Why Do Guys Think You Like Them When You’re Just Being Nice?

As complicated as long-term relationships can be, courtships can be just as puzzling. Romantic attraction isn’t always obvious and sometimes guys assume that women are interested in them just by being nice. Somehow, being a good person ends up backfiring on them. Why does this happen? Well, the simple answer is wishful thinking on the part of the guy, but it also might go a little deeper than that. Here are some other possibilities.

  1. We like your smile. If you’re nice to a guy, odds are you’ll be smiling when you talk to him. Guys are a sucker for a woman with a nice smile, especially when we think we’re the reason you’re grinning ear to ear. Our self-centered nature gets a boost from this and we automatically assume that you must like us. In turn, that makes us like you, especially since you have a nice smile. I admit it’s a tad convoluted, but ultimately, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  2. We crave attention. Deep down, most guys are far more insecure than most women realize. Most of us crave attention from women, and so it feels good when a woman is nice to us. If a woman is making the effort to be nice, it means she’s giving us attention. It’s easy to interpret that as her being interested. After all, why would you be nice and give us attention if you didn’t like us? Again, it’s a little convoluted, but it makes sense if you recognize that men can be insecure and crave attention as much as women.
  3. Too many people are mean to us. Honestly, this seems like a problem with society at large. Think about the people you’ve come across in your life who are mean or simply in a bad mood. Isn’t it a nice break when you come upon someone who’s actually friendly? Surely there must be a reason why this person is being so chatty, right? From there, I think you can see why that might make a guy assume you like him. It’s become too rare of an occurrence for someone to be kind that there must be a reason behind it.
  4. We’re egotistical. If you haven’t noticed, some guys are completely full of themselves. They have huge egos that make them think that every woman who meets them wants them. For the record, this isn’t true for all guys, but any egomaniac will assume that a woman who’s nice to him is actually flirting with him.
  5. We’re looking for love. Believe it or not, some guys are out there looking for a relationship. When a guy is ready for a serious relationship, he’ll look for love everywhere. He wants to find it so badly that he’ll assume that any woman who’s nice to him likes him. Essentially, he’s seeing what he wants to see in a situation. In fairness, when you’re looking for a relationship, it’s a lot easier to fall for anyone who pays any attention to you. I mean, you never know where you’ll find love, right?
  6. We’re lonely. This type of guy is looking for any way to not feel lonely anymore. Lonely guys also tend to overreact to every little interaction they have with a woman. We can look at this as a sign of desperation. He just wants anyone who’s nice to him to like him so he doesn’t have to feel lonely anymore. Honestly, it’s a little sad, but it does explain why a guy assumes you like him just because you were nice to him.
  7. We’re projecting. Frankly, who doesn’t want to be with someone who’s nice to them? Isn’t that one of the first things everybody wants in a partner? That means when you meet someone who’s nice, it’s easy to project all of the other qualities you want in a person onto them. This is the textbook definition of wishful thinking, right? To just assume that someone who is nice to you is somehow your dream girl. It’s just not how the real world works.
  8. It’s all about comfort. Finally, one reason that guys assume you like us when you’re nice is that you’re making us feel relaxed and laid-back. Keep in mind that it’s not always easy to feel comfortable around other people. When you feel that because someone is nice to you, it’s easy to believe it means something more. Again, we’ve come back to wishful thinking. Can you really blame us?
Bryan Zarpentine graduated from Syracuse University and lives in upstate New York, where he writes largely about the world of sports. His work has appeared on Franchise Sports and WSN, among others. You can find him on Twitter @BZarp.