Why Do Nice Guys Finish Last?

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Nice guys don’t finish last.

However, ill-natured men who are only “nice” to women because they expect something in return… will most definitely finish last.

So let’s dive into what this phrase actually means and why it is entirely wrong.

“Women Don’t Like Nice Guys”

There is a big difference between being a “nice guy” and being a guy that is genuinely nice.

If we look into it, ‘nice’ is a very common descriptor but is often misunderstood. It can mean many positive things. Theoretically, it’s associated with traits that relate to kindness, affection, warmth, and goodwill when used to describe a person.

Although, it’s not really what you want to hear when used in a romantic setting. More often than not, when a woman describes a man as ‘nice’, she is probably expressing a polite recognition of some potentially favorable qualities he may have but overall, it’s a no.

So, what do women like? Simply put, the true “nice guys” are the guys that are genuinely pleasant, kind, good-natured, warm-hearted, considerate, and generous to everyone whenever it’s possible.

The important characteristic of these guys is that they do not expect anything in return. When a person doesn’t expect anything in return, it’s impossible to be disappointed because there is no expectation of reciprocity and this person is just naturally nice.

So when a “nice guy” is constantly being let down by the fact that women are barely giving him the time of day, it doesn’t mean these women are self-centered or overconfident. It just means that he is entitled… and these women have better places to be.

This phrase implies that a woman owes a man something simply because he is “nice” to her. Even if a man possesses all of the high-quality traits that women admire – being the perfect gentleman, a prince, an overall good man – she owes him nothing.

Many men believe that when they are nice to a woman, they deserve something in return. Whether it be a smile, a thank you, a phone number, sexual favors. Well, they don’t. If a man is only “nice” to a woman because he wants something in return… he is not nice at all.

And women see right through this. We easily detect when a person’s kindness is loaded with the expectation that it will be returned. For most women, it instantly feels fake in conversation, over the phone or in whatever setting is applied.

Women don’t owe men anything. Ever.

It is deeply sexist to assume that a woman is in some sort of debt to a man simply because he “complimented” her. Are women not already worthy of the same respect that men give other men? Are the only women that deserve a conversation and a moment of consideration, the women a man wants to sleep with? Then, how are they the ‘nice’ guys? Well, they aren’t… and that is why they finish last.

Do Women Like Bad Boys?

The ‘bad boy’ image is typically regarded as the more physically attractive man that is perhaps emotionally unavailable, spontaneous, and dangerous. To most women, this man may make for an exhilarating short-term experience but in the long run (as cliché as it sounds) the good guy always wins.

This is evidenced in a study from 2003 done by Geoffrey Urbaniak and Peter Kilmann that established the ‘Nice Guy Paradox’. Three dating profiles were used to test women’s responsiveness to different types of men. They depicted the same man but each had subtle suggestions about their personality and their level of niceness. The three men were set up in a hierarchy of niceness (nicest, neutral, and not nice) to see which was most desired by women.

As expected, women preferred the man that seemed the nicest 8x more than the not nice “bad boy”. However, the study revealed that physical attractiveness appeared more significant when looking for more casual sexual relationships because there isn’t as much consideration of emotional connection. But when it came to long-term and more serious relationships, genuine niceness was the deciding factor.

man, model, portrait

Although, one key fact to remember is that the good guys can be dominant. Another social study from 1995 done by Lauri Jensen-Campbell and William Graziano revealed that on its own, dominance did not have any effect on a woman’s level of attractiveness to a man. The study also showed that genuine niceness was the essential feature of a man and that was what increased the attractiveness and desirability of a man significantly.

From the study, the combination of the two then proved highly desirable and showed that after a man demonstrates genuine niceness, social dominance proved even more attractive. So the answer here is: a man can be dominant, but only if he is nice first!

Where Does the Phrase Come From?

There is no exact and unanimously decided origin of the phrase. It is thought to most likely have stemmed from the phrase ‘Nice guys don’t win pennants!’. This phrase was first used in a 1946 baseball game by Brooklyn Dodgers manager, Leo Durocher. Durocher was referring to refer to finishing last in baseball rankings. The quote was part of a heated rivalry between the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers.

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