The term “nice guy” has become a misnomer as “nice guys” are often not genuinely nice at all, but act nice in an effort to manipulate women for their own desires. When “nice guys” do not receive what they want from a woman, they often complain about being relegated to the “friend zone.” The “friend zone” occurs in the mind of a “nice guy” when a girl they are romantically interested only desires friendship with them. There are men out there right now who think such things as: “Why wasn’t my nice behavior enough to obtain a relationship or sex? Why do girls always like the jerks? ” It is difficult for some guys to understand that they are not entitled to obtain relationships and sex with women despite how nice they are.
Perhaps these “nice guys” might understand if I explain this from another perspective. Let’s say a gay guy wanted a relationship or sex with a straight guy. The gay guy is nice to the straight guy, but the straight guy turns down a romantic relationship and sex with him because he is not attracted to him that way. Would it make sense for the gay guy to think “Why wasn’t my nice behavior enough to obtain a relationship or sex? Why do guys always like the jerks?” No, that would be insane. The straight guy was simply not attracted to gay guy just like the woman was not attracted to the “nice guy.” It is amazing that some men actually think that their very male existence should be enough to have women attracted to them. Couple their male existence with some nice behavior and some men will feel entitled to obtaining a relationship or sex with a woman. Sadly these thoughts are all too true for many guys and many women have to deal with it. Unfortunately, if the woman tells the “nice guy” she is not interested in him more than a friend, she is then labeled a bitch by the “nice guy.” No the girl isn't a bitch, she's a human being. It might surprise some guys that women are actually people with their own thoughts, desires, and intentions which could be different from their own.
Something that I am not proud to admit is that I used to be a “nice guy.” Now to my credit I never once used the term “friend zone” and I never felt entitled to sex for buying a woman dinner. However, I am guilty of previously having thoughts such as "I'm so nice to this woman and there is some romantic chemistry, why can't she be my girlfriend?" I found it difficult to be content when I was romantically involved with women and they wanted a causal relationship and I wanted something more serious. The good news is that I became more aware of this over time, made an effort to appreciate the woman’s point of view, and I finally grew out of it. It took some tough learning experiences and a lot of personal reflection, but I finally understand now. Moving past the “nice guy” mentality is very possible with increased awareness and constant questioning of your biases. As with many areas, men simply need to become more aware of how some of their behavior is not acceptable and need to genuinely care about changing.
To the guys out there: I know it sucks when you really like someone and she doesn't feel the same way. And yes, it sucks when you are nice to her and there is even some romantic chemistry, but it still doesn’t work out the way you want it to. But honestly you just need to get over it. You don't own her and she doesn't owe you anything. Being “friend zoned” shouldn’t be viewed as a prison sentence because genuinely nice people should always appreciate friendship. If you truly care about the woman you are interested in, you should be happy to respect her boundaries and be friends with her.
I’m writing this as a former “nice guy” because I can relate to you all. You want to receive the niceness back that you give, I get it. However, you as the “nice guy” must realize the overly simplistic view you have regarding interpersonal relationships. People are complicated and do not always fit into how you view the world. You may believe that being nice earns you something from another person, but that person may feel otherwise. Women are not vending machines that you can put niceness tokens or kindness quarters into which return sex or the relationships you want. Being nice to someone for the sole reason of obtaining something does not make you nice at all; it makes you a terrible person.
The culture we live in sometimes makes men feel like they should obtain women or else they are failures. This is another thing we need to break. If a relationship doesn’t work out, it doesn’t mean you failed as a man. It simply means the relationship didn’t work out. It takes mutual feelings and desires on both people involved. Again, women are not vending machines and relationships and sex are not prizes to be won from enough kindness quarters. To get over the “nice guy” problem, it takes becoming aware of your thoughts, feelings, and intentions while also really trying to understand and appreciate the other person’s point of view. After a lot of personal reflection and genuinely trying to see another person’s perspective, I finally out grew out of being a “nice guy.” To the women reading this, please show this to any “nice guys” you encounter as hopefully with more awareness other “nice guys” will grow up as well.
*This article appeared in the July 2013 issue of The Feminist Observer.