Is it true that we don't like the 'nice guys'?

Women are constantly being scrutinised for liking the 'bad boys', but how much of this ideology is rooted in misogyny?

Sophie Rennie
20th October 2021
Image: IMDb
The nice guy – sweet, sensitive and caring. He’s the character in every tween movie we watched growing up who was secretly in love with the main character, and lent her a shoulder to cry on when the arsehole she fancied inevitably broke her heart. We’ve all heard that the ‘nice guys always finish last,’ but how true really is it?

I catch myself asking my friends ‘where are all the nice guys?’ almost daily. A simple breakdown of my dating history reveals a long line of narcissists, ghosts and to put it simply, boys who just weren’t that nice to me. Yet, I still have to admit that the phrase ‘too nice’ is deeply entrenched in my vocabulary at this point. But being nice is a good thing, and you can never have too much of a good thing, right?

Wrong. A boy smiling just a little too sweetly on his Tinder pictures is enough for me to swipe left. He looks too nice. What is it about a guy showing a genuine interest in us that gives us such a strong gut feeling of repulsion? I’ll confess – I recently ghosted a guy whom I dubbed ‘too nice’ because he gave me quick replies and, yes, it gave me the ick. Yet when a guy wants nothing to do with us it’s enough to have us saying I love you before the first date?

The excitement of the chase is so much more attractive to us than the nice guy.

This leads me to question - when did being nice become a character flaw, synonymous with being pathetic and, I hate to say it, a bit creepy? The nice guy is the guy we want to want, and our parents especially want us to want, but our hearts have other ideas. As much as we don’t like to admit it, we like a challenge. The excitement of the chase is so much more attractive to us than the nice guy.

But is it really the nice guys that always finish last? I can’t help but find a slight problem with that phrase as nothing but a clichéd excuse. I have seen it extensively used by guys as a response to being placed in the friend zone, in an attempt to almost gain pity. It villainizes girls for simply not fancying some boys. Grown men throwing their toys out of the pram, if you must.

Maybe it’s not as simple as ‘we don’t like the nice guys.’ There are just some guys we fancy and others we do not. I have all too often been told to ‘at least give him a chance, he looks nice!’ It is a woman’s right to say no to a guy, and we should not feel guilty about it just because he might be ‘nice’. So next time you reject a guy, for whatever reason, remember that your opinion is valid and no amount of ‘niceness’ can devalue your decision.

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