15 “Nice Guy” Behaviors That Are Actually Toxic

15 “Nice Guy” Behaviors That Are Actually Toxic

You’ve met a guy who’s refreshingly kind and compassionate. He’s such a nice guy! But, there’s something off about him and you can’t put your finger on it. It could be that some of his nice-guy behaviors are actually an act and he’s toxic—and there’s a reason why you have a bad feeling even though he seems really into it. Here are 15 to keep an eye out for before you fall for him.

1. He’s always giving you unsolicited advice.

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He’ll tell you what to do with your career or life goals without you having to ask him for advice. Nice, right? Um, nope. He’s too quick to jump in with unsolicited advice, making you feel like he’s trying too hard to be seen as wise or knowledgeable about everything. Ugh. He might even be doing this to try to control you.

2. He brings you gifts every time he sees you.

While giving you a gift can be sweet because it shows he was thinking of you, it’s a red flag if he’s throwing tons of gifts your way. Love-bombing alert! He could be trying to shower you with attention and make you feel special so you fall for him right away. A guy who buys you lots of gifts when he doesn’t even know you that well is trying to use those gifts in a manipulative way to get what he wants.

3. He goes too out of his way to help you.

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It’s refreshing to date someone who has genuine kindness and warmth. The problem comes when you get the feeling that his good deeds are just an over-the-top way to manipulate you. For example, when he drives across town to give you a ride to work even though you didn’t ask. Or, after you mention you want to purchase sleep earphones, he buys them for you instead. He’s always going out of his way, trying hard to be liked. Soon, he’ll be expecting you to return the favors.

4. He’s a “yes” guy.

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You want to see him for an impromptu dinner and he’s down. Then, you ask him if he wants to go hiking even though he’s got plans, and he says yes. While it’s nice for him to let you take the lead sometimes, if he’s saying “yes” to everything, it starts to feel like he wants to be seen as a cool, mellow guy who’s quite happy to follow you around like a puppy. He’s got people-pleasing tendencies, and he could be desperate for your approval.

5. He tells you how kind he is.

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Someone who’s genuinely nice doesn’t have to keep telling you that they’re kind or compassionate or “just a sweet guy.” It’s like he’s walking around trying to convince everyone about it. Look, a guy who defines himself in this way should know that it’s not enough for him to market himself. He’s got to show you who he is through his actions. Maybe he’s hoping he doesn’t have to put in real effort to get what he wants.

6. He expresses surprise or anger at being rejected by other women.

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Some guys who are “nice” in a toxic way will show you little signs of being mean. They might tell you that they always get a raw deal in dating because women don’t like nice guys or they’ll express anger at how women have given them a hard time for being sweet. Um, right. Underneath their victim mentality, these toxic nice guys have insecurity and anger issues that are ready to boil over.

7. He belittles other men.

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Another thing this “nice” guy might do is speak badly about other men as a way to bolster himself. For example, he might criticize the bad boys who get all the women. This clearly stems from jealousy and low self-esteem, and it totally backfires—it makes things awkward and shows you that he’s actually not that nice. Being nice is clearly a mask he wears to try to get the one-up in dating.

8. He wants to see you every day.

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It’s natural and fun to want to hang out all the time with the new person you’re dating. But, it’s always good to pace yourself a bit. A nice guy might be so in awe of you that he wants to see you every day after work. It’s flattering, sure, but it also makes you wonder if he’s being too sweet and romantic. That storm of love can end up being a destructive whirlwind romance.

9. He calls you 10 minutes after having called you.

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A guy who says he’ll call you at a certain time and then he does? Winning! This is awesome because he’s sticking to his word. But, it’s a bit of a red flag if he calls you tons of times throughout the day. It starts to feel like he’s trying to check up on you. Sure, he might always be charismatic and fun to chat to, but doesn’t he have his own stuff to do?

10. His stories feel a bit too out there.

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A toxic nice guy might try to hook you by telling you lies—this is his way of manipulating you. If he seems to always have the most hilarious stories or he’s painting himself as nice in every anecdote, this is a sign it’s happening to you. It’s clear that he’s pushing way too hard to come across as the perfect guy who’s funny, intelligent, and always helping others. Boyfriend of the Year award winner? I think not.

11. He’s only interested in your answers to questions.

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Yes, you want to hang out with a guy who cares about your answers to the questions he asks you. He’s tuned into what you have to say and pays attention. But, a red flag pops up when he never takes some of the spotlight. He never tells you much about his life because he’d rather chat about you… all the time. He’s trying to make you feel special, but he’s keeping himself a secret, and that’s not cool. What is he hiding?

12. He prioritizes your needs over his, every time.

Beautiful young couple laying on grass in an urban park.

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While you want to be with a partner who cares about your needs in the relationship, it’s unhealthy if he always puts you first and never considers what he wants. This is a toxic nice-guy trait because he wants to appear like he’s chilled and you’re the only one he cares about, but it’s unrealistic. You don’t want to be with someone who’s secretly harboring resentment because he’s so passive-aggressive.

13. He asks you out but doesn’t commit.

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A too-nice guy will ask you out on dates and want to hang out with you a lot. The problem is that even though you’ve been dating for weeks, he doesn’t step up and make things official. Hmm, what’s up with that? It’s confusing because he doesn’t do anything out of line. He’s always courteous and romantic and makes you feel special. But, he’s not moving the relationship forward because he’s got a secret agenda, like keeping things casual forever.

14. He says all the right things.

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No matter what, this guy is always telling you exactly what you want to hear. He likes the same hobbies as you, or he knows how to give you a pep talk to turn your bad mood around. That’s great and all, but what’s he like on his bad days? If he’s not letting you into his life because he’d rather dazzle you with his perfect Mr. Universe words and behaviors, that’s a red flag.

15. He wants to use labels right away.

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Instead of dragging his heels ’cause he wants to keep things no-strings-attached casual, this “nice” guy wants to speed things up. He’s just met you and wants you to meet his folks or go away with him for the weekend. He’s so sweet, he loves—no, adores—relationship labels. He wants you to wear the “girlfriend” label right away. Yikes. Whenever a guy moves too fast and wants to lock you into a committed relationship, it’s a toxic red flag.

Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.
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