Unfortunately, the media still doesn’t understand “nice guys”

One of my pet peeves is how the media still has no grasp on the concept of “nice guys”. A few weeks back, I read a reprint of an article on CNN, which was all about how some girl was upset that she can’t seem to find a nice guy. Then it went on to ridicule every guy in the world because SHE keeps picking “bad boys” when she really wants a “nice guy”. I wrote a response that got a lot of “likes” on CNN, where I essentially stated that the reason she is never going to find a nice guy is because she looks for bad guys and then blames nice guys for not being easier to find. You don’t find what you’re not looking for.

The interesting thing was a CNN writer contacted me and wanted to interview me about my thoughts on this for an article she was going to write. She never got back to me, but interestingly enough, her “article” that she was going to write eventually appeared on CNN. Here it is, by Stephanie Chen. As I never got to comment before she wrote her story, I definitely have a few things to say about this particular issue and the very concept of nice guys in general, so here goes:

This article pretty much proves to me that mass media is never going to understand the concept of nice guys because it’s a lot like sending a French chef to write an article about Arabic pottery. They don’t know anything about the topic, so trying to be the archaeologist on a nature dig is never going to get the real story. It’s just going to get more and more people confused.

This article shows the problem immediately in that it goes to sources that are not nice guys to explain why nice guys need to be more like them in order to succeed. One of the interviewees wrote a book on how to “score babes”. Yeah, that’s going to really indicate to the diminishing numbers of “nice guys” how they should interact with women in order to do whatever it is they think nice guys are really intending to want to be doing with women. Just because Captain Kirk slept with a bunch of green alien girls in Star Trek doesn’t mean that every member of the Federation can only succeed by taking a “Be like James T. Kirk” seminar on interspecies dating. Okay, I’ll try to keep away from the geek references….

Part of the problem with these essays on why nice guys fail is this belief that we’re all failing because they don’t see us in clubs trying to pick up women like the rest of the bad boys who seem to get a lot of action. Maybe we’re nice guys because that’s something we don’t normally do. If our purpose was to do anything to get a little action, then I’m going to go out on a limb, but that’s probably going to remove the very nature of what makes us part of being nice guys in the first place.

If women are really interested in finding nice guys, I’m sorry but it’s really up to them to go looking for them. They’re not going to find them at clubs. Sorry, but that’s now where they hang out. Most nice guys wouldn’t last a half hour at a club because we’re the ones who feel really awkward because we’re alone, and our usual nature isn’t to become the life of the party at a party where we’re not normally invited. The sad thing is: I’ve had this conversation with a lot of women who are constantly looking for “nice guys”, and they never get it. Oh, they say they get it, and they nod appreciatively, but they always go back to their ways and end up with the guys they can’t understand how they always end up with. I’d pull out my hair in frustration, but there’s not a lot of it left these days, so I have to be careful about that.

Yet, the media keeps reporting that in order for “nice guys” to do well, they have to stop being nice guys, or do things the “other guys” do in order to not be seen by women as “nice guys”. In other words, women looking for nice guys will not go after a nice guy, so you have to pretend to be a bad guy in order for a woman to see you as the nice guy you are. Does any of this sound a bit dysfunctional?

So, what’s the solution? Well, if you’re a woman, the solution is so freaking simple but you’ll NEVER go there. I’ll go out on a limb here but MOST women have guy friends they confide in and consider really nice guys. Well, instead of asking those “nice guys” where to find a nice guy, look right at them right now. There they are. They’re right in front of you. Probably liking you but to afraid to say anything because they figure you’ll stop being their friend. But there they are. And they’ll be there until you either notice them or someone smarter than you notices them and then you start to wonder why you could never find someone like them.

For guys, well, if you’re a nice guy, do what I did. Give up. It’s not worth the hassle. It’s a lot less of a headache when you don’t put yourself out there trying to pretend to be something you’re not. I’m a nice guy, and I’m happy with what I am. I don’t really need to “score” or find anyone to achieve personal happiness. Sure, if the right person came along, or I was friends with the right person and she noticed me, that would be great. And we’d live happily ever after.

But if that doesn’t happen, I’m not going to worry about it. But I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I’m not going to be worrying about you either. If you can’t figure out where to find a nice guy, you probably don’t deserve one in the first place.

Author of Innocent Until Proven Guilty and 15 other novels. Writer, college professor and computer game designer.

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