I’m your biggest problem, and I’m not even your competition. (or why Nice just doesn’t cut it)

Okay, nice guy, let’s talk about one of your problems. I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and it’s time for you and I to discuss an issue. I’ve been reading that girls don’t seem to be responding to how nice you are. Now I’m going to assume you are just a normal nice guy (small letters) rather than a Nice Guy (capital letters) which throws into the assumption that you’re not a complete douche who thinks he should get brownie points for not actually raping women in crowded places. That’s right, I’m going to make the foolish assumption that you’re not actually a complete asshole.

NOW! The issue at hand is best defined by the sentence, “Hey, I’m nice and helpful to girls, why can’t I get the ladies?” Allow me to demonstrate why this is with an actually story from my own life.

Last week, while working at the store I work at, the 3rd best looking girl I have seen all year walked into my store. No insult to the other ladies I have met this year is intended, but unless you tick a couple of boxes then you are going to have to take 4th place or lower. I have been accused of having some specifics in my tastes, but some things are universal. She was a genuinely lovely little thing. Now, there are two things to consider A) she was so young that the phrase “literally half my age” came to mind and B) she was looking for some items that my store sells and not a guy twice her age drooling over her. I try not to be a creepy motherfucker, and once a month when the stars align, I actually succeed. This was one of those times.

I went over to talk to her and offer assistance, since that’s my job and it was a pleasant task at that moment. I’m nice and pleasant to everyone, but this was a special case so even without trying I amped it up a bit. As it turned out, I could help her find some things and we got to talking a little because she wanted to know if Product A was better or should she take Product B. We discussed a few things and if I were ten years younger, and single, and a man, I would have TOTALLY* asked her out. However, I didn’t actually want her beyond the lizard brain going WOWZA! I had no desire for her. She wouldn’t understand my cultural references (which you’d think would stop bothering me since no one ever does), she probably wouldn’t like to do the things I like to do, and I would feel mildly silly being with her since she could easily be mistaken for my daughter. However, I flirt as a background action because I can’t help it. She smiled, and laughed at my stupid jokes, so she was responding in a way. Thing is, she wasn’t responding with attraction, she was responding because someone very good at his two jobs (knowing the store and flirting) was being good at his job at her. Again, had I been younger, and single, and a man…
*No, probably not really

Here is where this becomes a problem for any other guy who comes along. Are you as good at flirting as I am? Do you read body language like an old school card player? Can you be as helpful and clever as I can? Do you “haz mad skillz” with a Z? Because someone who isn’t even in competition with a 19 year old guy, just blew you out of the water. That’s one of the main problems you will encounter so long as you continue to have nothing more to offer than “I’m nice.” Hell, I’m nice, and clever, and can adjust my comments to what seems to be working best at that moment, and I can talk about subjects ranging from Indian food to did I think Alesana’s last album was as good as the others. I also paint, dabble in photography, and I write novels and movie reviews. I’m also, still, a good looking guy who clearly used to break hearts by crossing the room. Genuinely wishing no disrespect, what else are you bringing to the table?

Nice doesn’t cut it, nice is something she lives with. Nice is the funky baseline by which her life is judged. She gets nice every day and in a wide variety of sizes and colors. Hell, even guys who have no real interest in her are falling over themselves to be nice to her. Not because we want her, but because she’s attractive and we like pretty things. Before I even found out whether she was a human with a personality, I knew I wanted to be nice to her. If she was stupid or rude, she’d still be worth looking at. As it turned out, she was a perfectly lovely creature with a brain and a sense of humanity, which improved things for the lizard brain but left the higher brain to sigh wistfully to itself.

Nice has never been enough. Nice won’t even get you a seat at the table. Nice is the barest of bare minimums. Nice comes right after “has a pulse” on most people’s list of requirements after all. You need to offer more.

You need, above all else, to make an effort.

We’re not going to go into Male Gaze, or Objectification, or even allowing women to work. You’re not ready for feminism yet. This isn’t even a feminist issue, anyway. This is troubadour shit. This is romantic poets territory. I’m telling you these things because somewhere along the line we’ve forgotten to tell people the very basics of how dating works.

Simply put, you’re not entitled to a hot girl. You’re not entitled to any girl, or any guy for that matter. If you want a relationship (whatever the term relationship means for you at this moment) you’re going to have to work for it and you’re going to have to understand that there is stiff competition. There is completion from people like me, who aren’t even actually in the running but are just keeping our hand in because we like the feel of the game.


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