You Got to Be Kidding Me!

Where Have All the Nice Guys Go-o-one?

Posted in Miscellaneous, Sociology by Stacy McMahon on December 14, 2007

I claim that the title of this post is only tangentially ripping off the title of Dr. Helen’s post linking this smartly-worded blast from the LA Craiglist. The subject is the endless debate on whether flaky women or nice guys themselves are to blame for male-friend blues.

I see this question posted with some regularity in the personals section, so I thought I’d take a minute to explain things to the ladies out there that haven’t figured it out.

What happened to all the nice guys?

The answer is simple: you did.

From there flow a predictable and rather intractable set of arguments and counter-arguments. Having given a bit of thought to it myself over the years, I’ll start off saying that if we’re going to have a serious discussion, then right from the outset everyone needs to buy into the following:

[the platonic male friend] came to realize that, if he wanted a woman like you, he’d have to act more like the boyfriend that you had. He probably cleaned up his look, started making some money, and generally acted like more of an asshole than he ever wanted to be.

Fact is, now, he’s probably getting laid, and in a way, your ultimate rejection of him is to thank for that.

To make sure we’re on the same page, let’s break that down. The poster is talking about the proverbial “nice guy” who is his female friend-and-secret-crush’s shoulder to cry on, ready helper, best friend and fill-in non-date-on-a-moment’s-notice. He’s probably on the schlubby side physically, hopelessly shy (around women anyway) and has a heart of gold. He genuinely loves his female friend, but at the same time spending time with her is slowly working out that shyness. To put it another way, the clock is ticking every day that our heroine doesn’t notice her “puppy dog” (as the Craigslist writer put it)

Someday he’s going to “clean up his look” and be able to skillfully pursue the women he’s interested in, thanks in large part to the girl our Craigslist flamer is gleefully throwing under the bus. Once he does this, he’ll find that he is in fact getting laid, and that this seems quite paradoxically to be happening because he shows less, not more, devotion to the object of his affection. From that paradox comes much great art and music, but that’s beyond our scope here.