So this year you’ve resolved to do a few new things to improve yourself: eat better, join MMA classes, and take a digital detox from time-to-time. But what about your dating life? Does that need an overhaul? Well, if you’re still single—and not cool with that status—then, maybe, it’s time to change up your game.
Here’s a thought: why not try to be a nice guy this year to get the girl?
Now, I know the phrase that’s coming to your mind is “nice guys finish last”, but I should tell you that “bad boys”—those prescribers to the “love ‘em and leave ‘em” philosophy, those guys who exude such a cool indifference that it’s hard to tell if they’re actually interested—are not what a woman wants in the long-run. The Bad Boy is a sprint; the Nice Guy goes the distance. And before you get all “nice guys are nerds/weak/lame”, may I remind you of the ultimate nice guy: John Cusack. His Lloyd Dobler in “Say Anything” was the antithesis of the classic bad boy. He was kind, romantic and earnest. But most importantly, he got the girl in the end.
Here are some tips for you to be the kind of Nice Guy who finishes first, and gets the girl this year.
Maybe you don’t need to blast some Peter Gabriel from a boom box to let a lady know that you dig her, but some charm and gallantry goes a long way. We all know that chivalry is not really dead; it’s just taking a nap because y’all get lazy sometimes. Snap out of it! Women respond to compliments and kind gestures. And, no, it’s not being needy if you show her that you’re attracted to her. We’re not mind readers a.k.a. we need to know you’re jonesing us, so we can get things started! (Meaning dating, not necessarily sex.) So, tell that crush of yours that you think she’s foxy, invite her out to that movie she’s been talking about forever, and watch her swoon.
It’s the Little Things That Matter
Paying attention to your woman is a major component of not just being a nice guy, but moving any type of relationship forward. It’s observing that she’s cold, so you can offer her your sweater. It’s being able to tell that she’s having a bad day, so you can give her some space to cool off while pouring her a glass of wine. It’s remembering she has a gluten allergy, so when you make reservations for Friday night, you’re going to a restaurant that she’ll actually be able to enjoy. Showing that you care is by no means suffocating her, by the way. It’s, uh, showing that you care . . . which is a good thing.
Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve . . . At Least Try It
Machismo is gross. Bragging about how you “never cry” and coaxing people to punch your abs “as hard as you can, brah!” is just plain stupid. I don’t know many women who like a man who’s totally stoic and goes around like no one or nothing gets to him. Now, admittedly, I usually tend to go for the “strong and silent” type, but what really seals the deal for me is when I see his softer side emerge—even if briefly. Whether it’s surprising me with a cup of tea from Tim Horton’s because my throat’s sore or sharing with me the death of his beloved dog and how messed up he is from it, these are the moments that pulls at my heart strings because I get to see a vulnerable human being with feelings—real feelings! So tell her that you actually get pretty fucking scared when watching horror movies or how much your late grandfather meant to you. Let her into your heart because, really, that’s the best muscle you have.
Have Some Damn Integrity
Be a nice guy because you want to be a nice guy, not because you think you’re owed something. Don’t be that guy who has the “three date” rule. If you’re dating a girl who you’re really into, but she’s not ready for a sexual relationship, be cool with that. Don’t be the guy who buys a lady dinner and then expects her to be his girlfriend. Don’t be the guy who gives a woman flowers every week and then expects her to be totally okay with meeting your folks even if you’ve only been dating for a month. That’s douchey. Integrity also means being consistent. Call her when you say you will. Break up with her properly. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Be a Nice Guy because you are one.
Stop showing off. Quit the posturing, the exaggerations, the swagger. Stop it right now. Just be yourself. I know we all have defence mechanisms of which we rely on, especially when we’re nervous, but being yourself—your goofy self, your dorky self, your super intellectual self—is what we really want to see. Honesty is sexy. Speaking your truth is hot. And if you can talk to us like we’re already old friends and show an interest in our hobbies and accomplishments, then you’re pretty much guaranteed a phone number by the end of the night.
Women often mutter that “all the nice guys are taken”, but we both know that doesn’t have to be true. Be the exception, not the rule. May you find the love of your life this year. Or, at least, a pretty awesome Ms. Right Now.
Brianne Hogan is a freelance writer based in Toronto, something of a humorist, and considers herself more Bridget Jones than Samantha Jones. Though she won’t reveal which parts, she will admit to liking emotionally unavailable men and drinking lots of wine. You can follow her on Twitter @briannehogan
Photo courtesy of John Ashburne.