Why nice guys finish last: a single gal’s perspective

I was on a date recently with a self proclaimed nice guy who explained that he was still single because “nice guys always finish last”. But he said he wasn’t going to change (good man!) and eventually the right one would click.

It got me thinking about the various nice guys I’ve passed over (especially the ones in their 30’s that come on as strong as a tsunami wave) in favour of the ones that don’t call and text instead. The ones that don’t say “I like you and want you to stick around”. The ones that don’t buy you flowers (you’re not worth the effort). The ones that don’t tell the truth and lie instead especially when they merrily skip on out, without so much as a goodbye (damn cowards if you ask me).

A good guy friend of mine recently said, Vanessa there is nothing wrong with you but your selection process is flawed. AMEN. Am I a f*cken masochist? Maybe. Do we girls like abuse? I hope not. For all you nice guys, this is why I think girls get turned off.

The Annoying Salesperson Analogy

Let’s say you walk into a store at the mall – you have an idea of what you are looking for but you’re more into browsing than buying. You just want to quietly look around, feel the fabric, try something on, at your own pace and in your own time.

Then, the vulture salesperson spots you – well intentioned, and she starts giving you suggestions of items to try on. But they didn’t catch your eye in the first place so no thank you. She compliments you to try to win you over but you feel like she isn’t being sincere – it’s overkill. Doesn’t she have any real friends? Also you don’t like doing what other people tell you to do. You’ll decide when you’re ready to buy thank you very much.

Then she announces: 75% off today only with a free gift with purchase and you wonder – what’s wrong with the merchandise? If they have to throw so much at me to get me to buy (with the razzle dazzle) it can’t be that good. Too easy.

If you do buy it, you cringe at being swayed and only wear it a handful of times a year to compensate for buying another item you didn’t really want in the first place. When you’re bored and all your fave pieces are in the wash.

The Snobby Salesperson Analogy

TAKE 2: After window shopping for months you get up the nerve to walk into Holt Renfrew (or some other fancy store). The displays are magical, every surface is gleaming and the salesperson is aspirational. You want her outfit and demeanor and you want her to want to be your best friend. You hope that no one figures out your secret – you’re not sure you belong there.

You feel like you are bothering her and wait for her to finish chatting to her associate. She smiles at you (not with her eyes) and tries to talk you out of the purchase, treating you like shit (she knows your secret…). But dammit! You’ve saved up for this splurge ain’t nobody going to tell you you can’t have it. So you pretend like this is no big deal, just another routine day in your life.  There is something cold and insincere about this place, you feel slightly uncomfortable. JUST IGNORE IT.

You plan to use the item every week, if not everyday, because you want to show it off and get your money’s worth. Full price and you’ve earned it. You sense that you just sold a tiny piece of your soul and were manipulated into doing all the work. You get your shiny new symbol but it should feel better than this right??? Right??

Julia Roberts with snobby salesperson in Pretty Woman

Big Mistake. HUGE!

It’s all about timing

Of course there is a range of males that fall in between but these are the two types I keep meeting. I think the key is for the nice guy to swoop in at that point when the nice girl Can’t. Take. Another. Douche. There really is no way of knowing when she is at her breaking point. But for the love of God PLEASE DON’T CHANGE. We need more of you in the world to prove that chivalry isn’t dead and that real and lasting relationships in your mid twenties and thirties are possible.

At the end of the day, we all want to go back and tell that snobby salesperson off, Julia Roberts styles but they rarely give us that opportunity. Remember: there are no refunds for time wasted but there are lessons learned the hard way.

Nice guys – I’d love to hear from you!

9 Responses to Why nice guys finish last: a single gal’s perspective

  1. Eric says:

    I like it. Nice guys are just that, always present and eager to please. It’s ideally what we want, and who we are. Girls love attention, and a lot of guys like to give it. It just seems like in most situations that the loudest and most present person is the most visible; this however very rarely translates into the being right person.

    Nailed it. Dating really is all about timing.

    You are right though, it feels too easy just scooping one up, when they are a dime a dozen. Call it evolution or something.

    It exists on the other side of the coin as well. Nice guys can go through dating girls like kleenex.


    • Vanessa says:

      Hey eric, that’s true about nice guys going through girls like kleenex – but is that because he is also into conquesting or because he keeps meeting Mrs. Wrong?

      In terms of the loudest person in the room – I tend to be attracted to the charismatic smooth talkers (not necessarily the loud obnoxious ones). But it seems like that seemingly instant personality chemistry is rather fake – or that I shouldn’t read too deeply into it. And that I should give the more quiet and shy guys a second glance. They likely aren’t master players and they probably care more about making a good impression for the right reasons.

  2. Gina says:

    My entire life, I always went for the bad boys; I tried to like the nice guys who showed interest in me, but I just didn’t feel the same attraction for them that I felt for the bad boys.

    By the end of last year, I was done: I was tired of the losers, the game-players, and the douches. I was so jaded to the point where I was fully convinced I would rather spend the rest of my life alone than with a bad boy.

    Then I met my boyfriend, one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. He swooped in at the perfect time, and I’m so glad he did. 🙂

    • Vanessa says:

      Hey Gina! I know your story is so inspiring – you could tell from the very beginning that it was something special and I’m so glad you decided to make it work long distance. I do believe that Mr. Right comes along when you are ready for him and when you least expect it (although I still never understood how that works with the online thing because you are expecting to meet people).

      In any case, I’d like to think I am at the place you were (having also met a really nice guy) but we’ll see. I tend to go for unavailable men which I WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND.

  3. Eleni Zoe says:

    I loved both these analogies. The second one hit very close to home. I’ve been drawn to both nice guys and not so nice guys and because the timing wasn’t right, I was the one who finished last.

    I also think that nice guys can be jerks and the ‘bad’ ones can be nice. As you said, it’s got to be the right time and you’ve both got to have the same needs. Then, it works out. 🙂

  4. Vanessa says:

    Hey Eleni,
    Yes I do tend to think in black and white sometimes. I would say my ex boyfriend was a “nice” guy (still is) but he became jerky with me (for 1 million diff reasons). Whereas I also see redeeming qualities in the bad boys and generally feel like there is a good souled prince in there waiting to bust out.

    I don’t believe it takes the right girl to turn a bad boy straight though. I think he gets to that place on his own and she comes along at the right time and seems like a game changer to him.

  5. dave says:

    Ms. Vanessa – Thanks for your essay! I was “ejected”
    from the game years and years ago, seeing that I was
    just not good at this ( oh, such a nice guy, but…)
    and I found a very full and sucessfully blessed life
    without any women ( or sex of any kind) in it. No one’s
    fault, just best for everyone.
    Took pleasure in two things: 1) Never hurt ANYONE and
    2) Heard from women years later, that I had been a
    Just never figured out such a horrible,horrible game.
    Best wishes in trying to help good guys navigate!

    • Vanessa says:

      Hey Dave,
      Thanks for reading and commenting! I’m glad you found happiness on your own. I definitely think there are benefits to being single – you are only accountable for your own happiness, less stress and so on.

      I don’t know if you always need to have game, I think timing and fate play into it, but I think the above does thwart women from giving nice guys a chance sometimes.

  6. WhyAGoodManLikeMeIsStillSingle says:

    Well now that there are so many Career women out there nowadays which Most of them are very high maintenance, independent, selfish, spoiled, greedy, picky, and so very money hungry would be a very Excellent Reason why many of us Good men are still Single today which i really speak for others as well since other Single friends of mine do very much agree with me too.

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