Background

Nice guys don't get many dates, because they feel more comfortable going out with a woman who already expresses an interest in them. There's any number of nice guys in the world, and most of them are content to be that way. However, some nice guys develop a psychological defense mechanism about their lack of dates, and this is the beginning of the nice guy complex.

Diagnosis

A man suffering the nice guy complex begins by looking around and seeing everyone else going out with more women than he is. (Often they get this idea from television rather than their friends.) He concludes that this is only because he's a nice guy, and he doesn't prey on women aggressively like everyone else obviously does. After all, doesn't everyone know nice guys finish last?

In reality, he may not be expressing his interests in those women to whom he's attracted, or he may be so focused on one particular woman that he refuses to consider other women at all. Perhaps he's not really the nice guy he thinks he is, and all the other women are put off by the personality they see in him. Or perhaps he's simply dull and boring. ("No way, not me!")

Dangers

It's this gradual obsession with the guy's own niceness being the reason he's unattached that creates the nice guy complex. This may become harmful, if the nice guy allows his ego to become inflated over how nice he really is, thus making him "not-so-nice-after-all".

Whether it does or doesn't, though, it's generally crippling to the guy's social life. The guy believes he has no redeeming qualities that would attract women, other than his own niceness. Eventually he may stop trying to be attractive at all, either in looks, interests, or attitude, thinking that niceness ought to be enough, and "Shouldn't a woman love me just for who I am?"

Treatment

The best treatment for the nice guy complex is self-improvement. An exercise program, art classes, dance lessons, or learning to cook are all great beginnings. The idea is to develop something that will help the guy be proud of himself, so that he doesn't have to dwell on his niceness as his primary redeeming feature. The idea is to progress from being merely a nice guy into an actual gentleman.

The irony, of course, is that developing any of these talents may attract a woman to him who will tell him, some day, that the thing she always loved about him is what a nice guy he is. Guys, don't believe her if this happens. All women love nice guys, but that's the last thing she really learns about you; what impressed her is the way you could dance or draw or, possibly, the way your butt moves when you jog.

Listen to me, geek boy. I can help you...

Romantic relationships are simple things, and the solutions to 95% of the problems you may encounter have been solved by independent experts hundreds of times over thousands of years; they only continue to plague persons like yourself because people are not logical and because it's easier and, frankly, more comforting to wallow in your problems rather than fix them. Instead of investing in the future through toil now, you are embracing the well-worn comforts of the present.

Was that too harsh? Sorry, you needed to hear it. Now, you say you suffer from the "nice guy problem" or "girls prefer assholes" or something similar. Do you really, really believe that?

Really? Oh my, it's worse than I thought...

Let me explain how this belief has come to be among men like yourself, sir.

To begin, there are two types of nice guys:

Type A nice guy is nice (of course,) self-confident, stable and okay-looking (note that I did not say "handsome" or "Fabio-like".) These men do have success with women! Quite a lot!

There also exist Type B nice guys. Type B guy is nice, but also desperate, lacking in confidence, unstable, or any other number of things.

If you think you're a Type A nice guy but can't understand your lack of success with women, then chances are you're type B.

Self-confidence is the secret. Really! Lack of self-confidence sits at the top of our mental lists of unattractive personality traits, whether we know it or not. Very few girls will be attracted to you if you lack confidence. Being "nice" doesn't hurt your chances with any women you'd really like to date, it's simply not enough by itself. Why do girls stay with assholes? Among other reasons, it's because they're confident, even in their jerkiness, and that's sexy.

Yeah, some girls are attracted to "Bad Boys." But the things that cause guys like you to believe that they represent the majority of women, well, you've seen them wrong.

Become more confident, but temper it before you become arrogant. Overeagerness is also very unattractive.

"But if I become more confident," I hear you asking, "Won't that mean I've ceased to be genuine? Some day a girl will come along who will appreciate me for who I am, and she'll make all the moves--a guy I know's friend had this happen once--"

Stop it! That's crap. Are you serious or not? I won't solve your moral dilemmas, and I'm not preaching entirely changing your personality, only a little therapy. And if your personality is that deeply associated with your lack of self-confidence, well, take comfort in the fact that you're not alone. Many persons going on anti-depressants have the same reaction; they find themselves having to begin anew, because they were so used to their pain it became a part of them--that's how they coped--and now they find a big part of what they knew missing.

Don't develop Stockholm Syndrome with your problems, Grasshopper. Read my words carefully. They are true. Now, go practice what I've preached. Today's lesson is over.

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