(Column originally published here.)
It’s only been one week, and I already love fixing you. Not that you’re all broken, per se. I don’t really mean that. But you’re a bit wild-eyed and salivating, like college freshmen — torn between your insatiable thirst for the largest kegger you can find and your obligation to your parental-income-fueled curriculum.
Don’t worry — I’ll lead you straight to the beer every time. Better to ask for forgiveness than permission, right? Don’t answer that.
In all my 36 years, every girl that I have pursued has always turned me down because they just want to be friends. I recently started asking around about why that is, and the overwhelming response is: I am too nice. I’m an amazing friend but just too nice to be in a relationship.
Really? That’s why? Don’t girls want a nice guy? Apparently not.
I find it really impossible to be mean or even not as nice as I am. So, my question is, how does a guy go about being less nice? What’s the correct balance between mean and nice to get a girl?
- Too Nice
Dear Too Nice,
I hate to say this (but if I really hated to say it, I suppose I wouldn’t, would I?), but someone isn’t being straight up with you. Many someones, in fact. But it ain’t gonna be me.
Look, we girls know how to universally reject a man. Have you ever heard “It’s not you, it’s me,” “I’m not ready for a relationship” and “You’re just too nice”?
Yeah, that’s us, letting you go easy. Just because we’re not into you doesn’t mean we’re going to whack you silly with the bitch bat. If you’ve been hearing the same watered down refrain from trusted confidantes, we can translate for you — it is you.
You’ve spent the last 36 years rubbing nice and passive together, and I know why you aren’t creating a spark. It’s not that you’re merely “too nice.” It’s also that you’re lacking a pair. Of balls.
Women do want nice men, we do. We think you’re plenty nice when you open doors and carry heavy boxes for us (and yes, chivalry still feels marvelous, even to feminists), obliterate cockroaches, clear your pubic hair from the bathtub or refrain from sticking an expectant Mr. Happy in our backs at 5:30 a.m. on a Saturday. We like when you put in the effort to be good to us. Those actions make you very nice men indeed.
We also think you’re pretty swell when you tell us no, you don’t want to eat at that snooty French bistro again. We’re cool with you telling us that it’s bromance time — not cuddling on the couch in front of another Katherine Heigl romcom — that you really need right now. And while we love that you want to try that new pretzel dip position we read about, we’re also relieved when you admit you just prefer us on top.
You haven’t been completely misled. We ladies do have a soft spot for nice. Nice gestures, nice times, nice treatment, nice attitudes, nice habits. But you shouldn’t take that to mean we want a nice, pliable man.
Simply put, we want your spine as unyielding as we want your erection. So don’t go tumbling into a potential paramour’s lap like a spilled $15 drink at a velvet rope club. Have some self-respect, for gawdsakes.
Ask yourself one question: Do you love yourself? Then love yourself first. When you love you — really, truly love you — chances are, she’ll love you, too.
In the meantime, grab a jersey, and get in The Game. The Game is still alive and well, and weaving its way through singleton circles everywhere. And you have to play it. No, man, it’s actually imperative that you play it. Give a woman everything she wants when she wants it, and she’s not going to want you, that’s for certain. So have a little self-respect above all else, and think about you for a second or two in the process.
The path to a woman’s heart is circuitous at best, and full of blind corners. It’s like The Legend of Zelda. It’s a deep, dark, foreboding maze, where the center is known but rarely seen. But if you reveal too much too soon in your path to the jeweled prize, you’ll quickly be right back at the entrance — one life down, wielding your sword in front of you like a lovelorn fool.
You have to play The Game. You’re not a fallen tree for a pretty lumberjack to catch. You’re a human being with an objective in mind — to win at The Game of Love. Putting all your cards on the table isn’t the way to take home the big bucks. It’s a game of inches. A little here, a little there and of course, a little more after that.
But her wish is not your command, no matter how badly you want her to rub your belly.
Many things are nice, but extremes are rarely among them. Whether it’s 100 percent you or 100 percent her, a monopoly never amounts to a winning equation. So scale back your ratios some, and go for golden.
Do you need me to wipe your tears and make it all better? Send an e-mail to email@example.com, or send a message to me on Facebook or Twitter. I’ve got Dora the Explorer Band-Aids and a big heart.