Do Nice Guys Really Finish Last?
Today, I was watching one of the the few male members of my Gender Comm. class out of sheer social interest when I realized there was something going on with him that I doubted few other people ever got tipped off about: He’s running a tighter game than Mick Vick was this past season, and as an Eagles girl, let me tell you, the only thing tighter than Vick’s game is his ass. But back to what was so interesting about my classmate— He’s got a few very good things going for him: He’s attractive, fun, extremely easy to talk to, outgoing, bright, and taking a class on gender communications, which, you know, isn’t a bad sign at all for someone who worries about being able to clearly communicate and be understood in a relationship. He’s also unassuming and self-depreciating— he knows he’s not the “ideal man” type that girls are programmed to go for— you know, tall, dark and handsome, with suavity like James Bond and an ass like Vick’s (oh, wait, I mentioned that already…oh well,)— but the fact that he’s so vocal about this makes you want to prove him wrong. Girls gravitate to him because of all this, so he probably works to further cultivate it. He is, in short, no dumb bunny. “Cause and effect” theory at work, here, as in, “If I play the friendly, slightly geeky guy, girls aren’t intimidated by me and want to be friends with me.” I’ve watched his M.O for the past few weeks and seen it at work; I bet he’s always got a lot of girls around him, but I also bet he gets friend-zoned a lot when girls meet and then go for a bad-boy type instead. There’s the flaw in his game— I know it, but I wonder, does he?
Take, for example, one of TGIS’s best friends. I adore the kid and am very vocal about it— TGIS knows it; my roommate agrees with me about the fact he’s utterly lovable; and I’ll talk about how great his friend is equally as much as I talk about how great TGIS is (if not his friend more). He’s just the kind of guy who instantly puts women at ease, is really quiet and unassuming, yet knows how to have fun and will make sure to include you in conversation or anything he and the guys are doing. In fact, he’s so nice that I often (somewhat) joke around that I’d leave TGIS for his friend in a hot minute just due to niceness, and TGIS is a pretty nice guy of his own accord, too. But one thing makes this a joke, and not something I would ever in a million years actually ever act on: He lacks the je-ne-sais-quoi bad-boy factor that TGIS does have that keeps women (myself included,) enthralled and guessing. And that’s the flaw in Gen. Comm. Boy’s little scheme— nice guys never factor in the bad boys. But oh, how they should.
After dating for roughly the last three million years (give or take a century or so), I’ve dated a lot of guys. Short guys, lots of tall guys, fat guys, thin guys, muscular guys, athletic guys, nerdy guys, smart guys, dumb guys, sweet guys, but the majority of them have been one kind of guy in particular: bad boys. They’re kind of a specialty of mine— slightly fractured, emotionally needy, a little fucked up, and emotionally unattached. After all these eons of observation and the emotional train wrecks they leave behind them, I have come to one conclusion: There is only one kind of guy really worth dating who will ever really keep a woman’s attention, especially if she has as short of a dating attention span as I do— the nice guy with an edge, or, in less flowery terms, a reformed bad boy. Does this mean that he’s entirely house- and relationship-trained and won’t leave you broken and bleeding at the end? No, but it does mean that he might actually date you properly and take you out instead of just sending you packing the next morning and wait a little bit to have sex with you until he’s sure he actually likes you, unlike his previous incarnation. See, he used to be a bad boy, but just like I used to be much more of a maneater than I am now, he too was burned by some of his past choices and reached a higher state of being, mainly called “Nirv-NotBeingACompleteAssholeAnymore,” thus making him just about the most illusive and perfect creature a woman could ever track down and wrestle into bed and into dating.
So, in theory, while Gen. Comm. Boy may have his game (mostly) worked out, it’s a shame that it really doesn’t pay out for him, because when all the chips are down, he’s a really nice guy, but we ladies are eternally preoccupied in less green, more shady pastures. We would be smarter if we chose men who liked us more than we liked them, like him, but that’s never how it works. And the questioning and the emotional torment that comes with the bad boys, or even with the reformed bad boys sometimes, is the price that we pay for craving a bit of mystery and drama in our love-lives. That’s really what it comes down to— we’d rather not be bored, not that these men are boring, but a little bit of intrigue as toward how someone feels about you is the engine that seems to power our relationships. It’s the butterflies— we always want to have the butterflies. So I guess we have no one to blame but ourselves for our relationship drama and eternal questioning. Go figure. Do I win a Pulitzer for that stunning reveal now?
- From SATCG