You’ve likely seen the short-lived but rather revelatory tumblr, ‘Nice Guys’ of OKCupid. If you happened to miss it, here’s the archive and here’s the premise: someone thought it would be funny to post pics of unattractive, socially awkward guys’ on OKCupid, along with clippings from their profiles talking about how they are “nice guys”… followed by clippings exposing them as sexist or otherwise hateful people. While I wonder what would happen if the same were done with women, the whole charade really got me thinking about the concept of “nice guys.”
The “nice guy” is often anything but. He’s got an agenda (usually a pretty selfish one), and he disguises it under the cloak of “nice guy”-ness.
Let’s paint a little picture of the ‘Nice Guy’: The Nice Guy is a girl’s best friend. He’s always there when she has problems. In fact, he often volunteers his services even when they aren’t wanted. He fancies himself a lady’s closest confidant, yet rages at being in the “friend zone.” This type of guy may seem sympathetic in longing for a relationship with his best friend. But often this same guy only talks to women in hopes of getting laid. So how “nice” of a guy is he?
That’s why, as the tumblr revealed, talking about what a nice guy you are is generally a pretty clear sign that you aren’t. It’s akin to guys who are always going on about how “honest” they are; that either means they’re proud of acting like assholes all the time, or they’re pathological liars. Similarly, the “nice guy” is often anything but. He’s got an agenda (usually a pretty selfish one), and he disguises it under the cloak of “nice guy”-ness.
At The Art of Charm, we’re not opposed to agendas, even ones that might be a little “selfish.” But we do urge men to be aboveboard about their intentions at all times. But the crux of the matter is, no one ever got laid by being a “nice guy.” The Nice Guys of OKCupid fail at creating rapport and sexual tension. They then reach the passive-aggressive conclusion that women don’t like them because they are “too nice.” These are the guys who honestly believe that women want to date assholes.
Every man with a lick of social awareness knows on some level that this isn’t true. Or at least they know that the type of women they want to date won’t be into dating assholes.
So what do women really want? As there are nearly 3.5 billion women on the planet and I’ve only met a fraction of them, it’s hard to say. But people in general tend to be attracted to clarity, purpose and high social value. You can bet that the most socially successful people in the world didn’t get there by mistreating others. Nor did they get there through false, passive-aggressive “niceness,” which ultimately is nothing more than a self-serving power play.
You want to be nice. You also want to be independent and above all, genuine. The ‘Nice Guys’ of OKCupid aren’t just duplicitous and passive-aggressive. They also need validation from external sources, usually women—and these women can smell the desperation on them.
The first thing you need to learn is that if you aren’t satisfied with the current version of yourself, you have to get good at projecting confidence while you’re busting your ass to get there for real. Begging attention off of people, especially by trying to make them feel bad when they don’t give it, is just about the worst social strategy going. And why, as the title of this article asserts, nice guys—on OKCupid or elsewhere—actually deserve to finish last. Not to mention alone.
Jordan Harbinger is a Wall Street lawyer turned Social Dynamics expert and coach. He is the owner and co-founder of The Art of Charm, a dating and relationships coaching company. If you dig this and want to learn more from Jordan and The Art of Charm team, visit theartofcharm.com. You can also interact with Jordan on Facebook.