Dear “Nice Guys” Who Are At the End of Their Rope: You Actually Aren’t That Nice.


You tell us that you’re nice guys, and it’s our fault that you can’t seem to hold our attention.

You tried to prove that chivalry wasn’t dead by holding the door open for us and by paying for an incredibly expensive dinner we didn’t ask for when we were in the bathroom, so we couldn’t even offer to split the bill. You looked disappointed when I squeezed past you to get into the doorway of the popular, crowded café – what, you’re angry I didn’t thank you making sure the door didn’t slam in my face? Would you be upset if there was a man behind you, and he didn’t offer thanks? Would you have held the door for a man in the first place?

I probably shouldn’t have mentioned the ex on the first date, but that should set off warning bells in your head anyway. Maybe I’m not over him, and maybe I claim to be, but anyone keeping score at home could have told you to chalk it up to a frustrating evening and just let me go. The wine I was drinking kept my mind from wandering back to the ex who just wouldn’t stop texting me. The steak was to show you I wasn’t “that girl” who ordered a salad; I was the girl who genuinely wanted you to like me.

And when I realized that I just couldn’t wrap my head around dating the guy in front of me, I tried to make a graceful exit. How graceful it actually was shouldn’t be a matter for discussion, and it shouldn’t be an excuse for you to insult my choices in men. Aren’t you supposed to be a nice guy, after all?

On that note, Mr. Nice Guy, let’s talk about how wonderful you were to me. Sure, you listened to me talk, and gave me your full attention. You say you didn’t expect anything in return, but you clearly expected a goodnight kiss and a second date, since you’re so still so upset about this date days, weeks, months later. If you were really a nice guy, you’d understand that this wasn’t working for me, drown your disappointment in a beer with your buddies tomorrow night, and try another date with another girl next weekend.

You think you get it, explaining my insecurities as a reason for me to consider you once more, when in reality, it just makes you as disgusting to me as the self-proclaimed jerks you hold yourself so highly against. At least with those men, I knew what I was getting myself into. And while we’re on the topic, who the hell are you to judge my stretch marks and sagging skin? You’re in your thirties and still can’t manage to shave without cutting yourself. Your belt never matches your shoes. You’re so proud of your life accomplishments, but I’ve managed to balance my checkbook and my social choices. Go ahead and show off that fancy new car of yours. You’ll be riding in it alone, you know.

As the insults keep coming, my suspicions keep rising. If you know where I’ve been, why did you want to date me in the first place? If you’re so convinced that I don’t need a nice guy, why are you still dwelling on my meager existence? If you’re such a simple guy, find a nice simple girl who’s never dated anyone in her life and will dote on you like a housewife from the ‘50s. They opened doors for women and paid their dinner bills back then – they also discouraged married women from having careers and you know, living their lives. Times were simpler back then.

If you’re so convinced that the only reason I’m interested in you is because I’m washed up, maybe you should step back and re-evaluate your own perfect life with the little accomplishments you’re so proud of. Maybe you’d notice that I’ve grown up and moved on, too, and realized that I was looking for someone I could share my life with, not my bed with. I wasn’t expecting you to be sitting by the phone for me – but since I called you, clearly you’re not finding that “nice girl” you’re looking for, either. I’m glad I’ve taught you some lessons by now, but it’s clear you’ve still got some learning to do.

Bottom line – I thought I was ready to date you, but judging by your frustration, you were never ready to date me. Stop dwelling on my own emotional baggage and learn to unpack your own. You’re not nice, honey, you’re bitter. Stop pushing for pity as The Nice Guy, and start actually becoming one.