The other night I was perusing some old videos of a great teacher named Bishop Fulton Sheen. He is actually really entertaining. In this particular video he was talking about the difference between nice people and awful people. At one point he said this, “A nice person who drinks too much is an alcoholic. An awful person who drinks too much is a drunkard.” It’s funny and it’s brilliant.
One of the things I’ve tried to help guys with here over the years is the idea that your goal is not to be a nice guy. In fact I’ve said that you need to just quit being the nice guy. I’ve talked about avoiding the nice guy trap. I’ve talked about how women say, “He’s a nice guy but . . . ” when talking about a guy they are not attracted to.The bottom line is that women are not attracted to nice guys. I’ve shared all of this from the perspective as a guy who has in the past, and in fact still, struggles with being the nice guy.
One of the complaints I hear all the time from men (and that I used to make all the time) is that women, and in our case Christian women, always seem to choose the bad guy over the good guy. If you are a consistent reader hear then you know that I would say that is the wrong view of a real issue.
Here is what women do – they choose the guy they are attracted to over the one they aren’t.
There are a lot of men who say that women should date them because they can be a great husband, are trying to be godly etc, even though they are not, for whatever reason attractive to women. I would ask that guy, are you asking out women you know to be godly that you are not attracted to? I’m guessing no.
So rather than sit around and complain, maybe we should think about what is attractive and work on it.
It’s been a while as work (as in my real job) has sort of taken over of late. But I wanted to get back to Stephen’s great questions. You can see the first part of his three part question right here.
Today, I want to tackle Stephen’s second question, which actually is much easier and more clear than the first. Stephen asks,
Everyone talks about women wanting guys who “lead”, who “aren’t pushovers,” who “aren’t nice guys,” etc. Question: what does this mean in the context of DATING. NOT MARRIAGE. Its fairly obvious what this means for married men. But when I’m asking a woman out for the first, second, or third time, the only things we’re going to disagree over, or have to decide together, are whether we’re going to Chipotle or Olive Garden. What if I really don’t give a darn? How am I supposed to “lead” while I’m casually dating a girl? I’m not an integral part of her life, I’m not her primary counselor, I’m not even likely to be *informed* about serious decisions that she has to make. How, given that we all spend the first 14 years of our lives being taught to be courteous and considerate – that is, NICE – am I supposed to demonstrate that I’m not “just a nice guy” in that context?
There is so much great stuff here. I probably can’t do this in one post. These questions are so crucial. So let’s go.
Back when I was in college the show ER became a sensation. One of the best parts about it was that the characters were believable. One of the intriguing relationships that developed on the show was between Doctor Mark Green (played by Anthony Edwards) and Doctor Susan Lewis (Sherry Stringfield). They were both sort of the “good guys” in the ER. They also developed a sort of friendship/relationship.
In the third season Susan decided to move away. In her final episode, Mark had to decide if he should (or could) tell her how he feels. They were great friends and had chemistry and it’s been obvious for years. Dr Ross (George Clooney) tells him, “Tell her what you’ve wanted to for years. Tell her how you feel. . . ”
Then comes the scene I’ll always remember. Mark leaves work and goes to her house but he’s too late. Then he goes to the train station. I mean it’s an epic deal. He goes to the wrong place as the train’s leaving point changes. But he makes it just in time. He calls out to her. The train is about to leave.
He tells her that he loves her and should have told her long ago, and he wants her to stay. I’ll never forget her response to that. She says that she knew, he is her best friend, and that she is leaving. Then she gets on the train, waves good by and says, “I do love you.”
I remember watching that scene and just being smacked upside the head. For years I thought about that scene because it pretty much defined me. Always the friend of the girl who I liked. Always carrying some sort of hope that at the right time, if I just shared it in the right way, everything would change. That scene was a picture of how I felt.