A Cured Hopeless Romantic's Take On Where All The Nice Guys Have Gone

by Jonathan Ovalles

I am a hopeless romantic and I have no problem admitting it. I'm one of the quixotic fools who still believes in unrequited love -- that there is a soul mate for everyone, that true love exists. What I have a problem doing, is calling myself a "nice guy."

I know it's an oxymoron, but bear with me, and please read the entire article before you write me off as just another chauvinistic, angry guy talking about something he obviously knows nothing about. I'm just sharing here and, quite honestly, I would love to be proven wrong.

First of all, even if I were a nice guy, I wouldn't call myself one, because I think that if you have to constantly remind yourself, or tell yourself that you are a nice guy, you aren't.

So let's just agree that I am not a nice guy, but by no means am I a blatant assh*le or anything like that. (Sure, sometimes I act like one, but who doesn't have their moments?) But, as I said, I'm not a "nice guy" because even though I wasn't finishing last, I sure as hell wasn't finishing first.

You see, the hopeless romantic in me is still a gentleman, and still believes in doing chivalrous acts or doting on a girl I like, just to see her smile. The other part of me got really tired of doing those things and just being her BFF.

You can say that I've changed over the years; I've been molded by this infantile series of events we call Millennial dating.

I wear the façade of a nice guy, releasing glimpses of my inner romantic at opportune moments, but underneath is a cunning and ruthless man with a voracious appetite. I crave love and connections just as much as ever, I just go about getting them in a different way than I used to.

I've been conditioned, trained -- not by women, as it takes two to tango, but by the game of dating. And if I'm being honest, I like the new me; he gets hurt less.

You see, I used to be a nice guy -- the nicest. And when I was a nice guy, girls flocked to me -- to turn me into their best friend, or to tell me about what their assh*le boyfriends did to them this time, or to cry on a safe shoulder when those hot guys from the bar they spent the night with never called.

I got tired of it, so I stopped being that guy... and lo and behold, now I'm the one making girls cry, err, I mean dating them.

I can honestly say that my most successful relationships were the result of me, quite literally, being the opposite of a nice guy, a "bad boy." I turned myself into this mysterious, charismatic, sexually dominant man whom Lord Byron would be proud of. I became a challenge and a project for girls, and they ate it up.

I was no longer the overly available, timid, emotionally open nice guy; I was an aggressive, assertive, incredibly confident guy who made his sexual desires quite apparent, quite quickly.

It worked so well, that I stopped believing a nice guy could act this way; they just aren't self-centered enough.

So now let's take a stroll down memory lane to a girl I was dating in 2012. She was the perfect girl, and it was love at first sight. For the life of me, I couldn't understand how this girl even gave a guy like me a chance. But I was assertive, and I went for it, and it worked.

Everything about this girl captivated me; she was smart, funny, athletic, intellectual, a total free spirit, fiercely independent and absolutely gorgeous on top of it all.

She had the most amazing eyes, when I looked into them, it was as if something pierced my very heart, and then she would smile, and I'd melt inside. I was head over heels.

I never told her, but I truly believed she would be the one, and so I changed for her. I dug up the nice guy within me, let the hopeless romantic run its course. And so naturally, she broke up with me.

She said that I was too good for her. I didn't understand; I had stopped being an assh*le. I was a perfect gentleman, doting on her, never missing a text or call, seeing her every chance I got.

I couldn't understand where I went wrong and it crushed me. I was mentally, physically and emotionally shattered.

In the end, she was right, I was too good. Not for her, but in general.

Allow me to rephrase: I was too nice.

And so, I went back to being the "bad boy." What ensued, in an attempt to move on, was a string, a rather long one, of quick flings, random hookups and one nighters.

For about eight months, I tried moving on with all the Sydneys, Chelseas, Laurens and whatever the hell else their names were.

And then I reached the tender age of 23 (damn you blink-182) and for some stupid reason, I decided it was time to settle down again. It was time to be who I really was, a nice guy who would court a wonderful girl.

Yeah, that worked really well.

I tried, with four separate girls over the last couple of months, to be a romantic, nice guy who would court them and date them. I would do exactly what so many girls had told me they wanted from a guy.

Each time it started the same way: "I'm tired of dating assh*les, can we try and take things slow?" And the sucker (that's me) would say, "Absolutely," with a genuine smile on my face.

Each time, it ended the same damn way: Things would go great for the first couple of weeks, we would go out on great dates. I would never rush things, fishing for only a kiss after several dates.

I would be a nice guy, and then the girls would disappear. They would stop answering my calls and replying to my texts. A couple of weeks later, I would run into them, at which point they each told me the same thing. They were seeing someone; they rushed into things, but are now taking it slow.

In short, while I was taking them out on romantic dates and courting them, some other guy was the one sleeping with them and satisfying them. I was the fluffer to their sexual attraction.

And that is when I formed my opinion of what it is girls really want. They want the romantic and chivalrous things, the nice dates and the cute surprises -- just not from a nice guy. They want it from someone they can teach to do those things -- from a project guy.

Most typically, this guy is what we would call an alpha or a top dog, but, more simply, a bad boy. We see it all the time, when you talk to a pretty girl and then some other guy who exudes machismo, buys her a few shots, and the next thing you know, she is going home with him.

Why? Because girls are sexual creatures the same way men are; they have needs, and it is only natural that they should want them satisfied by someone with whom they have instant attraction -- the other stuff they can work on later.

They want someone who will please them in all ways, be the envy of girls everywhere AND open the door and act like a gentleman (the last one is the project).

All of this boils down to one thing: They want a challenge. They want to be the one who not only gets the sexy guy all their friends were swooning over, but they want to be the one who makes him fall in love with them, they want to be the one who turns the bad boy, into their nice guy.

These types of guys will always win over nice guys. And that is because nice guys, by nature, are timid, reserved, un-aggressive, over-thinking, gentle souls who wouldn't even dream of trying to sleep with you on the first date, lest they offend you!

You see, nice guys, it's your fault. If only you were a nice guy, just without -- you know -- the whole being a nice guy thing, then girls would want to date you.

Until then, they are just going to continue to think that we are just generous friends with no feelings who take them on dinner dates.

That is why each of the four girls broke things off with me; they got bored. I was not a challenge, I was already nice.

So instead of dating me, they thought that they could reform a guy they had just met, but already slept with, into a gentleman.

Best of luck!

So here we are, full circle. I'm not a nice guy anymore; I'm tired of being screwed over. I'm tired of waiting to sleep with a girl out of respect only to find out she slept with my buddy the same night I took her out to dinner, I'm tired of making an effort for no reward, I'm tired of being rejected (I don't care what gender you are, rejection hurts).

But, most of all, I'm tired of listening to you complain about how there are no good men left, when I was right there.

So you know what, I'll stop being a good man; I'll stop being a nice guy, and maybe then you'll stop pretending like I don't exist.

What I've learned is that nice guys don't finish last. No, they get hurt enough or ignored enough and change. They learn the game and adapt, and in the end, there are no nice guys left.

They change into something that gets your attention, and is given a chance, something you see as a viable sexual partner.

But that isn't all true because there are still some nice guys hidden out there in the world, you just don't call them that.

You know them by a different name: your best friend, your BFF. You know, that guy who's too nice to date, or you wouldn't want to date so that you guys don't jeopardize your friendship?

So now that I think about it, I might not be a hopeless romantic anymore, after all. Maybe I have been reformed, maybe I have been cured and my friends will stop calling me "Ted Mosby." I know I am still a gentleman, but after all, "a gentleman is simply a patient wolf."

The truth of the matter is this. While this may seem like the ranting of a jaded man, or an overly confident douche, at the end of the day, I'm just another heartbroken person trying to avoid it happening again.

There is this misconception that men don't have feelings or emotions, that when you flake on a date or break things off out of the blue, that we don't get hurt. We do. We may not wear our emotions on our sleeves, but we do get hurt. Those things do bother us, and the end result is always the same: a guarded, bitter man with higher walls than a medieval castle.

It took all of this for me to realize that being a hopeless romantic in today's world is pointless; you have to adapt.

You have to accept this modern thing we call dating and love, or the same thing will happen over and over again, like an endless waltz.

The most honest and truthful reason I can give you as to why there are no nice guys left is fear. We were terrified of being alone, and we got so sick of being lonely.

Everyone wants intimate companionship, even nice guys. So to get it, we threw in the towel, we changed and learned -- we stopped accepting that nice guys finish last.

Nice guys can't finish last if there are none left. We know that being a nice guy didn't entitle us to a great girl, but on those rare occasions when we ignored the timidness of our personalities and made our feelings known, we at least wanted a fair chance. But we never got one, and if we did, it was over before we knew it. "On to the next one!," you said, as our hearts lay shattered on the floor.

People, especially girls, always say you have to fight!

I'm sorry, I can't anymore. I've got nothing left. When you've been broken as many times as I have, it's a constant fight just to hold yourself together.

It was much easier to change banners and give up on being a nice guy. And nice guys everywhere are realizing that as well; they are hanging up the knight's armor and donning the bad boy's leather jacket. If you can't beat them, join them.

Who knows though? Maybe one day, the genders of our generation will stop thinking that they are each entitled to some mythical perfection that they deserve.

They will stop playing games and hold themselves to a higher standard and respect themselves enough to date people who truly make them happy and loved.

Maybe one day our generation will wake up and say, "I desire a certain kind of love, and I want certain qualities in a partner that will make him/her perfect for me! I don't care how hot you are, or how sexy you are, that is not enough for me."

And then what we will see are two souls, fighting for exactly what they want, encountering each other, and knowing, immediately, that they wont play games -- that she was meant for him, and he was meant for her, and nothing else matters...

Until then, I guess there is always Tinder.

Photo via We Heart it