Somehow, I’ve spent the last three years without being informed of the True Forced Loneliness movement. If you’ve been out of the loop too, it’s a YouTube-centered phenomenon where mate-less men lament their singleness via video. The proponents claim that they have been forced into dating exile by women’s superficial expectations and society’s high bar when it comes to courtship.
I made it through three and a half videos before I had to close my screen. One, because of the raging misogyny and grandiose double standards. Like you, sir, can be picky about who you date, but I, sir, should not?
Two, because in between dropping rampant f-bombs, you would have sworn one of the guys was giving an angry hybrid soliloquy mixing the old cliché of Nice Guys Finish Last with its more modern counterpart, Women Can’t Appreciate a Good (i.e. “nice”) Man.
So I thought I might clarify, for all of those who believe women don’t like nice/good men, why things don’t work out so well for so-called “nice guys.”
Here’s the dirty truth: “You’re too nice” is woman speak for “there is something else wrong with you that I’m too polite to point out.” It’s another version of “it’s not you, it’s me,” except what women really mean is, “it is you and I’m just not attracted or completely turned off about something about you.” It’s the same as when we try to hook up a guy with one of our friends, and he asks, “How does she look?” and we start talking about her personality. Nice is great. There’s nothing wrong with nice. Everyone loves nice. Its just that “just” nice, isn’t enough to cut it.
Contrary to popular belief, single doesn’t mean desperate. And being unmarried does not mean there’s a billboard on every single woman’s forehead’s reading ‘all who holla are permitted a chance.’ We have standards, and on that list of What a Woman Wants is more than just “nice.”
Now of course, there are women among us who are attracted to bad seeds, i.e., mean men. Some women wouldn’t be able to spot a good dude or even a dude that is actually good for them (note the difference — because if he’s a “good” man doesn’t make him the right man) if he passed a lie detector test and a credit check. That is some women, not all women. Don’t get one group confused with the other.
Nice is well, only nice. But too often I find the “nice guys” who like to point out how “nice” and “good” they are, also have a sense of entitlement. It’s like “I’m nice, so you should let me take you out, then do me on the first date. How dare you pass me over.”
You don’t get cookies, brownie points or an ol’ school bag of chips for abiding by the Golden Rule. Nice is what you’re supposed to be — you just need more than that to win over most women.
Demetria L. Lucas is the Relationships Editor at ESSENCE and the author of “A Belle in Brooklyn: Your Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria) in stores now. Ask her your dating and relationship questions on Formspring.me/abelleinbk