The Nice Guy Curse: Why Being Too Nice Is Actually Unattractive

The downfall of being too nice.

Nice guy, friend zone, unattractive AleksandarNakic | Canva

Is there such a thing as ‘The Nice Guy Curse’? Is it even possible to be too nice? Men, the world over, have wondered why women continually pass up the quintessential nice guy who is loving, caring, giving, supportive, accommodating, faithful, and head-over-heels in love with them. Besides, aren’t these the qualities spelled out on every woman’s dating ‘List?’ This mystery has stumped me for years until now. I have finally cracked the code. Several contributing factors place Nice Guys in dating purgatory.


In the initial stage of a relationship, many men try hard to make women happy. They often bend over backward to accomplish this task. If and when they enter into a deeper level of commitment, they often take things a step further. They begin to put their partner ahead of everyone and everything else in their lives. While this may seem to accomplish the goal of making her happy, it does the complete opposite. Now, don’t get me wrong, every woman probably likes it a first. Every woman wants to feel like she’s the most important thing in a man’s life. But, she doesn’t want actually to be the most important thing in his life. If and when she becomes the most important thing in his life, she’ll start to lose her attraction to him. If he centers his life around her, it will drive her away.


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She’ll start to resent the fact that his life revolves around hers and she’ll begin to lose respect for him as a man when he keeps adjusting to her every whim. Over time, the attraction she once had will slowly disintegrate until it is no more. While women do not possess an ‘attraction kill switch’, slowly but surely they begin to realize that something is different. Something is missing. What was once something has become nothing. At this point, the ‘Nice Guy Curse’ has reared its ugly head. In his attempt to find out what went wrong, he is met with frustration and disappointment. Why? Simply put, women often have a hard time articulating the shift in their emotions, because it’s just a feeling they get. They don’t know how to put it into words. The feeling is either there or it’s not.

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Think back to the beginning of the relationship, when you both shared a special spark and connection with each other. You both probably had your own life, goals, interests, and passions. And that should never change. However, if a man surrenders his life and devotes all his time and energy to a woman, he loses touch with what makes him who he really is. And when he’s lost touch with himself, she loses touch with what attracted her to him in the first place. 

This is a man whose life is now wrapped around her very existence. He becomes an all-consuming, overbearing, smootherer whose sole purpose is to please his woman. He becomes overly sensitive to her moods and does everything possible to make her happy.  In essence, he’s constantly trying to win her love, approval, and validation. No woman is going to be happy with a guy who makes her the center of his universe and is constantly orbiting around her. Some women may like the thought of this but when it happens they get bored and leave. The reason for this is because it ends up killing that feeling of attraction which is the source of all chemistry.

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If you’re still not convinced, consider the love/hate relationship between Steve Urkel and Laura Winslow from the American pastime television show Family Matters. Steve’s worshipful disposition towards Laura represented an unhealthy obsession that was more unattractive than his apparent nerdy and goofy aura. Every day, Laura was met with flowers, gifts, compliments, and other pleasantries which were given out of desperation rather than appreciation. Do you see the difference? No matter how much Steve did for Laura, he was never considered a potential love interest. Instead, he was reduced to the category of a groupie.

Interestingly, when Steve transformed into Stephan, Laura’s reaction to him dramatically changed. His smooth, confident, secure, and self-interested personality won her over. So, is it possible to be too nice, too accommodating, and too wrapped up in a person? Absolutely! While it is true that all women want and deserve to be loved, cherished, respected, and cared for, what they do not want is a man whose very identity, decisions, and life’s motivation are molded by his desire to please a woman.

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Hasani and Danielle Pettiford are life coaches and the co-founders of Couples Academy, a private practice committed to placing couples on the path to fulfillment.