Nice Guys Finish First

Nice Guys Finish First

Just got off the phone with a client and became inspired to write this piece.

My client is a nice guy. Mid 30’s, intelligent, successful, and serious about finding a relationship.

We’ve been working together for a few months and he’s been lamenting his lack of success.

I reiterate old themes, try to put things into a much-needed perspective.

I remind him that it’s a competitive space, that it’s a buyer’s market for women.

He tells me that he doesn’t want to have to lower his standards for online dating. The same women he can get in “real life” don’t respond to him online.

I remind him that at a party, she doesn’t have a hundred men lined up to talk to her. On Match.com, she does. The strength of online dating lies in its ability to give us access to total strangers; the downside is how difficult it is to keep their attention.

We go over an email that he wrote to a woman. She didn’t write back. He wonders if he did anything wrong. I assure him that he did not.

He muses that it must be nice to have hundreds of people writing to you. I let him know that it’s a burden for these women – and that lots of great guys get lost in the shuffle.

He reminds me that each letter he writes that goes unanswered is a blow to the ego. I told him it shouldn’t be. You can’t take online dating personally. Just like a baseball player fails 7 times out of 10, an online dater is going to get a lot more rejection than acceptance. Don’t let the process affect you; just be grateful for the potential that it presents.

Finally, we get to talking about the woman he’s writing to. They spoke on the phone last night for the first time. The conversation lasted for an hour and change. She asked for his number at the end. Mission accomplished. But my client wants more pointers.

“What do I do next?”

“Email her and tell her you had a lot of fun last night. Mention something specific from your conversation. Ask her a question or two. And find out the next time she’s available to talk on the phone.”

I’m a big believer in the phone.

“But what about creating mystery? I don’t want her to think I’m too interested.”

An old wives’ tale, I assure him. But he’s citing references:

“I read in David DeAngelo that nice guys finish last. And “The Rules” talks about waiting a week in between conversations to build up anticipation and establish that you’re busy.”

I’m paraphrasing, of course. But the gist of it is that all of the experts out there have people believing that the way to forge a happy relationship is by playing games.

I wrote about this extensively in a chapter from “Why You’re Still Single” creatively called “Don’t Play Games”, but to reiterate: NOTHING GOOD COMES OUT OF PLAYING GAMES.

Playing games attracts people who plays games. It repels people who don’t want to play games. And everything that you do that is in the least bit calculating is pushing you farther and father from what you claim to want – an authentic relationship where you can be loved and accepted for who you are.

Nice guys don’t finish last. Nice guys without any balls finish last….

Women Want Two ThingsAsk most women what they’re looking for and you’ll get some version of “a nice guy with a little bit of an edge”. They value his ability to be a man, take control, make decisions, speak his mind and march to the beat of his own drum. None of those things prevent a guy from being nice. They just mean that he’s not a desperate kiss-ass.

Nice guys often confuse these two things. Because they’ve tried to “nice” their way into women’s hearts and failed, they’re convinced that they have to start being jerks. Uh uh. Decent women have no tolerance for jerks. They just don’t want a guy who values himself so little that he has to try so very hard to impress.

The confidence that a man projects is the magnetism that draws women.
The kindess is what keeps women there.

Confidence without kindness describes “bad boys” that smart woman have long ago given up.
Kindness without confidence is the charge against the wishy-washy “nice guys”.

But if you put confidence and kindness together…well, I’d say you have a pretty irresistible combination of traits for a man.

So let’s sum up:

Confident men treat women well.
Confident men keep their plans after they make them.
Confident men can express vulnerability and caring without seeming weak.

This territory isn’t exclusive to nice guys who finish last. This is for guys who won’t bend over backwards to the point where they are spineless.

And in case you don’t believe me about the game playing, here’s the best example I can provide to make my case:

You know what a woman says when a guy she likes calls her the day after a date?

“He’s so sweeeeet!”

You know what a woman says when a guy she doesn’t like calls her the day after a date?

“He’s a creepy, needy, stalker.”

The phone call doesn’t change her opinion. She’s already made up her mind.

So if you’re a nice guy who went on a nice date with a nice girl, try being authentic and call her the next day.

It would be a nice change of pace.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Dan

    Great points Evan.

    And love the quote:
    “Nice guys don’t finish last. Nice guys without any balls finish last.” That’s SO true.

    The myth that women are attracted to “bad boys” is due to the fact that “bad boys” tend to be (or at least appear to be) confident.

    And people notice women being with these confident men and thing it’s the part about treating women badly that attracts women. Not so (well, not in most cases anyway).

    People notice that stark contrast, but aren’t so quick to notice the confident nice guys. Women don’t like to be treated badly, and they’re not looking for a jerk to treat them badly.

    While I’m not criticizing the seduction community, it’s important to understand where they fit in. If you’re looking for one night stands, looking to pick up that hot girl just for tonight, looking to be a pickup artist – that stuff will do wonders. But you can’t beat that quiet inner confidence which doesn’t compare to the fake stuff.

    In the end, she’ll meet the real you. And starting off by playing games and pretending to be something you’re not will get you single over and over again.

    Have an awesome day!
    Dan

  2. 2
    Rachelle

    So well said!

  3. 3
    Anonymous

    Amen.

  4. 4
    moonsical

    Agree w/Evan.

    Since Evan said my input was valuable (sigh!) I’ll try and reconstruct my thoughts of yesterday, when my old-fashioned Netscape 7 just wouldn’t cooperate with google blog land.

    I’ve dated the so-called, “bad boy,” and it is GREAT to be with someone who KNOWS WHAT THEY WANT and TAKES ACTION.

    I’ve thought about this “issue” lately, and decided there may be something rather primal going on. Women, being actually smaller, physically less strong, and perhaps more vulnerable when, “with child,” perhaps look for some show of action, confidence, bravado, in a mate. Protection is a resource. Not to mention the allure of true, active partnering.

    The behavior this “nice guy” is exhibiting…having to get an opinion before making each move…wowee. I have seen this before and what I have seen is this behavior attracting a very controlling mate, who WILL make all his decisions for him. Then he marries her, then she divorces him a short time later.

    It’s not really all that “nice” to put the burden of proof, or responsibility for your happiness, on the other person. If you like someone, move on it.

    Go for BOLD, with ethical behavior. Women are dying for this; for men who know what they want, and STEP UP! Even if you are rebuffed, you’ll know the truth, and can course-correct and carry on.

    Good luck! We’re waiting!

  5. 5
    Alison

    Evan,

    You are so right on about this. I can feel the fear and insecurity radiating from this man – who keeps putting up excuses and is avoiding just taking a step.

    That alone can turn a woman off. Some swagger, some honesty, some caring, and some basic grooming….the recipe isn’t really so complex. Everyone is looking for a formula and step by step guides-

    Some daring and responsibility? Some raders may be amused by my commentary: Why Women Don’t Want Nice Men- meant to be “When Nice is not so Nice” http://www.amherstbulletin.com/story/id/27706/

  6. 6
    downtowngal

    Great advice and so true! I’d like to add that what attracts me to a guy is somone who knows what he wants and goes after it when pursuing a relationship. If he’s into you he shows it – this doesn’t mean incessant stalking or pursuing after you’ve said ‘no’, this means making the effort to want to get to know you if there’s a click. Too many guys out there don’t make the effort because they’re afraid of failure, and many women view this as a turn-off.

    Evan, just wondering, if your client had a connection with someone online, why did you advise him to continue emailing/calling instead of just setting up a date? Because that’s the only way to know if you click, otherwise you just set up your expectations. If I meet someone online, we have a nice chat and he doesn’t suggest meeting I assume he’s either not interested, not really single or just playing games. This is because – in my experience – if the guy is really serious about wanting to be in a relationship he’ll make the effort, even if we meet online.

  7. 7
    LNY

    All of Evan’s reply iare so humorous I am beginning to prefer reading them to dating!

  8. 8
    LNY

    All of Evan’s reply are so humorous I am beginning to prefer reading them to dating!

  9. 9
    Dandh

    Nice guys are commonly mislabeled. What is often labeled as a nice-guy is really someone who is just insecure and needy, a completely different type of man. Just like there is a difference between a “bad boy” -who likes to date and is upfront about it, and a “player” that misleads to score with as many women as possible. A nice guy is the one that calls when he says he will but doesn’t call you ten times a day. The needy guy is the one that will call you ten times a day and apologize profusely for missing your call or not responding immediately to your text.

  10. 11
    Markus

    For the women criticizing Evan’s client: he is not calling her and deferring to her opinion on everything or, from what I could tell, appearing needy to her. He is consulting with Evan because he wants to do what it takes to land a relationship. This is invivsible to the girl in question. He appears needy to you because you are reading his dialogue with Evan. In fact, he says that he was considering waiting a little longer before calling so as NOT to appear needy. Now, I’m not going to tell you that you all (or most of you) want to date jerks but it’s apparent that a lot of women want to date men who couldn’t care less. They’ll then complain about this too.

  11. 12
    downtowngal

    Continuing to call/email but not setting up a date comes across as stringing someone along rather than not trying to appear needy. If a guy did that to me I’d think a big “wtf” and move on.

  12. 13
    hunter

    …the fact is,,,…women have been known to stay, with bad boys, a long, long time, before they come to their senses……by then mostly, they are in their 40’s…….

  13. 14
    Alison

    The question that arises is WHY do so many women (and maybe men) stay with the ‘wrong’ person to begin with?

    Bad- meaning care-less? inattentive? criminal? Maybe women also have a ‘fix it’ complex. We think we are supposed to be able to love ‘uber ales’ and make it all good as a mother ‘should’. We confusing mothering and loving unconditionally with choosing and partnering to have our needs met too.

    Society supports it- as do media and films. (Look at all those enticing bad boys that soften and come around in the end long as the woman is beautiful enough, supportive enough, available, wating)

    None are perfect- so how much imperfection does one stick with?

    Many of these questions get answered differently after 40 when priorities, energy, and bodies change.

  14. 15
    hunter

    young men(mostly nice guys) have been known to gather around, the mens county jail(bad boys), during visting hours, just to get a glimpse of the visitors who are mostly, hot babes/hunkettes…..yes,,,,

  15. 16
    hunter

    to allison,

    why do people stay with the wrong person? ‘Cause they get bonded. Did you ever hear of the expression, “Having sex between two people, is like applying super glue at the short hair site?”

  16. 17
    That Single Guy

    All women say they want a nice guy. BUT, what they say and what they actually go after are two different things. Notice all the girls who date complete assholes. I’m not saying be a nice guy isn’t worthwhile, but to be honest, very few girls want just truly nice guys.

    1. 17.1
      amydkl

      I was a woman who was made uncomfortable when a guy was “too” into me. I used words like “clingy” or “needy” when in retrospect, someone was just probably being nice. I felt more comfortable when a guy liked me but didn’t pursue me too much. But the same thing kept happening, this tepid guy, after three weeks or months, wasn’t that into me! and by the time I was really into him….I didn’t like him because he was a jerk (and not sure he was) but I was made too uncomfortable by someone liking me too much. Finallly at 39, I made a vow to myself to just allow men to be nice to me even if it made me uncomfortable, because after 3-4 months that was the guy that was going to stay. I’m happily married now to a nice guy with balls, but i hear my girllfriends all the timme say, “eew, he called the next day!” or “eww, he told me I was pretty.” Women need to be more open to men being nice to them for them to find nice guys..

      1. 17.1.1
        Keith

        One of the things I found refreshing about my girlfriend is that she never played games when we met.  Indeed, I was trying to follow all the “rules” and she told me in no uncertain terms to cut the BS and if I like her to show it and if not to move on.  I knew this was a keeper.  She wanted to get past all the “show” to the real me. 

  17. 18
    downtowngal

    TSG, I think you’re right, but for those girls it’s a maturity thing. When they get to a point when they start realizing what makes for a good LTR partner, the assholes don’t stack up. especially when they start dating someone who actually treats them well.

    Women are attracted to ‘bad boys’ because of their confidence. I think it’s the same reason why nice guys date bitchy women. But at the end of the day it’s about confidence for both sexes. What attracts me about a guy is how well he treats me and how comfortable he is in his own skin, enough to pursue me and show his affection, not play games or act rude.

  18. 19
    hunter

    to downtowngal,

    we are attracted to the bitchy girl, but, as soon as reality hits, we say, wait a minute….it is either that, or, we just plain get tired of the assertiveness, nagging, etc…

  19. 20
    KC

    Confidence is the key either way…..but it has to be balanced and not overbearing…..but lacking any at all just makes you part of the crowd..

  20. 21
    downtowngal

    hunter, it’s the same thing with girls and ‘bad boys’ – we get attracted to these edgy guys because we find them sexy, only to go through the drama, games, etc. these relationships never last.

    It’s the initial attraction that causes people to overlook someone who would be a better relationship partner. As for guys and bitchy girls, I’ve seen these girls in action, many would step over their friends to get a guy’s attraction. And the same guys go for these girls again and again and again…

  21. 22
    downtowngal

    …and then they complain ‘why do I keep meeing psycho’s – are there any good women out there’??

  22. 23
    hunter

    to downtowngal,

    too bad some women keep these edgy guys, mostly, until thier late 40’s….

  23. 24
    downtowngal

    hunter, believe me, the edgy guys don’t last that long. most women grow out of them by the time their 30

  24. 25
    hunter

    to downtowngal,

    by the time their 30, or after their 30th anniversary?….hhmmmmhh

  25. 26
    Gonzo

    Now I understand…it was all a waste of time in the First Place.
    Guess I’ll start studying for the Ministry, now.

  26. 27
    Jessica

    I also think that some women get validation in believing they are “really sexy” if a bad boy choses them. Some may feel the nice guy is just being nice if he compliments her, digs her, or wants her body. Or that maybe his standards are somehow not as high as a guy who is perceived to be able to get any chick he wants. So, theoretically, if he choses you (the bad guy), then you must be pretty hot, right? If a woman has self esteem or confidence issues, we might not believe the good guy that we are great or hot or sexy or whatever or think we don’t deserve the compliments and attention of a nice guy or a nice guy with balls. So we often end up with one extreme or the other – like so many people do if they are still coming to terms with things and who they are. The other end of the fence being the TOO NICE guy that the article from the woman at Amherst refers to.

  27. 28
    hunter

    to jessica,

    ..That is why all single who want to date regularly, should keep a friends only woman at his side…..by doing this men attract other women, because, women will then say, “if he is good enough for her, he is good enough for me”…..

  28. 29
    Michael Ejercito

    I wonder what online dating is like for women.

    Do they get more rejections than acceptances?

  29. 30
    Nyla

    DT Girl, I agree with all you have stated. I am not 40 yet, and have come to the realization that what I am looking for is a good guy with some spine. It’s hard like hell, but I do get myself out of a situation with a bad boy as soon as I find out he is one. As soon as I get that notion no matter how attracted I am to him, I will pull away.
    I am in my late twenties, but even though armed with this knowledge, I feel like I will hit 40 soon and still be single. Datings a bitch.

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