We all know the current of discourse running through our social media feeds, our text conversations, internet threads and beyond — men bemoan the fact that women just can’t seem to settle down for a “nice guy” like themselves and seek to justify this claim with a gazillion examples of instances where someone is dating a not-so-nice person instead of them, proclaiming boastfully and loudly, “See! See! Women don’t want a nice guy!”
Women, on the other hand, are quite clear about their ideas, their expectations, their desires, and their wants, and a quick glance of many of the women writing here on Medium, especially the feminists, will show that women have no shortage of things to say when it comes to their critiques of men in contemporary society and what they want…if only the men who commit to these practices and say these things were listening, but they wrote off women a long time ago as somehow being not worth listening to, while simultaneously complaining about a lack of action or so much as a date.
Men seem to intuit as wrongly as they do naturally that if they were only just bigger jerks, women would love them. Many are deluded by popular pornography culture into thinking that there are actually men out there who are total slobs, yet, are adored by women the globe over. This isn’t the reality.
Nice guys might even offer up personal testimony, instances when they were indeed very nice guys, they took women on dates, they bought them flowers, they did everything right, yet, still didn’t get the girl. They claim this to be evidence of a fact that reinforces deep-seated sexism that lurks among us, that women inherently, even biologically, don’t want to date nice people.
What these men invariably miss is that it’s not the fact that they’re nice guys that things didn’t work out, it’s the fact that they were expectant nice guys.
To put it in more philosophically descriptive terms, the niceness was only a secondary condition, a conditional property, and instrumental utility of the expectations implied in the niceness — the niceness wouldn’t have happened without the expectation, and once these guys get rejected, they often turn vicious, enraged, degrading, and even violent. They retort, calling women all sorts of degrading names to reclaim their bruised ego and sense of injured pride and merit. Why? Because the expectation of sex or romance was the primary reason for the interaction, and niceness was simply a disguise that masked the true intention of sex. Nice guys aren’t nice, they’re usually imposters wearing a niceness suit.
Let me explain…
Human interactions aren’t transactions. Women aren’t vending machines that we put niceness coins into and sex magically falls out. It’s my observation, and I think many women will confirm this observation, that niceness showed to them by men always seems to come with some form of expectations attached.
To make matters worse, those expectations are never quite clear. Is the guy telling the girl she has pretty eyes just so he can sleep with her, or does he genuinely and authentically think she has pretty eyes? Does the guy who’s offering her a ride when her car is in the shop genuinely want to do this for her — does he do it with his guy friends too, or is it only her, and infused with the expectation of sex or affection? Does he want to be friends? Does he want sex? Does he want money? Will he become angered if he doesn’t get whichever one of these things he wants? These are the real questions that women must ask themselves when they see an overly nice guy who feels that it’s imperative that he communicate just how nice he is.
The one running theme throughout all of this discourse on both sides of the fence is the constant expectation of sex and romantic interactions on the behalf of men, and the intimations of constant deflation of the behalf of women every time they meet what seems like a nice guy who turns out to be anything but nice. He may have mimicked the behaviors of nice people well, but his intentions were far from what he communicated with those behaviors.
Do you know that “expectation of sex,” that women are always talking about? Well, it’s implied in the very statements that men make, when they say things like, “I’ve tried being nice, it doesn’t work!”…what do we think we mean when we say that something ‘works’ in the world of sexual attraction?When men say their tactics — that’s what they are — didn’t ‘work’ that means their little attempt at solving women like some alien puzzle didn’t provide the sex or affection that they desired in a transactional exchange for their time and effort.
If you’re a single guy out there, I can guarantee you, that almost all women hate this, and it’s not just women who hate this, everyone hates this.
Imagine if your guy friends only hung out with you and pretended to be nice to you all the time so they could borrow money from you. That would get pretty annoying pretty quick, wouldn’t it?
We need to stop commodifying women. These men are expressing frustration with the fact that they put the niceness coins into what they view as essentially an organic machine, and sex didn’t fall out — as they expected it to. And they never even notice the most glaring aspect of this whole analogy — that the niceness coins were counterfeit — they weren’t even niceness coins, to begin with.
In the end, it’s not niceness that she can’t stand, it’s the expectation that others do exactly what we want them to do, and then lying about those expectations by pretending to be nice, different, ‘not like other guys,’ and pretending to actually care about them when they don’t.
Let’s recap, many men (but not all men!) try to buy women’s affection using a counterfeit currency of a fake virtue, then they turn around and have the audacity to blame women when their scheme didn’t work. Considering how often criminals blame the police once they’re caught, this actually doesn’t surprise me. We can do better.
So yes, be nice, by all means, be a nice guy, a truly nice guy— just don’t put expectations on other people and then get upset when our expectations — that other people didn’t even agree to in the first place — aren’t met by them. That’s not nice. That’s manipulation. That’s objectification. That’s misogyny…and that’s what people communicate when they seek to communicate their “niceness.”