Louder for the men in the backCan we be honest for just a second? There are far too many “nice guys” in the world and far too few good men.
It feels that way, doesn’t it? It might not actually be true, but there’s a very good reason many of us think this way. The truth is that “nice guys” are always loudly proclaiming how nice they are while good men (or insert another gender here) are out there being good without needing to proclaim it or seek outside validation.
Someone who’s actually a good person doesn’t have to go around telling everyone he is because they can see it for themselves. There’s nothing to prove. Here are 7 other things the alleged “nice guys” will do those good men just don’t.
7 Things “Nice Guys” Do That Good Men Don’t
Straight men tend to be really bad at being “just friends” with women. While it’s perfectly possible for me to be friends with a man I’m not romantically interested in, I don’t find that they can do the same. Conversations tend to get overly flirty or dip into sexual innuendo even when these men are in a relationship.
I’ve been made uncomfortable by many, many straight men I considered friends. Gay men don’t make me feel this way. My lesbian, bisexual, and transgender friends don’t make me feel uncomfortable with their banter. It’s just the straight men that seem to cross a line that they keep ignoring no matter how boldly we draw it.
In short, the “nice guy” often uses women but doesn’t see it that way. He sees her “level” in his life as justification for treating some women with more respect and some women with less. His nice treatment is dependent on what he can get from her and how it is seen to elevate his life and lifestyle in the process. Listen to how a “nice guy” talks about women. A good man treats all people with respect whether or not they’re interested in him.
The women I hang out with have never complained that I put them in the friend zone — not even the ones who date other women. That’s because there is no friend zone. There are people we’re interested in dating, people we’re interested in being friends with, and people who are either acquaintances, coworkers, or fall into some other category.
Women aren’t actually sorting people into friend or lover zones. If we want to be a man’s friend, it’s because we see value in a friendship with him and enjoy talking to him or hanging out with him. We’re not waiting around in hopes of a romantic or sexual connection. Good men are capable of valuing friendships with women without looking at them as waiting rooms for a different kind of relationship to develop.
Listen to them talk about dating. Did they complain about how much they spent just because the other person decided they were incompatible? Was the cost of the date meant to guarantee a particular outcome?
Good men aren’t nice in order to get something for it. They do the right thing because it’s the right thing, not because they think it will manipulate the outcome in their favor. They don’t feel entitled to anyone’s feelings or affection and are mature enough to understand that not everyone we like will like us back or like us in the same way. While they still might experience rejection, they don’t lay the blame for it on the other person but have the maturity to accept that it happens.
He’s listing all the things he’s done for women while we note how entitled he is, how strongly he disparages the Friend Zone, and how immature his thinking is when it comes to adult romantic relationships. Maybe he has done nice things for the women he’s liked, but he doesn’t usually mention the boundaries they’ve set that he ignores, the times he’s used a gift or action to manipulate a relationship, or how his overall treatment of women may have been sending up red flags he’s not seeing.
Good men are nice to other people. Men, women, any gender. They’re kind, which is better than nice. You won’t hear them list all the good things they’ve ever done because they probably aren’t keeping score.
“Nice guys” aren’t usually accountable for relationships ending or things going wrong. To hear them tell it, they were doing all the right things, and the women came along and ruined it by being flaky, false, or fickle. Their characterizations of women read like a Nicholas Sparks book — romanticizing women but seeing them as the real problem.
Good men can be accountable for their behavior. They don’t try to pass themselves off as perfect. They don’t try to make the flaws they admit to having sound somehow better than they were. “Nice guys” will give the job interview answer for their relational challenges: I just loved her too much, I guess. Good men will own their real flaws without trying to whitewash them. I wasn’t good at handling conflict and tended to avoid it until the relationship broke down.
Being single is because women want bad guys, not nice ones or because women are too picky or think they can find better men. His single status isn’t his fault. It’s not the immaturity he’s telegraphing to everyone he dates that has caused him to be alone. It’s because women are somehow to blame for failing to snatch him off the market and put a ring on it.
Good Men Are Out There — “Nice Guys” Are Just Louder
I think we’re all a little tired of dealing with nice guys. They aren’t just problems for the people who date them. They tend to have this same hero-yet-victim mode at work, in families, and everywhere else. They tell themselves a highly romanticized story about how good they are, how the world is set against them, and what they actually deserve.
But the truth is that they don’t deserve any more than anyone else. No one owes them anything because they gave the bare minimum effort at treating other people with consideration. In point of fact, none of us is owed a relationship with anyone else.
I could sit here and break down a relationship where I did a lot of really sweet things for my former partner. It’s true. I did all of them. I didn’t do them because I wanted something from him. I did them because it helped express how I felt about him. I wanted to shower him with love and affection, so I did. I probably went overboard, truth be told. But the relationship didn’t last, and all the nice things I did were never a guarantee that it would. That’s not why I did them.
I can tell you about what I did wrong in that relationship. I can assign his responsibility, too. I can even tell you what we got right — and there were a few things we did do well. The relationship still broke down, and it didn’t have anything to do with the fact that I was once nice and he didn’t appreciate it. I assume he probably did appreciate it, but that didn’t change his feelings. It hurt that he didn’t feel the same way, but he never owed me reciprocation. My love wasn’t given on a quid pro quo agreement.
“Nice guys” can come in any gender. They loudly declare how awful their relationships have been without identifying the patterns that created them. Everything is someone else’s fault, and every nice action deserves a reward. They’re so loud that they’re drowning out the good men who are quietly getting on with it without needing a pat on the back for doing the absolute bare minimum.