Why You Should Date the Nice Guy
Leave the bad boys behind
Yes, it’s a cliché, but often the case. Women like to date the bad boys while ignoring the nice guy who remembers her favorite Starbucks order, who calls her on time and who dotes on her.
But why is this? Should a woman give a “nice guy” a chance, even if the attraction isn’t instantaneous? And how can she get over her desire for the guy with an edge?
LadyLUX talked to relationship experts to get the answers.
Why do bad boys appeal
There is a science behind why women are attracted to the dangerous “bad boy,” according to Dawn Maslar, author of From Heartbreak to Heart’s Desire: Developing a Healthy GPS (Guy Picking System). She also worked with the TED Education division (Lessons Worth Sharing) to create The Science of Attraction video.
“There is one big biological factor that may cause a woman to pick a bad boy type. The neurotransmitter that signals attraction is norepinephrine. It's one of the fight of flight neurotransmitters and gives you unmistakable feeling of attraction - rapid heart rate, sweaty palms, nervousness and shallow breathing. In fact, the more scary the situation, the stronger you can feel the response. Some people actually confuse fear with attraction in a phenomenon called misattribution of attraction. Therefore, when you meet the bad boy that has that air of living on the edge, the excitement can accentuate the attraction,” Maslar explained.
Relationship expert and radio host Jodi Riley said, “Women do not date the bad boys because of the ‘bad’ things they do or even their edge. They are usually attracted to qualities that can be found in a lot of men, nice guys included. It’s confidence, doing his own thing, not being restricted by all the rules, ability to think for himself and make decisions (typical alpha males traits) that women are most attracted to and that bad boys exude.”
Riley said, “Nice guys often don’t put off those vibes as they are trying to impress a woman rather than just being who they are. Nice guys tend to come off inauthentic and incidentally turn off the very women they are trying to attract. Nice guys often come with an agenda as well, it’s not really about getting to know who the woman really is, but more about getting her to like him, be his girlfriend etc. Most women will pick up on that energy because it feels awkward and is not attractive.”
Give the nice guys a chance
In her inimitable blunt way, Tina Tessina, aka Dr. Romance, said it shouldn’t even be a question as to why a woman should date a nice guy.
“Any woman with any degree of self-esteem should want a man with character, who will treat her well and be a good partner. Being attracted to bad boys is just stupidity. If you want a happy life, find a good guy. If you want to be miserable and broken-hearted, maybe even ripped off and abused, date a bad boy," Tessina said.
Of course, it’s easier said than done. But armed with the knowledge of the biology at play behind a woman’s choices, it’s easier to give the nice guys a better chance.
Riley said in order to get past a desire for a dangerous bad boy, a woman “needs to determine exactly what it is she is attracted to. Is it a lifestyle? Is it his confidence? Is it his decision making, take charge attitude? I can guarantee it’s most likely not his bad behavior, cheating etc. Once she knows what the attraction is, she can better discern that in men that will have those same attributes, but not the undesirable behavior.”
Riley said a woman should give a nice guy a chance, “If she is attracted to him and thinks they may share some interests and values. I would always suggest a woman at least give a nice guy one or two dates to get to know him better. It never hurts to get past the nerves and see what might be beyond the first impressions.”
Traits to look for
Tessina said that if you’re on a date, you’d think the positive signs would be obvious, but it’s easy to overlook them in the excitement of a first date.
“What makes for a great date may not be all you need for a great relationship. This checklist of positive signs will help you evaluate your date in a realistic manner. If you get a lot of these positives, this date might be a good choice for marriage,” Tessina said.
Here are Tessina’s recommendations on what qualities to look for in a long-term partner:
- Sense of Humor - Of all the characteristics that are essential for getting through life successfully, a sense of humor has to be in the top ten. But, what kind of a sense of humor? Joking at someone else’s expense or at inappropriate times can be counter-productive. Using jokes to avoid taking responsibility for ones behavior can prevent you from solving problems. The sense of humor you’re looking for is the generous, positive kind that makes life more fun and the tough times easier. If your date can make your laugh, and lift your spirits, that talent may help you through some future difficulties.
- Cares What You Think - A date who asks for and listens to your opinions and feelings, and better yet, who remembers what you say and builds on it later, and who responds with empathy, sincerity and caring, is someone you can communicate with and therefore, more likely to be able to form a partnership with you.
- Has An Opinion, Too - A truly good conversationalist not only listens to your words and responds, but also has ideas and opinions. Your date should not hesitate to disagree with you or to bring up new topics.
- Can Work Things out with You - Recent research shows that the single most important quality which determines whether a relationship can succeed is how well the couple solves problems. If you have a disagreement while dating, welcome it as an opportunity to see how well the two of work it out together. If you can discuss your differences without becoming defensive or sarcastic, and you can listen to each other and work together toward a solution, your relationship has an excellent chance.
- Accepts Who You Are - A popular book asserts that Men are from Mars, and Women are from Venus, but I think its more that were all from different planets. You and your date are unique, special and individual and need to be able to understand each other, and accept that you’ll perceive things very differently. Even when you and your date see things differently, you should be able to agree to disagree.
- Openness: Discloses Self - The whole point of dating is to get to know each other. While you both may want to take a little time before disclosing too much, your date should be comfortable talking about himself, and it should not be like tooth pulling to find out what you need to know.
- A Together Life: Job, Friends, Family Relationships, Interests - A date who has a full, interesting life you would want to be a part of is more likely to be a healthy, balanced person. While its important to have some relaxation time, and time to meditate or think, a life that includes a good career, hobbies or sports, community service and friends and/or family is reassurance that your date is motivated, focused and able to relate.
- Intelligence - Your date doesn’t need to be a member of Mensa or a mathematical genius, but look for enough intelligence that you can respect and admire each other. There are several kinds of intelligence, from school learning to independent education by reading, working, traveling, and life experiences. An airhead who looks good and may be fun to play with, will not keep you interested for long. A date who is not interested in learning and growing intellectually may not be able to keep up over the long haul.
- Modesty, Humility, Ego (In Balance) - As you learn about this new person you’re dating, observe his or her character and personality for signs of a balanced sense of self. If your date can keep success and failure in perspective, admit personal shortcomings, and rise above disappointments and losses, he does have a balanced personality, and the kind of resilience that can travel through life’s highs and lows and keep it all in perspective.
- Emotionally Mature - While its fun and charming to be able to be childlike when in a playful mood, it’s essential to be an adult whenever necessary. A date who is responsible, self-regulating, emotionally responsive, motivated, and in control of his impulses, is capable of being a supportive, fully participating partner, no matter what joys and sorrows, successes and failures you may face in the course of a lifetime.
- Healthy History of Relationships (Not Perfect, Just Normal) - Of course, if both of you are dating again, your relationship history will probably not be perfect. What counts is whether your date has learned from the problems, confronted his own weaknesses and shortcomings, and grown as a result of the setbacks.
And another way to look at it, is if you have been dating without finding a good guy for a long-term relationship, then it might be time to change your perspective on exactly what type of guy you should be dating. Get out of your comfort zone and date the kind of guy you would normally ignore, and you just might find love when you least expect it.