Quit Being Nice

When I was a younger single guy, one of the things I just could not understand was why women always chose against the nice guy.  I after all was a nice guy.  But no matter what women said about what they wanted, they always chose guys who didn’t fit that category. I’ve touched on this in a couple of places, but today I want to address the nice guy and why it doesn’t work.

First, the premise is wrong.  What we are really assuming (we being the nice guy) is that we are better (somehow less sinful) than someone else.  This throws us into allegiance with the oldest son in the story from Luke 15.  That is not the company we want to be in.

But even if we don’t judge the non-nice guys we are still fooling ourselves.  

The truth is that being nice is just as much an angle as any other approach.  What it comes down to is no one is actually that nice.  In other words if I’m being nice to a woman because I want her to like me, well how is that any different than any other manipulative move?

Let’s take the giving flowers thing for example.  I started a new policy on flowers a few years ago.  I don’t give flowers to someone to get them to like me.  Never.  I don’t do it because we got in a fight, and I want the woman to like me again (classic nice guy move).  I only give flowers to care about the woman, without any other motive.  Do you see what I’m saying?  If I’m being “nice” to seek the woman’s approval, I’m screwed.  Either she will think I’m a wuss and bail, or maybe worse, she will dominate me.

In other words if I’m being nice to get the girl to like me, that’s not all that nice.

To make matters worse, women are typically not attracted to the nice guy.  The reason is because women don’t want a guy who follows them around.  They want someone who can be a man and lead.  They may not even consciously know this, but instinctively they know it.  Get this line right here – “If you can’t stand up to her, you will not be able to stand up for her”.  Seriously think about it.  Women are subconsciously testing this out all the time.  And to top it off, nice guys are boring because they always want to do what the woman wants.  Women don’t want to be bored – they want adventure.  They want a guy who is strong and not afraid of them.  Again if you are afraid of them, you can’t protect them and that is not attractive.

Now that’s not to say women don’t want a “good” guy.  There’s a difference.  It’s critical actually.  Think about Jesus.  No one, and I mean no one who met Jesus thought, “hey Jesus, he’s a pretty nice guy.”  No!  People thought Jesus was a good guy but anyone who hung around Him knew He was not a wuss, and not “nice”.  They’d seen His power, daring, leadership, and adventure.  Like the famous line in C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia when the kids ask if the lion Aslan is safe and the beaver replies, “Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.” Jesus was good and He was loved and hated.  He stood up for the right stuff.  He knew who He was.

Here’s the difference when it comes to dating.  Nice guys are worried about what the woman thinks.  Will she like me?  Will she be mad at me?  The good guy worries about what is right – and tries to do it, regardless of the what the woman wants.

Adam was nice in the garden – he should have been good.  He should have stood up to Eve. 

Women instinctively know the difference.

How do you know if you are a nice guy?  Here are some clues.  You are afraid of what women think of you.  You can’t approach a woman you want to talk to.  You are always in the “friend zone”.  You are told by women you want to date, “You’re a great guy but. . . ” You buy gifts for women that you are not in a relationship with.  You don’t understand what makes women attracted to a “bad” guy.

I’ll be writing more about how to kill the nice guy later – it can be done, I’ve done it, twice actually (he came back to life – pesky son of a gun), but the first step is recognizing it. By the way, this is important even if you are called to singleness or for that matter if you are already married.

So fellas, are you a “nice guy”? Ladies, am I wrong here?

37 thoughts on “Quit Being Nice

  1. Justin,
    You know – I think this is exactly what I was trying to say in a post a few days ago – but I think you did a much better job saying it!
    I totally agree with you!
    One of the things I admire most about my husband is that he takes my feelings and desires into consideration – BUT then he does what he truly believes is best for our family. Even if I don’t agree. That is such a relief to me! I don’t want a guy who is controllable. I don’t want a guy who is afraid of me and who wimps out on his convictions in order to keep peace. I don’t want a guy who is afraid to tell me what he believes.
    I want him to care about my feelings and hear my heart but then do what he believes would most honor God.
    I want my man to know how to handle me if I am upset. I really don’t want a push over.
    I think one of the reasons the “bad boy” image can be attractive to women is that those guys make it clear they don’t cower to women and don’t change their minds based on a woman’s feelings.
    But I agree, Jesus wasn’t nice – but He was good, masculine and strong. THAT is a VERY attractive combination!
    AWESOME post!

  2. I understand the premise, but…this insinuates that you can’t be both. Growing up I was the “nice guy” partly because I wanted girls and others to like me but also partly because it’s the way my parents raised me to be. Don’t suggest that just because you’re ‘nice’ you equate to a wuss. Even ‘nice guys’ can stand up for what’s right.

  3. Kelly,

    I hear your point. However, I believe this isn’t about putting courtesy and compassion aside. It’s about being a people pleaser to the point of giving up authenticity for personal gain. I agree with you that kindness doesn’t necessarily equate to passivity, but it’s a problem I’ve seen in several men. Women who love their men want them to have the place of leadership and honor they deserve and not because they sold themselves out to gain approval.

    • and he’ll clean it up, and he’ll listen to you gripe AGAIN and AGAIN about your current boyfriends “insensitivity” and he’ll tell you to stand up on Christian principles and he’ll reach out to you. He’ll ask you out, he’ll ask if you have any single friends, and you will tell him “You’re too nice”

      It’s not an honest statement. Say it. Say “I’m not attracted to you” Say “I just don’t feel a connection” Say “I don’t like you”

      Saying a guy is too nice, and every profile on dating pages say they want a NICE Christian guy is mid boggling. Isn’t that “lying”? Isn’t that not being clear? Isn’t that doing one thing with the left hand and wanting something else with the right hand? Is this not having you “yes” mean yes and your “no” meaning no?

      “The nice guy makes you want to vomit”

      How Christian of you

      • My advice would be to stop being the guy that everyone cries to.

        Also here’s the best part about this post. I don’t know very many commenters on here personally, but I do know erinvonder. And she is married to one of the best men I know. So you might want to back up just a little.

        You can see the anger and hurt in your writing. I’ve been there bro. I understand completely. I lived it for a long time.

      • and I’m older than you……..

        If I don’t listen “i’m a typical guy who only is self-centered and interested in himself” and then if I “listen, and comfort” I am told that “I have to stop being that guy”

        I am at the point where it is: You have it or don’t. If you don’t…get ready to be told Corinthians 7 for the rest of your life and accept it.

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  13. Then how come a girl who dates a guy who ISN’T nice…then cries on my shoulder and says
    “I thought he was nice. He looked nice. Why can’t guys be NICE like you?”

    Every comment from a woman here who says “right on” to you isn’t agreeing with you brother. They want justification for their bad choices, and the “nice guy” always, always takes the hit.

    • Um, actually they are agreeing with me. You just don’t like it or think it’s right – which is fine. But I think you should slow down, go back and read what I actually wrote and how I defined nice guy. Don’t confuse nice guy with good guy. Those are two completely different things. Jesus was not nice. He was good. Adam was nice. He should have been good.

      • I get you. I didn’t confuse this.
        I know this. I cannot call myself good because only Christ was good.

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  21. I’m not so sure Adam was “nice”. I think it was more “Let’s see what happens to the Old Lady” ; it seems that he actually wasn’t opposed to eating the forbidden fruit after all, but knowing the warning God gave about doing so, Adam waited tos ee what would happen. She didn;t drop dea, so he must have reasoned that it was okay to eat. Also, he blamed God for making Eve cause him to sin — the woman You gave me…”
    Adam was not being nice, and he should have stood up to Eve.

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