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.

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  • 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.

    • 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.

  • Orange Starr Happy Hunting

    If someone is not attracted to you that is not a slight.
    Everyone is not attracted to everybody, those just are the breaks, reality and such.

    • yeahright2011

      Again I don’t see the same statements finding their way onto comment sections where women are on the short end of unreciprocated affection/attraction. Be blame men’s shallowness, impossible beauty standards (not just the racial one’s either), their selfishness for not engaging in romantic relationships with single mothers and anything else that would disqualify us from the personal preferences of men but men should just suck it up and not stay anything because it makes women look less vulnerable and compassionate than we’d like to see ourselves. Nothing in my comments have been proven wrong but the hypocrisy of us (women) is starting to show.

    • Kay

      Okay I’ll bite. What exactly is your issue with this article? It’s not saying that ALL nice guys are bad. It’s just saying that some guys are not nice and are only doing what they feel are the right things just to land a woman. The problem with this kind of functioning is that after you land the woman (or man) you want, you often stop doing the kinds of things that are involved in maintaining a good, healthy relationship. Those kinds of things have to be genuine. If you are a kind-hearted person, you will be that way regardless if you’re recognized for it or not. In all, pretending to be something you’re not isn’t healthy or good for either party involved. Did we read the same article????

    • au napptural

      Don’t engage him, Kay. This is our new troll or more like ChillyRoad redux, since that thing got kicked off. Even when you put all the disclaimers (I’m not talking about men who are really nice, not all men, etc.), these fools still get butt-hurt. Why? Because a hit dog will holler. They see themselves and just like IRL they’d rather blame allllllll of womankind than admit it is their issues that are messing them up.

      I’m going to break my own rule just this once. Yeahright, you said women tell men what to want in terms of looks, etc. And you claim now we are hypocrites. I don’t get that. Women are allowed to tell men what WE want. They don’t have to adhere, but then they are going to be lonely. Think about it. You complained women don’t attempt to meet the unrealistic beauty standards, the cooking, etc. That’s not even true, but let’s pretend it is. The men who are into all that stuff finds someone who suits their taste. Women want men who aren’t pretend nice guys, faking to get the draws. When you get found out you get rejected. You don’t like it? Either change or find someone who likes passive-aggressive, whiny b!tches. I wish you the best of luck.

    • yeahright2011

      Actually no I didn’t say we were hypocrites for telling men what we want, we are hypocrites for not allowing them to be frustrated and expressing it in non-violent ways like over the internet. They’re not entitled to their emotions because it makes you uncomfortable to see women cast as if not more shallow, inconsistent, and dishonest as you try to make men out to be in this case. You can make excuses for it but its silly to demand men you reject (and call names) to keep their mouths shut and place a higher premium on your feelings than their own.

      I didn’t say women don’t attempt to meet standards, don’t misquote me so you can attack a point that hasn’t been made, that is dishonest, just like calling me troll after I’ve posted for all most 3 years on this site is also dishonest.

      By the way, I can talk about whatever I please in the scope of the discussion, that includes disagreeing with the author of the piece and any posters as I see fit. Her disclaimer, like your name calling doesn’t prove me wrong.

    • yeahright2011

      My issue with the article is that we don’t hold women to the same standard with it comes to unrequited attention/affection/attraction.

      We don’t tell women who lose weight, cook, or have sex to land a man that they’re disingenuous because we know wanting to love and be loved is nothing if not the most genuine aspect of humanity. We present ourselves as victims of unappreciative men that lead us on and heaven help him if a man points out that a woman stopped cooking, staying fit, or putting out like she did during their courtship. He would be a shallow so-n-so.

      Kind-hearted people don’t exist, just the decisions and incentives right down to the warm as fuzzy feeling that is also an incentive. There is no proof that these men will regress to minimum romantic behavior if they get the woman they want, suggesting they would says more about how we view men than how they actually behave.

    • Anthony

      Yeahright2011, you have a point. Women do tend to handle rejection less well than men in when they approach a man. That said, smart men tend to read women well, and don’t waste time on uninterested women. “Nice Guys” tend to be so focused on what they want, they miss obvious signs of women’s disinterest.

      One final thing, woman often get used sexually by men who don’t want them beyond a nut. That is something that happens much less often to men. This reality adds another layer of complexity to the issue of rejection for women.

    • yeahright2011

      Being a social novice isn’t a crime, neither is expressing the frustration associated with that. Men don’t get used for sex but they do get used for their labor, money, even supporting children under false paternity.or after the father ops out. Very few women will be used in that fashion but the results are just as devastating as a sexual investment under false pretenses. “Smart men” in this case are the result of exposure/experience, not intelligence per se.

    • dbsm

      don’t speak in absolutes. i use men for sex. they know it. they claim to like the honesty. i don’t want their labor (other than sexual labor): my hands and feet work just fine. i don’t want their money: mine is just fine and more fulfilling. and i don’t need any man to support my kids, especially when the one who is supposed to still isn’t getting it right.

    • mr.fierce

      Women dont know how to approach a man, they just know how to sit there “on that hairy fish”, look cute and expect the man to come over with his skill so she can give him a ya or nay….

    • Chelley5483

      @ mr.fierce

      …It’s been that way since the beginning of animal evolution… Even my dog, a female, turns down the d every chance she gets. Now women should go against all innate evolutionary instinct and start approaching men? No..

      That “hairy fish” comment sounds bitter too. Yup, you’re one of the nice guys I think they’re talking about. Please DO NOT assume that a woman who likes to look nice and present herself in a way you or other men are attracted to expects a thing from you. I know many women who are married, wouldn’t think about cheating on their husbands, who just so happen to like to look nice and have no interest whatsoever in men coming up to them with their “skill” to waste their time giving out yays or nays. Who’s doing that?! There goes that sense of entitlement again, a chick over there looking cute must be doing it for anything other than the fact that it’s simply her personal style, must mean she wants my “skilled” penis. NOOOOO.. A chick can’t help if she’s cute, damn! That doesn’t mean she’s expecting a damn thing from anyone. Get your shit together mr.fierce.

    • Pretty much. It’s like the paper cut of dating. If that’s the WORST you get, you are lucky. And if you can’t handle it, you shouldn’t be dating anyone at all until you get yourself together.