I Felt Bad For Rejecting Nice Guys Until I Realized These Important Things

The classic “nice guy” is everything your mom always told you that you should want, but there’s a catch: he’s just too… nice. Whenever I’ve rejected a dude like his, I’ve always felt like a bad person. Then I realized some important things.

  1. Niceness isn’t everything. Some nice guys try to push their “nice guy” status all the time. They might say that they’re close to their moms, love to do charity work on weekends, be gentlemen on dates, and call themselves feminists. Yeah, you know the type. Those things are all great, but what about other qualities? It sometimes feels like nice guys just ignore everything else, as if they should be loved purely because they’re so “nice.” Sorry, but sometimes that isn’t enough for me.
  2. “Nice” isn’t always a good thing. Aside from being somewhat boring, sometimes “nice” can actually be a bad quality in a boyfriend. Sometimes it speaks of passivity, a guy who’s a doormat, or a guy who’s too much of a people pleaser. I don’t have time for that.
  3. They aren’t always what I want. I sometimes look back on my dating history and wish I’d dated more nice guys, but back then, they just weren’t what I wanted. Why should I feel bad about that? Everyone has the right to date whoever they want, and there’s no sense in having any regrets.
  4. Sometimes I’ve chosen naughty over nice. When nice guys ask me why I’ve dated so many bad boys, I tell them I wanted drama and excitement. They tend to look at me like I’m crazy, which I find quite insulting. I wasn’t ready at that time in my life to be with the nice, stable guy because I had some growing up to do. So what? Besides, I’ve dated lots of nice guys that I really shouldn’t have because they were just as bad for me as the toxic guys, so there.
  5. Nice doesn’t mean the guy’s made of gold. There’s a difference between the “nice” guy and a genuinely good guy. It’s a misconception to think that they’re the same thing. They’re really not. A guy can come across as being nice but then be a total a-hole behind closed doors—been there, saw it with my own eyes. It happens.
  6. Nice guys can be full of crap. Some nice guys that wanted to date me were full of drama and made me unhappy. Surprise: dating the “nice” guy doesn’t mean that I’m going to get a relationship that’s filled with roses and music. They’re just normals guys at the end of the day.
  7. Dating categories need to die anyway. We shouldn’t put guys into categories like “nice guy” or “bad boy.” They’re people with different sides to their personalities. The nice guy can be toxic and the bad boy can be nice. Remembering this prevents me from having certain expectations, such as thinking that the nice guy’s going to be Boyfriend Of The Year, which just puts lots of pressure on everyone and leaves me disappointed.
  8. I can’t date the “great on paper” guy. When I’ve rejected nice guys, my friends and loved ones have expressed shock. How could I?! They would say things like, “But he’s so great on paper.” Yeah, and paper makes a great bed buddy. Seriously, I shouldn’t feel like I have to date someone because he ticks all the boxes. If I’m not feeling him for whatever reason (and maybe I don’t exactly know what the reason is that it’s more of a feeling), then I’m not feeling him. Period.
  9. I don’t own a pedestal. I used to think that nice guys should be on pedestals but now I know better. I refuse to think that they’re somehow better than other guys out there. I refuse to worship anyone or feel like I’ve blasphemed against a heavenly being when I don’t want to date the nice guy. Screw that.
  10. Some nice guys turn. I’ve learned that sometimes the best way to see what a nice guy’s really like is to reject him. Then he’ll show his true colors. Some nice guys are great until I reject them and then suddenly they don’t give a damn about me. They were clearly just nice to get what they wanted. No thanks.
  11. My friendship is just as valuable as my girlfriend potential. When I’ve rejected a nice guy, I’ve always felt guilty to offer my friendship. It felt like a consolation prize, but you know what I’ve realized? It’s just as valuable as being a guy’s girlfriend! If a guy can’t see that, then that’s his problem.
  12. I feared missing out on opportunitiesI would feel guilty for turning down nice guys, especially if people raved about them. This would sometimes make me feel like I had to date them, otherwise, I’d be missing out on a great opportunity. What bullshit. Trying to see the guy as dating potential when I really didn’t want to just meant I screwed myself over, and it ironically made me miss out on real dating opportunities with other guys I really liked. Since then, I’ve realized the nice guy might be great and all, but what I want and need in a relationship is much more important.
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.