These Things Don’t Make You a “Nice Guy”

These Things Don’t Make You a “Nice Guy”
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Green day single cover
A feminist group I’m part of dug up this old Thought Catalog article from 2014 to laugh at called “Dear Girls Who Are (Finally) Ready to Date Nice Guys: We Don’t Want You Anymore." It’s your typical MRA fanfic about how some dude, who is almost certainly making up virtually the whole thing, took a woman on an expensive dinner date, at which she of course ordered lavish steak and wine, ignored his gentlemanly demeanor and never went on a date with him again. She went back to her “bad boys,” but, now that she’s older and less attractive, is interested in him again. He’s too busy being rich and dating girls in their twenties now…because writing a 1,000-word vengeance piece is exactly how I imagine wealthy, happy people spend their time.

Fanfic like this is literally a dime a dozen, but it did get me thinking about the term “nice guy.” I’m starting to think dudes just literally don’t understand what the term even means, or how the rest of us use it as opposed to their designation of themselves with the status. What you get is a bunch of dweebs eager to award themselves points far in excess of what certain actions are worth. Since I know they won’t listen to a woman, I’m here to help.

** Opening a door for a woman or pulling out her chair does not make you a nice guy. I know you dudes think chivalry is this almost-forgotten thing that women are desperate for us to bring back, but the fact is almost no woman on Earth gives a Trump if you open the door, and she’s not going to be all that grateful if you do. It’s a door. I hold doors for everyone, from old women to guys in Make America Great Again hats. It’s basic human politeness, not a freaking declaration of knightly devotion.

** Being willing to sit and (pretend) to listen to a woman talk for a short span in hope of sex does not make you a nice guy. Women and humans in general expect their companions to not consider spending time with them a chore, and for you to be interested in their lives. Otherwise, what’s the point of a date? The ability to listen to a woman talk about her job or ambitions or whatever is not some impressive feat you have done, and only misogynists are impressed by it.

** Taking a woman to an expensive restaurant on the first date does not make you a nice guy. The probability of either sex or a continued relationship is not based on the dough you drop; I’m sorry television lied to you, but it’s true. If you’re rich enough to blow $300 on a meal with a woman you just met, that’s fine, but expecting her slavish affection for the gesture is dumb. Most women can actually afford to go out to eat without you.

Beyond that, here’s some advice: Don’t take a woman to an expensive restaurant on the first bloody date. You know what women want on a first date? A safe, public place where they can feel safe and get to know you. They don’t want to come to your place for a home-cooked meal. They don’t want to sit in a dark movie theater with you. They don’t want to go to a place where you will use money spent for emotional extortion. Just go to coffee, ya dingus.

** Having an adult life does not make you a nice guy. I know the image of a gold-digger interested only in a man’s wealth is an enduring theme, but unless you can pay cash for a new car without planning ahead, you probably aren’t going to be on those type of women’s lists. Having a job, maintaining a clean apartment and being able to cook simple dishes are not accomplishments unless you were raised by wolves or something. None of these things in and of themselves are points in your favor. Expecting a woman to be impressed because your rent on a two-bedroom is paid and you can make spaghetti shows how little you think of her worth.

So what does make you a nice guy? Caring and respect. That’s it. That’s the whole enchilada. You have to honestly care about and respect who a woman is not as some potential place to put your dick, but as a person with a soul every bit as worthwhile as yours. That is what love actually is. It’s a condition where another person’s happiness is essential to your own, and dating is supposed to help you BOTH find that person.

If you look at dating as some sort of hunting exercise where you use the right bait to get a blowjob, then you’re acting in bad faith. That is not the work of a nice guy, I don’t care how swanky the restaurant is.

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Jef Rouner is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner