How to spot the dreaded "Nice" Guy
“Nice Guys finish last,” goes the saying.
It should say, “Nice Guys become your friend, do you some favours, then call you a bitch when you don’t sleep with them.”
We’ve all seen these dudes at some time or another, blowing up our feeds or creeping around our friends, trying to solicit romance with the dogged insistence of a tax attorney. And while there’s a stereotype surrounding the Nice Guy’s appearance (cargo shorts, fedora, possibly an anime t-shirt), Nice Guys actually come in all shapes, sizes and cultural persuasions.
That said, there are some tell-tale signs to look for, should you wish to distinguish a nice guy from a Nice GuyTM.
An insistence that “All women are perfect”
Women, as most functioning human beings recognise, are people. Some are awesome, some are assholes, and there’s a whole spectrum in between.
The Nice Guy, however, doesn’t see women as people. He sees them as delicate trophies to be set on a pedestal. In his eyes, to consider women anything less than perfect makes you a violent, illiterate scoundrel who probably sells drugs to preps.
Any dude that makes sweeping statements about how much he loves women, or how he’s ashamed to be a man, or how he knows more about feminism than the average female, is just telling people what he thinks they want to hear. Guaranteed NG.
A fixation with history
Something all Nice Guys seem to have in common is an iron-clad belief that they would have done quite well for themselves in medieval Europe. According to the NG, modern society has forgotten the virtues of chivalry and romance, and is thus morally inferior to the courtly days of yore.
Of course, this worldview neatly skims over the fact that medieval knights – to whom the NG so clearly aspires – were little more than armoured Chad-bros themselves. In fact, the whole purpose of the code of chivalry was to moderate the knightly culture of violence and rape.
If an NG actually were to travel back to the Middle Ages, I suspect we’d find the Magna Carta littered with phrases like “maidens only like asshole knights” and “why do nice guys get left in the bardzone?”
Quite in keeping with notion of women as trophies is the belief that they need to be won. To this end, the Nice Guy will try to impress his target by doing what he does best: talking about himself.
Whether it’s about his genius-level intellect, his collection of katanas, or his incredible hacking abilities, the underlying message is always the same: “I am better than you, so please go out with me.”
Or, if the NG in question is talking to another man: “I am better than you, so please don’t compete with me.”
True story: an NG who had a thing for my girlfriend once told me he avoided fights because, if unleashed, he could kill a man with his bare hands. As you can imagine, I promptly declared him the better suitor, before giving him my signet ring and the keys to my bedchamber.
Inappropriately formal language
The Nice Guy knows that he is the only man in the world capable of being a true gentleman. So, when addressing a lady, he will use only the most impressive of words, ably demonstrating his superiority to the unwashed masses of Chad-bros.
A typical exchange:
Nice Guy: Good morrow, fair maiden. Might I enquire as to the attendance of your most incandescent and salubrious self to the domestic celebration occurring this evening? T’would be quite the thrill to gaze upon your prepossessiveness at such a time.
Fair Maiden: What the fuck
Of course, all the Nice Guy has really demonstrated is his willingness to ransack Thesaurus.com.
A persistent interest in D&Ms
The more insidious Nice Guy doesn’t post rants on social media, or start Tumblr accounts dedicated to My Little Pony. He has a longer game in mind.
This NG will cosy up to you and act as if everything you say is fascinating. He’ll ask you about your hopes and dreams, show concern for your problems and generally give the impression that he’s a stand-up guy who genuinely cares about you.
Of course, all of this goes out the window the moment you get a boyfriend, or otherwise make it clear that Mr. Nice Guy isn’t going to get laid. Afterwards, you can expect your previous friendship with NG to be replaced by snide comments, passive-aggressive behaviour and even outright nastiness.
It’s only fair, right? I mean, why else did you think he spent all that time getting to know you? It’s almost as if you thought you were actually friends!
Business major, journalism minor and freelance writer, Joel pretends to be clever at La Trobe University in Melbourne.