'Nice Guys' Used To Annoy Me — Now I Can't Get Enough Of 'Em

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By Alysia Johnson

We all know the phrase, “Nice guys finish last,” and as I look back at my life, I would have to say that I agreed with it when I was in high school. The good news is, presuming that the type of woman you desire holds a bit more maturity than what you’d expect from a 15-year-old girl, then rest assured, there are plenty of women hoping to meet their “Mr. Nice Guy.”

So what is it exactly about our culture that perpetuates this myth? Let’s start with some observations about adolescence. Understand, the upstanding citizen we are today conflicts with the youth in an earlier stage, when we caught up in that hormone-crazed tornado.

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To pretend we were not shaped by this time, would be an injustice. Youth, for some, is an experiment in thrills. It’s the time in your life when you push boundaries and see how far you can go.

“Mr. Nice Guy” isn’t going to bring you home past curfew because he fears repercussions with your parents and has weighed out doing so may mean not seeing you again. It’s a pretty smart tactic, if you think about it.

“Mr. Thrill” will send her home with messy hair and let her sort it out. Probably the worst idea in the world and yet, that’s the voice of reason (or lack thereof) that many of us exercised in our journey.

Maybe that explains why I was crazy about the boy suspended from his school’s end-of-the-year field trip, yet managed to smuggle both of us into the field trip anyway even though I didn’t go to his school. Maybe it also explains why that shy guy who sat across from me in study hall and blushed when he saw me look his way. It just didn’t do it for me.

But today, in a grown-up version of this situation, I would be incredibly flattered and probably tell my girlfriends about it.

Now let’s talk about adulthood, how I have redefined the meaning of “nice guy,” and what it has actually meant in my life. For most of us, maturity will (or should) set in at some point. With a full-time job, two children to raise and a mortgage, it’s safe to say my priorities changed significantly over a 12-year period.

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Two years ago, I met a guy who I would today label a “Mr. Nice Guy.”

Although a self-declared “Mr. Thrill” in his youth, I wasn’t sure what to expect from “Mr. Nice Guy” in his 34-year-old body, but believe me when I say that I quickly found nothing is sexier than a man who is truly present. I’ve done a fair bit of dating since my divorce and can honestly say I was never impressed until he came along. Our relationship blossomed because I was able to put something into him I was never able to before: trust.

He never made me feel replaceable. He was a man who I could count on to help around the house. A guy who would not simply apologize just to shut me up, but who would genuinely try to listen to understand. He cherished the little moments and there was just enough thrill left in him to keep me interested without creating instability in the core values that had become so important in shaping and defining the love that bloomed between us.

All of the things that made him “Mr. Nice Guy” were the very things that let me love him deeply, and I am so proud that I will marry “Mr. Nice Guy” in the next few months.

If you fear you’re a “Mr. Nice Guy” who is going to finish last, maybe you just haven’t met someone emotionally mature enough to value you. But I can tell you, when you do, she will love you and desire you more for those traits than any bozo she is stuck dating now.

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Alysia Johnson writes about love, relationships and what makes us truly tick as humans.

This article was originally published at The Good Men Project. Reprinted with permission from the author.