5 Stereotypes All Women Get So Wrong About The 'Nice Guy'

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We live in a world of extremes. Every type of label continues to take on increasingly bloated proportions, which only serves to distort the original definition. 

For example, my mother, once a true flower child who only didn’t reach Woodstock because she and her friends got stuck in traffic, still claims she’s a feminist. At the same time, she despises the new and often militant nature of the feminist movement, which many have taken to calling “Femi-Nazism.” 

Feminism is about choice,” she says. “If we’ve reached the point where women are shaming or even hurting other women for choosing to be stay-at-home moms, we’ve become blatant hypocrites.”

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Extremism seems to permeate everything. There was once a time when the “nice guy” label was 100% positive. It couldn’t possibly be construed as anything even remotely negative, no matter what the context. But as is the case with any label these days, if it’s overused and abused, exaggeration kicks in, thereby leading to silly myths and assumptions.

Given the sheer number of questions surrounding the “nice guys finish last” theory, I think it’s long past time for clarification.

Here are 5 stereotypes women get wrong about the nice guy:

1. Nice guys have ulterior motives that aren’t actually “nice”

No, see, if this was the case, they wouldn’t be nice. The original title is just plain incorrect. The unfortunate part about this particular myth is that some women believe that all men have ulterior motives that aren’t “nice.” Given this line of reasoning, it’s actually impossible for the “nice guy” label to exist and at this point, ladies might just shrug and say, “Okay then, there’s no such thing as a nice guy.”

Which is undeniably one of the most bitter and depressing statements any woman can make.

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2. Nice guys have no backbone and are bitter toward women

The extremist situation is on vivid display here: The nice guy respects women, so he listens to them speak, holds doors and coats, is a shoulder to lean on, smiles and says nice things, etc. Over time, this has snowballed into something quite different: The nice guy lets a woman walk all over him. He can’t make decisions on his own, constantly defers to the woman, has no strong opinions on anything, and is, essentially, a doormat.

No. A doormat is a doormat; doesn’t mean he’s a nice guy. Nice guys are simply men who respect women and there is no “nice guy” prerequisite that says you have to be a softie. Period.

And what’s this mess about being so extremely bitter? There are some points in this 7 Reasons Why Nice Guys Finish Last piece that boggles the mind. A nice guy isn’t nice if he harbors deep feelings of resentment toward the fairer sex.

3. Nice guys are borderline gay

I’ve been hearing this recently and again, we’re talking about extremes. In response to the increasing sexual and gender confusion, there’s a knee-jerk reaction to embracing stereotypical male and female roles. In other words, to combat the rising tide of “I have no idea what gender I am and you’re not allowed to have a problem with that,” the age-old stigmas are actually seen as positives. In other words, if you’re a guy, you’re supposed to like it when things blow up, you’re supposed to be messy, you’re supposed to care more about your buddies than your girl, and you’re supposed to be a selfish slob. That’s “manly.”

The nice, clean, respectful, intelligent man may as well be a woman. That slippery slope is annoying, isn’t it?

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4. Nice guys make for better friends than lovers

You hear it all the time: Guys complaining that if they’re “nice,” they enter the dreaded friend zone in record time. They’re the ones the girl comes to when she’s feeling down and when she needs someone to listen to her.

The problem here is that girls arguably need this more than men; they often heavily rely on their friends to see them through rough patches. Guys just tend to brood in solitary. Women are different creatures and they really value their friends, so there’s nothing wrong with being a girl’s friend or confidante.

But is this not what you want in a partner? Wouldn’t you want to be able to come home and tell him anything, and he can always make everything better? You’re only seeing the foundation, my female friends. You’re not seeing what could be built…

5. Nice guys are no good in bed

This is probably the most obvious. The idea – not entirely unfounded, by the way – is that the bad boy can give a woman the ride of her life, while the nice guy is simply too respectful and is therefore incapable of rocking her world.

However, women will be the first to say that great sex only occurs when there’s a mind-blowing attraction that lies beneath the standard sexual heat. Sure, the bad boy can do it once or twice, but the nice guy who loves, understands, and cares is the one who will ultimately introduce her to new heights of ecstasy.

Of course, the elephant in the room is the fact that a man still has to have sexual prowess, whether he’s “nice” or not. If you’re a dud, labels won’t matter and frankly, despite the misogynistic overtones, this nice guy manifesto of sorts has some primal truths all men should recognize.

That’s just about it. The encouraging part is that despite all the negativity, even though we’ve finally reached a stage where girls are advising their friends to avoid nice guys, the reality remains. A new study from earlier this year shows that in fact, nice guys don’t finish last. And why? Because they’re nice guys and it’s a positive label.

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Ben Dutka is a  writer, editor, and journalist. He has over 18 years of experience in both print and digital publications.

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