snark, Allison? The snark! The snark!
No, I understand. Like I said, I was basically playing Devil’s Advocate. At the same time, I know *I* always tend to be polite and courteous to new people. So, I wouldn’t want someone to suspect ulterior motives just because I’m being nice to them, ya know?
I agree. I don’t confuse “nice” with “shy”.
I’m also gonna say that I don’t think men have ulterior motives for being nice to me when we first meet. I’m looking at long term. You see, I’m all about being consistent. Anyone can put on a great show for a couple of months but if that’s not who you truly are, that act’s gonna get real old and real tiring really fast.
I’m in it to win it (not that I’m saying Love is a race).
I always thought of love as more of a death march. 😉
Daaayaaammm!!!! I think you sprayed on a bit too much of the Eau de Cynical today, Dennis.
I’m thinking of it as more of a marathon. No, I’m not saying that because I’m training. Ahahaha.
But the nice guy DID finish last, didn’t he? Isn’t that the idea- that once you find the right guy for you he’s the last one you’ll ever need?