#DearAbi I don’t want to be a nice guy anymore!
I hope this missive finds you well and in good spirit after Valentine’s day. I’ll get straight into it. Is there a way to write/talk about about being a nice guy without sounding pretentious?
The nice guy notion is something I’ve been struggling with for a while now, both in it’s implicit and explicit sense. The term nice guys is too subjective if you ask me.
Outside this discussion, I think it carries with it a sense of self-gratification that is somewhat rooted in patriarchy.
Like, what make you a nice guy?
A nice guy or good guy are informal terms for an (often young) adult male who portrays himself as gentle, compassionate, sensitive and/or vulnerable.The term is used both positively and negatively.
When used positively, and particularly when used as a preference or description by someone else, it is intended to imply a male who puts the needs of others before his own, avoids confrontations, does favors, gives emotional support, tries to stay out of trouble, and generally acts nicely towards others.
In the context of a relationship, it may also refer to traits of honesty, loyalty, romanticism, courtesy and respect.
When used negatively, a nice guy implies a male who is unassertive, does not express his true feelings and, in the context of dating (in which the term is often used), dishonestly uses acts of ostensible friendship and basic social etiquette with the unstated aim of progressing to a romantic or sexual relationship.
One of the biggest faults I find with “nice guys” (myself included), is the sense of entitlement we seem to have from treating someone right. Especially those of the opposite sex.
Thoughts like why a lady would choose the “bad guy” over you or why she’d want to keep you in the friend-zone while dating the guy you know to be a douche. Most times, one is just after the same thing as the other guy.
Someone recently told me that I need to stop being too PC. She’d asked what my type of woman was and felt like I beat around the bush with my answer to avoid being perceived as a “body-shamer”. Today’s society is not a big fan of neutrality and one is constantly expected to pick a side and stick to it.
Yes, we are. That’s why we need to constantly question ourselves and society. Men are only trash if they fail to unlearn, learn and work at being the better versions of themselves. And trust me, the better version of yourself doesn’t translate to being a nice guy.
The thing is, most of the time guys use the phrase nice guy it’s always an attempt to justify something about themselves. Or set themselves apart from other men.
I don’t want to be a nice guy anymore not because I intend to be disrespectful or be a dick. I don’t want to be a nice guy anymore because I am not perfect. I am a work in progress and everyday I make mistakes. These mistakes do not define me or make me a bad person. They are teachable moments to make me understand myself and grow as a person.
I want to be gentle, compassionate, sensitive and/or vulnerable but I don’t want to be a nice guy just to prove I am not like the rest of my fellow men (#NotAllMen).
What does a nice guy mean to you?