The Nice Guy is the Most Mysterious Man

I noticed how both me and a few other women stumbled upon the same thoughts regarding those nice, sweet, romantic guys who give compliments, gifts and other stuff during the “get to know you” phase of the relationship.

They are mysterious, and not in a good way. Such a man puts all the focus on her. By doing all this, he prevents her from really getting to know him. When he’s doing his “flowers&compliments” routine, the girl wants to ask: “Yes, I know I’m beautiful, thanks. But what about YOU? Who are YOU? What have YOU got on the inside?”

The nice guy doesn’t come across as “being himself”, and perhaps this is why so many feminists hate him. They think he’s trying to charm the pants off a girl, even though a real charmer would be able to do that without arousing suspicion. To a woman who isn’t a feminist such a guy is often just boring. Since he’s not “being himself”, he’s like a salesman who never shows the product. I think women want a man whose personality they are attracted to, AND who appears real to them. Kind of like men prefer women who are visually attractive to them, AND don’t look like it takes a ton of effort. Any sign of fakery is found unattractive, and sometimes even morally judged.

What do you think?

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44 Responses to The Nice Guy is the Most Mysterious Man

  1. A♠ says:

    “Such a man puts all the focus on her. By doing all this, he prevents her from really getting to know him.”

    In all my years in the ‘sphere, I’ve never seen it put this way.

    Well done.

    I wish I’d heard it decades ago.

    • Emma the Emo says:

      I am now curious. What views did you have on this issue decades ago?

    • Matthew Chiglinsky says:

      Wait. Wait. Wait. There are at least 3 types of guys:

      – the selfish ass kisser “nice guy”
      – the gentlemen
      – the selfish date rapist “red pill” a-hole jerk

      The gentlemen is the one you want, the medium, the “purple pill”.

  2. Liz says:

    I think you’re absolutely right, Emma. The nice guy “act”, can come across as exactly what it is…an insincere act. In my experience, very often the performing “nice guy” isn’t nice at all.

  3. Liz says:

    I’ll put it another way…doing something out of either fear (I don’t want to anger/lose her, so I’ll play a different person) or manipulation (I’ll play a different person so I can get what I want) isn’t “nice”.

    • Emma the Emo says:

      I wouldn’t go this far. He thinks this is the way to get the girl, without any malicious intent meant. Can one blame the guy?

      That’s not to say that all these guys are truly nice. The whole “nice guy” act can be used both by sincere romantic guys, and not-so-romantic guys. I don’t believe that the presence of the nice guy act means he’s actualy a bad guy. Just like a confident/cocky act doesn’t mean he’s confident or insecure. I’m convinced that what matters is how REAL the act looks. If it looks fake, the viewers think there is something evil behind the act. If it looks real, there is nothing to be suspicious of.

      • Liz says:

        That’s true it isn’t either/or. A person can be an inherently good person. Depends on how that person acts towards others…particularly other people he (or she) has no need for. Like the waiter. The person who is nice to you but mean to the waiter (or unattractive girl) for no reason, is not a nice person.

      • Emma the Emo says:

        That is true. On the other hand, reserving compliments&flowers for women you want to attract, is hardly mean, wouldn’t you say? 🙂

      • Liz says:

        Agreed. 🙂

  4. nate says:

    The nice guy doesn’t believe he is being nice or deceiving but rather respectful. He believes that those are the proper routines needed in order to land a beautiful girl. It’s a social program taught in most romantic movies where the nice guy always gets the girl, even though in real life it is practically the opposite. It is learned in church and even at home where he is taught to be overly respectful towards women. The parents takes his sister side on most arguments or fights. He is constantly reminded to be a gentleman to women by opening doors, keeping the toilet seats down, not forgetting anniversaries which is always accompanied with gifts. He listens to how his mom may complain about how his dad doesn’t take her out to eat anymore and so on. Then when he goes into the dating world he doesn’t have a clue as to what a woman really wants and neither does try being yourself makes sense. It makes about as much sense as telling a woman not wear any make up. He doesn’t get it.

  5. the girl wants to ask: “Yes, I know I’m beautiful, thanks. But what about YOU? Who are YOU? What have YOU got on the inside?”

    Well, why can’t you ask?

  6. Scott Vater says:

    Wayyyyyyy too generalized Emma. I sincerely hope you don’t ACTUALLY believe this shit.

    I mean, all I can say is that in the flurry of a man being nice and respectful towards you, if you don’t take the time to get to know them that’s on you. No way could a man EVER, realistically, do SO much for you all the time that you’d NEVER get to know them or have a conversation with them. Do you not talk on the phone with a guy you met? Text? Chat over dinner or lunch?

    So yeah…I don’t think being nice and showering a woman with gifts is a man trying to hide something. I think that’s just them being nice. Now whether that niceness is to just get in your pants or because they’re genuinely nice are two different things but the whole “hiding the problems/personality” and all the rest I hope is just hyperbole.

    • Emma the Emo says:

      I never said anywhere that he’s TRYING to hide something. It’s just that the result of his behavior is apparent concealment of what makes him interesting. His personality.

  7. I find repeated romantic gestures sort of devalue the gesture. I like obsession and fixation. It’s nice to feel overwhelmed and see someone overwhelmed by you. But if you get a rose every day, you wonder whether it’s a quirk and not actually representative of him anyway. If you get roses, chocolate and love songs every day, it starts to look canned. Either he doesn’t feel as strongly about you as you assumed, he just expresses it intensely, or he’s doing it just for appearances, or he’s just not very imaginative or interesting.

    When Jon comes home with a bunch of daffodils, I get excited because they’re my favourite flower and he was thinking about me. Likewise when I find out he’s mentioned me at work or in another social setting, when he wants to spend a day cuddling and reading or when he’s away at festivals and missing me. Love it. I love knowing I permanently inhabit some corner of his mind. But it’s not predictable, or regular, or repetitive, so it doesn’t get boring or irritating. I’m unsure how I could cope with a man who brought flowers home every day, had to tell me exactly what he said about me the second he walked through the door and tried to swap my name for some Valentines-card pet-name. There’s just something so empty and annoying about the sort of person whose next move you can predict.

    • Emma the Emo says:

      Interesting. What about compliments?

      I think the issue of compliments&flowers is different when one is in a relationship, from the same issue while getting to know each other. It’s the latter that’s really bad, IMO. This kind of nice behavior doesn’t oose alpha sex appeal, but it doesn’t express desperation either – I dunno where he stands. I’ve found out that I’m not a good judge of male status just from looking at him and interacting a little bit. Some really beta-looking guys surprised me before, turning out to be alpha. And I don’t want a man just for his body (even if it’s just for casual sex), I want his soul 😉

      • Compliments are nice, but cheap. You can get them anywhere from anyone. In the right context, from the right guy, it’s brilliant. In the wrong context, from the wrong guy, it’s just more fodder for my ego and another reason to avoid being around him much.

        I don’t think I would have minded a man testing the waters with gestures of appreciation, as long as they aren’t too repetitive or common. It’s when it looks like they’re trying to buy their way into your life that they just seem like hollow excuses for people. And most people have tics and behavioural patterns that get boring or annoying very quickly. Combine the two: commonly encountered, canned behavioural patterns, and I may as well have known the guy my entire life, he’s not that different to anyone else.

  8. Eric says:

    Emma:
    No, I have to disagree with this. The femihags teach women that ‘nice guys aren’t really nice.’ And that nice guys are ‘boring’ and that women should chase thugs instead.

    The reason men do the things you described is because men tend to express their feelings through actions rather than words. They are trying to convey to the woman in this case that she is special and unique to him because he’s paying her all this special attention and doing things for her. Modern women—again educated under femihags—don’t appreciate such attention at all. The types of men instead—the types who abuse them—they think are being their ‘real selves’.

  9. Uncalledfor says:

    As always, I appreciate your directness and clarity. A few remarks:

    (1) The overall sensibility here is in line with the PUA wisdom, that women hate the existence of “game” tactics exactly because they let men effectively put up a front of looking (subconsciously, on the woman’s part) desirable, while her imperative is to verify that a man really has the qualities she’s looking for. Since this runs against women’s long-term interest, in this view, we can expect that feminists would be the most vociferous haters of “game” — which we do observe.

    (2) I agree with some of the above commentators, that if a woman hasn’t been able to discern anything important about a man’s true personality after several flower-laden dates — and assuming he’s not a master actor or con artist — then she really can’t be trying, or there is more going on. Other possible explanations, along more dimensions, might include: i) If the woman has a dark view of human nature generally, she may subconsciously believe that pleasant or generous people are always insincere, and only people whose selfish motive are visible can possibly be genuine; ii) related, if the woman has low self-esteem then she may not be able to believe that the suitor actually finds her attractive, and is most likely pulling up a false front that hides some terrible drawback of his; iii) if the woman has a true but unacknowledged desire for jerks then she may reject the man who treats her well simply to avoid cognitive dissonance; ie she can’t admit to herself that nice guys actually exist, because then she’d have to face the fact that niceness is not attractive to her, and so it’s easier for her to irrationally believe the nice guy is a fake. (I think operation of this third case explains a lot of feminist bigotry, BTW.)

    (3) You might be interested, if you can find it, to read the short story “I Know What You Need” by Stephen King; see here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Know_What_You_Need It’s about a young man with supernatural abilities to sense what would please people, and thus making them happy to be with him when he gives it to them; but he never expresses or reveals any of his own demands and is ultimately kind of hollow inside.

    • Emma the Emo says:

      Hmm, not sure I agree that a woman “isn’t trying” if she wasn’t able to understand a niceguy’s personality after a few dates. It’s your job to present yourself and sell yourself to the other person. If you don’t do it, or do it badly, nothing is gonna happen. It’s like that with everything – when you present research, or you’re in a job interview, or on a date…

      • Uncalledfor says:

        Sorry, I still think you’re off the beam here. Yes, it is nominally one’s job to make a presentation in any situation where one will be judged on that presentation. And, you could say that it is then a man’s responsibility to make a presentation of his personality that isn’t totally hidden/obscured behind a wave of effusive generosity and attentiveness, because then it would be his fault for coming across as unknowable and possibly fake.

        But, I don’t think this really washes in the most common cases, where the man is really just enthusiastic and kind and not deliberately hiding his real self with con-artist levels of misdirection. In those cases, real cases that I can imagine, I don’t think it takes very much effort at all for a woman — or any observer, really — to watch some behaviors, ask some questions, engage in conversation and get a decent (not complete or perfect, but decent enough) idea of his true personality. If she can’t do it, then I think it’s fair to say in most cases that she’s either basically lazy, or has some other issue going on; see above comment for some possibilities. And, no, past a certain point I don’t think it’s his responsibility to compensate for her laziness or confusion, it’s just better to say that the failure to get information is primarily a failure on her part.

      • Emma the Emo says:

        Ok perhaps those two types come across as different, and one of them is easier to get to know. How are they different, when you first meet them and try to get to know them? I’m trying to wrap my head around them as a concept. I’ve met nice AND interesting men before of course, but the difference was, they were not repeating compliments every 5 min on the first day of meeting. They were just coeds and coworkers.

      • nate says:

        “Its your job to present yourself and sell yourself to the other person…” I have to agree especially if that person insisted or requested the interview or date to begin with. It would be no different than auditioning to be an actor in a major film. It is not the interviewer job to ask a lot of questions or give the subject another chance, if the subject involved didn’t present themselves attractively from the start. Regardless of how nice and kind a gesture might be, there are social etiquettes that must be executed appropriately. It is debatable as to what percentage of communication is nonverbal but many experts believe it to be near the 80 percentile range. Just because the woman didn’t ask the guy more questions to get to know him better, doesn’t mean that she didn’t get enough answers from his nonverbal communication to draw her conclusion.

        The female species of mammals are prewired to choose the dominate male to protect them and their offspring. From the start, a male asking or insisting on a date, sets a subservient non-dominant frame towards the female. Any further act of kindness verbally or nonverbally fuels that disposition. When a female is inundated with generous acts of kindness/neediness, she refuses to subject those insecurities into her life.

        When I attend a job interview, I turn the tables around and tell the interviewer that I have been talking to several companies and I ask the interviewer what is it that makes this company such a great place that I should want to work there. I ask the interviewer what do they like best about the company. My goal is to make them sell the company to me verses me selling myself to the company. I lean back and relax and show a little bit of indifference because I want to be perceived as the necessary scarce asset that the interviewer is looking for. If a guy ask a girl out on a date it is his job to educate himself and understand the psychology of how to play his role. At the end of the day, aren’t we all actors?

  10. Eric says:

    “Women hate the existence of Game tactics exactly because they effectively let men put up a front of being desirable.”

    No—women hate the existence of Game tactics because it teaches men to put up a front of being ridiculous.

    “We can expect that feminists would be the most vociferous haters of Game—which we do observe.”

    The femihags are vociferous against Game because Game fuels all the negative stereotypes of men that feminists preach. They don’t hate Game—they enjoy having it as a foil. Men who put up fronts to appease feminist women are hardly acting in the best interests of either men or women.

  11. jeremy says:

    Men try to be nice to women because they would like women to be nice to them.

    The qualities that contribute to the SMV of a man from the female perspective are NOT the same qualities that contribute to the SMV of a woman from the male perspective. The problem is that both men and women mistakenly believe that we are all attracted to the same thing.

    I once knew a female dental student who lamented her lack of success with men. She complained to me and said that she didn’t understand why men seemed so indifferent to her. She was incredibly attracted to men who are intelligent, educated and successful. She would have been all over a male dental student. So why were men not all over her as a female one? I explained to her the fact that education, intelligence and income potential are sexual factors from a FEMALE perspective, but not from a male one. A male dentist is attractive to females for his success, but a female dentist is not attractive to males. Men are attracted to different qualities.

    Back on topic – men are attracted to women who are nice to them. Most men, if asked, want a woman who puts her man first – who does nice things for him, who prioritizes his needs, who cooks him a nice meal, regularly performs sexual favor for him, etc. Men define “niceness” as putting others before one’s self. And because men are attracted to such niceness in women, they mistakenly believe that women are attracted to such niceness in men. And they AREN’T.

    From my readings, women define “niceness” completely different from men, when they say they want a “nice” guy. For women, the niceness they want is a gentleness, a kindness, within the greater context of dominance/assertiveness/masculinity. A man who is “nice” by putting others first is NOT attractive to women. But men think otherwise, because they project their own desires on women.

    So, Emma, I disagree with your premise. It isn’t that nice guys are somehow disingenuous, or that they fail to exhibit who they truly are. They are trying to show women how much they value those women, precisely by acting the way they wish those women would act. And, ironically, instead of reciprocating that niceness back to the men, women most often get turned off.

    • nate says:

      Lets get it right. Men are generally attracted to beauty. A guy who approaches a random girl he never met is usually interested because of her beauty, not her niceness. There are many nice women who never get asked out because they weigh a little more, or do not fit Hollywood’s definition of beauty. Yes there are other qualities, but beauty is at the top of the list.

      Nice guys don’t expect girls to return the nice favors. They don’t want a girl paying for their meal or buying them presents. What a nice guy wants who do all these “nice” things, is an invitation from the girl to court the girl. Some just want sex and don’t know how to go about getting it. It is called bartering. These kind, expensive gestures to a complete stranger or to someone barely known, usually results as a failed attempt. It signals to the lady that the guy in front of her is no challenge and is not her equal. How uncomfortable would you feel if some random lady whom you may or may not find attractive insisted on taking you out and buying you random expensive gifts and constantly telling you how beautiful you are and was willing to buy you whatever you want. That actually happened to me. It may be amusing at first but I highly doubt that you would find it attractive. Sooner or later you would put and end to it. Unlike men, women look for security. A guy who lays his whole heart and wallet on the table on the first date spell insecurity to any woman even if she is a gold digger or a hooker.

      • Emma the Emo says:

        I think you and jeremy both have some good points. I think men are attracted to nice, smiling women, but they are more likely to look for them among the physically attractive ones.

    • Emma the Emo says:

      Thanks for offering another potential reason for why men act nice. It sounds plausible.

      But I feel everyone misunderstood what I wrote here. It was never my intention to say that nice men must be disingenious. However, they often appear that way, according to many women. And even if they don’t appear deceitful, they seem boring, because they put all the focus on the woman. I’m aware that if you told one of these men to “express more of himself”, he might just end up doing exactly the same, because being romantic/giving to women is who he thinks he is (either because it’s so, or because he internalized a social norm).

  12. nate says:

    Emma, what I find interesting about the title of your post is that it contradicts the PUA community thoughts about the nice guy. In the PUA world, nice guys are not mysterious enough, they are too predictable and they reveal too much about themselves to try to win the girl and so that is what makes them boring. I would like to add that nice guys are also noted as being too respectful to the point in which women find them disgusting. Here are some examples: Can I kiss you? Her answer is usually NO. Had he went for the kiss instead she may have been more receptive. Can we have sex? Hmmm…. a few women find it nice to be asked for permission in regards to sex but whatever happen to reading cues? Can we go out? Her answer is maybe but often she really wants to say NO but don’t want to hurt his feelings. A confident guy assumes they are going out and tells her where to meet him. How about when the guy is so nice that he needs to have permission to touch her boobs. I haven’t found a woman yet that is willing to train a nice guy by guiding his hands to her breast. When a nice guy is told No there is a major breakdown followed by him asking a lot of questions. Women soon learn to avoid these guys like the plague. Now I can see how that can be very boring and disgusting.

    On the other hand, the bad boy PUA stereotype does not tell the girl all his business so she is left figuring out where he is going, what he likes, who he is hanging out with etc. His randomness and inconsistencies keeps him exciting and attractive – yes, his focus is not totally on her, he has a life. The bad boy does not have to ask for a date he acts like he is already on one any time he is in her presence. He is not afraid to touch her or kiss her, which he does at his own discretion. And if he is told no he doesn’t have a major breakdown with a lot of questions. Unlike a nice guy who would never try again after rejection, he goes for that kiss later and always positively assumes the answer is yes. So, in the PUA community the bad boy ” is like a salesman who never shows the product” and that is what women seem to crave.

    What do you think?

    • Emma the Emo says:

      I think a PUA is like a salesman who shows you just enough product, but leaves you intrigued. I suppose it’s like the difference between a movie trailer, and someone trying to sell their CDs without letting you hear even one song. A PUA probably lets you have a little bit of him to get you “addicted”, but you have to pay if you want more.

  13. Liz says:

    The kids and I watched Groundhog day last night and it reminded me of this thread. I highly recommend this movie if you haven’t seen it, it’s hilarious. 🙂
    The premise is, Bill Murray keeps waking up on the same day and reliving it over and over. Here he is, being a fake “nice guy”:

  14. Liz says:

    I’ve been thinking on this topic more and something sort of related came up.
    My husband called a fiduciary (a type of “independent” financial planner) to set up an appointment because we want to invest our money wisely, and see if they know of any tax advantages one way or the other….
    He had to cancel that appointment due to work. That was about two weeks ago. He called them and said he’d have to look at his schedule and he’d call back sometime to rescedule. Since then, they’ve called. A lot. On his cell and on the home phone. And written several e mails. At this point we aren’t sure we’re going to use them because they are so overly solicitous we have to assume there’s something wrong and they obviously need us a lot more than we need them.

    Anyone who has been in a position where they have suckups and sycophants experiences the same dynamic. Men might like it when women ‘suck up’ to them…but they don’t like it when men do (well, some men like this…but they usually aren’t very nice people). It sends a signal that they aren’t genuine.

    • nate says:

      That is a very good example. I think the term we are all missing here is “neediness”. When a salesman shows too much neediness, it causes one to feel apprehensive. The same goes for the type of nice guys mentioned in the post.

    • nate says:

      Also let me add that men don’t like it either when a woman sucks up too much or display an excessive amount of neediness. Most men don’t get a chance to experience what that feels like unless they are rock stars/famous. However, women experience it often since the norm is for the guy to impress the girl.

    • Emma the Emo says:

      That stuff really puts the pressure on us, doesn’t it? It’s another reason why getting to know someone in such a situation is almost impossible. How can it be done, when you have to use so much of your mental energy feeling pressured? Hardly leaves a good impression, when you don’t even know if a person who’s so demanding is worth it.

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  16. Matthew Chiglinsky says:

    Oh, but look at the hypocrisy, as most females wear makeup (which I don’t believe in), which hides their true appearances.

    And then there are those girls who constantly change their hair color back and forth between blonde and brunette, like they have some sort of identity crisis.

    This (getting to know a person) is also a good reason to not wear revealing clothing, as it’s difficult to get to know a girl while you’re constantly thinking about having sex with her later on.

    Self-objectification is still objectification. Girls objectify themselves constantly, and then they complain about men objectifying them. Often, we’re just following your lead.

  17. LovelyV says:

    I am currently getting to know this guy who is intriguing and has this element of mystery. He is very inquisitive and asks me a lot of questions. I notice that I don’t know much about him (it’s been a few weeks). I didn’t really care because I love our conversations about life, the world and our thoughts. I find that on the scale the conversations are centered around me. Now I push back and turn the tables on him because I want to get to know him more. He gets defensive, doesn’t answer the question, then flips it on me. “What about you.” I find myself feeling uneasy. Then I shut down. Mystery is cool and all but if a guy only is interested in you and he doesn’t allow you to get to know him… That’s suspect! I am nervous because I feel like unless he’s in a witness protection program, there is no need to be so secretive. If comes off like he’s hiding something. Especially if you’re getting to know someone. If he really wants me… he has to let me in. I think I will call him out on it or I will leave him to his own devices in his smoke and mirrors.

    • Your guy does seem a little too mysterious. It’s possible he is hiding something. But it’s also possible he erroneously believes this is what you want – some people think talking about themselves is impolite and letting the other person talk is better.

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