Jade Exposes the Fallacy of "The Nice Guy's Dilemma"
[Riffed by ]
Apologies to "Joe" - apparently this was submitted by a Steve Seversen, and erroneously credited to him. Joe pointed out this
mistake and we prefer to give appropriate credit to those we riff. The original article (in all its whinging, self-pitying glory) can be found at Joe's own site at:
The Nice Guy's Dilemma
Joetown, February 19, 2000
Observation: women hate nice guys. It's absolutely true, and don't deny
it. Nice girls don't like nice guys,
and you know it. Evidence: Remember the incredibly gorgeous girl in high school?
Remember the loser guy she was dating?
He was probably some jock, but he definitely wasn't a nice guy. And think
to college - think of the girl in your psych
class who is just amazing. She's smart, funny, outgoing, and is well
beyond beautiful. Is she single? Are you kidding? That's her boyfriend
sitting next to her, the asshole frat guy with the Amercrombie baseball cap.
Let's face it, guys, women don't like us. Not if we're nice, anyway.
Now, I understand that this entire rant here is
subjective, so I should in all fairness clarify my terms. When I refer to
"nice girls," I think my standards are pretty universal. Physical beauty,
intelligence, sense of humor, creativity, and style come together to
combine a general niceness factor, and that's what I'm talking about.
And when I refer to "nice guys," I'm referring to guys who basically have
their shit together. They're smart, they study a lot and work hard, and
they try to be generally nice to everybody. They're friendly, polite, and
they like their mothers.
Here's your basic test to see whether or not a guy is nice: Tell the
subject about this thing you heard that was really rude. If the subject
laughs and says, "Dude, that rocks. I wish I could be that mean," you
know he's not a nice guy.
But women love him. That's the true defining characteristic of an
asshole. Great women date losers. They LOVE assholes. But they stay away
from nice guys like the plague.
My friend Phil and I have given this
problem a telling name: The Nice Guy's Dilemma. In an effort to discover
why the Nice Guy's Dilemma exists in the first place, I decided to go to
the source: I found some nice girls and asked them why in the hell they
were being so stupid.
My expectation was that the girls I talked to would disagree about why
the Nice Guy's Dilemma exists. I even expected some to deny that it
exists at all. To my surprise, not only did every single girl I talked to
agree that women
are largely attracted to assholes, but with only minor variation did
they disagree about why.
Without any doubt, nice guys in today's college environment are the
victims of a massive conspiracy.
Women are attracted to excitement. They crave drama and suspense in a
relationship. The nice guy can't offer these things, because he is
inherently unexciting. The nice guy will always be there for you, and
will always have a shoulder to lean on.[Is that ever an understatement. The "nice guy" will wrap himself around
your leg, vowing never to let you go. He worries when you're out with your
friends. He does "nice" things for you only to throw them up in your face
later, which tells you that the act of kindness was really a spiderweb of
Where the hell is the excitement in that? College
women are looking for a relationship that is reckless; they want a
boyfriend who will be just a little too daring. They want somebody who
will frustrate and challenge them.
I don't know why, but it's true. My friend Kristen suggested that in a way, all women are looking for a
challenge. It's a maternal instinct, she says, to seek out the problems
in a guy and try to fix them. Women, she says, are attracted to asshole
guys because they think that they can fix them.
Women are inherently social workers.
Nice guys don't present a challenge, because they don't have the same
readily apparent problems for women to want to fix. The truth, of course,
is that even the nicest of guys has personality issues that run extremely
Nice guys choose to conceal these flaws, of course, because we think that
women will find us unattractive if they know that we're not perfect.
If we only knew the truth, that women actually like character flaws because
they want to fix those problems. My friend Tara agreed with my summary:
Women are inherently social workers.
So there you have it: A clear explanation of why women choose to date
assholes instead of nice guys. Nice guys aren't nearly as exciting or
dramatic as assholes, and we don't present any flaws for women to want to
fix, either. Basically, we're fucked.
So how do nice guys get around this dilemma? How do we overcome the
problem of not being rude and arrogant? Fortunately, it appears that time
is on our side. "They're just getting it out of their system," said Kristen.
Women apparently go through a phase in their early twenties in which they
crave the experience of a reckless dating relationship. My friend Julia
explained that women are afraid that they'll suddenly be 40 years old and
married without ever having dated some reckless punk like John Travolta
No girl wants to marry Travolta's character, but they all want to date him for at least a little
while. I can testify to this fact from personal experience: An
ex-girlfriend once said that the reason she thought we should end our
relationship was that it was "too stable." The logic that once seemed
flooded with bullshit is now crystal clear.
So apparently, all we have to do is wait. Sometime in their late twenties
or early thirties, women start to think more about permanent relationship
status. Sometime in their thirties, women start to think rationally.
They begin thinking about marriage and children, and then it suddenly
hits them that they need a stable, nice guy to date, not an asshole. The
evidence for this shift is obvious: You don't see many thirty-year old
guys running around with Amercrombie sweaters and baseball caps, making
plans to get "totally wasted" this weekend.
And if you do see those guys, you notice that they're single, unlike in college,
where they've got their selection of the best girls on campus. So buckle
in, nice guys, and get ready for the ride. Prepare to fly solo for
another few years, and just be there when this magical change happens in
the gender that makes no sense.
Or, if you're like me and refuse to wait for some mythical common sense
to befall our female counterparts, you can try Plan B: Be an asshole.
Just be sure to drop by Abercrombie for your costume.