‘Niceness’ and ‘bad boys’ crowd out the ‘good guys’. Does this mean you are missing out on the quality men around you?
I’ve had people comment about the name of this site with things like:
“I read it as find an ice man”
“A nice man is boring – what about good guy?”
“Nice men end up in the friend zone”
It made me think about the connotations of being a nice guy – especially as I consider myself to be part of this group.
It also reminded me of being a teenager moving into early adulthood.
Growing up, a phrase I heard a lot from women was: “You’re really nice, but we can only be friends”.
And I hated it.
Still, plenty of women I’ve met over the years say they’d like to meet a nice man.
The phrase “nice guy” has a bad rep. Perhaps, for good reason. A “nice man” could be seen as a boring, insipid, almost emasculated kind of guy. Perhaps he is easily pushed around by women. One respected dating coach I emailed said that “most women are not seeking nice. They’re looking for a relationship-ready, quality, take charge, masculine guy.”
The Nice Guy Stereotype Pushes Out Good Guys
It’s useful for women to get a glimpse into the world of men – but not from the usual perspective. The discussion and conversation about men and masculinity has shifted. It can seem that there are lots of voices clamouring at once – the voice of traditional masculinity drowns out the quality men that women want to meet. Even worse, it could mean that genuinely nice guys don’t get the chance to grow into quality men. By sharing my journey, I aim to make it easier for women to understand what’s happening with us, and give some opening for action with the men you meet.
Part of the reason the “nice guy” stereotype pushes out good guys, is because masculinity as a whole is “having a moment”. There is an uneasiness to 21st century men that was not apparent with previous generations. I’m not saying that we don’t live in a male-dominated society and that sexism doesn’t exist; I’m suggesting that some of the extreme reactions to conversations about equality are driven by the fact that men’s traditionally strong position is being questioned.
Here are five quick examples of this uneasiness:
- The biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK is suicide
- In the school where I teach, lots of the boys in Sixth Form go to the gym, follow a particular diet and chase a six-pack – it was not like this twenty years ago when I was their age
- The goodmenproject.com (a brilliant website!) has the strapline “the conversation no-one else is having”
- The rise of the “Spornosexual” – “a social media and selfie obsessed male who takes cues on his appearance from sport and porn” – for example Cristiano Ronaldo
- Falling fertility rates and limited awareness, discussion, and funding of research into male fertility issues
Maybe You’re Missing The Good Guys
The toxic male stereotype drowns out the good guys, and paints nice men as plain, boring and uninspiring. You can take time to appreciate and talk to the guys around you. Give them space to show how great they really are. That also means not feeding the traditional stereotype. A new kind of man is emerging: he’s conscious, emotionally aware, and finds his strength in vulnerability. But he needs support in creating and finding his place in our world. Create a space for him to show up.
- Listen to the men around you when they share their passions
- If a guy you know is behaving inappropriately, tell him
- Don’t stay around men with sexist or negative attitudes – or take action that supports them changing
Have you ever asked yourself ‘Why can’t I meet good men?’ Discover your ‘Natural Dating Strategy’ and find out the answer.