Mr. Nice Guy

I am at a bar with my friend Hello Kitty Chick, who gets her nickname because her pretty face happens to be as wide as a pie. When we squeeze past the crowd to get to the bartender, a 40-something man says to her, "Hey, beautiful," in a drunken slur. Hello Kitty gives him an uninviting "you're so lame" smile. We continue our way toward two empty stools.

"Women just don't like nice guys!" drunken lame-o yells out loud. He tilts his head back and gulps the rest of his beer. Maybe they just don't like you, I think.

He has a rough beard to match his gravelly voice. His face is ugly in the sense that it holds a bitter expression—the face of someone who blames everyone else for his misery, the face of unhappiness. I don't believe he's a nice guy for one second.

Nice guys don't get drunk and yell out their insecurities in public. Nice guys don't lump "women" into one big category and make self-pitying generalizations.

I get a lot of letters from self-proclaimed nice guys. The theme of their letters can be boiled down to "I am fairly good-looking and fit. I am kind to women, yet I have a lot of trouble getting dates. The women I am attracted to end up with guys who treat them like shit. Yet they are always saying that they want to meet a nice, caring man. How come I don't count? What am I missing?"

Sounds like a catch-22, but really, I don't think it's that simple. I can't speak for all women since I don't know what they want. Hell, I don't even know what I want sometimes. But I think I'm safe in saying that no woman likes being with an asshole. The only reason a woman would go out with a jerk is if she's drawn to something else about him—maybe he's very rich; maybe he's very smart; maybe he's Freddie Prinze Jr. Lucky is the woman who ends up with a man who's all that and is nice to her. But unhappy is the woman who goes out with a man who is not nice. Her friends will hear her complaining endlessly about his bad behavior—how he ignores her, how he disrespects her, how he wants to have sex with other women. Relationships like that are what keep therapists and Jerry Springer in business.

Hello Kitty, who recently broke up with a bad boy, says this: "People want respect; people want to be treated nicely. But when I say, 'He's too nice,' I'm not talking about the respect I'm getting from the guy. I'm talking more about his passivity, his willingness to go along with everyone else's wishes."

I agree. Guys like that are about as exciting as oatmeal.

Many guys are also guilty of passing up nice women. Maybe they spend too much time lusting after women who won't give them the time of day. Most guys are attracted to beauty first and foremost, and often they end up in a losing chase. These are the guys who don't realize that physical beauty is not the same thing as sex appeal. A truly nice guy will know that a plain-looking woman can be ravishing in bed, that love and respect encourage a woman's sexiness, and that generalizations are usually wrong.

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