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No more Mr. Nice Guy?

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  August 13, 2009 10:53 PM

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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.

Readers? When is nice too nice? What is this guy doing wrong? Do women really dig mean guys? Share here. Twitter.

-- Meredith

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253 comments so far...
  1. I didn't even read Meredith's sound (I am assuming) advice.

    Chris Rock said, "The only exciting relationships are BAD ones. You never know what's going to happen tomorrow when you in a bad relationship. You never know when you gonna walk through the door and say, 'Hey! You gave me crabs!'"

    He also said, "You are either Married and Bored or Single and Lonely."

    Catch my drift? Brutal honesty: be yourself but less boring and she'll stay.

    Posted by Amazed August 14, 09 10:35 AM
  1. I have a theory based on your letter.

    I think part of the problem is that you might be waiting for a woman to find the nice qualities you have - instead of - yourself dominating the search for the woman to have the nice qualities you want and if they don't, then ditch them. It isn't that women don't like nice guys - it's that women don't like guys without a backbone that don't stand up for what they want. If you are being passive in that manner - hoping that the latest woman you are dating will like your qualities - she will smell that a mile away and will become dis-interested. That is why the "bad guy" always does well to some extent - he acts with a backbone (granted - one without substance or integrity). You have to put yourself out there like you have value - and be confident about it - and keep your own eye open for exactly what you want.

    Turn the tables a little bit - keep the ball in your court instead of putting it in there court - and I think you will find that you are more likely to find what you are looking for.

    Posted by spaceman August 14, 09 10:38 AM
  1. I agree with Mere completely. Despite the fact I am not your peer (I am in my early 20s) I am currently dating a "nice guy" and I love it.

    Mere is right about being honest. No one likes someone who is SO kind that they lack a spine. Be confident, real, honest, AND nice. It will work out.

    I have seen my nice guy in not-so-nice moods, and it makes him human. He doesn't deal with bullsh*t, doesn't care too much what others think of him, and is really just a kind person. You can also be nice without being wishy-washy (as Mere puts it). For example, he makes it a point to say he had a fun time with me, but thats it, and just once, he isn't over the top.

    Be yourself. End of story. The right (nice) woman WILL come along.

    Posted by summa! baby bumma! August 14, 09 10:39 AM
  1. I've never actually responded here before, but follow this blog daily. One thing I hate when I meet a new guy is dishonesty. Pretending to be someone you're not is dishonest. Be yourself and be patient. Where the heck are you meeting these girls? Yes, I use the term "girls" because they lack the maturity to be called "women".

    Take Meredith's advice, find someone your own age, I promise there are women out there that prefer you keep it real. (I'm one of them btw) "Bad boys" can be fun sure, but in the long term, not so much. If you keep up the act, you'll find yourself in a lot of short term instantly-gratifying yet sadly unfulfilling deals.

    Posted by Looking4ANiceGuy August 14, 09 10:45 AM
  1. Take it from a female...women are b!tches...just the way it is.

    Posted by Chloe-OBrien August 14, 09 10:45 AM
  1. Addendum to my previous post:

    Reality, not Rico!

    Posted by Chloe-OBrien August 14, 09 10:47 AM
  1. I'm with Meredith on this one. Perhaps you were confusing being confident with being cocky or acting like a jerk? There's a big difference. You version of "nice" could come across as needy, clingy and annoying. As a man, you should have your own interests and opinions, don't be that guy that lets his woman push him around.

    Posted by K August 14, 09 10:49 AM
  1. I've dated a lot of nice guys - most were way too passive for me. I don't want someone who I can walk all over and who won't stand up for themselves. I don't want to date someone who is a complete DB - but I don't want a doormat. At the end of the day - I want a nice guy - so there is a lot of hope out there for you because I'm sure most women are looking for this.

    I also agree with Meredith - it sounds like you might be picking the wrong women.

    Posted by singleinthecity August 14, 09 10:51 AM
  1. Nice Guys DO Finish Last,

    I have watched a lot of my girl friends date 'not nice' guys, and I will admit that I have also fallen into that pit a time or two. Whilst I think in many situations the guy starts out super sweet and charming and initially lures us in hook, line and sinker, their bad side eventually comes out and girls either a.)struggle leave them because they hold on to/feel like they can bring out the guy they once knew. or b.)have the cajones to drop 'em and take it as a lesson learned.

    Be nice, sweet, playful, respectful, considerate but also be challenging. Challenge us intellectually, physically, etc. Challenge us (but not TOO much) on persuing you. We don't want a push-over. We don't want a boring 'yes dear' relationship that lacks any type of stimulation. And sometimes I think us females like the 'hunt'.

    Just be yourself... Eventually Mrs. Nice Girl Finished Last will arrive. It's worth the wait.



    Posted by EastCoastGirl August 14, 09 10:52 AM
  1. well... being a 33 yo "nice woman" i find guys like mean, bitchy, demanding women... i see so many friends marrying women who treat them like garbage... so like meredith said try to look at who you are choosing to date. hang in there... despite being discouraged i firmly believe there is someone out there for all of us. some of us have to spend more time looking. the right one will come but you need to be ready. try doing what you like and being who you like. when a mature, nice woman comes along you'll be well adjusted and ready for the serious relationship with the woman of your dreams.

    Posted by anon August 14, 09 10:56 AM
  1. I call BS on this letter. Sounds like a he-man woman hater who just wants to propound that stupid 'women only date jerks' theory yet again.

    Posted by Joey August 14, 09 10:57 AM
  1. Listen nice guy-- Any (genuinely) nice women want a nice guy. Period. Like Meredith said, are you dating younger (immature) women? Maybe that's the problem? No matter what, be yourself-- that's what is eventually going to come out anyway. Plus, no genuine woman wants to date someone fake either.

    Bottom line...it is hard to meet people in Boston. Try being more aggressive in everyday life-- If you are walking down the street and see a good looking woman, stop her and ask for directions (even if you know where you are going)...it strikes up conversation and could potentially lead to a drink? Try it! I wish someone would do that with me!

    Good luck!

    Posted by Kristen August 14, 09 10:58 AM
  1. Nice Guy:

    There is absolutely a fine line between "nice guy" and pushover. I've dated the pushover before and it's not fun. It's not that I want a challenge; it's that I realize that I'm not always right. In a relationship, you see yourself reflected in the actions of your partner. It's frusterating when this reflection shows "perfection" because it's not the truth. After a slue of falling for big ol' jerkfaces, I've found myself a "nice guy" (sometimes, I actually have to pinch myself to ensure that I'm not dreaming). Let's hear it for the nice guys! Never, ever again will I put up with less. But despite my sometimes dominating personality, he does not let me control the relationship. And it's actually nice to be told when I'm out of line. It means that all those nice things that he does for me or says to me are sincere. Also, someone's brutal, and hopefully constructive honesty, is what makes us better people in the end. So be nice. Open doors, be supportive, shovel out your lady's car after a snow storm, give tons of back rubs, and tell her that she looks beautiful in her dress (sidenote -- don't over compliment. In a way, it can cheapen your good intentions and turn the compliments into background noise). But if she's being crazy, she should know it. If she's being inconsiderate of your wants/needs, don't put up with. This balance makes for the most honest of relationships. And from the sounds of it, that's what you want. Wish you all the best!

    Posted by Pantalones August 14, 09 10:58 AM
  1. Don't be a doormat, and don't chase women who haven't worked through their Bad Boy Cycles yet. I love bad boys. I dated tons of them, done stupid things to get them and stupider things to try and keep them. And then I woke the hell up, met the nicest man on earth and had the good sense to marry him as quickly as possible before some other smart woman got him.

    The woman of your dreams is out there, I promise you - just really assess the type of woman you are attracted to and make sure that you yourself are not in a Bad Girl Cycle! And remember that not voicing an opinion on anything does not equal nice, it equals doormat.

    Posted by Q August 14, 09 10:58 AM
  1. There is nice and there is....boring. I have dated several "nice" guys who won't decide where to go to dinner (i. e. "I don't know, you pick"), who don't make decisions or suggestions at all, and who become totally infatuated within a couple of weeks, before they even got a chance to know me. I like "nice" when it means polite, respectful and mature, but not when it means boring, indecisive and submissive. Women want an equal partner, not a submissive one. (unless you are into the alternative meaning of submissive, which would be the subject of a very different letter!) Women also really find humor to be sexy, so show your sense of humor! Last piece of advice - if you are such a nice guy, why are you hanging out with guy friends who think nothing of bedding your girlfriends? You need to kick that guy to the curb right now!

    Posted by J Bar August 14, 09 10:59 AM
  1. Tao of Steve, man - watch it
    Be excellent
    Be desireless
    Be gone.

    The chase is the best part of courting. If you are available 24/7, you are a bit boring and easy. Play hard to get for a bit. Don't call back for a day or two.

    Maybe nice = boring. Get a cool hobby (skydiving or smoking). It will give you an air of daring.

    I also have another theory - normally, people act super nice during the beginnings of a relationship. They tried to hide any oddities and are just generally on their good behavior trying to appear as a knight. Don't do that. Go the opposite way. Show that you can be a jerk. That way, she will not be disapointed when you do. You can then ease into your nice guy thing (which you have claimed to naturally be). It's like what Mere was saying with how the bad boys in the movies usually turn up to be nice guys in the end.

    Posted by Tom August 14, 09 10:59 AM
  1. I'm so glad to have the chance to debunk this silly urban legend that says women don't like nice guys. Its remarkable how many times I've heard a man woefully sigh 'nice guys finish last'. What's truly remarkable though is the fact that I rarely hear it from guys I consider nice.

    Example: I can't break up with people, I'm too nice.
    Reality: There is nothing meaner than stringing somebody along, especially if its just so you can avoid an uncomfortable/awkward conversation. Who’s feelings are you really sparing?

    Example: Women never appreciate how easy going I am.
    Reality: Easy going doesn’t mean never taking responsibility for planning dates and events. “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” is not easy going – its lazy and thoughtless.

    Example: I’m too nice to attract a woman – but my sleazy friends are juggling more than they can handle.
    Reality: Your sleazy friends are confident and secure enough to approach me, pay compliments, pay attention, and focus on putting me at ease rather than standing in a corner stressing out about how nice they are.

    In short, maybe the LW is the exception to the rule and has truly run into some awful women, but this nice guy stuff has got to go. I DO want a nice guy – not a wimp masquerading as one. My advice to the LW, be honest and upfront about your feelings, take responsibility for planning your dates, and be confident enough to pay complements and put your date at ease.

    Posted by Monty August 14, 09 11:00 AM
  1. This issue is not related only to the LW. There was a book that came out a few years ago (can't recall the name unfortunately) that basically said if guys want to attract women, they should be somewhat condescending & indifferent. Make comments like "nice piece of jewelry...is it real"? Or "I like your dress but how could you afford it"? This seems to parallel the LW's experience.

    I don't have a perfect answer, but I agree the idea would be to try to be interesting & challenging without being an a**hole and ultimately you'll end up where you want.

    Posted by Alvin August 14, 09 11:00 AM
  1. I agree with Meredith. There's a difference between "see what a nice guy I am to women" and TRUE "nice" that includes all the negative color of a personality. When I fall for a guy, I fall for him ALL, flaws and all. I feel warm at the niceties, and miffed at the moods, but elated to be around him in general. I once dated a man who was 100% "I'm your perfect man; I'm so nice you will have no choice but to fall in love with me" and what I saw was a constant effort on his part to prove what a great guy he was and to hide flashes of temper (which I could see beneath the surface) and attitude. I never got to see the real him, and it made me distrust him, because I find that men who go around saying how nice they are seem to have a facade of which they are strongly self aware. To sum it up, it's called "trying too hard" and yes, it's a turn off. Just relax, stop overanalyzing the situations (yes, another "nice guy" annoying trait) and let life be.

    And hey, I'm a nice woman, single and looking, and when a guy doesn't fall for me I don't spend hours wailing "why, I'm so NICE!" I just figure he wasn't the one. Let it go and wait for that special connection. What's really going on here is you just haven't found it yet. You're talking of dating but I pick up on very little emotion for these dates of yours. Wait for the special feelings, and yes, let her see that you're human as well and stop patting yourself on the back so much in the process.

    That said, good luck!

    Posted by Bee Bee August 14, 09 11:01 AM
  1. Hey Mr Nice Guy
    Take the weekend off from dating and do some homework. Rent some movies with Cary Grant, Steve McQueen, George Clooney and Will Smith. Hubba hubba. Talk about strong, confident men who know how to treat a woman right. There's a fine line between confident and cocky- I think these guys can point the way.
    Good luck!!!
    Ps- stay away from the 20' somethings and bars. Too much drama.

    Posted by Shorty August 14, 09 11:01 AM
  1. Women like nice guys. Women do not like guys that they can walk all over. There is a difference and I think you may need to learn it.

    Posted by Kathleen August 14, 09 11:03 AM
  1. I have a single friend who always complains that she never meets nice guys and she's sick and tired of jerks.

    Where do you usually hang out? Maybe I can hook you up.

    Posted by matchmaker August 14, 09 11:04 AM
  1. Don't change and stop being a "nice guy" because you've had a few bad experiences. But there is a difference between being nice and being a pushover. I don't think these girls dated your friends because they were jerks, but probably because they are confident. Liking yourself really goes a looooong way. I'm in my late 20s and trust me, dating jerks got old years ago!! Also, I think both men and women want to be with someone who has interests and hobbies, so try not being SO available to these women. If a woman thinks your time is valuable and you're spending it with her she'll feel flattered.

    Posted by Dome Foam August 14, 09 11:05 AM
  1. "they always end up telling me I'm "too nice" and they usually end up sleeping with or dating one of my friends"

    What's with your a-hole friends who keep sleeping with your love interests?

    Posted by laurahere August 14, 09 11:05 AM
  1. Right on Meredith! Good points on inquiring on age of women and noting difference between passive (and pretending not to have flaws) and real with some assertiveness (and confidence I may add), but also being vulnerable to real flaws that every human has.

    I can't believe someone would even consider being someone that they're not. Seriously? Why would someone want to expend the energy to basically act a role that they are not...all in the man of finding a woman that prefers "bad" guys. What would be the point? Now you got the woman, but not the type you really want (if what you really want is someone that loves you as you truly are), and to top that off, you've got a sociopathic-ish facade that you're using by pretending to be someone you're not. Does that really sound like it would be fulfilling in any shape or form?

    Maybe instead of trying to find the perfect "nice" woman who likes "nice" guys, you relax and get to know women as friends and take it slow. Exapnd your horizons (ie I hope you're not just relying on online dating sites), get out there, ask your friends to introduce you to their platonic friends, don't be shy about approaching people at your gym/work/neighborhood etc. Eventually, you will find the woman for you if you are being genuine and authentic. If it takes longer than you want, just chill and use the time for your own personal development and growth.

    Posted by bklynmom August 14, 09 11:06 AM
  1. You are probably not attractive to the women you are trying to date and are completely dellusional about this - so you say you are "too nice" as the reason they end up not being interested.

    Look in the mirror for REAL. It's time to really know your market value!!

    Posted by theTRUTHhurts August 14, 09 11:09 AM
  1. I think Meredith is on to something...

    1). How old are these women who are dumping you?

    2). One person's take on "being too nice" is a lot of other people's version of being a doormat.

    Stop dating for several months and spend some time with a therapist exploring how you think you are "too nice". I have a feeling the women dumping you are being diplomatic in describing you as "too nice".

    Posted by Sigh August 14, 09 11:09 AM
  1. Alvin-

    That reminds of of the class Steve Sanders taught on 90210 - Be the Jerks Girls Love.

    This guy is probably like, "Sure, I'd love to go to the MFA with you - we can go on Sunday after brunch! Then we can take our puppies to the park."

    Posted by Tom August 14, 09 11:10 AM
  1. People always always confuse "nice guys" with good guys. Women do not want nice guys, but they do not want bad boys, they want good guys. Women want good guys that are honest, strong, maybe would make a good father some day. Someone with a backbone that they can trust with their heart. It doesn't mean having to hold every door and write love notes every day, but it does mean treating her with respect, having pride in yourself, being an honest and loyal person. start focusing on being good, not nice.


    Posted by E August 14, 09 11:10 AM
  1. This letter is kind of vague as to what you were doing as a nice guy and bad guy but it seems like you are going from one extreme to the other. The answer is always in the middle ground. Be nice, yet confident, and let her know whos boss.

    You should bring the girl an awesome bouquet of flowers on your first date and then, when she turns her back to you to put them in a vase, give her a wedgie. A serious wedgie. The kind of wedgie where you pull her undies up over the back of her head. Then ask her what she thinks about it. That should work.

    Posted by sexual chocolate August 14, 09 11:11 AM
  1. There's a difference between "nice" and "spineless and dull". Learn the difference. Be a nice guy, but also be able to have humor and spontaneity.

    Yes, lots of girls like a-holes. The girls that like nice guys are not where you'll find the girls who like a-holes.

    Posted by Meg C. August 14, 09 11:12 AM
  1. ALL women want a nice guy. They just don't want a boring one. Sounds like you are not putting your best foot forward in the personality department. I would amp it up a bit if you are really serious about addressing this issue.

    Posted by Karmen August 14, 09 11:12 AM
  1. #17 Monty, herehere, nice examples!

    And #10 makes a great point. SO MANY nice men are hitched up to nightmare women.


    Posted by Q August 14, 09 11:13 AM
  1. I am totally with Meredith on this one: what do you mean by "nice"? I once knew a guy who thought it would be "nice" to tape gummy bears all over a girl's car b/c he liked her and because he knew gummy bears were her favorite candy. He probably thought that was a "nice" thing to do. Any sane person could tell you that was far from "nice." Try creepy, weird, etc. My guess is you think "nice" means very attentive, interested, eager? This can often come across as smothering and frankly pathetic (sorry, you said be honest). You don't have to be deceptive, just resist the urge to be all schmoopy all of the time. In general, I would say a woman wants a guy that's kind of like canoli (or anything else that fits this desription...readers?): tough shell on the outside but sweet goo on the inside. I think that's why it appears as though women go for the "bad boys" - the tough shell is there, we're just looking for the goo!

    Posted by Jules August 14, 09 11:15 AM
  1. Nice guy, as cliché as this sounds: be yourself. From what you’ve described, you’ve tried the two extremes of what you think females want:

    The stereotypical bad boy / jerk

    The passive, fawning, romance novel inspired, phony.

    Wrong and wrong. Both may work in the short-term, but both will blow up in your face in about two months.

    You do not "try to be" yourself. You simply accept your weaknesses and failings and let them out as readily and easily as your strengths. You can be moody, imperfect, somewhat of an enigma, etc. Life is a poker game and no matter what any of these phonies and lonelies tell you, you should not lay all your cards out on the table for anyone. Never. You need to keep some things in the vault. Keep people guessing. This goes someone you’re dating as well as for your boss, your co-workers, your friends, your wife, your kids, etc. Never let anyone come anywhere close to completely figuring you out. Ever. This is the one piece of universal advice that everyone should know. It is most often accomplished by NOT babbling every mundane aspect of your life, every minor interest you have, every feeling or emotion you have, or trying to do / say what is popular.

    For the most part, keep silos (work silo, neighbor silo, boyfriend silo, buddy silo, platonic female friends silo, etc.) that overlap only in certain instances. Don’t be a two-face, but don’t expect to be able to do the same actions in different life situations.

    Be a man. Be sociable and confident around others when the situation calls for it, and when it doesn’t, be strong and silent. Definitely pick your spots to be vulnerable and open. Note: I am not saying you not let your date, GF, or wife truly know you or you act like a bulletproof brick wall around them, but rather just have the wisdom to know that they are better off not knowing every square inch of your psyche. Don't be a female. Don't be a doormat. Don't be a piece of clay that you expect women to mold in accordance with their own ideals. Don't be a jellyfish.

    I would also strongly advocate acting like you don’t care on a regular basis. Again, it’s become somewhat of a cliché, but it has merit. Don’t worry about what others think and be completely confident in yourself. This will alienate some, but those who truly are important to you and truly worthwhile to have in your life, will understand and cherish this aspect of your nature.

    The key to all of this is to trust yourself and do each of these things while NEVER disrespecting or trivializing the importance of those around you. You are no better or worse than anyone else, but you are willing to go it alone if you need to instead of trying so hard to play a role (i.e. bad boy, romance novel boy, walk on the inside of the sidewalk boy, bring roses for special occasions boy, etc.). Don’t “try to be” yourself. Just be. Never follow a script.

    Coffee preference: dark, no sugar.

    - Hoss

    Posted by Hoss August 14, 09 11:15 AM
  1. The point is to find someone who likes you exactly as you already are (and even before that, to like yourself exactly as you are). If your true self bores one woman, then move quickly on to the next. Forget about wondering why you were not attractive to her, or finding cool hobbies, or altering yourself to suit a larger percentage of women. You can't maintain that kind of fakeness over the long haul anyway. There are women out there who -- for whatever odd reason of their own -- crave exactly what you already have. Find them. Don't waste your time on the other ones. When you find that, you will be so much happier and wonder why you ever spent time thinking about these things.

    Posted by JC August 14, 09 11:16 AM
  1. NGDFL, my sister is 32 and wants a nice guy--let me hook you up!!

    Posted by D August 14, 09 11:16 AM
  1. I think women want a nice guy in the long run and bad guy short term. Perhaps you are spending too much time with girls who are not ready for the long term and still having fun with "bad guys." In reality, women want that nice guy who will listen to us talk about our day, open doors, let us cry on his shoulder, cook us dinner, etc, but without being over the top. My boyfriend is definitely a nice guy but has no trouble telling me when I'm driving him nuts or deciding where to go for dinner. You probably have all the right nice qualities girls want, so definitely be true to yourself and do not act like someone you are not. Just amp up your assertiveness and make sure you voice your needs/wants/opinions straight from the start.

    Posted by lucy August 14, 09 11:17 AM
  1. Women really do want nice guys! It seems like nice guys finish last because they do - they're usually over in the corner being too nice instead of actually approaching women. Unfortunately cocky/arragant gets confused with confidence because confidence is a big attraction, but cockiness is not. Several other readers have already mentioned this, but you might be coming off as so nice that you're a door mat or you appear to not be that interested since you're too nice to nail down definite date plans, etc. You shouldn't change who you are, but being too nice in some situations is overkill. next time you have a date, try just being yourself without worrying too much about being nice. If you are actually a nice person, that will show to your date without you making an effort. Good luck!


    Posted by cn August 14, 09 11:18 AM
  1. I agree with Spaceman. I WAS in the same boat as the writer. 33 year old male (now 34). I am still a nice guy...but with a twist. After reading the likes of Doc Love, David D' Angelo, etc you gotta be a challenge and a mystery. I know it's hard to keep up the act but no one wants a boring partner. Think about it, do you want a boring girl? You cannot always be seeking her approval by putting her on a pedestal. You also need to have your own life. Are you hanging out in the right places? Bars and nightclubs are not the answer. Have you tried volunteering? Try to go where the nice woman are.
    oh by the way, im engaged.

    Posted by pogie001 August 14, 09 11:20 AM
  1. I married a "nice" guy. It's the trait I value the most about him. It happens all the time. I say stick with being yourself. There are a lot of sane low-drama women who would love to find the same kind of guy. No intelligent woman wants to marry an asshole because we realize that people don't magically change. If he's nice while you're dating him, he'll be nice while you're married to him.

    Can I ask where you're looking? Because bars, etc really aren't the place. A lot of the women I know who like "nice" guys shun singles bars-- frankly, we've got to work the next day and falling down drunk isn't our idea of fun. Try e-Harmony or Match.com. Say you're looking for a relationship and then sit back and be picky. Find someone YOU like. They can figure out if they like you.

    Posted by SML August 14, 09 11:20 AM
  1. DrK's 5 step program for getting a woman to like you:
    1. Stop showering. Women like the masculine smell of a guy who just stepped out of the gym. I think it's a pheramone thing.
    2. Act indifferent. Shrug your shoulders and answer her questions with a grunt. This is a sure fire way to get her to pay LOTS of attention to you.
    3. Don't call her. Ever. Let her make the plans and try to get you to spend time with her. She will become insecure and start writing in to Love Letters asking Meredith how she can get you to "open up". Probably sign her letter as 'Frustrated in Framingham' or something similar.
    4. Tell her your going to the Cape with an old girlfriend and assure her that nothing sexual is going on. It will drive her absolutely nuts.
    5. Get a Harley. It works. Trust me.

    Good Luck,
    DrK

    Posted by DrK August 14, 09 11:21 AM
  1. I think I could have written the same thing about myself. I think it's good to be a "nice guy" as long as its not fake. Don't open every single door for them just cause its the nice thing to do. Certain things like that come across as fake and cheesy.. I think in general people want a challenge. I consider myself a nice guy looking for a nice women but when they are too nice I get turned off by it.

    Posted by Anonymous August 14, 09 11:21 AM
  1. Yes, we women do want a "nice" guy. It's just that when we are younger, we can be stupid, and go for the jerks! Just be the nice guy that you say you are, and the women who appreciate what a "nice" guy can do for them will come along. You may need to be more confident, not cocky ( there is a difference)....a little assertive, no aggressive. And try to find women your own age....they will appreciate you more, and are less likely to play head games.

    Posted by CandyGirl August 14, 09 11:22 AM
  1. Contrary to popular belief – women like nice guys. we just don't like push-overs. It’s the same w/ guys – they tend to love the crazy be-atches over the nice girls, or at least that’s how it seems to this single gal. But ya know what? That gets old. I think men & women like a challenge & sometimes the “nice” ones don’t lend themselves to that. I’ve dated guys that are SO nice, they don’t have an opinion, it’s always, “whatever you want, baby” - that gets dull. I don’t want to be with someone who is a pushover / nice-guy. I prefer a nice-guy with an edge. Nice guys are great but there needs to be more…. a nice guy w/ a great sense of humor, a strong-work ethic, who watches sports, plays w/ my nieces & nephews, shoots pool, drinks beers at sox games. You can’t just be a nice guy. Oh -- & I hate NOTHING more than “nice” guys who tell me over & over how nice they are, they usually turn out to be the biggest a-holes. So, keep it real, be nice if that’s who you are!! Ya can’t change your personality so don’t bother trying.

    Posted by polly August 14, 09 11:23 AM
  1. When I was single, I never dated jerks. I wanted a nice guy. If he showed signs of being a jerk, I dumped him, so yes, there are women who want nice men. My guess is that you're attracted to the type who only want jerks, so rather than questioning your personality, you should question your choices.
    I also agree with everyone who said that you need to look at whether what you call "nice" really means passive. You don't have to agree with everything she says and not assert your own opinion to be nice. And if you aren't well-read or don't have some interests, some women might find you boring, but this is easily remedied. Just read the paper daily, know what's going on in the world, and have some opinions about it. Good luck!


    Posted by Ashley August 14, 09 11:23 AM
  1. The guys I have known who have complained about the "nice guys finish last" have been whiners. They have been insecure and passive-aggressive. They sure do consider themselves nice, but I've considered them a pain. Then they come on sites like this and crow about how women are awful and only date jerks. Well, to them I say, you are woefully overestimating your own "niceness."

    So do some serious soul-searching. As Mere said, how do you define "nice"? Do you mean you defer constantly your date? I am not interested, and never have been interested, in a man without opinions of his own or a man without the self-respect to stand up for himself. On the other side of the spectrum, I have never dated a jerk -- someone who is disrespectful, unavailable, or condescending. I've looked for men who are confident, thoughtful, smart, opinionated yet respectful, with their own interests, yet with the ability to try to share in mine. Hey, that describes my husband to a T. :-) That's what I try to give to my relationships, and it is what I expect back.

    If you honestly feel that's what you mean by nice, and that's who you are -- then who are you dating?? Are you chasing "bad girls" yourself? If so you hardly have cause to complain. Look for nice girls yourself and you won't be so disappointed.

    Posted by jlen August 14, 09 11:23 AM
  1. Most women, in my opinion, whether or not they would like to admit it, need to be "controlled" on a superficial level. When I say "controlled" I mean that many daily decisions should be made for them by their man, because women worry a lot. Constantly, and about everything. It's not about being a jerk, or being nice, it's about taking control of the situation and taking the worry out of their lives.

    Example 1:
    Question: "What do you want to do for dinner?"
    Nice guy answer: "Whatever you want to do. Go out? Cook? Order takeout?"
    Result: Girl agonizes over decision, girl agonizes over result.
    "Jerk" answer: "I want to go to ____ for some sliders."
    Result: Some sliders in stomach.

    Example 2:
    Question: "Which shoes, this one or this one?"
    Nice guy answer: "You look great in both! It doesn't matter, you're beautiful!"
    Result: An additional 30 minutes of the same question repeated for various items of clothing.
    "Jerk" answer: "I like that one"
    Result: You're out the door.

    As a corrollary to the "women worry constantly about everything so you should try to take some of that burden away" idea, women also need to know that when the chips are down and life seems to be crumbling around them, that they will have a solid pillar in their lives to literally be the only thing standing. You must show that you have the strength and resolve to be there no matter what, and DECISIVENESS is a quality that "jerks" possess that most nice guys give up in order to be "nice".

    Flame on LL fans...

    Posted by Willies August 14, 09 11:23 AM
  1. I've heard that women are attracting to two kinds of men: bad boys and the settle down types. Darwinism would say that they want the bad boys for their genes (bad boys tend to be tough) and the settle down types to take care of them and their kids. Studies have shown that which kind a guy a women is attracted to even varies with the time of the month. (Men are simpler; we are universally attracted to women who are young and healthy looking).

    Some women are going to go for bad boys. It's fun. It's hot. They usually want to turn them into nice guys, though, before they will settle down with them. If you aren't a bad boy, though, it probably isn't worth pretending. You want a women to fall in love with you, not an act. Hang in there, there are plenty of women who are more interested in the settle down types.

    However, almost all women like men who are confident. Sometimes being nice means being clingy, needy, wishy-washy, or similar things that can turn off a women. On the other hand, someone who is confident can appear arrogant or self-centered if they aren't careful. I think the key is to value yourself and also value other people. It can be a balancing act at times.

    In many ways, I am not a very confident person. And I hate, hate, hate it when someone says I need to be more confident. It's like telling a frog not to be green. It's even worse than that, because telling me I need to be confident just gives me one more thing to be insecure about. So, I understand that confidence is hard to work on, but it is important.

    Posted by two sheds August 14, 09 11:23 AM
  1. I am having one of those odd days, where I am inclined to agree with M and also be serious for once. Firstly “The Bad Boy Complex” seems to be the fickle folly of younger gals, so if you are chasing younger women stop immediately (maybe even consider hanging out in Cougar Town?). Women like men who understand how to achieve the right level of “Assertiveness”, it is evolutionary programming; why? Because men evolved to be Hunter/Warriors and women to be Farmer/Nurturers, so “Too Nice” is seen as a sign of being a weak Provider/Protector. As with everything in life, you must be able to find a balance between the Dark and Light Side the The Force young Jedi…

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 August 14, 09 11:24 AM
  1. NGDFL, where were you my entire dating life, seriously? Guys like you are a rare breed, and I think you’re making a mistake by acting cocky and arrogantly. You will only attract the wrong kind of women who will never truly appreciate your (rare) terrific qualities as a nice guy.

    Honestly, I think a lot of women say they want to meet a nice guy, but at the end of the day, would prefer a jerk (for whatever reason). But there are also nice women out there who genuinely want to meet a nice guy (you), but perhaps you are going about it all wrong. You mention that some of your friends are jerks. These are the same friends that some of these girls you date end up sleeping with or dating. Yowsa! These are usually red flags to “nice” women. You are whom you hang out with; people judge a book by its cover, etc. While all so very cliché, there is truth to these platitudes. You may be the nicest guy in the group, but if you’re hanging out with not so nice guys, some “nice” women may dismiss you under the assumption that you’re just like your friends. I know that to be true with my single girlfriends, anyway.

    My advice? Maybe find some (nicer) friends to chill with, and just be yourself. Because you, my friend, are like gold in the dating world.

    Best of luck to you.

    Posted by Finally Friday August 14, 09 11:25 AM
  1. there just isn't enough info in this post to say for sure what the problem is.

    Like all the girlfriends say here, there are an awful lot of grown-up, single women out there who would love to meet an attractive, nice (not doormat), thoughtful guy .

    You can act like a studly jerk and successfully attract the pretty ones who also on the immature and/or insecure side (more grown-up girls won't let themselves be treated like that for long). And it's the immature and insecure guys who love to play this game.

    Something tells me you are looking for the wrong woman , perhaps in the wrong places.

    Posted by ava August 14, 09 11:30 AM
  1. One more thought. There have been a few comments along the lines of "I want a nice guy, but not one who lets me walk all over him."

    That seems to put the responsibility for your own behavior onto the man, as if he should be the one to prevent you from doing something unkind. Shouldn't you not walk all over others not because they've stood up to you and prevented it, but just because you are a nice person who doesn't walk all over others? I get that some people are too passive -- can't ever say what they want or need, etc. And maybe no one wants to date that person. Maybe that's all these comments mean. But there's an undertone that reminds me of the previous letter where the woman wanted to find a man who could "handle her" -- which everyone seemed to take as code for "I'm a total bi*ch."

    So LW, this may illustrates your problem of looking for women not suited to you.

    Posted by JC August 14, 09 11:30 AM
  1. Pogie has some good thoughts, but if you do choose to volunteer joke that it is court mandated (adds to your mystery).

    Also, when out at a bar, don't order an (while delicious) appletini - order a scotch on the rocks (more manly and you can save your appletini's for drinks with the guys or when you are married).

    At dinner order steal (again manly) and order her a salad with pan seared scallops. This shows that you are willing to ake charge and are looking out for her in two ways - 1. ordering her a delicious meal and 2. helping her maintain her figure.

    When golfing with her, always win. And if she does win, tell her that next time either you both start at the ladies putt or the mens putt.

    I hope that this is helpful.

    Posted by Tom August 14, 09 11:31 AM
  1. Listen man,

    this is the deal, im sure your nice guy, in the terms of, your respectful, you open doors for the girl, pull out the chair, all that chivarly stuff. But you got to remember girls (am im sorry to the female audience, it doesnt apply to all you but most of you, and you know who you are) they never know what they want. Its true, there are guys like that too. But the case is you and the women you have been involved with. Girls love bad guys, and thats how it will always be. They want that bad guy now and the good guy later, but then when that later comes, there on this site, posting a letter saying "How come its so hard to find a nice guy"!!! its true. Basically what you got to do is, be yourself, don't let some stupid girls let you change who you are. Your genuine, thats what makes you, you. This love thing, its takes a while, but you need three things, determination, patience, and overall strength to move forward and not let stupid things hold you back.

    - Monopoly Man

    Posted by The Monopoly Man August 14, 09 11:31 AM
  1. The women you are referring to want only one thing, which leads me to believe that you are probably bad in the sack. No wonder they end up dating your friends. Wait it gets worse...Now all your friends know you are bad in the sack and they probably make fun of you when you are not around. Your only option is to move away, change your name and start your life over. Good luck.

    Posted by Kay-Man August 14, 09 11:33 AM
  1. oh Hoss, you had me at dark, no sugar, but you lost me on the silo thing a bit.

    Seriously, Hoss is not a bad example. he's always talkin' about how much he loves hanging with his kids and other "nice" stuff. Difference? He's not afraid to tell you what he thinks. His honesty is amazingly attractive.

    But I am also swayed by some other commenters who have suggested that LW is being a bit unrealistic in his dating choices. "You're too nice" is sort of the woman's way of saying "I'm just not that into you."

    Posted by Q August 14, 09 11:34 AM
  1. I'm not so sure this LW isn't pulling our leg(s). Women want nice guys, kind and respectful. Someone in your circle of friends needs to 'hold a mirror up to your face' because you seem to think it's the women that are the problems. It couldn't be you with the problems, could it? I agree with Sigh - get yourself to a therapist who will help you look in the mirror and show you how you can change some of your ideas and behaviors. Woman only like bad boys when they are in high school or first few years of college. Grown up high functioning women want a grown up high functioning man. I guarantee it.

    Posted by Rose August 14, 09 11:34 AM
  1. Seriously, think about this phrase you wrote: "to get a woman to like him". What's with that? A woman will either like you or not, just like a male friend will. You can't "get" or force someone to like you. That phrase raises danger signals in my mind. You don't "get" a woman. You meet someone nice and develop a relationship with her. We aren't commodities! You might not be maintaining relationships because of your attitude?

    Posted by Danskat August 14, 09 11:34 AM
  1. I agree with Mer about the movie ending where the bad boy ends up a nice guy (either secretly nice or the woman "changed him").

    Women want exciting guys. Bad guys and jerks are often exciting, charming, and get the attention of lots of women. And eventually the women start finding out what they're really like. There are some who'll stick with it because they're damaged and think they deserve bad treatment, sadly. There are some who'll walk away from a jerk and move on looking for the next exciting guy who'll probably be just as bad. I'm sure there are even some who'll hang on for a while because they really like guys who are jerks (I've seen the girl in the car with the utter moron late at night, ranting and screaming at me because he shot up the narrow street to the point where neither of us could get out of the way, and getting out and practically frothing at the mouth threatening me... This kind of woman distresses me.), or they really believe they can magically make him "good".

    But most will eventually get sick of it and want a better grade of guy. You just have to be willing to either be patient or figure out how to tweak your targeting to look for the ones who are already evolved beyond tool-hunters.

    I'm a nice guy, too. I don't date all that much, but I've found the occasional lovely female looking for someone to treat her well, someone who's not manipulative, who won't cheat, etc, etc.

    But seriously, what are you going to do? Stop trying? Try to become someone you're not? Just keep going, it's life. Deal with it, change how you meet women or keep going until you find someone different. If you're worth it I'm sure you'll find someone worth it to you, too.

    Posted by Stephen August 14, 09 11:35 AM
  1. Ahhhh, Dude, you need new friends too.

    Posted by Joe August 14, 09 11:37 AM
  1. I think it's great you're a nice guy. I love guys that know how treat a woman right. There are too many women out there stuck in bad relationships with bad men. It's a darn shame.

    I would look at other aspects of your personality and your life to see if there's something else going on that's turning them off. Are you horrible in bed? (Huge turn-off) Are you boring? (A guy needs to make me laugh. Otherwise you are super boring in my eyes) Do you chew with your mouth open? Do you come across as masculine? (I only like manly men. Guys who can pull off wearing sneakers and can catch a ball). I know it's a shallow question, but do you drive a car that a girl would be embarassed to ride in? Write back in with answers to my questions please.

    Posted by trueluv4eva August 14, 09 11:38 AM
  1. Yes, and what needs to be notated from the advice is that MANY of those women who SAY they want a nice guy are the same ones who don't and will drop him to the curb, or perhaps find something else to obsess over...

    To the LW: 90% either don't know what they want, or more likely, simply know that what they have isn't good enough... Unfortunately, as you've noted, the manipulation/facade game is on full blast out there. Doesn't it suck that you can't be yourself?? No truly nice guy ever can. Bottom line: you don't cause enough drama. You don't give her enough to complain about or fix. You're just no fun for her.

    "You know it's sad, but true."
    -Metallica

    Good luck finding that 10%!! I have a couple of buddies who have..... the others? Ehhh not so much.

    Posted by DJMcG August 14, 09 11:39 AM
  1. I think you are a whiny, feel-sorry-for-me, wimp. Seriously, I know your type. You sit around asking why women don't like me. I think you are a very nice guy to a point that makes women want to vomit. My case in point, what man would write to Meridith and her column for relationship help? If any single woman found this out, they would not date you on this alone, they would laugh at you. Women like MASCULINE NICE MEN, not nice men.

    Posted by bahhhoo August 14, 09 11:39 AM
  1. Yes, and what needs to be notated from the advice is that MANY of those women who SAY they want a nice guy are the same ones who don't and will drop him to the curb, or perhaps find something else to obsess over...

    To the LW: 90% either don't know what they want, or more likely, simply know that what they have isn't good enough... Unfortunately, as you've noted, the manipulation/facade game is on full blast out there. Doesn't it suck that you can't be yourself?? No truly nice guy ever can. Bottom line: you don't cause enough drama. You don't give her enough to complain about or fix. You're just no fun for her.

    "You know it's sad, but true."
    -Metallica

    Good luck finding that 10%!! I have a couple of buddies who have..... the others? Ehhh not so much.

    Posted by DJMcG August 14, 09 11:40 AM
  1. Honestly, Hoss, when are you getting your own column? Your post today, as always is spot on and is a good life lesson for everybody.

    I am seriously emailing it to all my close friends. Keep the honesty coming, its refreshing.

    Posted by RS5050 August 14, 09 11:40 AM
  1. It's like buying real estate on a tight budget. If you aren't willing to make a few compromises, you're going to be renting for the next 17 years. I want a huge backyard. A garden, a gas grill, space for a decent-sized chocolate lab to run around in. But every house with a backyard has no cellar, or needs a new furnace, a new boiler, a new foundation. The list never ends.

    You can never actually get 100% of what you want. The fact of the matter is you're shopping way outside your price range, and I'll tell you what NgDfl, the open houses you're spending Friday and Saturdays nights at, they may seem like your type, but the workmanship is lousy, they have no character, no architecture, and absolutely no imagination.

    Stop by that old farm house that's been listed for the past 140 days, but you've eschewed because the shingles are falling off. It has great bones. With a little TLC and sweat equity, you'll fall in love, and it'll love you right back.

    Posted by Sally August 14, 09 11:41 AM
  1. Ok, STOP right there with the "Nice Guys DO finish last" nonsense. That's the language of losers, and I"m sure you're not a loser. Guys that spout stuff like that sound bitter. They sound like they're trying to blame women for their shortcomings. So right now, change your mindset to "nice guys finish FIRST" or something confident and upbeat like that.

    Posted by KitKat August 14, 09 11:43 AM
  1. Hmmm...it sounds like you're attracted to women who aren't nice!

    Think about it...

    Also, what's your definition of nice? When people genuinly like you and feel comfortable with you, they tease and mouth off sometimes, but generally have a good time. To me, that's being nice. Being sweet and kind and gentle and forgiving, saintly, honest, good, etc. 100% of the time is not just boring but it also comes off as disingenuous at times.

    Posted by moi August 14, 09 11:43 AM
  1. One time my husband was walking to the T downtown after a late night at work. Some guys driving by stopped and asked him where a certain strip joint was. Before he could even answer, they said, "Oh, you wouldn't know - you're a Nice Guy!" This irritated him no end, but the fact is, looking the way he looks, these guys assumed that. So, my advice is to get a little edgy on the outside (interesting clothes and hair) and surprise the women you meet by having the "nice" personality that doesn't always go with the edgy look.

    I agree also with others who say a little confidence in picking restaurants, etc., goes a long way. We women, contrary to what some men think, don't always want to be in charge.

    Posted by Sasha August 14, 09 11:43 AM
  1. These responses are all pathetic reiterations of "man up." I hate to agree with Nice Guy because it means the world is a worse place than I want it to be, but he's right.

    Let me rephrase his question: are the majority of people in this world self-destructive with an (un)healthy dose of low self-esteem? Yep. Is there any controversy about this? Is it even a question? Does anyone smoke "crack" for the flavor?

    People are screwed up. Nice Guy - don't look for someone who is healthy. Look for someone who shares your twisted (but optimistic) vision of reality. I wish the world were different.

    Posted by Too True August 14, 09 11:44 AM
  1. Dear Nice Guy,

    I married a nice guy and have lived with him for 11 years, so I have a longer-term perspective on your questions. First things first -- it is hopeless to be anything other than yourself. A tiger can't change his stripes, and as you've experienced, if you do try to change your behavior the facade doesn't last for long. So always be yourself.

    But this is where it gets tricky. Don't let "being yourself" mean being relentlessly polite, because this does get boring. I love it when my husband, who is exceedingly nice and deferential, stands up for what he believes and disagrees with me. I wish he would do it more. I like it when he takes control of situations. I wish he would do it more. When he does those things, he achieves the status of someone who is both nice AND strong...and that is a very attractive combination.

    I think bad boys get noticed by women because they project that aura of strength and competence. If you can be honest enough and self-revealing enough to show your strength, your darker sides, your crazier sides (we all have them!) to your dates, while retaining your fundamental decency (which I know you will) you will not only find a great woman, but you'll go a long way toward being able to keep her.

    Posted by Still lovin' a nice guy August 14, 09 11:44 AM
  1. Be interested in the woman you're speaking with and be genuinely focused on what she has to say about herself. How do you find out what makes her tick? Ask her about how she's handled adversity in her life, difficult decisions, life's challenges. This will give you clues to who she is as a person. I can't tell you how many "nice" guys I've dated who talked about themselves all evening, and/or about their exes and never once asked me anything about who I was or what I was about.
    I feel your pain because I'm a nice woman and can't find a great guy. But, I'm not needy nor am I a drama queen, I do not need to be rescued. I am successful, own my own home, have a great job and am financially solvent, and men wonder, "Where do I fit in? She doesn't need a me"!
    I think it's a combination of where you find the women (forget the girls under 30) you want. Involve yourself in common interest areas (theatre, arts, something that you feel passionately about) and see if that changes the quality of the pool of women available to you. Just be who you are, not a masquerade of someone else.

    Posted by exvermonter August 14, 09 11:47 AM
  1. #14 has it right. In my 20s, I was stepped on. I was assertive enough, but women that age wanted 'danger' from bad boys. One dated a guy who had hit his previous girlfriend. She left this abuse without getting hit herself, back to dating me, and then dropped me when the next exciting guy came along.

    Nice guys finish last. They do. But at 33 I met my soulmate, and contrary to above postings, we knew the chemistry was there the first week. Unlike what I expected I would always do, I had a ring made up within 4 months and proposed at the 5-month mark. We were married a year from the day we met, and 14 years later have a beautiful daughter, and are as much in love as ever.

    My dad experienced the same thing. Once he was past the age of the "Bad Boy Girls", and my mom married him, her friends who snubbed him at an earlier age asked her how she ever landed such a catch.

    Posted by BobL-FF August 14, 09 11:48 AM
  1. Oh god. The Nice Guy letter. I love it when certain men decide to blame an entire gender instead of contemplating the possibility that they, themselves, might just need a little fine-tuning.

    First. We DO like nice guys. Like Meredith said, try dating women. Not girls. Women who are a little older and more secure with themselves. Young, insecure women are going to guys who validate their insecurity by treating them ambivalently.

    Second of all, try looking for women who DON'T stand out and catch your eye immediately. The total hottie with the sparkly shirt and great makeup is going to have every guy in the room hitting on her and she knows it. She likes the attention and probably craves the drama that a "nice guy" can't provide. Try looking instead for the shier, quiet women, the shrinking violets who don't stand out. They are nice women who are probably wishing some equally nice guy would just come up and talk to them, but they haven't figured out how to attract attention yet. Were you the nerdy math whiz in high school? Why didn't you date the band geek girl? Was she not just as deserving of love as you, just because she didn't pay as much attention to her appearance as the popular girls? There are some pretty hot band geeks out there who just haven't discovered their hotness yet. Go find one.

    Third of all, people - not just women - often like partners who are exciting and passionate about something. That doesn't mean you have to be an arrogant jerk, it means you have to have something that lights your fire (emotionally, creatively, whatever, just not sexually). Something you can talk about that they will want to hear about, and even better if it's something you two can do together.

    Fourth of all, women want to be treated well, but we don't want to be put on a pedestal. It's creepy. We are human beings, after all. Wait until you get to know someone before you flatter them with niceness.

    Fifth, try adjusting your attitude. I used to think all men were jerks. And all I could see were jerks. When I realized that some of my girlfriends had really great boyfriends, I started believing, "there is some great guy out there for me." And suddenly I could see all these great, nice men. And now I have a really nice guy that I adore.

    In the end, you should always be yourself. Just the best version of yourself. It sounds like there's something you need to figure out, either with the women you pursue or something within you that could be improved. But if you have to act like a jerk to get women, the problem isn't all women.

    Posted by sometimes August 14, 09 11:51 AM
  1. Sounds like you are attracting "Psychopath" and "S & M" chicks with your new found hostile/jerk behavior.......

    Posted by Been around August 14, 09 11:52 AM
  1. I agree with Monopoly Man...women don't know what they want.

    And Chloe-Obrien , I hope you read this...THANK YOU!

    Posted by romanceisforsuckers August 14, 09 11:52 AM
  1. I just broke up with a 29 year old man that still doesn't understand this concept. He believed that by being kind and treating women with consideration, attention and affection that he was therefore giving permission to a woman to use and take advantage of his thoughtfulness and sincerity. So instead, being the genius that he is, he continued to act disinterested, arrogant and selfish thinking that these qualities gave him a successful edge over the nice guy that he "supposedly" had once been. He would be sweet and seemingly caring only when he felt it convenient for him…It took me a minute to see that this was no longer an act and that his 'bad guy' ways were what he planned to abide by and I just left…

    I’ve wondered this myself….Why do all these psychotic, demanding and unreasonable woman have these long term relationships? I thought for awhile that I should try that route, but it isn’t me, it’s exhausting and ultimately counterproductive. Look, I’m 22yrs and I’m a nice girl, but I’m not a pushover. As for with any age and with either gender, confidence is a necessity and that’s what we all strive for within ourselves and what attracts us to others. I am not going to keep up some act and hide my true feelings of compassion and affection because someone isn’t man enough within themselves to treat me respectfully and honestly express themselves.

    Be you. Be assertive. Be passionate. Be loyal. Be thoughtful; Attentive; Affectionate – care for a woman how you would want to be cared for, and if she is mature enough to understand she doesn’t have to play games with you, than hey, she’s won quite a prize and in return you can finally be YOU.

    However if you do believe this act your keeping up is the only way to get a woman’s undying attention…you have many more years of dating honey.

    Posted by Rossia August 14, 09 11:54 AM
  1. I don't know how old the women are that you have been dating. But in my experience, once they get to a certain age, and they start looking at their friends who are getting married, and start obsessing about their biological clock, things start moving in your favor.

    In time, all these women who wouldn't bother with you, will come back to you. And then YOU'LL be the one who can sit back and choose the right one. Of course then they'll say you're a committment phobe male. However, you are just using your newly acquired power of choice that THEY all had in their free spirit 20's to choose bad men. Turnabout is fair play.

    Posted by Paul August 14, 09 11:54 AM
  1. A lot of girls need the element of danger in their relationship or they lose interest. The key is you need to provide this danger without compromising your nice guy routine, so that you have the appearance of a "bad seed" that only she can tame. Chicks will eat that up. All you need is a career change that throws a virtual middle finger into the face of society. Become a bootlegger. Be as nice as always to your next date. Then take her to the movies, whip out a videocamera and start recording. Afterwards, sell the video you make on the black market and wah-lah...you've got her. Just don't eat the entire bag of candy you smuggle into the theater.

    Posted by Chuck Woolery August 14, 09 11:58 AM
  1. The other question I have for NGDFL is whether his "nice" is "Nice with Strings" - that is, you may think you're being nice and allowing her to choose the restaurant, but if she doesn't choose the restaurant you wanted, you let her know in little ways. The sighs, the "Oh I was really hoping for sushi but if you want french, that's just fine" line. If she calls you on it, you get defensive - "I'm here in the french place,aren't I?" I've been there - married to it - and it was hell. As other writers have said, be who you are. If you haven't figured that out yet, spend some time doing so. Do what you love and you'll find other people who're doing the same thing. Be willing to have an opinion - sometimes you choose the restaurant, sometimes she does. Don't do the passive aggressive thing - if that's what you're doing!

    Posted by exiledmainer August 14, 09 12:00 PM
  1. #47 Willies: You are totally off base about what women want. I know that what I want is a straight answer to a simple question. Answering it (go to ___ & get some sliders) isn't being a jerk -- it's simply answering the question. I can't be the only woman out there who asks a question because she wants an answer, or who asks for an opinion because she would like to have it! Direct, straightforward, honest responses will take anyone far in a relationship. Maybe the LW is too reluctant to share his likes, dislikes, etc. That isn't being nice; it's being wimpy.

    Posted by nonpareil August 14, 09 12:01 PM
  1. You have to tread that line between being a nice guy and having a bit of an edge. You do want to be sensitive, considerate, thoughtful, and all that, but you don't want to get pushed around and run over. Thus, the edge. What I have heard about a FOAF of mine, for example, after he's dumped yet again and suffering, is that "he's such a nice guy, too, it's a shame." Maybe he's just a bit too nice. Find your own space and stand your ground.

    Posted by Bony Melon August 14, 09 12:05 PM
  1. maybe women are turned off by the fact that you think you're so "nice". how many times in one letter can you mention how nice you are? why don't you let other people decide if you're nice or not and stop shouting it. most men and women want to be with nice people, if it's true that you are as nice as you say, it will work itself out in time.

    Posted by boredinboston August 14, 09 12:05 PM
  1. I'm 27, recovering nice guy myself. Its true it can be very frustrating, but one thing I've learned about women, is that *always* pay attention to what they *do*, and not what they say. If what they say is different from what they do (and in this case it is) then what they say isn't really valid. Trust your instincts on this.

    In this case, you're right in that they're not being totally honest when they say they want someone who is nice, especially if they behave like they don't. But they're not being totally dishonest either, even if seems like it.

    First, realize that nice does not equal attractive.

    Think of some girl you're not attracted to (at all).

    Picked one?

    Now if she started bringing you gifts, baked you cookies, and being really polite, would that make you attracted to her? It would be nice, but it wouldn't make you want to date her would it?

    When women say they want a nice guy, they're omitting (through no fault of their own, its hard to formalize what you're attracted to) the real fact, that they want an attractive guy *who is nice to them*.

    They still want that slightly cocky, confident, assertive, interesting person. That is what they want. That is what they are attracted to. But, its that guy that they want to have open doors, bring flowers, etc. etc. Doing the nice things initially won't make you attractive.

    You seem to be putting these women on a pedestal too soon, when quite frankly, they don't deserve it. They need to earn your approval too, not just you theirs.

    I get your frustration, but you just have to change your way of thinking. The girls I know are like 22-25, and they *love* the assholes. You just need a little bit of the asshole attitude (not so much that it actually changes you), and you'll be fine. Keep the respectful attitude, but don't lose all of the part of you that makes you masculine and a guy. That's what they're attracted to. There do exist girls that do look a little beyond the cocky exterior initially, but they're rare (prob < 10%). You still need to have some of it.

    (Btw, I don't really have any experience with girls over 25, so I don't know / understand how their mentality changes, some insight would be nice...had the same issues as this guy when I was younger, started thinking / behaving differently and saw women reactions change as well.)

    Posted by RecoveringNiceGuy August 14, 09 12:05 PM
  1. PS--JC, I really approved of that last comment. You're absolutely right, a woman who doesn't want a man "who'll let me walk all over him" sounds like she's saying by default I will treat a man badly and I need a man who'll force me to be good. Nobody ever thinks of it that way.

    I'm sure there are people who are so passive they may be at risk of being "walked over" just by any decision-making ending up on the other party's head, but still. If you don't want to walk all over a man, then don't. It's not our job to stop you, it's your job to be a woman who behaves as the woman she wants to be without us needing to make you.

    Posted by Stephen August 14, 09 12:05 PM
  1. Women are strange creatures…which I know because I am one. Why is it that when a guy totally ignores us we go crazy over him, yet when he gives us all the attention we SAY we want, we lose interest and call him a stalker? You need to find a happy medium between both…being too nice is boring for us women. When you meet a girl, loosen up and don’t act like she’s your soulmate from the first second, even if you’re interested. Joke and flirt with her, have fun, share your interests, be yourself. And don’t pretend to be something you’re not! In the long run, it won’t work out. If you get her number, don’t bombard her with 1000 texts the next day calling her your little angel muffin and arranging wedding plans. Be friendly and nice when you call her but give her a little distance and time to miss you…as much as people say they don’t like playing games, there’s nothing wrong with backing off a little bit and waiting to see if she responds to you. No one wants to be suffocated or doted on 24/7 or followed around by a little puppy dog right after you’ve met…it’s creepy and a turn off! Don’t psych yourself out..give it time when you meet a girl and treat her as you would want to be treated. It’s not going to work out with every girl…but someday you’ll find a special one whose personality will fit great with yours.

    Posted by meow August 14, 09 12:07 PM
  1. PULLEASE. Women do like nice men, you do NOT need to play hard to get our learn the Tao of Steve (dating advice based on a comedy movie, is a little scary, btw.) to be happy in love.
    Nice is an euphanism for "boring to me" -- meaning no chemistry; meaning no thrill, could be no ideas. Too blaze. Doesn't mean hard to get. Bad boys usually are social, tell great stories and argue their views well. Nice guys say "I dunno."
    I have been married for over 20 years. If my husband would let me have my way everytime it would be bliss. The magic in our relationship is that we he is never boring. Haven't heard an "I dunno" since we met. He is nice, by the way -- difficult at times, yes, but never boring.
    Don't get caught in that play hard to get trap -you might miss someone. But don't drool over someone and call them 15 times a day either -- that is creepy.

    Posted by Ninja August 14, 09 12:07 PM
  1. I'm getting a whiff of bitterness from your letter, and that is a huge turn off. You might want to take a break from trying to find The One. Before I met my boyfriend I took a 2-3 month break because I was getting annoyed with the men who were sending me lame messages on OK Cupid. I realized I was getting bitter and took that as a sign I needed to take a break from dating. So I did. After the break, I met my boyfriend (who, btw, is VERY nice but is also CONFIDENT and INTERESTING).

    You may need to take a longer break because I suspect you've been getting annoyed and irritated for years, not months, and over actual relationships as opposed to lame online dating pick up lines. And taking a longer break might be good if you've been trying too hard. You might be luckier if you don't try at all and just meet someone serendipitiously.

    Posted by OK Cupid Fan August 14, 09 12:08 PM
  1. I say forget dating women who are your peers in age...go for older women instead. We can be very appreciative of nice!

    Posted by Jonsie August 14, 09 12:09 PM
  1. where's rico today?

    Posted by brenda August 14, 09 12:16 PM
  1. Hoss - Your wife got lucky; your children too. I love how direct and clear you are on your responses...Guys: Take a note or two from Wise ol' Hoss...but also, as a woman, I learn a thing or two myself. I second you starting a side business and have your own column here to help the lonely hearted, mislead and/or just simply clueless Bostonians get a grip!

    I very mush appreciate Rico too..you both have such different approaches..

    Posted by Rossia August 14, 09 12:16 PM
  1. Ninja-

    The Tao of Steve is based upon a true story and the rules (be desireless, be excellent, be gone) are very sound.

    Be desireless - dont pester her (no one wants a lap dog)
    Be excellent - prove that you are worthy (order her dinner for her, win a
    race...whatever you are great at.
    Be Gone - let her chase you. Don't be on call al the time. Add some mystery. Leave the country for a week and forget to tell her.

    Ladies love the game. Learn the rules.

    And, I am ok if the LW continues to go after (and attain) 21 year olds. Although, dating a girl who still lives in a dorm can be a bit...off putting.


    Posted by Tom August 14, 09 12:24 PM
  1. Guy, you need to have a serious talk with yourself. Are you really a nice guy or are you a guy who is always trying to be nice and are consumed with it? As some of the posters have said, there is a difference in being a "nice guy" and "good guy".

    You need the "confidence" you need the "charisma" but most of all you need to have some "mystery" behind you! Make the girl wonder what you are thinking, where she stands with you. Always leave her wanting more!

    It's cool to compliment her, it's cool to open doors and offer to pay for dinners/drinks, but never be a pushover. She needs to know that you are a man and that you are in control of every situation. Don't become a needy, clingy person who falls for a girl within two weeks of dating. Play it cool and calcualated and most of all show respect but also demand respect.

    Posted by Lakeboy August 14, 09 12:28 PM
  1. OK, here's a summary of the advice here...

    Be nice, but not too nice, you don't want to be a push-over.
    Be assertive, but not too assertive, you don't want to be a pushy jerk.
    Be confident, but not too confident, you don't want to be arrogant.

    And above all be yourself. Unless, of course, being yourself means you aren't the proper amount of confident, assertive, or nice.

    Yea, you're pretty much doomed.
    Good luck!

    Posted by two sheds August 14, 09 12:35 PM
  1. Yo DrK #42---

    You have not one clue as to what you are talking about. Period. Everything you listed is exactly what women DONT want.

    To the LW--

    Listen to someone that is more level-headed like Hoss (or myself)!

    Don't lose hope.

    Posted by Kristen August 14, 09 12:35 PM
  1. To take Sally's point one step further, you could always turn to "This Old House".
    But do be careful of moldy basements.

    Good luck,
    DrK

    Posted by DrK August 14, 09 12:50 PM
  1. #67, "Sally": I always enjoy your responses, but today you nailed another perfect analogy. A lot of the "Nice Guy" dupes I have known simply suffered from *unrealistic expectations*. A perfect example of this was one friend ('ll call him "Pedro"), he looked like "George Castanza" (from Seinfeld) in every conceivable way (balding, hairy body, short-n-pudgy, amorphous face, etc...); yet strangely, he was always pining for some Young Hottie who looked like she was on "Baywatch". It was always the same sad courting dance; and he couldn't grasp why he got no play, no matter how many times we gently advise him to date an "average" looking gal. Then a few years later, he went the opposite route: he would go "bottom feeding", and pursue bar skanks who already had 2 kids by 2 different Baby-Daddies... but he would come on "Too Strong", like the women should be "appreciative" and kiss his butt because he was "better than them" (even the skanks didn't like that attitude). Many years later, years after all our circle of friends were married, he got a grip on reality and used a happy-medium approach and found his soulmate.

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 August 14, 09 12:54 PM
  1. Ok, perhaps I am being brutally honest here, but, sometimes women say that men are "nice" when they aren't their equal in the looks department. Are you jerky friends really good looking guys? The muscle bound, tanned, backwards wearing baseball cap guys? A lot of good looking people will only date someone who is just a little bit less good looking then themselves. Rarely do you see a 10 with a 5 or an 8 with a 3. I have to admit, being an average looking woman, that average looking men tend to shoot a little too high sometimes. Ever notice the guys all go for the 10 while the 6's are ignored? It works both ways I guess. The better looking a person is, chances are they are a bit more cocky and full of themselves. So, I have to ask, are you aiming too high? Certainly there are women and men who will date below their own level looks wise, but the younger you shoot, the less likely that will happen. Most people aren't Christina Aguilara and Jordan Bratman. Most people want someone beautiful and handsome. The more beautiful and handsome they are, the more likely they will want that, because looks are important. Not always, but a lot. I have a friend who most guys would consider a good solid 8 or 9. She has always been attracted to those cocky gym rats that make most of us average women throw up a little in our mouths. She has a fabulous figure and works hard at it. She wants someone who works just as hard on their body too. I suggest you look at the women you aim for. Are they 10s when you are only a 6 or a 7? The nice guy excuse is a nice way for pretty women to let down not so attractive men.


    full of

    Posted by donna August 14, 09 12:57 PM
  1. Sally, your post today rocks. Spot on.

    Posted by Patty August 14, 09 01:00 PM
  1. Kristen, you prove my point. You paid attention to me before you talked to LW.
    But that's OK. I'm sure you'll find a nice guy too.

    Good luck,
    DrK

    Posted by DrK August 14, 09 01:00 PM
  1. As well as Extreme Makeovers, DrK.

    Kristen, honey, DrK was being sarcastic. I think. Either way, I feel attracted to him, so I think he knows exactly what he's talking about.

    Posted by Sally August 14, 09 01:01 PM
  1. And isn't it fun that whenever you enter a single sliver of criticism for women on a broad spectrum (directed at the 90%, not the "other 10%"), you are automatically a bitter, gender-hating, (obviously) abusive a$$hole?? Yeah, too easy.

    No, some of us do just fine with women and know how to play the game, but are still depressed by the pathetic societal standards on display. It doesn't mean you can't be frustrated with what you're seeing out there... There IS a difference, no matter how much you deflect to generic labels to appease any credibility...

    This letter addresses the oldest story since the beginning of time... Women are never content. Something always has to be at issue. You hear get it straight from the horses mouth if you're reading this board. You need to "challenge", cause a "stir", be edgy or exciting, etc.

    Basically: Just DANCE, bear!! Men enter relationships accepting women wholly, loving them for who they are, not what they can become. Women, on the other hand??? Yeeeeaaaaaahhhhhh. Complete opposite. You need to become a better entertainer, then you'll have more fulfilling relationships... Whenever things get stagnant, just cut off an ear or set the kitchen table on fire. She'll be begging you to sling her over your shoulder and haul her off to the bedroom!

    :^)

    Posted by DJMcG August 14, 09 01:02 PM
  1. I am a 33 year old woman and definitely like nice (honest, genuine, kind) guys (which as others have said doesn't mean being a pushover), and do not like playing games. Follow Meredith's advice, be yourself, don't be bitter, and look for nice women who can appreciate you.

    Posted by L August 14, 09 01:03 PM
  1. There's a difference between being a nice guy and being a toolbag.

    I met my wife while I was delivering meat. I was half covered in blood and she was upset at her father. So we burned the house to the ground and headed cross-country- wait, I'm sorry. That was the plot to Natural Born Killers, my bad.

    Yeah, just listen to the rest of these people. Be nice, but don't be a toolbag. Toolbags and jerks aren't long-term material.

    Posted by Atticus Black August 14, 09 01:04 PM
  1. There's nothing more disgusting and vile than the self-proclaimed "Nice Guy". It creeps me out - Huge warning bells go off for me... There's just something off-putting by someone like that. It's also like they have an excuse for their failure - "Oh - she's not attracted to me cause I'm a Nice Guy." It also makes me feel like they have more to hide or something. It's sketchy as hell.

    Also, LW - you said that you've tried being something that you're not... EW. Not cool. Chances are you being "nice" has nothing to do with these women's (lack of) attraction for you... You probably come off as desperate, and woman can see that coming a mile away. What ever happened to being yourself? It's a great way to be!!!

    As for your "friends" ... You said they slept with your former love interests? Haven't you even seen "How I met Your Mother"??? Guy rule #314: never sleep with a bro's ex.

    Sounds like you need to start over, get real, and not give a hoot what other people think. Also - set some ground rules for your "friends" and don't be afraid to kick their butts if they try to step up on your women... We dig that.

    Cats not Dogs

    Posted by Rica August 14, 09 01:04 PM
  1. Nice guy: looks out for my self-interest

    Bad guy: looks out for his self-interest

    Mr Right: looks out for my self-interest, AND his self-interest

    (didn't think I could be so succinct, did ya?)

    Posted by anecdotal evidence August 14, 09 01:05 PM
  1. #95:
    "OK, here's a summary of the advice here...
    Be nice, but not too nice, you don't want to be a push-over.
    Be assertive, but not too assertive, you don't want to be a pushy jerk.
    Be confident, but not too confident, you don't want to be arrogant.
    And above all be yourself. Unless, of course, being yourself means you aren't the proper amount of confident, assertive, or nice.
    Yea, you're pretty much doomed.
    Good luck!"

    * * * * *

    Wow, Post of the Year Candidate! I think this is the concept the LW needs to calibrate to.

    Posted by Annonymous August 14, 09 01:06 PM
  1. Just keep going for casual sex, move on to the next and NEVER commit to anything. Life with women is easier that way.

    Perpetually searching for that perfect pair of breasts or the milkiest thighs is man's true higher calling.

    Heed the call.

    Being nice ultimately gets you...where you are.

    Posted by Tommy August 14, 09 01:10 PM
  1. i agree with monopoly man, he hit it right on the head! women dont know what they want!!

    Posted by Hans Moleman August 14, 09 01:13 PM
  1. Bad Boys are popular to fool around with! Admit it you have a canned reason to dump them after a few spins. You can lie to yourself but that's the truth.

    Nice guys seem clingy, needy and spineless and those are turn-offs. Also acting like a cocky jerk can exude confidence, which is a huge turn on to most women.

    Posted by NBoston40 August 14, 09 01:13 PM
  1. #36 (JC) - EXCELLENT ADVICE!!!

    Posted by kewl August 14, 09 01:14 PM
  1. Also - why are we putting all the blame on women, here? The self-proclaimed "nice-guys" are the ones with the problem - not the women!!!

    Cats not Dogs

    Posted by Rica August 14, 09 01:16 PM
  1. Nice Guy -- You don't say what your definition of "nice guy" is. What you think is nice may not be nice, as Meredith says. You need to have a frank talk with someone(s) who know you well --and has preferably seen you around your dates -- and ask them for the straight dope. Also, what do the women say when they break up with you? I just don't think being someone that you are NOT is the way to find true love -- that almost seems WORSE. I know I would be disconcerted if the guy I was dating seemed like one thing when I met him but then became something else.

    Posted by move on August 14, 09 01:18 PM
  1. Read the book "No More Mr. Nice Guy" by Dr. Robert Glover. It will most likely be an eye opening experience for you. Women want confident guys not guys that are always seeking approval from women. There is a website devoted to this book and a message board with a lot of like minded individuals (aka Nice Guys).

    Good Luck!

    Posted by algernon August 14, 09 01:21 PM
  1. Q, if you agreed with the silo (i.e. different life situations require different behavioral approaches) theory, then you'd have been too nice / too passive / too much of a lemming for me. Well done. No one wants to hang out with a Smithers for more than an hour or two at a time.

    Rossia, I'll be sure to tell her and her lawyer the next chance I get. As I said, part of being honest and real with yourself and those around you, is being willing to go it alone instead of having to conform to a role that others may want you to fill. That is a risk that I was willing to take. One cannot be all things to all people.

    Notice that everything I write is directed to the LW, but also applies to many other people, and is driven by my own experiences (successes and failures). I take responsibility equally for both and if there was one single thing that I try to convey to my children, that would be it.

    Enough about me. Let's move on to the next letter....

    - Hoss

    - Hoss

    Posted by Hoss August 14, 09 01:22 PM
  1. Maybe we can all together chant: "RICO RICO RICO" and do the wave. Will that make him appear? Dunno........the sun is out today.

    Posted by Trueblue22 August 14, 09 01:22 PM
  1. Hoss, the silos are just a ripoff George's "worlds colliding" on Seinfeld. And Mr. Self-Important Rico said yesterday that he was taking a few days off.

    Posted by Alvin August 14, 09 01:28 PM
  1. There is such a thing as too nice if you mean creepy-nice (ever read Dickens? remember Uriah Heep?). But if you are genuinely thoughtful, polite ,and attentive, then I don't get why these women are walking away. You might want to corner a couple of good friends and promise them you won't be mortally wounded if they give you an honest evaluation of how you are around women. No one likes a brute (well, no one normal), but not many people are drawn to wimps either. You may be giving off insecure vibes that are not attractive. This has very little to do with how "nice" you are.

    Posted by Susan August 14, 09 01:30 PM
  1. Sally, you had me at "extreme".
    Have nice weekend, all.

    DrK

    Posted by DrK August 14, 09 01:31 PM
  1. Nothing wrong with nice guys! I'm single, 31, and love dating nice guys. A generally nice guy is a catch and can be hard to find in this city.

    What I don't like, and what I've stopped dating “nice” guys over, is the man who agrees with everything I say, who alters his political or religious opinions to match mine, or who only does things that I want to do. A guy treading so lightly that there’s little possibility of upsetting the woman. That’s boring. And quickly turns me off. It makes me feel like I’m dating a pushover. No one wants to date a pushover (man or woman).

    So disagree with me! Share your opinions! Tell me you’re annoyed that I’ve made you wait 30 minutes at the restaurant. Once you make a decision to do something, don’t act wishy-washy about that choice if I sound upset. It might seem like women want a man who will drop everything for them, because that would be “nice”, but that makes us feel like we have all the power and control over you, and that is a huge turnoff (for most women. I guess some women love that control, but I don’t think that makes for a good match in the long run). I suspect this is part of the “bad boy” phenomenon. We want you to respectfully, humorously, push back a little. Suggest alternatives; find compromise, instead of agreeing with what we want all the time. Try not to bend yourself to our moods too much. Be confident and stable enough to weather the emotional rollercoaster women generally find themselves on.
    Listen, ask questions, be nice, respectful, and hold your ground. Do this and I guarantee women will fall over you. Finally, give me the impression that you are a secure and busy individual, but who chooses to make time for someone they think is worth making time for.

    Posted by Courtney August 14, 09 01:33 PM
  1. woman function on emotion, not reason.... anything goes!!! i say go the george costanza route. wear a fake wedding ring, then at least you will seem like the unattainable "nice guy"

    Posted by whatwouldgeorgecostanzado? August 14, 09 01:34 PM
  1. What's really creepy is this LW sounds a lot like the gunman who recently killed 3 women at a gym near Pittsburgh. He couldn't understand why women ignored him despite his efforts to look/be nice. That guy wrote on his blog things such as:

    "Told by at least 100 girls/women over the years I was a 'nice guy.' Not kidding."

    "Women just don't like me. There are 30 million desirable women in the US (my estimate) and I cannot find one. Not one of them finds me attractive."

    "I see twenty something couples everywhere. I see a twenty something guy with a nice twentyish young women. I think those years slipped right by for me. Why should I continue another 20+ years alone?"
    “I actually look good. I dress good, am clean-shaven, bathe, touch of cologne – yet 30 million women rejected me – over an 18 or 25-year period. That is how I see it. Thirty million is my rough guesstimate of how many desirable single women there are. A man needs a woman for confidence. . . Thanks for nada, bitches! Bye.”
    Everyone gets thrown when someone you are dating dumps you. But this LW is telling us that despite constantly dating he’s on a 17 year dry spell. Something is seriously wrong here, and I hope he gets professional help soon!

    Posted by Sigh August 14, 09 01:35 PM
  1. Rico is on vacation - remember?

    Cats not Dogs

    Posted by Rica August 14, 09 01:37 PM
  1. In my experience guys who describe themselves as "nice guys" are no nicer than your average guy, and are usually a lot whinier.

    Posted by Kylee August 14, 09 01:41 PM
  1. Also, Nice Guy, you need to stop thinking about YOURSELF so much and start thinking about women as individuals, rather than some big lump group that are all the same. No woman wants to feel judged before she even has a chance to put herself out there. Just because you have not been able to find someone to love you the way you are (or pretend to be) does not mean that women as a group are all looking for one thing or another. Maybe the problem is where you are meeting women -- do you meet women in places or settings where you are likely to meet women that are LIKE YOU? Or do you pick them up in bars? The Nice Guy Fallacy is just that -- a fallacy.

    Posted by move on August 14, 09 01:41 PM
  1. (Written in DJMcG-ese)
    Pussy Willow:
    It really doesn’t matter who you marry the first time around. All marriages end in disaster anyhow because women are MIS-ER-ABLE. If you say black, they say pink…If you want bottom, they want to spoon…if you want to see “Goodfellas”, they want to go shopping, and if you want to eat ribs, they want to keep kosher. No man is safe from the control of a woman. That’s why prison isn’t a bad alternative. You get to deal with only men all day. If society doesn’t wake up, we’re screwed. As it is, men have more than 80% of the sex, but almost 0% of the pregnancies. Have you ever seen how people fawn over pregnant women? What about us guys? We did like 70% of the humpin’ and pumpin’! We paid for the pre-natal visits. We even installed the freakin’ car seats. You want nice? Find another nice guy…like me.

    Posted by valentino August 14, 09 01:47 PM
  1. OK now that I (and many others) have approached the issue that many self proclaimed "Nice Guys" real issue is that they are too "Physically Unattractive" for the women they pursue, there is a similar avenue to pursue: Different "Life Situation and Goals Stature". Are you a Bag Boy at Stop & Shop, but are trying to date a Paralegal? Bzzzt! You'll probably lose that chase. And I am simply not talking about your present job, but "Where you have been and where you are going". If you have been a bag-boy for 10 years and you say you are "comfortable" with your job, you aint getting any play. If you are a bag-boy who is putting himself through Medical School that might be different. I knew a few dudes that just got a lame go-nowhere McJob straight outta high school, fine when they were 18 but it was a mojo killer when they were 28. I am not saying you need ridiculously lofty goals, but most women do want a man with some form of direction in life as they approach their 30's; it doesn't even have to be "Career" goals, some ladies get a kick out other "dreams" as well (I want to sail around the world etc...)

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 August 14, 09 01:55 PM
  1. Rico said he was going away for the weekend. Hope he's having a great time.
    So, Mr. Nice Guy, I do not agree with everyone who is saying to toughen up and be a jerky kind of jock. Nor do I agree totally with everyone who says to be yourself. Obviously, being yourself hasn't worked. There has to be a mixture of coming across as a strong confident guy with a soft nice side as well. Sorta like 'the softer side of Sears'. Date women your age. Stop saying you're nice. Say you're one of the good guys. There is nothing wrong with respecting a woman and treating her well.

    Posted by californiadreamin August 14, 09 01:56 PM
  1. For what it's worth, it's not a generic all-guys-are-like-this or all-girls-are-like this issue. It's a you issue, and if the women you come across want men like that, then they're not the women for you.

    I've had my share of men who seem to go for toxic women: women who nag all the time, decide what the man should wear and throw out their favorite shirts, get furious when they want to watch sports, and tell them things like "if you don't buy us a house soon, that means you don't love me." If all the co-dependent people want to pair up then more power to them, but that doesn't have to be you.

    And Meredith is right on, as always. People who are too nice can be boring.

    Posted by dottie August 14, 09 02:01 PM
  1. Easy Sigh - not even remotely close. Women are Queens of the Giddy Yup, Giddy Yup, Whoaaaaaaaaaa. Date a woman, perhaps older, man up, have a backbone, don't be a boy, reread Hoss. Yes Rico is on vakay.

    Posted by MaryRo August 14, 09 02:04 PM
  1. Sally-- are you single? DrK-- are you single? If so, you two should get together. It seems as though a romance is blossoming here....

    Posted by Kristen August 14, 09 02:07 PM
  1. Completely agree with the "nice" shouldn't equal "passive, spineless doormat," but I'd like to add one more thing:

    "Nice" also shouldn't equal any behavior that would make me question whether or not your member has gone missing. Please avoid any and all of the following:
    - Overuse of emoticons in electronic communication.
    - Baby talk.
    - Giggling, squealing, or any other giddy verbalization of emotion.
    - Petting me.
    - Responding to any "I've had a bad day" emails from me by saying "awwwww!! *hugs*!!!!!"

    The minute I start feeling like I have more balls than you is the minute I'm out the door and you're whining that you just got dumped for being "too nice."

    Posted by Alice August 14, 09 02:09 PM
  1. There is difference between being nice and being a spinless jellyfish. I was dating a guy who let me decide where to go to dinner and what movie I wanted to see etc, because he was being "nice" by letting me choose. Although it was nice at first, I also wanted a guy who had an opinion, someone to show me a different view or to get me to try something new that I would have never done on my own. By picking everything myself I was pretty much dating myself and it got boring after awhile. I wanted someone to challenge me with my thoughts and opinions...some I could have a conversation with...not someone that would agree with me on every term and condition.

    Posted by ladygaga926 August 14, 09 02:14 PM
  1. As I was reading this letter, and the posts that followed, I kept thinking of the guy in Pittsburgh. Why did it take til post #123 for anyone to make that connection? Scary.

    Posted by MaineGirl August 14, 09 02:14 PM
  1. “Too nice for a skull tattoo” Haiku

    Trial by Henna
    Angry tattoos get me laid
    Still branded “Mother”

    Posted by valentino August 14, 09 02:16 PM
  1. Thanks for the suggestion Kristen. As much as I would love to take Sally for a ride on the bike, Mrs. DrK would probably frown on that.
    It's nice to have friends here, though. But that's another letter.

    DrK

    Posted by DrK August 14, 09 02:22 PM
  1. And valentino proves the rule once again...

    For you see, he doesn't have skills with women. He's pretty lame in the sack. That's why he carves out the familiar niche that you see here... pathetic, wash-over enabler. He bends backwards, right and left because he doesn't have the spine/sack to keep himself grounded. He's that guy you see with all the women around him, but none of them will go to his bed. He's the constant appeaser because it's the only way women will ever pay him any mind... The prototypical SAP... No skills. Zero. Just the ability to nod and carry her purse.

    Yes, valentino proves the rule once again: there's never a shortage of under-skilled bears just waiting for their chance to dance, just waiting for the opportunity to participate in any fashion. Some men have no life of their own, so they have that NEED to submerge themselves in someone else's. Poor, pathetic valentino... never realizes that the flaccid enabler types are just as sadly placed as Mr. Nice Guy.

    Enjoy last place, val. Nobody brings up the rear better than you, buddy!

    Posted by DJMcG August 14, 09 02:25 PM
  1. Valentino - bitter???

    Posted by M August 14, 09 02:38 PM
  1. Valentino Haiku

    Wedding day jitters--
    DJMcG-ese can't conceive!
    I am so outtah here.

    Posted by Sally (But Wanna Be Vally) August 14, 09 02:38 PM
  1. Nice guy: You can classify all women into two categories 1) Out of their mind - (bonafide nuts and just waiting for some small thing to set them off) or 2) a raging floozie...

    Neither one really makes for a great time, but you have to find the tallest midget and just deal with all the rest. It doesnt matter if you are nice or not, some girls like it some dont. Being an @$$ is just more fun...and from my experience #2 has more benefits....think grilled cheeses with mayonnaise

    Posted by Preachin-the-truth August 14, 09 02:40 PM
  1. I loved my boyfriend when he was nice to me! but two months in, he became a complete a$$ - turns out the "nice guy" routine was just to get me to fall in love with him. once he thought he had me, he turned into an overbearing, jealous, controlling, and insecure monster.

    he knew that acting like a nice guy would get me (I'm older), and then he thought he could treat me like garbage. think again, loser! dumping him was the smartest thing I ever did, because almost instantly I met a fantastic guy who has been HONEST with me from day one. and yes, nice - chivalrous, thoughtful, polite, warm, and caring.

    girls eventually figure out a guy is acting - whether you're acting "nice" or "bad" - and we will never forgive that dishonesty no matter how in love we think we are. we know there are plenty of fish in the sea, and lots of confident men out there who don't have to put on an act when they meet people. that's what serial killers do.

    stop acting and be yourself - that's the only way you're going to meet someone who is right for you!

    Posted by Too B. Vious August 14, 09 02:47 PM
  1. I married a guy who told me he loved me the first month we were dating - when we were both 18. I was freaked at first, but I came to realize, yes, this nice guy was the real deal.

    Almost 13 years later we are still together, married and have a lovely family. Nice guys get the best GIRLS first! All that's left are the whiney high maintanance girls, so watch out.

    Posted by happily married to a nice guy August 14, 09 02:53 PM
  1. I am the letter writer. I am actually having a very busy day at work and have not been able to read all the replies or reply myself. I will reply more soon. I will just say for now that I am real, and this letter is real. I appreciate the replies and will answer questions asap.

    Posted by NGDFL August 14, 09 02:54 PM
  1. Great point, move on, #126.

    Expanding on that, LW, are you trying to get ALL WOMEN to like you? Because that is never going to happen. It is better to think about what you want in a woman and concentrate on finding that. If you like reading and hiking, and the comedy of Monty Python, then you probably won't find much in common with someone who would prefers TV, hates going outside, and laughs at Jack@ss. Not that there is anything wrong with that kind of woman, but she just isn't for you. Or maybe she is! Maybe you are challenged by someone completely different.

    Yes, absolutely, start thinking of women as individuals, we are all over the spectrum of human personality. Resist the urge to compartmentalize us. That is one reason some men can't "figure women out." They keep trying to lump us all into one category, instead of understanding each person is different.

    Posted by sometimes August 14, 09 02:59 PM
  1. I have often found that self-described "nice-guys" put more effort into bemoaning their losses/failures with women/life more than they put into getting to know the other person, or enjoying the relationship/date. If you're waiting for the fall, it will come. In the past my suggestion to men I've dated with the "nice-guy" syndrome has been this: volunteer. Go out into the community and help the less fortunate. Then suddenly your "problems" may seem a little less earth-shattering and you may begin to focus less on YOURSELF, and realize that saying you're a "nice-guy" doesn't make you a unique tragic-hero character. It's time to grow up, learn to enjoy who you are, and complain less. ~Sick of the syndrome

    Posted by Kristine August 14, 09 03:02 PM
  1. #123/135- I thought the SAME thing.

    It creeps me out beyond belief.
    *Shudders*

    Posted by HBellz August 14, 09 03:03 PM
  1. Pretending to be a cocky DB in order to get women to fawn all over you seems inconsistent with being a nice guy. And actually writing in to an advice column to ask whether or not you should continue act like a DB in order to get a woman, seems to confirm that you are in fact, both indecisive and a tool. Just telling it like it is.

    Posted by Neil August 14, 09 03:09 PM
  1. NGDFL, you are way too young to settle down anyhow. Enjoy what life has to offer vis-a-vis nubile young women. Let them enjoy you, too. There is plenty of time to get serious about someone later on. For now, rock on and turn off the charm, dude!

    Posted by Lance Romance August 14, 09 03:16 PM
  1. A dominant man can still be nice - in fact, the best dominant men **are** respectful of women, and want their relationships to grow alongside the women, these men don't want to walk ahead of their partners, but next to them. You might want to research such a lifestyle. Or maybe not.

    Rico posted the other day, that he'd be away for a few days.

    Posted by reindeergirl August 14, 09 03:22 PM
  1. You must chill. You have not met the right girl...yet. Don't overthink this. I think the issue is more that you want to find someone (as do a million other people if that makes you feel any better) so just be true to yourself and try to enjoy the process.

    Posted by pb August 14, 09 03:22 PM
  1. M - Glad the dialect resonated. Please read the header: Some angry guy with an ax to grind and a thorn in his paw….If I were King of the Forest…

    Sally…The nice guy in me says: “Baby, you’re the greatest!” The bad boy in me says: “To the moon, Alice!”

    DJMcG – There’s a hotline out there buddy…find it

    Posted by valentino August 14, 09 03:23 PM
  1. You're probably trying too hard to get them to like you. think of it as you choosing them (it is) and not just them choosing you. it has to be mutual.
    from experience some of the hot women i wanted to be with are no prizes, rejection can be a blessing..
    to take the pressure off use hookers so you're not begging for action.. this way you'll get to know a woman for who she is... sex has a way of messing with our judgement

    Posted by rick August 14, 09 03:25 PM
  1. Sometimes when men think that if they are nice, they are "owed" women's attentions.

    Sometimes there just isn't chemistry, and men blame the "women's don't like nice guys" mantra.

    I have found that truly nice people (men and women) don't go around calling themselves "nice." Nice people have more courtesy than that.

    What kinds of women are you trying to date? I have also found that men try to date women who are not the female equivalent of themselves and then get mad when the women isn't interested.

    A woman is not mandated to like you simply because you're nice.

    And as others have pointed out, there are plenty of men who go for b&tches, so please stop the one-sided stereotypes.

    Posted by beantownbaklava August 14, 09 03:27 PM
  1. Ah, my Dear, Nice guys do not finish last. You are young, just beginning. Do wait a half a century or so, at least, before attempting to reach such a judgement. Nice guys tend to grow more confident as they age, they tend to make good choices, they eventually become very attractive to women once they learn to be stronger and more confident, and they tend to have long happy lives with women who value them and appreciate them as they remaind devoted to their families while other families of 'bad guys', more selfindulgent men, implode. All in good time.

    You are a kind soul. And while we have been programmed to think that goodness and kindness and giving will be rewarded, we must be pragmatic in recognizing that we have evolved from a dog-eat-dog world for tens of thousands of years and the instincts for survival programmed into our DNA are enormous driving forces throughout our lives.

    I will be painting with a broad brush for a few moments but if you will allow me: Men find women who have characteristics of being good breeders attractive, even if consciously, they dont want children. Women find themselves attracted to men who are intelligent ( women recently ranked intelligence higher than good looks in what attracts them to men) confident and physically strong - protectors, providers, even if they have no desire to be taken care of. Why? Instinct. Our own DNA even kills us off if we grow to immobile, consume too many calories, and not enough physical activity. Why? Why doesn't our bodies simply expel the calories we dont use and allow us to live longer? Clearly our DNA is programmed for some goal outside simply doing what is best for us as an individual. Our DNA is programmed for the survival of the species, even if it comes at our expense personally. If a member of the tribe consumes too many calories and does not help out in the labor distribution, or hunting, they will die sooner than those who hunt (exercise) allowing that food to be distributed among the remainder of the tribe. If women mate with strong physical specimens of men, their offspring will be physically strong and be more prone to survive even if the emmotional life of having such a mate is horrendous. Quite harsh, is it not? But such is nature.

    So, going back, why do girl not like 'nice' guys? Well, you can say as much for men as well, can't you? Why do men not value "nice" girls? Why do they walk all over them? Nothing is more unattractive to a man than a women begging for commitment. But men who, unlike women, can throw their sperm out there without much physical commitment from them. For the continuation of their line, to impregnate a passive girl who throws herself at them costs them no commitment of time or energy. Why not? For a women, however, to become pregnant takes up much more time, energy and risk on their part. They physically are not able to have as many offspring as a man, they must be more choosey, and they want their offspring to inherit characteristics that will help them survive - intelligence, strength, confidence.

    What does 'nice' mean? My guess, accomodating -to a fault. To a degree they would not feel comfortable seeing in their children. Someone who is passive, not confident may also come across as - not too smart. To a women instinctively, this would put her in a vulnerable place to be mated with a male who cannot think, cannot provide. Though some think this antiquated, do consider one women dies in this country every day from pregnancy complications and the person responsible for raising the surviving children will be their father.

    Again, do not imagine women are consciously aware of this. Instinct. When someone is dumped in a pool of water they instinctively claw for the surface. Our instincts to live, to have our line survive beyond us, are enormous, and may very well, if we are not careful, sabotage our conscious happiness and good choices. Women who consistently go after physical strong overly confident men are obviously using a more primative method of choosing. Most women, however, have consicous and unconscious influences guiding them.

    Take some time to learn who you are. Value your opinions. Allow yourself to express them more. Perhaps, seek therapy to find out what stops you from valuing your wants and needs and desires, trusting your judgement, and using it with confidence. Are you a first born? Strict parents? It is very common for the first born of two of more (not only chidren) to be passive. That is how they were raised, to be good boys for the parents who were always dealing with the younger children. Your needs were put on the back burner while the younger ones were cared for. You are an adult now. Time to value you. No need for you to put you on the back burner anymore.

    Good luck, my Good man. And take heart, "last" is an awful long time away. When it does come, I"m sure you will finish brilliantly.

    Posted by a few grey hairs August 14, 09 03:29 PM
  1. If you want to be/are a nice guy then stop dating girls that are beeaches just because they're hot!

    Posted by seriously August 14, 09 03:34 PM
  1. I have stewed on this one a while, this guy is 33 and he still had no "game"? Are you kidding me??? If he is dating women in their 30's it is like shooting fish in a barrel, their ticking biological clock can be heard miles away. There is definitely something very-very-very wrong with him: Fugly, No Career, Cradle Robber, Infantile Personality, Mentally ill, Bad Hygeine, or whatever. ALL of my peers, no matter how bad their game was, or how plain they looked, was either Married or Engaged by 35yo. This is fake, or this dude has some serious problems...

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 August 14, 09 03:35 PM
  1. Hoss - I'll never know the details but I look forward to being with a man with a mind as charmingly unambiguous as yours; best of luck with the next woman you fall for....LW take all this advice and run with it - never change for a soul..I'm still clinging to the hope that Nice Guys exist; their just far and few between apparently...C'est la vie...xo

    Rossia

    Posted by Rossia August 14, 09 03:39 PM
  1. I think your friends love having you around. You do all the work and they can sweep in and reap the benefits. It' sounds like you are a tool. If you are trying to justify every move you make to the girls you date the way you're trying to justify to us why you haven't relied yet, it's no wonder you can't get a steady lay. Your probably the guy who calls the same night you get their number. You text them 25 times a day to tell them everytime you think of them, call them the moment you know they are getting off work. You smother them trying to let them know how nice you are. You might as well get you balls snipped if you aren't going to use them.

    Posted by Lakeboy August 14, 09 03:47 PM
  1. "Nice" is a generic word, so a "nice guy" sounds pretty bland to me (as does "nice girl"). Describing yourself as "nice" sounds like you don't really know yourself, there's an air of superficiality about it. Real women don't want nice...they want something more complex that might include "nice" qualities, such as comapssion, kindness, loyalty, etc, but aiming for "nice", in yourself or others, should get you nowhere fast. Be funny, be charming, be kind, be hot, or moody, or brilliant, or rich, or compassionate or loyal or frustrated or talented, but for the love of god don't settle for nice. It's more than a matter of semantics.

    Posted by niceboysdon'tplayrocknroll August 14, 09 03:52 PM
  1. #48 (Willies) is on to something. I'd much rather have a guy who can take a stand (yes, even on the little things) than one who is always hesitant or leaving everything up to me. I'm a strong person, and I'm happiest with someone at least equally strong, partly for the reasons Willies mentioned. None of that says much about the nice guy stuff, except that nice has to be paired with a lot of other qualities in order for it to mean anything.

    Posted by eas August 14, 09 03:53 PM
  1. DJMcG - Oh, I think val is very very happy. He's the one getting married soon, after all, to someone who is crazy about him. Thanks for the uhm, opening. It gives me a chance to post this wedding gift to valentino. A lifetime of happiness to you, val!

    Openings



    I was forsythia
    Radiant bloom of late winter
    Deciduous undecides
    in the cracks of the ledge
    Buds too easily crushed

    You came to spread petals
    Brush gold dust along your mantle
    You freely donned my pride-wreath
    in the cracks of your blood
    Buds you'd easily bloom

    Snow melts under webbing -
    Yours, that fire on my ice field
    You coursed the frozen river
    with me as your oars
    You, the shell, opening

    (copyright 2009 reindeergirl, mine)


    Posted by reindeergirl August 14, 09 03:54 PM
  1. wow, reminds me of my ex who was always claiming to be a "nice guy," "successful lawyer," and "good Christian."

    turns out he far from being any of those things. he was just a textbook sociopath.

    those who repeatedly claim to be something are not. at best, you sound like a tool with not an ounce of self-awareness. at worst, as others have claimed, you are a scary soon-to-be serial killer. get some help.

    Posted by maine girl, too August 14, 09 04:07 PM
  1. I wonder if he is that type of weird creepy sap that goes through this weird cycle?: (1) Meet and date girl once, maybe twice (2) Girl dumps him for friend (3) Friend dumps girls or bangs her best friend (4) Girl calls him to cry on his shoulder (5) Goes with Girl for more "therapy" over drinks, and then occasionally gets the "Drunk Pity Lay" (6) Rinse-Repeat-Rinse... I have also known one pathetic sap like that, I lost touch with him so I don't know if he ever got cured. If this is the letter writers case, he is really just the "Gay Male Best Friend" for women that don't actually know any Gay guys. Maybe the LW should investigate that "Alternative Lifestyle"???

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 August 14, 09 04:13 PM
  1. Ditto to what Monty (#17) said... I have never once heard "nice guys finish last" come out of the mouth of someone I truly considered to be a nice guy. I think sometimes it's an excuse, sometimes it's a lack of self-awareness. But the guys who I've heard say it all had two things in common: they were needy/clingy, and they hadn't gotten to know the real woman at all. They were using "stock" moves and using a one-size-fits-all approach to women. In fact, now that I think about it, a lot of those "nice guys" were actually pretty passive-aggressive in their attitudes towards women.

    A

    Posted by Twice Five Miles August 14, 09 04:13 PM
  1. Alas, valentino, with the verbal equivalent "tap-out". Pegged correctly -- not even Beta material... s'alrigh' baby boy.

    A little too spot-on there for comfort, huh? Keep on weepin' on...

    Posted by DJMcG August 14, 09 04:14 PM
  1. Dating can make you jaded, especially in this town where there are so many single people. I was just out visiting family in the West and the Midwest, and talk about nice guys- there's no shortage of them. When I came back here and talked about it with a friend, she said "East Coast guys are edgy."

    I grew up with nice guys, and love them to bits. However, I might like something of a poker face, which indicates a bit of self-control; because, the worst kind of nice guy is the one who has no armor. He's the one not listening to boundaries and everything is too wide open. That's the guy who doesn't have a grip, and might turn into a stalker later.

    Nice isn't about holding open doors, or other "random acts of kindness" either. It's not an act. It's deep down and consistent like character and integrity. I can't stand insincerity.

    When you get to be jaded, then you start taking advice about 'be this' and 'be that', thinking that everything you do is wrong. Try to resist getting bitter over feeling rejected that you were too nice. That's not what women want. They probably want to feel safe with you, and if you're too insecure to be yourself, then it's hard to get close to that.


    Posted by Anonymous August 14, 09 04:17 PM
  1. Isn't it funny? Act like a pompous ass and you get all the a _ _! It's true.

    Women are fickle. They want to settle down, but they want to rope and tame the mustang to do it with. They all think they can convert the bad boy to a choir boy. It's like a moth to a flame and we all see it time and again. After a while, we all learn to settle. The women all realize it is fruitless to their settling down goals, at some point, and they look for a truly nice guy, but they want the bucking bronc too. Sometimes, they ride the bucking bronc on the side. Sometimes, they just look at the bronc longingly from afar, but they all want it and it is so recognizable.

    Guys like hot tramps for one thing. They aren't looking to convert them to something else, just to plug them for a awhile. Women don't know whatthey want. Which is where I end with my advice: you, my friend, need to find a woman that is in the proper phase for settling down. Don't look in the bars b/c they aren't there. Those chicks are just looking to get plugged and to find their sugar daddy's.

    All the best.

    Posted by big h August 14, 09 04:18 PM
  1. Some have implied that the LW may be shooting too high in his aspirations, and he may not be as good-looking as he thinks. However, he says he has no problem getting dates, so I don't think that is what is going on here. I suspect this is more about his "picker" simply being broken. He's asking out the wrong women.

    I am a proverbial Nice Girl, now in my 40s. I would not call myself a 10 - maybe a 6 if I'm lucky - although I may be misjudging my own looks, who knows. I would say I've always been the Mary Ann and not the Ginger.

    Anyway, I have been having fun this year attending high school and college reunions, and renewing old acquaintances on Facebook. I have been told over and over again by male friends from my past that they all had huge crushes on me and wanted to go out with me. These are all very nice guys - in the sense of good guys who are also quite good looking. I would've jumped at the chance to date any of them!! In fact, some of them I had a crush on myself, but try as I might, they never took the hint I was interested.

    I inevitably reply, "Well, why didn't you ASK me???" And the answer is, "I didn't think you'd say yes. I just assumed you were out of my league."

    Perhaps your problem is you are shooting too low, not too high? The women you date cheat on you with your friends. The women you date prefer game-players to genuine people like you. That sounds to me like you are dating jerks. The problem isn't you, it's that your picker is broken.

    Think about whether there is a Nice Girl that you've always admired but never asked out because she intimidated you and you assumed there was no way she'd ever say yes. I bet - if she's not already married - she's sitting at home on Saturday night in her pj's watching Bridget Jones re-runs. Why don't you give her a call?

    Posted by Nice Girl August 14, 09 04:23 PM
  1. reindeergirl:

    Yes, I'm sure val is VERY happy. It's the future Mrs. val for whom I hang my head in sorrow.....

    Posted by DJMcG August 14, 09 04:25 PM
  1. I'm worried that Nice may mean condescending. As in... you ALWAYS open doors, you ALWAYS pay the tab, you always pick her up, you always drive... All these things are great to an extent, but most modern women are independent and competent to do these things themselves too. Chivalry doesn't need to die, it just needs to grow up.

    Posted by Trina W August 14, 09 04:31 PM
  1. Always love ya Hoss, but today I disagree. LW definitely needs to be himself. But if he's an open-book kind of guy, he's just not going to be able to muster a poker face in all situations nor keep his cards hidden all the time, not should he, because that would be an act, and he wouldn't be being himself. In any relationship you're eventually going to show your true self, and people attracted to your true self will stay with that person, so be yourself from the beginning.

    I don’t get the recommendation to keep stuff hidden from the people you’re closest to. I don't want my husband to hide anything consciously from me. On the other hand, I do want to be confident that if together we faced some horrible situation that we haven't even dreamed of (such as an attack by wild predator animal, if you want to be Darwinian about it), that he would find something hidden in himself to enable us (and thus our progeny) to survive it. I don’t know what that thing inside him is yet, because fortunately he’s never had to show it. It’s probably a combination of brain and brawn and overwhelming resolve, and I can infer that it exists based on how he talks, acts, and treats me and other people. And it goes both ways—I know he has that same confidence in me.

    Willies’s examples were hilarious, and so true in ways. If I express an opinion or a strong preference for something, I think it’s nice if my husband cooperates. But if I ask him want HE wants or for HIS opinion, I want decisiveness. And I DON’T want to be controlled: if he ever ordered my meal for me, he’d end up wearing it.

    And, dear LW, there’s a reason most relationships are brief and only a few endure: relationships are hard work requiring sacrifices by both parties. I’ll bet that with all those women who lasted less than 2 months with you, one or the other of you didn’t feel like working that hard, or there was some other way in which you were just incompatible. Live and learn, and keep looking.

    Sally, you are priceless.

    Posted by big sis August 14, 09 04:31 PM
  1. I will say one thing for the "Bad Boy" attitude: the one trait you need to take from their shtick is the "Maverick" attitude, and I mean that you are have true independent interests. Simply don't be too "Clingy". Even if you don't have other things to do, find things to do on the nights you aren't dating. Nothing is more pathetic than a guy who says "I am available any night next week", you gotta come back with "Well Thursday is Beer Pong League, and every other Sunday is my [insert Hobby] Club Meeting". And if the only thing on your agenda is "Visiting My Mom", well you are fooked...

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 August 14, 09 04:41 PM
  1. a few gray hairs -

    you need your own column, or blog. seriously.

    Posted by theguru August 14, 09 04:57 PM
  1. Following up on Trueluv4eva -- way back in the posts: Yes, most women like manly men. My friend and I have a joke about all the "gay dads" we know in the neighborhood. Well, they're not gay, but they are so unmanly that we would never be attracted to them. They're one type of "nice guy" (the type that often finishes last). So, Hoss, for example, comes across as manly; Rico as a gay dad type, and then there's Valentino. He comes across as manly AND romantic, and there's a combo that even more women like. Of course, this is all personality, based on what they've written. As I posted earlier, the LW should consider his appearance as well (which is what I think Trueluv4eva was more getting at).

    Posted by Sasha August 14, 09 04:58 PM
  1. This is the LW again. After reading the comments I will say there are some good people on here, but there are also some real pieces of shite too. Someone really is drawing comparisons between me and some murderer? Some tough guys like to hide behind the anonymity of the Internet and call me names and act like a-holes. Why do you get pleasure from trying to hurt people? These people just plain suck. Now to respond: I never said I couldn't get a woman. I meet many and turn down plenty myself. I was asking why I have to play games to get a girl I am interested in to really like me. Women are very interested when I act or am indifferent to them. I see this constantly with women I am not interested in myself, but also some I am if I don't show them I care.

    Posted by NGDFL August 14, 09 04:59 PM
  1. I dated a nice guy - once. Literally once. On our first date all I wanted to do was go home and watch TV. Why? Because he was a) boring b)absolutely no sense of humor whatsoever c) whiny and self-centered, whine whine whine.

    Ultimately, people who are "nice" really aren't. Even this guy's letter saying ALL women like cruel men isn't very nice. Not nice at all.

    My experience is that people for whom the best adjective is "nice" have no sense of humor at all and are no fun. That doesn't mean I like mean people - not at all - but really, when you say you're nice, it's a conversation stopper. There's nothing else to say about that. Be more interesting and lighten up for pete's sake!

    Posted by moi August 14, 09 05:08 PM
  1. LW here. Yes, much of my experience is with younger women. Mostly because I have been experiencing this since I was 16, and was younger myself. I am just starting to date now women older than me and will have to see if that helps. My last relationship was with a girl who is 27. When she broke up with me she did say I was too accomodating. She was playing games with me to "test me" which she admitted to. The first example was she told me she had to go to her family members elementary school play, and asked me if I would go with her, because she wanted me there. The play was during a Celtics playoff game I wanted to watch on TV. Trying to be a good and supportive bf, I agreed to go with her. Second "test" was when she cancelled plans with me because she said she didn't feel well and just wanted to go visit her friend and the friends kids down the street instead. I told her that was fine. Go and
    I hope you feel better. But she told me she wanted me to get angry and tell her to "stop being a bitch, and cut the crap". I'm just a laid back kind of guy, and don't mind doing things for someone I care about or not getting my way all the time. She considered this me being spineless. I consider it being thoughtful. You decide I guess...

    Posted by NGDFL August 14, 09 05:14 PM
  1. NGDFL - #178 - well, there you go. Do YOU want someone who plays games? Probably not, right? Dump her and move to the next one - and good riddance. So you failed her tests...the point is that she should have failed YOUR tests. She is immature and will learn the hard way - and what do you care?

    A great example of (1) you needing to determine what you want in a girlfriend, (2) having the spine to go out and find it and not settle for less, and (3) you showing lack of confidence in what you bring to the table.

    Posted by spaceman August 14, 09 05:42 PM
  1. In my experience, many guys who think they are NICE are actually DESPERATE or PASSIVE or DOORMATS.
    I had a boyfriend in high school with whom I remained friends for years and he would complain that women don't like nice guys yada yada yada. You know what? He wasn't just nice, he was kind of pathetic. He would ask me 18 times a day if I was mad at him. He would do whatever I wanted. Most people don't want a puppy dog who will do whatever they want just because the puppies are so happy to have a girlfriend.
    And for every time a guy says that women only date jerks, I say guys only date crazy girls/biotches. It's happened to me plenty of times that a guy chose a biotch over me, but I don't go around whining about it. (Doesn't matter now, I married a nice guy this year.)

    Posted by Fram August 14, 09 05:49 PM
  1. NGDFL, I suspect your good-cop/bad-cop act is getting a little old. I am sure the majority of readers will echo my sentiments: if you don't want to hear the bad and the ugly, try Ms. Manners. Hoss left, so I think she has opening.

    And may I say sotto voce, I don't think you're that nice at all.

    Posted by Sally August 14, 09 05:49 PM
  1. Nice guys do exist. Nice does not automatically equal to boring. Being polite, considerate is good. Some peope are born and raised that way. To them, that's the natural way. There is no faking involved for a truely nice guy to be nice.

    Why people, men or women, have trouble with a nice person of the opposite sex? There can be many reasons, but this is a main one: living with nice people constantly reminds the rude and selfish how ugly they are. The rude and selfish will either tried to change, or provoke the nice person to do something nasty so as to lower he or she down to their level, or will have to leave using some other excuses to make themselves feel better.

    For a nice guy, there will be a nice woman out there to be discovered. There are also women that are not as nice, but are secure and in peace with themselves enough. These women will not be uncomfortable around a nice guy, not resenting his generosity, not having to call him fake in order to feel good themselves. A nice guy like the LW will meet one of these ladies one day.

    Posted by LWisANiceGuy August 14, 09 06:06 PM
  1. LW, today is your lucky day! I run a local support group for recovering nice guys. Now before all of you start laughing, there is this psychologist by the name of Dr. Robert Glover. He wrote a book called No More Mr. Nice Guy. You can google it up and find it there along with an online support group.

    You need to get a copy of the book and start reading. It will explain to you why women do not like Mr. Nice Guys. There are many reasons, but the largest two are a lack of genuine authenticity because they are afraid to be themselves and express their opinions or feelings and secondly because women want a man with balls. They want to feel safe and if they can push you around, what is going to prevent another from doing the same to you? Women like jerks because they are authentic and masculine.

    For all you ladies out there, don't get all upset. The opposite of a nice guy isn't a jerk, but an integrated man who lives life with passion, integrity and purpose. He is a great masculine guy, not a pussy. A weak, emasculated man is not attractive to women.

    I am a recovering nice guy and I have been working on making this transformation for about 6 years. My wife didn't like the changes because she no longer had full control of our relationship and I was no longer working so damn hard to try to make her happy. Our relationship couldn't transform which resulted in a long overdue divorce. It has changed my life. I am much happier, less anxious and there are plenty of women knocking at my door.

    BTW, nice guys generally develop as children of passive or absent fathers and critical or emotionally disconnected mothers. Most boys of single mothers will be cursed with this problem unless they are able to break-free in adulthood which probably doesn't happen to most of us.


    Posted by rebirth August 14, 09 06:16 PM
  1. Well this whiny beatch just proved why women think he is a pussy. If post #176 & #178 is true, the you are not only spineless - you cry little a little girl "Wahhhh!!!!, why are people mean??? Wahhh!!!". Um, people are mean because we are savage animals when it comes down to it; if you learned to be one, during the "right" times, then you might actually attract some decent tail too. If I was a woman and read any of either post #176 or #178 I would laugh in your face, my wife of two decades says so to (so it aint just me being a jerk). Most women have more testosterone than you, sheesh!

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 August 14, 09 06:24 PM
  1. ngdfl -

    responding to #178, yes you are too accomodating. you're not giving your own needs and wants first. and maybe you shouldn't do so all the time, but in those cases you should have at least gotten mad at her, even if you did accomodate what she wanted. just to make sure she knows that what you want and what you're interested in are important as well. thats what you're not doing. you're not giving yourself any worth.

    i think instinctually (gonna hear a roar from the feminists) that women still want / need to know the man they're with will protect them. and so the question becomes, if you can't stand up for yourself, when push comes to shove, or at some point, how will you stand up for her?

    fyi im in the same situation myself, but am getting better at changing my outlook and the way i interact with people. its tough, breaking behavior that you've always had and is just a part of you. i want to know how you're dealing with it, maybe you can help me as well.

    nmniceguy@gmail.com

    Posted by RecoveringNiceGuy August 14, 09 06:55 PM
  1. Based on LW's comment #178, I think I'm probably pretty similarly to him. I've never had a woman try to test me in that way (that I know of), but if I ever did find out someone I was in a relationship was playing games like that and generally lying to me, that relationship would be over real quick.

    NGDFL, did you find out she was doing this while you were still seeing her and if so, did you dump her ASAP? I think being in a relationship means you know you're going to compromise and do things for your partner sometimes even if those things aren't tops on your own personal list. I expect that to go both ways. If I were presented with the two situations you mentioned, I'd have done the same as you. So she wanted you to tell her that the Celtics were more important to you than she was. Was her self esteem getting too high and she wanted you to knock it back down? When she told you she was sick, she wanted you to assume she was lying and call her out on it? If you have to assume that everything she says could be a lie that's just part of her games, you don't even know who you're really dating. She sounds like a real piece of work.

    If a woman thinks your behavior in these cases was spineless and not just thoughtful, then you really don't need her. The next thing you know, she'll be complaining that you don't smack her around and tell her how ugly she is like a real man would. She seems to have wanted you to treat the relationship as all about gratifying yourself with no concern for her. I'm sure some guys would love a woman like that. Not me. I look for someone who can be a partner, not just an object under my control. I'm guessing you have similar feelings.

    NGDFL, there are better women out there. Be yourself (the nice guy) with no apologies and it will pay off for you with a satisfying, meaningful relationship eventually. But one more piece of advice - try dating on your side of 30 and let these kids play their games amongst themselves.

    Posted by PV August 14, 09 07:19 PM
  1. NGDFL, since you're actually reading the responses in hope of some answers, I'll extend my stay here another day before I retire from posting (unless Ms. Goldstein puts up another hazard-to-public-health column, of course).

    Ms. Goldstein's advice isn't bad as it often can be (and despite my fervent hope that the Globe retires her from this column, I compliment her on posting my occasional comments); in your case, it's just not particuarly useful. That's probably because it's written from the perspective of a 30 something woman who is/was attractive enough to get men to chase her regularly. As such, she doesn't see any problems with the games women so often play with men in the process of being chased, but generally jumps down the throat of men doing the reverse. It's one of the core problems of her writing, and why her answer here is so weak.

    You've got three problems. First is you, second is your approach towards dating, and third is your inexperience in relationships.

    The you aspect has been noted by a few people, including #75. (even though she seems to have no problem castigating men for stereotyping, she proceeds to do so quite well herself. Funny.) There's some fairly simple, universal relationship advice that applies here: if a problem keeps coming up over and over with different partners in different circumstances, chances are the only common factor involved in that is you.

    Your comment about the girlfriend who played games with you shows a basic lack of assertiveness on your part, and that's not being nice. It's being a doormat. For some reason you're attracted to women who take advantage of your 'niceness,' and you repeat this problem over and over. Figure out what's inside you that draws you to them - allowing yourself to be treated as you have often involves a basic lack of self-respect and self-esteem - and a large part of this problem will be solved. Pretty simple: women treat you badly, they stop or you walk away. (And when you get good at it, you can usually figure out the red flags of someone who will tend towards that behavior before you waste time on them.)

    If you can't figure out what's inside you on your own, believe it or not it's worth considering going to a therapist and seeing what another set of eyes sees in terms of common patterns in your behavior. Fixing that is the only way things are permanently going to change for you.

    But there's another aspect to this.

    Women are just as horrible to men as men are horrible to women when it comes to dating. They just don't get called out for it, since most columnists and advice books are written from and for the perspective of women. It's not entirely their fault; men don't talk and think about relationships nearly as much as women, and aren't a particularly lucrative audience when it comes to payday.

    The key to understanding this is what drives the majority of both sexes to date. For men, it's an obvious answer: sex. Many men behave very badly, and it's usually about accomplishing that goal. That gets routinely condemned.

    On the other hand, women want something else: attention. As #75 noted, the most obvious offenders sit at the bar in a shiny outfit and are simply looking for guys to compliment them, buy them drinks, and become the center of the universe for a bunch of guys not smart enough to figure out the game their playing. But it's a pretty routine game the vast majority (yes, including the hot band geeks) play until they hit their 30s and another goal - finding a partner for marriage - takes precedence, although sadly many in their 30s still play the "LOOK AT MEMEMEMEME!" game. (Of course, attention from men is only good when it's from men they want to date; otherwise it becomes stalkerish. Not that I defend stalkers - I've had too many good female friends who've had them - but so many women don't reject men firmly and end up with guys left in a netherworld that they call 'icky' and men call 'but maybe she still wants to go out with me!')

    The letter writer from yesterday was a great example of that; she let three guys chase her without qualms (or sex) for two months, far too long to decide if you actually want to be exclusive with someone, but not far too long if you enjoy the attention of going out 5 or 6 times a week in the pursuit of your goal, which sounded very much like simply getting into a committed relationship. Unsurprisingly, Ms. Goldstein actually complimented her on this behavior, which I (and at least a few others) found utterly atrocious. You don't keep guys on a string while they're pursuing you, and you don't have to think about if it's morally wrong to try to keep them on the back burner and cover up horrible behavior with concerns about being 'nice' and 'not hurting feelings.'

    What you're doing with your jerk act is a very effective technique to initially get dates and to get women into bed. When you deny most women attention, they tend to go nuts in order to try to get it, the same way men will pursue a woman until she sleeps with them. Keep withholding it, and they'll go even more nuts and text you the 40 to 60 times they have been doing. It basically is the heart of the pickup artist technique, of which it sounds like you're acting from their playbook.

    It's a fun game to play. But it's still a game, and that brings up the third problem.

    You can't do the act for long if that's not you. That means the women you're going to get by doing so aren't ones you'll be able to have a functional relationship with. The comment about the woman who played games with you shows to me that you don't have a lot of experience in ones that actually work, and the fact that you've been consistently doing this since 16 means you are probably very good at being in dysfunctional relationships. That, unfortunately, isn't a skill that can be taught. You've got to learn the hard way, and besides self analysis (which you badly need) that just involves trial and error.

    My final advice? Decide on what you want out of dating. If it's to get a lot of women into bed for a while - understandable from where you're coming from, if not commendable - then keep playing the game, but know that you aren't going to do much more than date. If you want a relationship, figure your own weaknessess out and your own needs, and go find women that actually respect the fact you respect them. They tend to be in their 30s, and while you can (and probably should) play the inattention game for the first few dates, drop it once you see a possibility of something longer term and see what happens.

    Sorry for the length, but you deserved good advice. Good luck, grasshopper.

    Posted by observer12 August 14, 09 07:19 PM
  1. Algernon wrote: 1.Read the book "No More Mr. Nice Guy" by Dr. Robert Glover. It will most likely be an eye opening experience for you. Women want confident guys not guys that are always seeking approval from women. There is a website devoted to this book and a message board with a lot of like minded individuals (aka Nice Guys).
    -----------------------
    As a recovering "nice guy," the same guy that all the ladies want to be friends with but will never be involved romantically, I know first-hand of Dr Glover's book and website/message board. I have no affilliation with the board or the book (I'm a member of the message board, but have no ownership of the thing), have never met Dr Glover and stand to gain nothing by saying this:

    Like it or not, "nice guys" DO finish last. They are not respected or admired at home or in the office, and are certainly not sought after by single women. If I had learned Dr Glover's lessons years ago I could have saved myself years and years of hearing, "Let's just be friends" and "I like you as a friend." There is no worse kick in the stones than being jammed unceremoniously in the 'friend zone.'

    Men, read the book. Do the exercises. If you take it to heart and do the work required, it will change your life.

    Women, if you have a 'nice guy' in your life, do yourself and your relationship a favor: Get your man the book.

    It works. My life, personally, has never been better. Career success, success in relationships, with family, it's all good.

    I'm living proof.

    Posted by delta-v August 14, 09 07:54 PM
  1. Either (a) you are nice and you like biotchy women or (b) you are a doormat and strangely clingy.

    I always go for nice guys. They usually don't go for me, but go for the arrogant biotchy girls. Just because they're smiling and fake sweet, if they ditch you to chase after you, these girls are NOT nice. They have to be disrespectful to do something like that. They're probably just fake.

    Posted by Lisa August 14, 09 08:02 PM
  1. Here's the secret - it's not good guys vs bad guys - it is about confidence and not trying too hard. Bad guys seem to have oodles of natural confidence and they never chase women. When we are younger there is a blur between confidence and arrogance. The difference becomes clearer as we mature.
    BTW - this applies to both men and women.
    I used to be a sort of wild girl, although I always let guys walk all over me. I also LOVED bad boys. The badder the better. And I was way too nice to them. They lost interest in me quickly. Nice guys would always try to "save" me from the bad boys and myself.
    But eventually I grew up and gained the self confidence I was lacking. I'm now married to a nice guy who doesn't let me awalk all over him, and appreciates that I'm actually a smart, pretty, "nice" girl who to happens to make an excellent grilled cheese:)

    Posted by RealityChic August 14, 09 08:25 PM
  1. RE #178, it sounds to me like you are easygoing and were trying to be thoughtful. She sounds like an idiot if she wants you to call her a bitch for canceling plans when she doesn't feel well.

    Then again, easygoing and supportive can go too far. In the examples you gave, you were accommodating but it doesn't sound like the downside was too bad for you (though missing a Celts playoff game is no fun), but I hope you don't let these girls walk all over you about bigger stuff. For example, when she admitted that she was testing you, did tell her she was being bitchy and dumb??

    And is this a girl you really want to be with anyway?

    Posted by L August 14, 09 08:31 PM
  1. Too True #71 - Great observation and great "crack" line, but it is a sad commentary on the state of our world. People - all of us - are screwed up in some way. Most people I know have some degree of low self esteem. Some just have their heads way up their @sses. There doesn't seem to be much middle ground. Either way, these people do stupid things and seek out bad situations because of their issues. LW's issues may have been causing him to seek out the totally wrong type of woman for him, or just look in the wrong places, and they did make him try to pretend he was someone else. And the women he dated may have been spurning him because their issues left them unsatisfied if they weren't with someone more controlling/dangerous/unpredictable/whatever.

    NGDFL - keep looking, but be yourself. It's the only way to find the right woman for you. If you pretend to be something you're not, this woman might just pass you by, not knowing that you're the right man for her.

    Posted by PV August 14, 09 08:34 PM
  1. Re: LW's update (#178)....WTH? Those 2 "tests" are beyond bizarro!

    Sorry, but not only are those tests extremely ridiculous (why would a boyfriend not believe their girlfriend when she says she's not feeling well & wants to visit a friend), but why would any mature person pull tests on people in the first place.

    When you're in a relationship, each person is supposed to be honest all the time and not subject their supposed loved one with lies in an effort to "test" them. That is not even high school behavior, that is elementary school behavior.

    Her behavior sounds more than strange, but the fact that you selected her as a girlfriend before these tests went down says more about you than her....so you may want to really examine how you select the women you date. I'm sure those two tests didn't crop up out of the blue from an otherwise mature and emotionally secure person....so....maybe insecure, drama-seeking women are the type of people you subconsciously are drawn to. Are you basing it strictly on looks initially or sexual chemistry? Do you take time to get to know them or fast track to girlfriend/boyfriend status because you have a "connection". Was your own mother drama-loving? Sometimes many of the relationship choices we make are indeed based on patterns we witnessed as children, and it's so ingrained in us that we don't recognize that the things we consciously may say we don't want, we actually choose subconsciously because it's something familiar...and known.

    Please don't base your view of all women on the weird antics of your ex (aka Miss Test). If she wants to tell lies so that some "man" tells her to "stop being a bitch...", then she needs professional help and you do not want this type of person in your life again, but again, because YOU chose her, you need to figure out WHY that type of person attracted you to them in the first place. If you can figure that connundrum out, then you may get to the root of your issues of not finding your "nice" woman who appreciates "nice" men because this issue (like most issues people have) is more about YOU than others. Most of the time people want to blame their problems outward (in your case...it's "what's up with YOU WOMEN that don't like nice guys), and don't use that energy to focus inward (what is it about ME that has led me to select women that are focused on drama and not me)Chew on that for awhile and mull it over.

    This may have sounded harsh....but I do hope you can unlock the key to the choices you have made in selecting girlfriends so you can have fulfilling relationships.

    Posted by bklynmom August 14, 09 09:06 PM
  1. Willies (#48) has got it on the ball.

    Posted by Brandy_421 August 14, 09 09:25 PM
  1. NGDFL,
    "Testing" is BS. Anyone who "tests" you (and ADMITS as much) needs to be shown the door.
    I'm all for evaluating a suitor, but you do that in real life. I've dumped a couple of guys because they were snotty to waitpersons in a restaurant, as an example. I don't like that attitude so that was enough for me. I have never set someone up in a test (OK, I have professionally but that's kill or be killed. Romance should not follow those rules.)

    Posted by SettleDown August 14, 09 09:31 PM
  1. I agree with #151, this girl is not the right one for you. You are trying to meet the "right one" and are settling for someone who doesn't think you are the "right one" either.

    Give it a break, play it cool for awhile and see if you miss her. See if she misses you. Don't call so often and don't be available.

    She is probably very insecure and doesn't know what she wants. Be honest and tell her what you feel and be yourself. Stop being so nice.

    Posted by mokm August 14, 09 09:51 PM
  1. Where to begin. Here’s what your Uncle Mistral sees as your problem (which others have touched on). You lack confidence/assertiveness. Stop worrying about impressing women and let them start worrying about impressing you. Nice guys also tend to have “One-itis” and think that the this one woman is “special” and, if only he waits around long enough, wishing and hoping and acting harmless, she will recognized the princely heart that beats within him.

    Lose that BS right now, and replace it with this: Faint heart never won fair lady/He who hesitates is lost/Etc.

    So, what you need to do, instead of over-investing and “hoping” that the object of your desires will figure out what a swell guy you are, instead of thinking your are a limp dishrag, is this, and it’s simple:

    Your job, Grasshopper, is to be the MAN in the relationship.

    For example, when I take a lady out on a first date, I don’t ask her where she wants to go, I tell her what the dress code is, so she can dress appropriately, and then take her somewhere *I* want to go, and bring her with me. Women, IME, appreciate decisiveness. (And some of the LL Ladies might chime in and say they prefer to be asked. That’s fine. Part of what dates are about is determining whether the young lady fits into my lifestyle as well as for her to determine whether I fit into hers. But on a first, date, I’m the home team. I pick the restaurant and the wine (after determining if there are any special dietary req’ts, i.e., if the young lady is a vegetarian, I’m not going to take her to Maison du Beouf .))

    And do all that Cary Grant/David Niven stuff, like hold the car door, walk on the street side of the side walk, help her with her coat and offer her your arm, if she’s wearing heels (especially important in the cobblestone-y parts of town). But don’t do it b/c you expect her to be grateful, do it b/c you’re the man.

    You need some swagger, my friend. As you’ve found out, Nice Guys Sleep Alone. But, next time you see a hottie with an alpha male, don’t assume it’s b/c he’s a jerk. He’s probably simply a man. And if he’s got a big brass pair that goes “KLANK!” when he walks, it’s your Uncle Mistral.

    Mistral

    Posted by Mistral August 14, 09 09:51 PM
  1. I think you need to do some serious soul searching / personal growth. If someone WANTED me to get angry at them, etc. for being understanding I would be offended. This woman sounds like an immature, wench. It is not about them. It is about you. It won't necessarily help if the woman is older either. They could be jerk and be older. You have to clean up something within yourself so you can attract a great person for you.

    Posted by empathetic August 14, 09 10:23 PM
  1. Anytime someone says that all members of the other sex are a certain way, we should stop believing them. It just ain't so. The only common element is the speaker himself. So he's probably either doing something really wrong, or he's picking the wrong partners, or both.

    Someone who's both a nice guy AND values himself will probably be able to find a decent partner.

    Just noticed post 178. That woman (not girl) sounds like a disaster, unless there was some other stuff going on before that worked up to this. However, one should negotiate things like the Celtics playoff. One should expect to give on some of these, but not all. And again, this woman may have been a bad choice for a partner. And if she actually lied, lets hope no one dates her for years until she renounces the habit. (Same applies to guys of course.)

    Posted by LR August 15, 09 12:03 AM
  1. Honestly, has anyone on this board ever had a woman tell them that they prefer jerks over nice guys? I don't know one. I agree with Hoss and Meredith 100% (see Hoss, I did comment today). Also, being from Pittsburgh originally, I know the family of the shooter. Although he was a nice guy in his head, he was one of those types who came on waaaay too strong and didn't know how to take rejection, which he usually brought on himself. Sort of stalkerish and definitely mentally unbalanced. Why does the LW find it so hard to just be himself and go with the flow? Being genuine is attractive.

    Posted by Nada August 15, 09 12:43 AM
  1. As it concerns the entire issue of the wimpy ( marshmellow, wuss, wishy-washy, spineless kiss-up) type guy, OF COURSE women rarely fall for them in a romantic sense. However that's a sideshow issue with women's repulsion all quite logical by any measure.

    The more interesting and authentic question is why the (otherwise non-wimpy and/or even somewhat macho) authentic (sincere, non-controlling, honest, monogamous) "nice guy" generally fails to generate the romantic "chemistry" that (insincere, controlling, deceptive, nonmonogamous) "jerk" types seem to routinely produce in spades.

    I suggest the answer lies in the process by which genes "select" mates due to' legacy DNA flowing from millions of yrs back where alpha seed spreaders were the most successful in moving genes forward.

    Genes simply direct females toward males increasing their chances in the lottery of life - by this meaning GENETIC survival going forward, which even has priority over personal survival. For 3 to 5 million yrs high volume seed spreaders (pair bonding being a late stage evolutionary device) generally won the survival game, and deception and controlling behavior, and at times even violent behavior were often critical evolutionary survival skills

    That all important (oft talked about by females) "chemistry" that produces the cocaine-like high of being "in love" certainly must have some primordial connections and its entirely logical in evolutionary terms to suggest that such early period genetic "reasoning" carries forward) into modern times.

    Nice guys in a sense (by way of genetic logic) are simply deemed less likely to move female genes forward. The fact that such "logic" is wrong in modern terms is irrelevant because (slow to change) genes often BELIEVE this to be the case. and that often is all that matters.

    Since falling "in love" is not a volitional act, females have little if any control over this issue, so the only solution is to mate and marry the least-worst "jerk" " they can find, one having enough "jerk" characteristics to attract them, but not sufficient to ultimately destroy the longer term relationship.

    hhoohhhoin ion-[ch

    Posted by NewYork99 August 15, 09 02:49 AM
  1. Stated another way cheaters (seed spreaders) often turn women on more than non-cheaters, and think of the case of Bill Clinton vs George Bush, and you will find more females (regardless of polical beliefs) generally were more attracted to Bill Clinton. Bush like other perceived monogamous "nice guys" was deemed "boring" because he could not offer the exciting (and of course ultimately illusory) promise of genetic immortality that Clinton could offer. Females in the end subsconsciously "select" the most probable (perceived) genetic survival winners, but they do this under the primordial based logic of evolutionary "reasoning" not modern based rational type thinking

    Posted by NewYork99 August 15, 09 03:23 AM
  1. LW responded: “I never said I couldn't get a woman.”

    What LW actually wrote in letter was: “…I've been dating for 17 years and have yet to find one [nice woman].”

    Seems to me you “can’t get a woman”.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    LW responded: “Someone really is drawing comparisons between me and some murderer? Some tough guys like to hide behind the anonymity of the Internet and call me names and act like a-holes. Why do you get pleasure from trying to hurt people? These people just plain suck..”

    What LW actually wrote in letter was: “Readers, please be honest too. Tell it like it really is.

    This “nice guy” gets testy when people follow his instructions! Warning sign!
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    LW responded: “I was asking why I have to play games to get a girl I am interested in to really like me.”

    We’re telling you that should seek professional help. There’s something about you, something you aren’t able to see, that is being perceived by women as undesirable. Women are probably sending you some very strong signals that your behavior is undesirable, yet you aren’t picking up on it. And, as many women have stated here, truly nice guys don’t have a problem “getting a woman”.

    Call your HMO and get some names of some therapists, ideally therapists who specialize in problems with relationships and intimacy.

    Posted by Sigh August 15, 09 08:36 AM
  1. If some wonderfully kind and mature gentleman is not picking up on the heart of reindeergirl, then you're not interested in finding "the one". I know it's easier to be mired in the muck, but there is a way out. Thank you reindeergirl...for your beautiful words.

    Posted by valentino August 15, 09 09:03 AM
  1. “My parent’s basement has cable and wireless too” Haiku

    DJMcG
    Takes forever to talk trash
    Sex should last so long

    Posted by valentino August 15, 09 09:17 AM
  1. NGDL, if there is any doubt in your mind, your last GF was a psycho and all women are not like this. Keep on looking, just be yourself, stop worrying about it so much.

    Posted by sara August 15, 09 09:23 AM
  1. Wow, those LW updates were lame (#176²). They make you sound really sad, and like a whiney sack-less wonder. Maybe it is better when the LW doesn't update...

    Posted by EvilRichard August 15, 09 09:36 AM
  1. NGDFL, I think that it is interesting that our situation is slightly the same. I am a younger woman (early 20s) dating a 33 year old at the time (this is very recent). I was in your shoes and he was in hers. I agreed with some of the writers here, its true that when you're being too nice (although, you think its thoughtfulness) that people will take advantage of it. They also become bored....I guess that's what happened to me. I think that maybe you should stop looking for a while because if it is going to happen, it will.

    Best Wishes

    Posted by Dior August 15, 09 09:40 AM
  1. Dear Mr. Nice Guy:
    I have a lovely girl friend who is looking for someone just like you. It would be my pleasure to introduce the two of you.

    Posted by linda August 15, 09 10:38 AM
  1. Simple: Do NOT put her needs above your own. That's not being 'nice', that's showing a lack of self respect and no one will date that kind of man. It's NOT a matter of 'nice vs. not so nice'!

    It's deeper than all that - Do you put the needs of others ABOVE your own needs? That's what it sounds like - that's not being a 'nice guy', that's selling yourself short and engaging a destructive dynamic. That's being a 'doormat' - and it has NOTHING to do with 'being too nice', it has to do with Self-Respect and the respect of others.

    If you constantly give in to her needs, you almost become a parasite in the relationship - she wants to go to the beach? Of course you say yes (even if you hate the beach). Simple test is: DO YOU PUT HER NEEDS ABOVE YOUR OWN? If so, you lose respect. She will not respect someone who show's such little respect for themselves.

    RESPECT YOURSELF 100% and the rest falls into place - you'll be nice, but not a push over or doormat and when an issue of respect comes up, you may not be so nice, but instead assert yourself, your rights and needs and she will love it, respect you for it and find it attractive. Assertive, Self-Respecting, Confident, Sharp - ALL of these things can be found in a 'Nice Guy' - and a man with ALL of those qualities will win every time. Every single time (because these so-called 'jerks' that women seem to love act like this, but are not nice and eventually do not reciprocate the Respect part).

    Posted by J.C. August 15, 09 11:44 AM
  1. OP has to up his game. Complaining about why the supposed "bad guy" is getting the dates isn't going to help. the Bad Guy is simply more interesting to her *at this moment* because he's new and exciting and she's made up her mind that you aren't "it."

    Whatever he's doing isn't working so he needs to analyze what it is. Either he is running up against the usual problem of lack of chemistry and attributing it to "nice guyhood", or he is glossing over or unaware about something about his behaviour that is turning women off. If you're wondering what the problem is, look in the mirror, for things you need to do better, and also then realize that not every woman is going to want to get deeply involved with you even if your behaviour is completely reasonable. To some extent it's a number's game, and to some extent it's in your behavior.

    In general, "nice" is often confused (by "nice") people with being overly concerned with other peopele's preferences and desires and not enough with your own. It actually is burdensome to most people to be with someone who actually doesn't put anything into the relationship because he's making her make all the decisions.

    If you need a guideline, being perceptive is good, but now try to balance that with expressing your own preferences all or most of the time, then compromising about 50 percent of the time. But let your own preference be known all the time, even when you are compromising. Then they know you have preferences and actually have something interesting to decipher instead of a wet towel that just conforms to their own shape. I think most people don't want someone that just conforms to their own shape all the time--just some of the time and on really important issues like core values.

    And to repeat an earlier poster, make sure you're doing some of the work of making decisions. It's a drag to be with someone who never has an opinion or an idea about what to do and thus makes *you* do all the hard work of figuring out what to do as a couple. Having a plan and bringing her along with you is part of being a host. It's actually good manners., as long as she likes the plan.

    Posted by steve in W MA August 15, 09 11:54 AM
  1. I just read OP's (he calls him self LW) update.

    Ok, from what you say, I'd say she already decided you were overly accommodating, then made a proactive decision to test your responses. It may look like a "game" to you, but she wanted verification of what her gut was telling her and chose the scientific method as her tool. In other words, her radar went up long before she started testing. It's not a game, it's serious business--she's deciding whether to get in deeper with someone who may appear to her to not have any personal priorities.

    I'm sure you do have personal priorities, but how consistently do you express them, at least to the level of bringing them out and discussing their existence?

    Ask yourself how many times you ever told her either "no, I have other plans" or Wee I was planning on doing x but if you really want me to I could do y instead. How important is it?"

    Then when you compromise or change your plans she knows it came at some expense of personal capital on her part and means something to you--and she's more likely to appreciate it and value it.

    I'm not sure, but I guessing I'm guessing these words rarely leave your mouth and that could be a clue for you.

    Take

    Posted by steve in W MA August 15, 09 12:04 PM
  1. Note that there is a difference between "nice" and "confident." There is a middle ground between being passive and nice and being arrogant and cocky, and that is what you need to find--your confidence is low because you've had bad luck, but until YOU accept that you are a catch, women will never pick up on it. I married a guy who is kind and loving and wonderful, but he too struggled with losing the girl to his jerk friends until he recognized that he has a lot to offer a woman and any woman who ended up with him would be lucky. Believe in yourself, go out and do the things you love, and the right woman will find YOU! Good luck!

    Posted by Imarriedaniceguy August 15, 09 12:05 PM
  1. On a final note from me, you should expect stuff like this from some women. These are the women who fail *your* test. If a woman is so uncompatible with your own pesonality that she wants you to say "stop being a bitch and cut the crap" I'm guessing she's just not a good match for you. It doesn't have anything to do with your being nice per se, again, it's just a numbers game. She just cut herself out of the game herself so you should be glad.

    The deeper question is, how can you get some of the excitement and uncertainty that you get while pursuing these apparently demanding women you are dating while also doing it with someon who has a more compatible personality and set of behaviours to your own.

    Posted by steve in W MA August 15, 09 12:12 PM
  1. As a former Nice Guy, The truth is Nice Guys just dont make it. Do not be a nice guy! Be real with yourself. The world is tough enough, only so much time and money. If your a Nice Guy you will get stomped on all your life and you will wind up with nothing!

    Posted by dave August 15, 09 12:14 PM
  1. NGDFL #178,
    Try fishing in a different pool....

    I'm sorry, but the woman who gave you those tests sounds like a dim bulb. Try targeting women with a high level of education and serious careers. They're more likely to be brighter overall, and not give goofy tests.

    And I would avoid the David D'Angelo Askmen.com stuff about "acting cocky". That's all geared towards scoring with vacuous babes. There's nothing wrong with that, but it sounds like that's not what you're really looking for.

    IMHO, D'Angelo's only good advice is that men should be psychologically independent and not clingy. Following most of the rest of his advice will cause intelligent women to think you're a complete fool.

    Don't lose hope, NGDFL.

    Posted by TallGirl August 15, 09 12:19 PM
  1. Nice guy,

    I'm a nice girl who has also struggled with this very same issue with men.

    My story, however, is that about when I finally landed a nice guy that didn't play games. After not too long though, I didn't feel magic. I didn't get butterflies. I didn't get chills when we got together. It just seemed like going through the motions. Why? Honestly, he didn't stand up for himself. If we were having a disagreement, he would immediately concede and apologize.


    My advice it to stay you - and NICE! - and never allow any shallow, manipulative, games-playing woman change that. It sounds that by nature you are sweet, so keep it up! Don't be afraid to take risks in a relationship either. Surprise her every once in a while to keep things interested, in whatever which way that may be. Whatever you do, don't allow yourself to be PREDICTABLE. This advice should go for any reader of this column - life is too short to simply "go through the motions"!

    Best of luck in your hunt to find the nice girl you both dream of and deserve! Trust me, she is out there. I promise you that.

    Posted by TTH August 15, 09 12:29 PM
  1. HELLLOOOOO

    I like nice guys!! A lot!! but the question is.... do nice guys like me?

    Posted by lisa marie August 15, 09 12:51 PM
  1. Just be yourself and the right women "WILL"come along! I do agree with the date your own age and older advise

    Posted by LilShorty98 August 15, 09 01:47 PM
  1. Frankly, I don't see what all the hoopla is about. It's clear you don't have good taste in girlfriends, but I haven't seen one shred of evidence that Mr. Nice Guy is all that nice. What exactly is it that you do that makes you so nice? Has anyone ever told you that you are nice besides a. yourself and b. some girl who is desperately breaking up with you?

    Posted by nicey nicerson August 15, 09 02:36 PM
  1. "You are probably not attractive to the women you are trying to date and are completely dellusional about this"...

    Perhaps, but at least he can spell delusional correctly.

    Posted by Barbara Weissberg August 15, 09 03:53 PM
  1. To the L/W: Strike out! Maybe you're not such a nice guy after all? Didn't we have this discussion just a short time ago, about calling women "girls"? A grown-up, sophisticated woman will NOT be called a "girl" (nor a "gal" - ick! how 1950s déclassé!). I do pick up on something - maybe a little edge to you (with which whiny can often be confused); maybe a little less civilized (although a tWo0 bad one typically has a great liberal arts or fine arts education). You lost me with "girl." I was sympathetic until then.

    Now val: thanks so much! The poem was indeed for you, and I wish you only the best as you prepare for the big day. Great job handling the flame-throwers here, too, val!

    Posted by reindeergirl/Zipporah August 15, 09 05:34 PM
  1. To sigh: there is a difference between being honest and being malicious. Your responses are not honest. They are just meant to antagonize. You don't offer an opinion of any value. If I truly am a serial killer I guess you are on the "list" now.
    To dudekidguygoof: you say you've been married 20 years. So you must be at least 40, probably older. You aren't even a dude, kid, or guy. You should be a man, instead you sound like some scrawny college aged geek for is trying to sound tough, when in they would never be taken seriously acting like that in real life.
    I appreciate the other posts from people who put thought into their answers. I apologize to anyone who thinks I feel all women are a certain way. I meant all the ones I have dated. I guess I was just expressing dismay in the fact that games seem to work better than being myself, and that women I've dated always seem to be playing games themselves. I think people who mentioned me dating the wrong girls are onto something. I'm sure there are some good ones out there, I am just not meeting them.
    The few people who expressed interest in talking further to me, email Mere, and she will forward your email address to me. I'm not going to post it on here for some of these nutjobs to play with.

    Posted by NGDFL August 15, 09 05:59 PM
  1. Listen - there are over 200 response. This may be repetitive, so apologies in advance. Your job, as a guy, is to get and keep her interest long enough to know whether or not you're interested in her. So, yeah -- being cocky and confident helps.

    But never be someone you're not, just be the BEST "you" you can be. And the best "you" for attracting interesting women is not to be a wallflower. If you want to date a wallflower, feel free to do nothing and go on Match.com -- they're full of them. Good Luck.

    Posted by FormerNiceGuy August 15, 09 07:21 PM
  1. Dude,

    It comes down to this.
    Females have much to lose if they pick the wrong mate.
    The nice guy routine doesn't work, being a strong guy works.
    You don't have to be a doofus, or the king of the bar, just be the strong confident dude.
    Many of Clint Eastwood's characters are strong, polite and have the "don't screw with me look

    Posted by Anonymous August 15, 09 08:32 PM
  1. Dude,
    It comes down to this.
    Friends will not date their friends’ ex girlfriends.
    Females have much to lose in the mating game. The “nice guy” act conveys weakness.
    No one wants a weak spouse or weak offspring.
    You don’t have to be the king of the bar or a cock on the walk because these types are weak as well.
    Be the Clint Eastwood type, cool, confident in the knowledge that if need be, it’s go time.
    Read Emerson’s “Self Reliance” that will give you a good starting point.
    Good Luck!—The Dude

    Posted by The Dude August 15, 09 08:42 PM
  1. Reindeergirl (#150) is right that "the best dominant men **are** respectful of women, and want their relationships to grow alongside the women." My brother is one of the most dominant men I know--a jock, a man's man, loud, etc. but he is also a very nice person! He is great with kids, cooks, does the yard work, is someone you can really count on. He and his wife have been married for over 25 years, and it is clear he still thinks he is the luckiest guy in the world to have married her. Bottom line: a person can be assertive and dominant and still be a "nice" person. By the way, an older meaning of "nice" : scrupulous, precise in matters of reputation or conduct (Oxford English Dictionary).

    Posted by Elise August 15, 09 10:35 PM
  1. I don't know if this is your problem, but there seems to be a lot of people thinking that if they fulfill some arbitrary checklist of "desirable qualities", they have some kind of right to the type of mate they expect to find. "I'm nice" "I dress well" "I have a job". It doesn't work that way. There's also a lot of talk about what women want or what men want, which is not productive. These issues are related. If you're spending time thinking about how to make yourself into the thing that the monolith of women supposedly wants, or you're worried because you are not the thing that the monolith of women supposedly wants, or you can't understand why the monolith of women isn't dating you because you're so great because you've completed parts A, B, and C on the list of desirable qualities (previous creepy lawyer LW), forget it. People are people. There is a broad range of behavior and preferences within either gender, which, I know, is totally stating the obvious, but apparently not based on the comments here. Be yourself, have your opinions, be respectful, don't be a jerk, and you'll probably find someone who likes you for who you are, and vice versa. It comes down to respect, and if folks stereotype women or men, trying to figure out what "women" want or why "men" behave some way, there's no respect. And the game-playing is just plain wrong, you're better off without her.

    Incidentally, my father was considered a "nice guy"--he let (required) my mom to make every decision about everything. My dad was/is totally spineless, which has the added bonus of allowing one to deflect blame when things don't work out.

    Posted by cm August 16, 09 12:03 AM
  1. Well I just lost my ex girlfriend because I was too nice, and she knew so she took advantage of me. Now she's with the man she's always wanted. I do have alot to learn about myself. Alot of good points made out here.

    Posted by Sean August 16, 09 12:23 AM
  1. Nice Guy: Could you give some examples of you being nice and not so nice? If your idea of being nice is to leave it up to her to make decisions for a date, then you're not being nice - just passive. Women like men with a plan.

    I'd suggest you read (or rent) "The Taming of the Shrew" by Shakespeare to get some real insight into the mind of a woman.

    Posted by The Dude August 16, 09 01:03 AM
  1. Besides, guys like me love competing against wimps like you. Let me ask, do you take your knitting to the bars, or do you show it to the ladies when you bring them home?

    Posted by Lance Romance August 16, 09 06:55 AM
  1. I absolutely understand where this guy's coming from. You sound to me to be more mature than those you're dating. So be open to dating women somewhat older.

    But that said, your experience does not strike me as unique or uncommon. The truth is that these women are not matches. You gota kiss a lotta frogs, and these women who get bored of the Nice are the frogs. "But our Princess is in another castle."

    Posted by Mario August 16, 09 07:45 AM
  1. I agree with just about everyone above. Let me summarize. Little girls like little boys. Women like men. There are far more little girls and little boys in adult bodies walking around out there than women and men. It makes it very difficult to find an adult hidding among all the stunted.

    Posted by hippydippy August 16, 09 07:52 AM
  1. Never ask a woman for advice about their preference for guys. They dont know! They say one thing like "women want nice guys" but operate on a different instinct.

    Main thing is to treat a woman like you would treat another guy. No need to treat them special. As soon as you treat them special, they walk all over you because they dont understand it, and it brings out the worst in them. Then, you are weak and boring and they will drop you.

    Another point: never fall in love with a woman. You attitude should be: there is always another one out there, if this one leaves, it just gives you the chance to find another one. A little bit of disengagement increases the challenge in it for them

    This approach has worked for me.

    If you need to get attached, get attached to a dog or a cat. They will be around longer, and the feelings will be returned.

    Posted by joe August 16, 09 10:13 AM
  1. So often we have a problem of having to guess what someone means, which puts the comments even more "all over the board" then they might be. Perhaps those who post problems/requests in the future could provide more behaviorally explicit information? Then we'll know what you're talking about, and won't have to make so many potentially faulty assumptions.

    For example, instead of saying "when I act nice" how about saying, "When I open doors for her, give her compliments, and call her the next day after a date"? Instead of saying, "he got defensive," how about, "he said he didn't think it was a big deal and I should just get over it"?

    Direct quotes and specific actions go a long way to conveying what you mean. Just a suggestion.

    Posted by rickygr August 16, 09 10:45 AM
  1. Try dating men.

    Posted by bosfiddle August 16, 09 12:54 PM
  1. Okay, I am much older than most of the commenters here (even us old dudes haven't got the answers), but I would like to share my recent real-world experience as it relates to two pieces of advice littered throughout this thread:

    1. Be confident, talk to women you're attracted to. I have been trying this strategy lately. Yesterday a French woman smiled at me in the library. Outside I struck up a conversation with her, and after a few minutes, asked for her phone number. Her response. It was not oui.

    2. "Nice guy" means lousy in bed. Last week I was lucky enough to spend the night with someone. Really liked her too. She claimed she had the best orgasm in years. Never heard from her again.

    Women are baffling creatures we men will never understand. And yes, even nice guys who finish second finish last.

    Posted by Barkerama August 16, 09 03:11 PM
  1. I am in my 40 somthing and meet guys from 20 something to 50 something, I still believed the nicest guy should and must finish at the end.

    Posted by stephanie August 16, 09 04:24 PM
  1. LW, I think the advisors who smell a little whininess in your letter are right on and the writers who called out that women change their minds often and present a moving target are dead on too !. LW at 33 for you to be trying anything with a girl younger than 27 (unless your a good playa and seems like your not) is useless. Women in the 29 to 36 range are just figuring out the clock is ticking and the bells need to be chiming, only when a woman reconciles that fact to herself (whatever the age she figures it out) does your style become more attractive. I agree with those who have said you need to take a break from dating and just have fun. I also think you should get a new set of friends cause if your friends are hitting it with your girls then they are not true friends and everyone should be surrounded by true friends especially in their 30’s and beyond.

    Posted by bhp August 16, 09 08:02 PM
  1. as usual, the solution is somewhere in between the letter writer and meredith's advice. this guy is telling us flat out that the women he's dating don't like nice guys, and meredith spends most of the answer putting into question how he defines nice. i know it's an important detail, but it's just that: a detail. the problem is, most women DO prefer guys who treat them like garbage due to A: their own psychological baggage, and B: the challenge (which usually ties back in with A).

    then again, if he's been trying for 17 years, he doesn't want to end up like George Sodini....by all accounts, a genuine enough person in real life who just kept striking out for two decades, "normal" as he appeared to most. maybe meredith is right after all - be more assertive & play the traditional male part; on an evolutionary level, women like that.

    Posted by PFC August 17, 09 07:55 AM
  1. OK now we understand you are dating kooks. Anyone who would test you like you have described is a sociopath. You need to find someone you actually have something in common with and maybe you can avoid this kind of crap..

    Posted by techdood August 17, 09 08:46 AM
  1. Well, obviously you're driving women away when you're being too nice. Women want a man who can offer some diversion, some risk and something wild. That means one thing for you-- Knock off the nice stuff and start being a player. then they'll be knockin down your door to get in there with you. You start running around on them, they'll love you all the more. You keep a stable of five, ten women, tell them all the same stuff, like you're just out on parole and you got babies all over the place, they'll think you're cool and love you for it. You need to go to Player School, learn how to shed those inhibitions of being nice, learn to slap your way to success with these gals, they'll love you forever, chase you to the ends of the earth for more lovin, hear? None o' that nice guy nonsense, hell, what woman wants that? they want a nice bash in the head once in awhile, keep 'em in line, catch you runnin on them, that's when they'll really admire you for your guts and determination to be YOU. You go for that, and you'll never sleep alone, no siree!

    Posted by Chuck Burles August 17, 09 08:54 AM
  1. # of times Rico refers to himself in the 3rd person in comments to this LW: ZERO

    Rico is away! YAY!

    it would make sense that people who like Rico would also like the wave.

    Priceless

    Posted by RicoCounter August 17, 09 10:34 AM
  1. The LW did what a man would do in both tests secretly administered by his former girl friend. What man would tell a girl friend to "stop being a b**ch and cut the crap" when she told him she did not feel well and had to cancel their plan?

    Some of the suggestions here do not make sense. If these suggestions are to followed, a man should be always on alert to defend his interest when interacting with his girl friend. And if he is making a compromise, make it known, keep a tally on a small book so that he can later ask for a return of favor. What kind of relationship would that be?

    Being generous and thoughtful is not being a doormat. A man has better things to do than to spending energy on these petty matters. There are differences between a man and a boy. Focusing on things like these is what a boy will do.

    LW should be proud that he is a well adjusted man. He should keep the good qualities in him and don't change just to meet the lowest denominator. I do agree with some of the suggestions that he should become better at selecting a girl friend. There are more than a few girls out there who can appreciate him. He just need to get better at spot one of them.

    Posted by LWisAman August 17, 09 10:36 AM
  1. LW -
    People, including Dudeguyetc, Sigh and others you criticize, took the time to read and think about your question. If you want sensitively framed, gentle advice, ask your mother. The anonymity of this column allows you to ask your question honestly and others to respond honestly, even if it is difficult to hear.
    Reading your responses, I wonder whether we all wasted our time with you. You didn't want to hear suggestions - did you just want us all to say "yah man, you're a champ and women are chumps?? From your responses, it's clear that you ARE a doormat, and not actually all that nice. This is why your ex tested you (not saying she was right to do so; she's a kook) - she knew that deep inside this "yes, dear" man she was dating seethed an angry, resentful jerk who obsesses over what the world owes him for bottling his anger.
    You have no problem telling people on this message board what you think of them. Now go find a girl and tell her that you have your own needs and wants and that you expect her to respect that, just as much as you respect hers.

    Posted by Q August 17, 09 10:44 AM
  1. I am now engaged to a really nice guy. The nicest guy I have ever met in my life!! I love him to bits, and when we first met, he was actually reading a book about how to not be such a nice guy, because he thought it was hurting him too much relationship-wise. I told him to return it to the library immediately... :) Let me ask you this: Apart from being nice, what are the qualities you have to offer to a girl?? Being "nice" is just part of a complex package. In my case, the guy is brilliant, funny, a walking encyclopedia, uses words I have to look up in the dictionary, not gorgeous but very manly and attractive to me, extremely well traveled, has well informed opinions about so many things, and we never run out of things to talk about. Yes, he is VERY accommodating, but we NEVER play games (like those stupid tests from your immature ex), so he's accommodating when I need him to be, and I accommodate him when that's called for. MY ADVICE: Think what it is you can offer a woman *in addition* to being nice. Think what it is you really WANT in a woman (I advise that someone who doesn't play childish games be one of those criteria), and then focus ONLY on women who meet your criteria, and who are interested in the things you can offer (yes, older, 30 and up, is likely to be more mature). What makes YOU special relative to other men apart from being nice??? When a woman really likes YOU and the things that make you special to her, she will APPRECIATE that you are nice, rather than resent it. But it can't be just about the NICE, because Nice without anything else special, is simply boring. If there's nothing special you can offer now - go make yourself a better more interesting person!! Travel, learn to cook interesting stuff, take an improv class, develop interesting hobbies, THOSE things will make you attractive. Nice is not the issue here, unless that's ALL you have to offer. Finally, don't whine about mean replies. Have you ever read this column before??? There's ALWAYS some mean replies - you're not the first and not the last to get them!!! Not everyone is nice in this world, so it is what it is, you're not going to fix it and whining is not going to help. Remember this: NICE is NOT a turn-off, but WHINING is a MAJOR turn-off.

    Posted by Natalie August 17, 09 10:45 AM
  1. The "You're a nice guy but..." cop out is an excuse, not an explanation. Most of us ladies use it when we know there are few compatible qualities between ourselves and the man who's interested in us, or---get ready for it: if you aren't attractive to us. This will change as you get older, or start to look for relationships with older women, but in all honestly, younger women are mostly concerned with more surface qualities like appearance, money, social status, etc... If you have all those qualities AND happen to be a nice guy, too, then that's a bonus.

    Posted by Fern August 17, 09 10:51 AM
  1. The term "nice guy": is a bit vague but women know exactly what a "jerk" is which invariably consists of deceptive, controlling, cheating selfish pricks who (less commonly) may be either violent or predisposed toward violence - which as I alluded to several days ago -just happen to be valuable evolutionary based (genetic) survival skills for most of man's 3 to 5 million early existence.

    One might define "nice guys" as non-controlling, sincere, monogamous type
    males, however the (subset of nice guys) doormat/wuss type males while obviously an irrelevant side issue (no kidding women dont want them) - always ends up as one of the main explanations - when in fact is has nothing to do with the issue..

    In the brutal and violent existence of man's development Alpha seed spreaders were not monogamous, nor were they sincere or polite, and they certainly controlled females - and legacy (mate-selecting) genes to a large degree still operate on this assumption even millions of yrs later


    Posted by NewYork99 August 17, 09 11:46 AM
  1. "nice" is a very boring character trait.

    If it's the first thing to describe you, you are boring.

    There are plenty of "nice" men that are dynamic. You need to be multi faceted, not just "nice".

    Get a hobby. Play an instrument. Do something to separate yourself from the pack!

    Posted by YouAreAllMySons August 17, 09 01:58 PM
  1. Whine, whine, whine.

    Nice guy, do you know how many nice WOMEN I know who have been dissed and ignored by self-proclaimed "nice" guys? So many of these guys complain that women don't like nice guys like them, but they only go for the drunken, coke-snorting trainwrecks who use them, and ignore the actually nice women right in front of them.

    I think you may be projecting a bit there, sparky.

    PS--Being nice doesn't mean that a woman owes you a relationship. That you seem to think it does tells me you actually aren't nice, you're King Masengill of Xanadouche Mountain.

    @PFC: "then again, if he's been trying for 17 years, he doesn't want to end up like George Sodini....by all accounts, a genuine enough person in real life who just kept striking out for two decades, "normal" as he appeared to most. "

    George Sodini was ONLY interested in VERY young, hot women. He was 48. His problems were of his own making--he considered himself too good for women his own age, or women who weren't smoking hot. Twenty-something women typically prefer twenty something men (I was NEVER interested in men pushing 50 when I was in my twenties.) Sodini wasn't ugly, but the man was not exactly smoking hot and he wasn't in his twenties--he could have found someone if he was a little more realistic in his search. But he felt entitled to a young, hot woman, and was furious that the young, hot women prefered young, hot guys. OH NOEZ. He was so creepy and misogynist that any woman who might have been interested ran from him.

    Posted by PM August 18, 09 12:11 PM
  1. "My last relationship was with a girl who is 27. When she broke up with me she did say I was too accomodating. She was playing games with me to "test me" which she admitted to. "

    Well, "nice guy" I'm thinking the problem is with YOU. She doesn't sound very nice. Why do YOU go for a-holes? Why do YOU go for game-playing b*****s? Why do YOU go for drama queens and users? Again, you only prove my point--you're projecting.

    I'm thinking the women you turn down are perfectly nice women. Do you owe them a relationship? You certainly seem to think the women who turn you down owe you one.

    And yes, "nice" is a very generic term. EVERYONE should be nice. That's like saying a company owes you a job because you shower every day and will show up to work on time. It's a baseline, for God's sake.

    Posted by PM August 18, 09 12:33 PM
  1. cheating is a big turn on for hot women, or more precisely perceived (real or not) male nonmonogamy ratchets up the evolutionary based (alpha seed spreader) chemistry. No need to be an inconsiderate lowlife jerk type, just treat women with respect, but put out the (love all women) cheating vibe and be the gentleman horndog women crave.

    Posted by NewYork99 August 19, 09 03:23 AM
  1. Ok... I feel the need to comment here. The 'Chaquita' in question here is my ex-girlfriend; but more importantly a good friend today (BFF, if you will). I would say approximately 43% of what was posted by Mr. Rockstar is factual... i.e. the fact that Aimee was wearing a dress that night and not pants, would lend claim to the amount of valid content written. But on another note, the need for you to be a DBag is completely uncalled for. Especially taking this little charade to the interwebs. So, do us all a favor, stick to your failing music career and continue to hit on college freshman out in the 'burbs.

    Posted by jayluf August 21, 09 04:01 PM
 
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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.

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