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The Trouble With Nice Guys
Your friend tells you that she knows this really "nice guy" that she wants to fix you up with. She goes on to talk about some of his finer points, such as his thoughtfulness, generosity and a desire to meet a nice woman and eventually marry and have a family. Your first question goes something like this; "Just how bad looking/desperate is he?" Or perhaps, " If he's so great, why don't you date him?"
When did "nice" become synonymous with "geeky, loser, desperate, boring, ugly," etc? Perhaps it has to do with our cultural role models. Think Errol Flynn, James Dean, The Fonz, James Bond, Jack Sparrow, and actors Collin Farrell and Eddie Murphy- to name a few. What they have in common is that they are all dangerous, risk taking, unpredictable, elusive, aggressive, arrogant, macho- and irresistible to women. In a word, they evoke a feeling of "intensity"- which for many women, is mistaken for chemistry.
When we think of nice guys, adjectives like dependent, conservative, caring and predictable come to mind. We know that these are the marrying kind of guys, but there seems to be an underlying fear that life with them will be bland and colorless and lead to an addiction to romance novels or a steamy affair- in order to once again experience that incredible high that we get with "bad boys." Actually, looks and even first impressions can be very deceiving- and a potentially passionate and interesting guy could slip through your fingers and into the arms of a woman who knows what she wants and knows how to find it.
So, what is a girl to do if she is looking for a good potential mate, father and life partner- all wrapped in a package that exudes the right chemistry? She needs to approach each potential date with an open mind, and be careful not to judge the "book by its cover." Too often women (and men) dismiss someone based on very little knowledge of, or experience with him or her. They take one look, or worse- the person is described using positive (nice) adjectives, and they jump to the conclusion that they must be boring, boring, boring. Just think for a minute about all those "great" guys you know who are married. They seem to have all the qualities you are looking for- and are easy on the eyes and other senses as well. What did their wives know that you need to learn?
Once you have expanded your dating criteria to include nice guys- you will have opened up a whole new world of relationship possibilities. Open your eyes and notice that nice guy at the gym, grocery store, or bank. Offer a smile or exchange a few friendly words. When you are browsing online, stop at some ads you may have clicked past before. Read through the ad and between the lines and consider sending a wink or a nice email if something he said strikes a right chord in you.
Think about it, what have you got to loose if you open your heart and mind to those nice guys out there? Maybe you will waste some time or add a few more dating disasters to your list. Or maybe you will find a nice guy with the wit of Eddie Murphy, the looks of Collin Farrell, the wildness of Jack Sparrow, the dangerousness of James Bond, and/or the passion of Erroll Flynn ? all wrapped around a loving, stable and mature center. Really, what have you got to lose?
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Toni Coleman, LCSW
© Copyright 2008 Antoinette Coleman. All rights reserved.
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