Lollie note: The following is an excerpt from a book that I’m currently writing called There Are No Nice Guys: A Collection of Erotic Tales and Life Lessons. Enjoy.
What are you looking for?
It’s always the first question. No chit chat. No getting to know me. Right after matching on a dating app, he just quickly wants to know what it is that I seek. Maybe it’s a fair question. Some dating experts even advise getting this out of the way before meeting up, but for me personally, it’s a trigger.
When a guy asks, “What are you looking for?” so quickly after virtually meeting me, I take offense. I think it means he’s horny now, and he’s hoping I am, too. He can’t be bothered to get to know me, to invest time in talking with me and uncovering that as we speak.
I interpret “What are you looking for?” to mean that he’s hoping I’ll come to his hotel room on the Strip or his condo in Summerlin and let him use me. I won’t. So I answer honestly, truthfully, knowing the consequences.
A nice guy.
Inevitably, we un-match. Here’s why:
There are no nice guys.
Don’t despair. That statement is not as hopeless as it seems, but it is true. Like the “perfect woman,” the idea of the nice guy is a myth. It is a meaningless label that does more harm than good, and we should terminate it.
There are guys, decent men. They are human like we are. They make mistakes like we do. Some guys are nice, sure. Some guys are bad boys. Some guys are sexy. Some guys are charming. Some guys are complicated. Some guys are low maintenance.
Some guys are complete pieces of shit.
I initially thought that there were nice guys and then there was my ideal guy, as though the two were different. In my mind, nice guys are gentlemen. They are respectful of women—of all people, really. They are kind, communicative, mature, and dependable.
My ideal guy, however, well, that is Mr. Right. My ideal guy must encompass all the qualities of the nice guy, but he also has to have the other characteristics that I value personally. He needs to be excruciatingly handsome, stylish, charming, creative, fun-loving, optimistic, etc. To me, there were nice guys—guys I want to date, get to know, spend time with, who show potential to be Mr. Right. I had it all wrong.
There are no nice guys.
In search of some clarity on the definition of the nice guy, I did what any single woman looking for answers does nowadays. I turned to Facebook. The request was simple, directed to women only, “Please define the concept ‘nice guy.'”
I received many responses, of course. Some of them mirrored my own definition of the nice guy, with an emphasis on chivalry and respect. Other women chimed in to say that nice guys are boring and often doormats, that they prefer men with backbones, who speak up, and who are even slightly assholes. There were also a few ladies who warned to beware of nice guys. They’re nice at first, but then once they have lured a woman in, they turn into jerks.
However, it was the women who suggested that the concept of the nice guy is a gray area and purely subjective that made me realize that there are no nice guys. I feel like my Facebook friend, Kathryn, married for 12 years and the mother of two, said it best:
The nice guy doesn’t exist. He doesn’t exist because the nice guy trope is either a self-serving title that a guy gives himself or it’s a title given to him by someone else who isn’t interested in him romantically.
That doesn’t mean genuinely ‘nice’ men don’t exist; they’re categorized incorrectly. I think what most people want is a partner who is balanced. Someone who can be assertive or subdued according to situation. Someone who is thoughtful but not overbearing. Someone who treats others the way they’d like to be treated, without ego or ill intent. Someone who recognizes the value of another person, and encourages them to continue to be who they are. Someone who sees value in a relationship and the power held within it. These aren’t traits of the ‘nice’ guy. These are traits of decent human beings, male or female.
I mean, how amazing is that answer? I love it. And then it dawned on me. I had one of those Oprah-level “a-ha!” moments. My quest to find nice guys should actually be a hunt for connecting with balanced men who see value in people and relationships because that describes who I am as a woman.
I’m done with nice guys. I want to date men who value the connections they establish with others. They should hold dear all relationships, be them romantic, sexual, platonic, professional, or familial. It shouldn’t matter if the connection is a one night stand or an ongoing friendship with a neighbor. Connections, encounters, relationships—they should all be valued and the people involved appreciated.
There are no nice guys. There are only men—simple, flawed men. Some err. Some give. Some take. Some grow. Some remain forever the same. It’s up to each one of us women to decide for ourselves which one of those men is right for us.