Dating Dissection 0.4: No More Mr. Nice Guy

Collage by Aylea Skye/ Original Images by Unknown Sources

Collage by Aylea Skye/ Original Images by Unknown Sources

'Nice guys finish last'

Said Leo Durocher, and many others as the phrase echos through history. ‘Nice guys’ are supposedly blossoming later than their brutish counterparts in many manners of life, with love, of course, being one of them.  However, to many millennial women, the notion of a ‘nice guy’ is little more than an antiqued concept. They don’t care where they are 'finishing', they’re more concerned with where they can be found.  It would appear that this scarce species of man is scattered like gold dust among a million grains of sand; they’re not to be found in clubs or bars and they’re certainly not on Tinder. Maybe ’nice guys' are so good at ‘finishing last’ because for long stretches of time they are simply running the race unnoticed. Who knows?

There are very few women that can solemnly state that they haven’t once professed that all they want is a ‘nice guy’. After recurrently dating jerk after jerk, 'fuckboy' after 'fuckboy' women often decide that they don’t care if a man is a little too short or tall, skinny or chubby, a little nerdy, badly dress, as long as he is nice. But after dating that ‘nice guy' that physically scales on the opposite axis to Michelangelo’s David but doesn’t text back, or has a girlfriend, or starts sending explicit sexual images midway through a seemingly pleasant conversation it becomes difficult to fathom that the ‘nice guy’ truly does exist.  He does, in the same way, that nice women do. But with women, dating and sex made dispensable by systems that allow one to simply swipe right, the 'nice guy' is now even more elusive than ever before. The ‘nice guy’ may be truly nice at heart, but with the option of five girls that he can date in a week (two come with the bonus of definite first date sex), he doesn’t need to or consider nurturing a deeper adoration.  The ‘nice guy’ in dating is in some cases the jerk without warrant; he isn’t good-looking, popular or rich enough to treat lovers like expendable commodities or date physically alluring females and so he forms richer and deeper relationships until he somehow gains the power of your archetypal jerk. Perhaps that is what makes the ‘nice guy’ nice. A simple lack of power, believing that he has a catch and so not trying to find anyone better.  The wandering eye is one of the most destructive facets of romantic relationships when you remove this, or they deem it powerless relationships work better on a whole, and so the ‘powerless’ nature of this within the ‘nice guy’ is what can be the driving factor that makes them nice. Give him the tool of power and suddenly he’s looking for a better bone (often to the results of the dog in the fable).

But let's not be cynical the ‘nice guy’ in many cases is truly well, nice; not due to a lack of ability to be a ‘fuckboy', but due to a pleasant disposition and virtuous upbringing. He’s often deemed too nice and a little dull, but it’s a contradictory battle that will always prevail. 

In order to find the ‘nice guy,’ the inverted commas must be removed and preconceived notions of what the nice guy should be must disintegrate. The whole concept of a 'nice guy' in our society is profoundly based on how much social privilege a man has, and maybe this is where we are failing to find and identify earnest goodness within people. It goes without saying that perceptions and preconceptions are based on elements of truth and experience, but it could be argued that men are preconceived ‘nice' or ‘jerks' or ‘fuckboys' before we even get to know them, and perhaps this is why the ‘nice guy’ can sometimes disappoint. 

In looking for the 'nice guy’ we look for a man that isn’t a catch in any other way apart from his nice, caring demeanour, a man that doesn’t excite us particularly (as much as the word nice doesn’t) but radiates security, and that there is a problem within itself. Being categorised in this manner is somewhat unfulfilling to a truly nice guy, as there’s a lack of respect and admiration that everyone craves within relationships and so in a twisted paradox the nice guy does something not so nice to rebel and be noticed, and we start at square one. 
Whether nice guys are in slow extinction due to the modern manners of dating, or simply disregarded due to being so damn nice, or perhaps waiting patiently for women to become tiresome of plain old jerks, they are in some way thriving outside of the archetypal bubble that we place them into. And so women should take off the justly acquired mask of disdain and continue dating with this glimpse of hope.