There aren't many clichés that piss me off more than "Nice guys finish last!" in the context of dating. I have unfriended guys on Facebook (the harshest modern punishment) because of their constant meme-posting and whining.
(I'm not sure that there is a female equivalent cliché, but I get just as annoyed when women bitch, "nobody likes me!" so this opinion can be gender-flipped and aimed towards the ladies just as easily.)
NICE GUYS DO NOT FINISH LAST. And let me tell you why.
Nice guys do just fine. They are no better or worse than any other guy. Some are killin' it at this thing called life, and others are utter failures. Being nice does not equate with failure. Not with the ladies, anyway.
"But Adelaide!" you're screaming at your computer screen. "I'm a nice guy and women don't dig me!"
I hear you anonymous reader! I really do! But I'll tell you where your argument falls flat. Your dating failures have nothing to do with your level of niceness. You only wish they did because that would mean you're sucking at dating and relationships for the best reason ever - you're a nice guy! That's what you WANT to believe. But using this cliché is just a cop-out, a victim's mentality that will get you nowhere. If you want to experience a bit of success, step one is coming to terms with the fact that this just isn't the case. Being nice and where you "finish" are completely unrelated when it comes to dating.
Let's get nerdy for a second. The entire argument of nice guys finishing last (with regards to dating) is a logical fallacy.
In fact, when you unpack this issue with a man, it usually contains several types of fallacies:
- Anecdotal fallacy: "I'M nice and women don't like ME, therefore all nice guys are disliked by women." It's happening to you, therefore it must be a universal truth.
- Post hoc ergo propter hoc (correlation proves causation): "I'm nice and women don't like me, therefore women don't like me BECAUSE I'm nice." Your niceness is the reason women stay away.
- False binary: "Nice guys finish last and assholes finish first." There are only two possibilities. Women hate nice guys and love bad boys.
Enough examples for now, but I encourage you to look into moral high ground, and red herring as they relate to this argument as well.
Here are some real possibilities for why you're "finishing last."
The reasons are numerous and varied, and I can't claim to be knowledgeable enough to be aware of
all of them. What follows are just a few of my personal ideas.
First and foremost, I'm going to labour under the assumption that you are, in fact, a NICE GUY. If you're a total dick, the post ends here - that's why you're failing.
Reasons you're finishing last (that have nothing to do with niceness):
1) You suck at online dating. Do you really think women aren't responding or swiping left because you seem too nice? See my previous post about excelling at online dating. That should give you some good ideas about other possibilities for your bad luck, and ways in which to improve. I'll end this here. I've already said enough on this topic.
Number 2 will hurt, and I'm sorry.
2) It's physical. People may get all up in arms about this, but that's because they can't face the truth that romantic relationships pretty much always begin with physical attraction, and that like-bodied people usually end up together (just as like-minded people do). The reality of our society is not the sit-com trope of ugly guy/hot wife. Active, physically fit people tend to gravitate towards each other, and slower-paced homebody types tend to pair up.
I know people will get all persnickety about the the concept of "leagues" in the dating game, and listen - I don't like it either, but this is the world we inhabit and denying it doesn't make anything easier. And this opinion doesn't come from a 5'9, 120-pound blonde. It comes from someone short who struggles with weight and self-esteem. While I will still message the guy on OkCupid with a six-pack (as long as he seems interesting), my expectations for a reply are low, and I am usually proven right with silence on the other end. And that's okay. I tried. Onwards and upwards.
So men, when the Victoria's Secret model at the bar is not interested, don't get such a hate-on. You are not entitled to a "ten," just like I'm not entitled to a six-pack (not like that really even matters). If someone is not into you physically, you don't want to be with them anyway.
3) You're socially awkward. This one rings particularly true for me, as I find it's very often the case for the guys that spout the cliché, blaming women for their singledom. And these guys ARE nice. They are SUPER nice.
I used to work with a guy, let's call him Jay, whom I removed from all of my social media accounts last year because of his weekly rants and stupid memes targeting hetero women. In general, he was the nicest guy ever. He would give you the shirt off his back, give you a ride anywhere at any time (I witnessed people taking advantage of this), and overall be very polite and sweet when interacting with you.
So why did I turn down his offer to go to the movies? Because the moment I was hired at this place, I was warned that he would ask me out. I hadn't even met him yet. I asked how they knew he would do so. "Because he asks out EVERY. SINGLE. FEMALE. As soon as he meets them."
Low and behold, Jay wanted to go out with me. Not the worst thing ever, but I was 17 and he was 24. So the first vibe he's giving off? You guessed it - Creepy. Second vibe? Desperation. And by complaining that he is nice and yet finishing last? Bitter. Hmmm... a desperate, bitter, creep. Why ever is he single? </sarcasm>
Aside from his enthusiasm for asking everyone on dates, Jay was simply awkward to talk to. Nice, but awkward. Too much giggling even though no joke had been made (classic sign of anxiety), going on odd tangents that were unrelated to the subject at hand, inappropriate topics for the workplace, not knowing when to shut up - such as when I was trying to speak to a customer. I could go on. Sometimes awkwardness is more of an intangible vibe that can't be described. But let me finish with this - he was VERY nice, but I think you'd all agree at this point that not dating him was a valid decision, NOT based on his politeness or generosity. Not in his mind. He was just your typical "nice guy finishing last" by his own estimation.
|The way Jay sees is|
4) Your attitude stinks. Just the fact that you use the phrase "nice guys finish last" tells people that you're bitter, entitled, and kind of angry with women, not to mention that you don't think very highly of us and our dating standards. It also sends the message that you might, in fact, not be a nice guy, because the phrase is loaded with all kinds of nasty connotations when you really break it down.
|How it really is|
Bitching about how you're not having any luck is also an indicator to other women that there's some reason you're not having luck. Something is off. And we all know it's not the fact that you're nice. It's like a herd of gazelle on the plains of Africa. One of them senses something is off, a predator nearby perhaps, his ears perk up. The rest of the herd picks up on this tiny signal. In a flash, they're all getting the hell out of there.
That was a strained metaphor, I know, and I realize I just compared women to prey and men to predators, but I hope you still get my meaning. If you can't get a date, or you've never had a relationship, we're smart enough to know there's a reason why. So don't advertise, don't complain, and be positive. I've said it before - confidence is sexy. Giving up hope is not. It's actually kind of pitiful.
I think that about sums up the main reasons you could be finishing last. Aside from there being something, it could be anything, unappealing about you, it could also be all about her. Maybe it's bad timing, maybe she's got her eye on someone else. Maybe she's a shallow bitch. Yes, I can concede that this is a possibility. But I can tell you with great confidence she's not uninterested because you're nice.
There are more reasons, I'm sure, but these specifically relate to otherwise nice dudes who can't score. If you're not a nice dude, there are a thousand reasons women don't like you.
While I can't speak for everyone, I think I'm a good sample of the general straight female population. At least SOME of the women out there are like me.
So, nice guys of the world, I'll tell you this - a smart, nice, mature woman, does NOT want a bad boy, so do not toss out this theory every time a woman rejects you. We may sometimes like the outer shell of a bad boy, the appearance, but a decent woman looking for a meaningful connection is not seriously considering the man who has teardrop tattoos on his face, or who claims association with scary biker gangs, or whose job title is "dealer." We don't want to be with assholes. We break up with assholes when we find ourselves stuck with one. So don't listen to this asshole.
Have a little faith. All is not lost. I know some genuinely nice, decent men who have kick-ass wives, great jobs, and lots of friends. I also know some major dicks who pretty much can't get it together and suck at everything. But since life is unpredictable and without rhyme or reason, I know nice people who can't get past a first date, and I know some bastards in long term relationships with amazing women they don't deserve. Where you "finish" can be a roll of the dice.
Most importantly, if you feel you're a nice guy finishing last, try hard to scrap that frame of mind. Try this mantra instead - "I'm a nice guy, and I'll finish alongside the right woman for me." (insert sexual innuendo here)