Why Being Nice is a Curse for Guys

Dear Relationshipper,

My husband's best friend, "Joe", is a really nice guy.  He's in his 30's, has a good career, doesn't do drugs, has never been married, isn't gay, is thoughtful and kind.  So why can't he find a girlfriend?  I've just about run out of single friends to set him up with and I hate seeing him so depressed.  My friends who have gone out with him say he's really nice but just "too bland" and they want to be just friends.  No spark, no chemistry.  I've tried to get specifics from them but they all say the same thing - just too nice and dull.  He's not an ugly troll, either - he strongly resembles the actor Gregory Harrison.

We always invite him to any gatherings and he's able to carry on conversations with anyone.  Our kids love him.  Our dogs love him.  Our families love him.  My friends and other women want platonic relationships with him.

Is this type of guy unusual or more commonly found than I realize?  What can we do to help him out?  He wants very much to settle down with a wife and start a family and can't figure out what he's doing wrong.

I don't understand it either.  So many women are dying to find a decent guy to start a life with but he's a prime candidate who keeps getting passed over.  He's in a business where he meets a lot of people and seems to have no trouble establishing good contacts.

Do you have a magical formula that we haven't thought of?

North Carolina

Dear Perplexed,

Ah, the “Nice Guys Finish Last” conundrum.  This is one phenomenon that I take very much to heart, because I absolutely adore nice guys, and I have to admit it gets my dander up when I see good guys get passed over because they aren’t “bad boys” or exciting enough for our single lady friends.

I think the whole debacle comes down to two issues:  #1. Women love to try to change men.  It’s often an obsession for many women.  Women love bad boys because they feel they firstly, will feel like a million bucks if they’re able to capture this wild, heartless beast, and secondly, they will be able to mold him into exactly what they want after that.  It’s like thrill seeking for romantics.

#2.  Women like independent, confident men because it reminds them of a strong caveman who shows his inherent ability to be a strong, capable hunter.  If a man is too sensitive, kind and caring, women instinctively feel that he won’t have the chops to go out and kill a buffalo.

Luckily, these days men don’t need to kill buffalo to keep their family alive.  But, a little work on Joe’s confidence level might help him.  Of course, I don’t suggest he change who he is, at all – I’m sure there is a perfect woman out there for him.  But if he wants to get a little more attention from ladies, becoming a little more expressive and friendly while appearing slightly unapproachable, won’t hurt.

Without meeting Joe it’s tough to know out exactly what he’s doing to put women off, but he might try being a little more forward.  Have him approach women with confidence.  At the same time, suggest he be a little more aloof, rather than the genuine guy he is.  And by aloof, I mean he should be more guarded – perhaps he is too kind, too fast.  Again, I think being a nice guy is never a bad thing – but it’s not terrible if he develops his macho side.  Women like a little mystery.  If at first he hides his inner beauty, he’s not being untrue to himself, he is simply doing a mating dance to impress the ladies.

I do hope Joe finds true love soon!  I'm sure he will.

Don't forget to send your questions to: lisa@relationshipper.com


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