The Problem Isn't Being Nice; The Problem Is Being Boring

I’d like to counter argue the recent article about why girls don’t want nice guys; it’s untrue and I’m tired of guys hiding behind the excuse.

In the piece, Paul Hudson leads us through his personal journey as a “nice guy,” before reaching the inevitable conclusion that he was more successful with women when he wasn’t being so nice.

He touches on a lot of the clichés to which “nice guys” are prone: “In her eyes, nice is weak — it’s boring.” Eventually, however, the girl realizes that she wanted a nice guy all along, but he’s already moved on.

Have you heard this story before? Have you told this story before? It relies on a fundamental misunderstanding that I encounter often through my work with The Art of Charm.

To be fair, however, Hudson’s sob story does get some things right. For example, women want excitement, adventure, mystery and surprise. But what about all of that stuff isn’t "nice"?

What’s more, the problem with a lot of “nice guys” is that they’re fronting like they want to be friends when they really want more. It’s okay to want just a sexual relationship with a woman — totally okay. But, be upfront about it. Don’t pretend like you’re just her buddy and then sandbag her when she takes you at your word.

The problem here isn’t “nice guys” and “bad boys.” That’s a false dichotomy and one that has otherwise good men acting like jerks when it comes to women. What’s at issue here is not being boring and, perhaps more importantly, not begging for approval. Let’s examine each of these, one at a time:

Excitement And Adventure

When you’re dating a woman — especially in the beginning — she’ll want some excitement. She’ll want to feel butterflies in her stomach. She wants to feel desired, for you to show her new things and to take her on adventures. Can a nice guy not do this?

Rather than focusing on being a “bad boy,” focus on what she’s bringing to the relationship. If you find that women friend-zone you often, it’s probably because you’re not adding enough to the relationship. So, rather than conclude that “girls like jerks” and then acting accordingly, take her on a killer date.

That’s it. That’s the “secret” to not landing in the friend zone every time.

What qualifies a killer date? Well, it varies from person to person, obviously, but it’s not dinner and a movie; it’s something more exciting. It’s doing something together that would be fun on your own, but is more fun with another person.

That might be white-water rafting. It might be hitting up an art gallery. It might be a historical bar crawl of places where famous people used to drink in your neighborhood.

It’s something that 15 other guys haven’t already done with her. Think outside of the box. Come up with something that’s fun for both of you. When you’re done with that…

Don’t Be Needy

The other thing that “nice guys” do is to constantly seek approval from their dates.

Never ask her if she’s having a good time and only tell her that you’re having a good time once, twice tops, on any given date. Why? Seeking approval isn’t just a weak behavior, it’s also stressful for the other person.

Think about it. The two of you are out on a first date — something that’s pretty much always stressful. When you continually ask her if she’s having a good time or assure her that you are, you are basically demanding her to agree with you.

Do you think this adds or subtracts from the overall stress of the situation? Do you think she’ll want to want to go on a second date with a guy who does this?

Here’s the thing: It’s the first date, bro! You two barely know each other! The whole point of this date is for the two of you to get to know each other, not to start planning your wedding.

So, relax. Have fun. Let her have fun. Give her room to breathe and if the connection is there, it will happen. If it’s not, you constantly seeking her approval won’t do the trick.

When the date is over, don’t feel like you have to text her 16 times a day just to check in. She has a life to live. Ideally, so should you. Nothing says “needy” more than a dude who constantly has to know what his girl is doing.

It has nothing to do with being a “nice guy” and everything to do with being the type of guy who gives her room to live. Neediness can even manifest from your body language. This is something that we address in our toolbox podcasts.

What’s more, not being needy projects strength. You know what doesn’t? Being a guy who desperately tries to be a bad boy. That just says, “I had some bad dating experiences and learned all the wrong lessons.”

It won’t work. It will just dig you deeper into that hole.

Jordan Harbinger is a Wall Street lawyer turned Social Dynamics expert and coach. He is the cofounder of The Art of Charm, a dating and relationships coaching company. If you're interested in The Art of Charm residential programs, apply for a strategy call with a coach.  

You can also interact with Jordan on Facebook or Twitter.