not so nice

A short while ago there was quite a bit of controversy over a Tumblr blog called “Nice Guys of OK Cupid” that shamed the so-called “nice guys” of the popular online dating web site for being clueless trolls. Many loved it. Others derided it as unfair because it targeted the emotionally clueless, already handicapped from getting proper dates, now up for public ridicule. The site has since gone defunct, but part of the reason why it struck such a chord with one group and a nerve with the other was the reality that there are some men – shy, painfully clueless, unfortunate types – who struggle to grasp signals and signs and believe sex and/or a girlfriend are luxuries and privileges, not Constitutional rights.

It’s about the pursuit of happiness. Nowhere are you promised the actual thing. Yet the frustration is real and comes from a place of tragic, misplaced entitlement.

Like, the other day a man said “hello” to me on Twitter. I didn’t immediately say hi back, so he wrote some diatribe about the “rudeness” of black women and how he had tried to be “nice.” So I blocked him because … why?  Nice people don’t flip out on strangers over shouting things on Twitter and not getting immediate responses.

But people having trouble adjusting to everything not being about them, of women not owing anyone attention just because you said “hello,” is very real.

Some still haven’t learned nothing is owed when you can’t buy it in the first place.

Society often treats women as if we are part of the marketplace, none too dissimilar from the latest model car or an expensive pair of designer sneakers. That we’re something or someone who can be had for a price – whether that price is actual currency or “niceness” treated like currency. It’s not that women don’t lament how the “hot” guy or the “rich” guy or whoever the “ideal” guy is is more fixated on looks and you’re too short/fat/plain/unsophisticated/whatever and he doesn’t see you. But the response is different. Men are supposed to have clear opinions on what they do and don’t want. Women are supposed to be passive actors who can be bought with stuffed animals and on-time child support payments.

But if you’ve ever interacted romantically with a woman, you know this is not true.

This idea that if you are “nice” to a woman – say hello, open a door, call her pretty – a man is entitled to time, attention, a phone number, a date, sex, whatever is woefully ridiculous as it presupposes women aren’t human beings, but products. That if you put in enough money or niceness tokens in them you can have the date you desire, but in no other part of your life this technique works. You don’t get the raise just for showing up at work every day. You don’t (or shouldn’t) try to buy friends. And friendship with someone of the opposite gender isn’t supposed to be a way station leading to friends-with-benefits-sex … unless that’s something you both want and agree upon.

It’s not guaranteed.

There are simply too many factors that come into play when talking about things like attraction, desire and romantic interest. There is no mathematical formula or method of give and take that will promise you a woman’s love. If she’s not interested she’s just not and interest is not “owed” out of kindness. Dating is not a marketplace even if we call it the “Meet market.”

There is no legal tender promising true love. And if you want a promise of sex in exchange for good, cash or services, there’s an entire sex industry for that.

I get why some men are reluctant to embrace this idea. It’s an excuse. Rather than deal with what’s going on inside, with what their issue is, they’ve projected it on the women around them. It’s easier to say “all women are crazy” or “all women want thugs or bad boys” or say “all men are cheaters” or “all men are assholes” than deal with the reality that love is hard to find, keep and come by. We feel powerless when we can’t get the love we want.

And some of us take that powerlessness and take it out on strangers they’re trying to screw on OK Cupid.

  • Keshia

    Lol I’ve never met a “nice guy” but reading these comments has me extremely terrified to date, and I think I’ll stay single for a while. Women have to go through a lot dealing with men it just seems like such a headache.

    • JJ

      Don’t let these stories stop you from dating. Their are a lot of genuine guys out there. You may encounter a jerk or two, but most guys will be pretty decent,

    • PhillyWitIt

      Please do let these stories stop you from dating. These men out here are dangerous. It’s very hard to trust them.

  • au napptural

    Oh, I suppressed my horror story till now, but I’ll share. I once met a guy when I first went natural. He complimented my hair, which I’m a sucker for. So I went out with him twice, but everything was so EXTREME. For instance, I’m all about black power, but this dude was so paranoid he didn’t want to eat anywhere white people served the food. He was convinced they’d spit in it, etc. That was kinda crzy, but I actually know many people who feel like that, who are sane.

    Anyhow, it was always white people this, white people that. Then when he got looser, it was my ex this, my ex that. I began backing away quickly. I said nicely I thought we worked better as friends. What did I say that for?! He said “You black bitches-“, and I just hung up. That was Christmas Eve and he cuss-texted me all Christmas Day, then the rest of Christmas break. I almost asked my father to go back to school with me, b/c I’m 90% sure he wanted to stalk me. He kept calling, and like all bitter men it was only to tell mY voicemail how awful I was. I wasn’t as cute as I thought, a whore, probably was stringing him along all the time, and most importantly he didn’t know why he dealt with me to begin with. Then that trump card they love: I have a new girlfriend now any way! Then go call her! Then he claimed he was moving to “be with her.”

    Why did I see that fool still in town months later. I had to hide behind my girl. I learned many valuable lessons, namely, if a guy says anything you think is suspect, run! When we first started talking he said something about his ex cheating. I asked if he caught her or she confessed. Neither. He didn’t know for sure, just he knew how scandalous women could be. Red flag!

    • Tee tee

      I’m so sorry you experienced this – but i died here

      >> I said nicely I thought we worked better as friends. What did I say that for?! He said “You black bitches-”, and I just hung up.<<<

      *__* woah!

  • memyselfandi

    I think one of the hardest life lessons out there is that love is not a meritocracy. You can be nice, funny, smart, independent, etc. and that doesn’t guarantee you a life partner or even a date on Saturday night. Yes, you have to be ready for love, but some of it is also just luck.

    “Nice guys” are often just the guys who haven’t realized that yet and are bitter that doing what they think is the right thing hasn’t landed them the woman they want. Many women go through the same thing and some also get bitter about it. I think it’s just part of growing up.

    • binks

      THIS sums it up perfectly! I just went to church, came back and listen to the sermon again because majority of these comments are preaching …lol. A lot of people still have “rose colored fairy tale glasses” on that the good guys will prevail; nice people will always found lasting love, working hard pushes you to the top faster, etc. And this is not to sound jaded but a lot of us have to learn life is not fair even to those who do what is deem good, nice and just. The reality is life isn’t a fairy tale! But the “good on paper” type of guy is REAL. Just because a guy is or seems like a great guy and has everything together doesn’t mean he is the right one (or he is right for the majority of women) remember “there are a lot of wolves in sheep’s’ clothing”. And as mention a lot of these guys who know they would be considered “ideal/good/nice” men to women ran just as much game and have baggage like the so called “un-ideal” men. You really have to be on your p’s and q’s and filter people these days; you can’t take people on face value. I don’t care how nice they seem or good they come off.

  • JN

    Just wanted to point out that some of these men actually have disorders like Aspergers which could make dating difficult.

  • Kay

    I’ve dated a few of these so-called “nice” guys who feel that the women around them have used or neglected them. But after spending time with them, I found that they had issues that had nothing to do with the women they were dating. Some of them had insecurities, doubts, fears and psychological issues that probably prevented them from having a healthy relationship. People can sometimes pick up on things like this and decide to move on, because hey, no one has time to try to “fix,” someone. One guy I dated seemed like a nice enough guy and had the whole “woe-is-me, I’m a engineering nerd no woman likes,” etc. etc. After a while I noticed that he had a superiority complex mixed in with some narcissistic tendencies. His problem was that he viewed women, especially beautiful women, as trophy pieces and not fellow human beings. He solely measured these women, including myself, in term of attractiveness, and not innate values or sense of self. He had an overblown sense of his intelligence and liked to “educate,” me even in things I was well-versed in. In short, he was an ass.

    I think that before folks throw up the “nice guys/nice women” finish last ish, they should back up and try to see if they have issues that need to be worked out. And then spend time sorting it out. I saw this tumblr and noticed that most of these men hated women that made more than them, felt they were entitled to sex, wanted only a fit woman who liked working out even though they were out-of-shape couch potatoes themselves. They were generally undercover douches who didn’t want to point the fingers at themselves. Basically, these weren’t truly “nice,” guys at all.

More in okcupid, Online Dating