Bad, bad, bad, bad boys. They make us feel so good.
Q: I am a 33-year-old male. It seems to me like a man has to play games to get a woman to like him. I consider myself a nice guy. I have no problems getting dates, but it seems that if I am myself around women, they always end up telling me I'm "too nice" and they usually end up sleeping with or dating one of my friends, who isn't a nice guy. Eventually, I decided to stop being nice, intentionally, and start acting kind of cocky and indifferent to women. All of a sudden, the women I dated would be crazy about me, and constantly calling or texting me. They couldn't get enough of me, and it would be fun for awhile, but eventually I would get serious with someone and I wouldn't be able to keep up the act any longer, so I would start being nice and they would lose interest and break up with me. My question is, why do so many women say they want a nice guy, but in reality they don't? Why do woman like jerks? I want so much to find one nice woman, who really wants a nice guy, and who would appreciate me, but I've been dating for 17 years and have yet to find one. Should I keep trying to be myself? It hasn't worked for me so far -- or should I be this cocky and arrogant jerk that women seem to go for? I'm so frustrated. I'd love to know what you and your readers think, especially the women. Readers, please be honest too. Tell it like it really is.
-- Nice guys DO finish last, Boston
A: NGDFL, are you dating women your own age? I’m pretty sure that most mature women prefer nice guys. Try to date women who are peers. Try to date women who you’d describe as nice.
I'm also wondering how you define nice. Nice can be a problem if it means passive. Nice can be bad if it means wishy-washy. It's important to be assertive in relationships. Not mean, but honest and real. People want to feel as though they’re getting to know the real you. That means bad moods and all. If you’re working hard to be sweet and polite all the time, you might seem “too nice,” as in lacking the layers of personality that most people look for in a partner.
If you’re sure your version of nice is legit and assertive, you just haven’t found the right woman. Continue to be yourself and keep moving along. I have a strong feeling that the straight, single women on Love Letters will tell you that a nice guy is just what they want.
Bad guys are great for like three months. They're especially great in movies -- but only because they usually become nice guys in the end.
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.