nice guys finish lastWe’ve all heard men complain that nice guys finish last, and most women will admit to falling for a bad boy at least once.

But is the idea that nice guys finish last really accurate?

Typically women don’t reject guys just because they are nice. Often ‘nice’ is code for needy, boring, insecure, socially awkward or bad in bed. Women are just too nice to say it.

When a woman half-heartedly describes a guy, saying “I mean he’s really nice, it’s just…” men should focus on the last half of that sentence and not the first half.

Niceness is not what she had a problem with.

Sadly so much of dating and relationships have to do with chemistry. Women can recognize a good guy but that doesn’t mean she actually feels anything for him (and vice versa).

Here is one of the complications of love and lust. Often times ‘nice’ is used to describe a guy when other adjectives (such as awkward, juvenile, annoying, unattractive, obnoxious) sound too cruel or bitchy.

But men would help themselves more if they heard the bitchy words instead of a vague catchall word more commonly used to describe paint colors and table settings.

Nice Guys Finish Last For Other Reasons

If a guy is dumped and believes he’s just a nice guy that can’t understand what went wrong, or that all nice guys finish last, here is a list that ‘nice’ might be code for:

1.  Boring

Sadly, no one thinks they are boring, yet we can all tell you whom we know who is boring. This isn’t about being nerdy or dorky because a lot of nerds are really smart, funny, engaging guys. But if the thought of another coffee, cocktail or worse yet, a dinner date only makes a girl think it could be the most boring two hours of her week, she won’t go.

If you can look back and honestly think you bored your last date, go into your next date with a plan. Ask her a lot about herself (most women are chatty and men rarely do this). Have some great stories, a trip, a wacky wedding, your pet, etc. in mind. Know about some pop culture, recent films/tv shows, etc. You’d be surprised how easy it is to talk to someone over your shared love of Game of Thrones. You don’t have to watch Game of Thrones to know a lot of people are talking about it. No one is saying change who you are, but making a greater effort will help you in the long run.

2.  Desperate

Some guys come out of the gate on a date like a starving man who has just seen food for the first time. He shows up with flowers. He calls or texts to confirm the date multiple times. He tells the woman he has made multiple reservations at different restaurants because he wasn’t sure what she would like. While all of this may sound thoughtful in a ‘nice’ guy’s head, to a woman it feels like overkill.

It’s too much too soon, and it reeks of desperation. Either this guy hasn’t had a date in awhile or is overly excited for this date. It’s overwhelming and puts undue pressure on the date. Now any one of the above-mentioned things, by itself, after a few dates, is a lovely, thoughtful gesture that will impress a date. But lavishing too much attention on anything (especially early on) can spoil it. Just be confident (even if you aren’t completely) and go with the basics.

3. Socially Awkward

This one is a little harder because it’s hard to be comfortable when you’re not. However, if you know initial meet and greets aren’t your thing, then own it. It’s incredibly charming and likable to be honest or self-deprecating. If you’re on a first date, stating the obvious like “I tend to geek out with my friends more on the weekends than go on dates with a cool, beautiful women, so go easy on me.” It’s an easy way to pay her a compliment, explain any nervousness you may be feeling or showing, and she’ll want to rush to reaffirm you. Then you can be honest that you’re a gamer, or into sci-fi stuff, addicted to watching baseball, or whatever it is you are excited and knowledgeable about. Don’t be embarrassed by this stuff, just own it so you can talk about it. Or when it doubt, blame shyness. Being shy is a great get out of jail free card in dating. Over a drink or dinner, you can admit, “It’s nice to be here. I’m a little shy so I have a hard time getting out of my shell.” Once again, you’re explaining yourself and giving her information. Rather than, ‘we had nothing to talk about’ it becomes, ‘he’s shy so we’re just getting to know each other.’

And when in doubt, ASK ABOUT HER LIFE. Trust me, most men are so used to talking about their lives on dates (the need to impress mechanism kicks in) that if you continually ask about her, she’ll love it. Maybe your favorite show of all time was Battlestar Galactica (because it’s awesome), but when you mention that, she’s never seen an episode and isn’t into sci fy. Instead of being bummed that you can’t geek out over a show you’ve watched repeatedly, ask her what shows she watches. Either way it takes the focus off you and keeps conversation going while finding out more about this girl. But this works with any topic. You’re from Boston and she’s from a small town in Florida, then find out about small towns in Florida.

Look, to all the nice guys out there, women really want to meet them and date them. Trust me, they do. It’s not that nice guys finish last – it’s more like boring, desperate and socially awkward guys that do.

nice guys finish last  claudiaClaudia Maittlen-Harris is a writer and stand-up comedian.  She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, The Frisky and numerous online publications. Some of her articles on dating and relationships have sparked heated debate on The Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda and Good Afternoon America. (Katie Lee agreed with Claudia but Lara Spencer did not!) As a comedian, her sketches have been seen on MTV and CMT, and she’s performed at The Groundlings and Upright Citizens Brigade. Claudia  has performed stand-up at The World Famous Comedy Store, The Laugh Factory, The Improv, New York City’s Gotham Comedy Club, in clubs across the country, and has been showcased at the New York Comedy Underground Festival and The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She currently hosts and produces the comedy pop culture podcast That’s Debatable!  Follow her on Twitter and be sure to like her Facebook page. 

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