On Bad Boys And Nice Guys

You know how they say that girls always go for assholes, that they leave nice guys by the wayside? And you get a busload of self-proclaimed ‘nice guys’ whining and bitching about how they’re overlooked, how they’re friend-zoned, how despite always being there and serving as a shoulder to cry on they just never get a chance to prove how good they would be to whichever girl is the object of their affections.

Well, I’m sick of that whole schtick. I really am, sick to death of it. It makes girls look like these awful ungrateful, whining brats who don’t know a good thing when they have it. It makes us sound like gluttons for punishment, like hard-hearted bitches who trample all over nice, giving ‘good guys’ in our mad scramble to bed the bad boys.

I’m gonna call bullshit on that.

See, I’ve got a theory, and it’s that we’re all possessed by this need to be special, to be different – to matter so much to the person we choose to be with that we eclipse all that came before and all who will come after.

And yes, that’s ridiculous and patently selfish – to want someone to never be able to forget you, to be grateful to have found you, but not be prepared to do the same.

After all, who hasn’t harbored thoughts like these, jealous notions about your girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend, biting back sarcastic remarks about your boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend? But at the same time – and I know I am guilty of this – reminiscing about good times with an old lover, missing him after remembering a beautiful experience.

We ask from others what we ourselves are barely prepared to give.

But stemming from this need to be so special, so unique, we girls shun the good men solely because we know that being treated well by them is nothing special.

With a bad boy, if you can change him, if you can make that asshole settle down – now, now you’re special. Even if you had to drag him kicking and screaming to whatever level of commitment you desire.

After all, if an asshole feeds you a line, you can be pretty sure he’s fed it to other girls and they all didn’t matter.

But if a nice guy, a good boy, tells you you’re perfect or that he loves you more than anything, now that’s suspect. Has he said it to an old girlfriend? If he has, he probably meant it.

So really, who is the dishonest one here? The man who you know is lying to you, or the man who pretends he’s giving you something new and untainted and special when it’s really just second-hand sweet nothings?

Maybe the nice guys should take a minute to reflect on that one. Being nice, being upfront, being frank and sincere – maybe you’ve already given up the best of yourself. A bad boy, with his deep-rooted insecurities or mommy issues or broken heart, he’s fixable. He’s a project. By winning him, you can define your own uniqueness. He’s almost a trophy, to tell the world fuck yeah. I’m special. Look at me, I tied down this jerk and now he’s a lovable little puppy.

The nice guys, I think, are the most insincere of the lot. They’ll have sung love songs to old girlfriends, written poetry, delivered flowers, showered her with affection, taken her to expensive restaurants and pretentious plays.

And sure, it’s nice to know that there are men who treat their women right. But if you come after, if you turn up in his life too late, what’s to make anything he does for you special?

It’s not enough, I think, especially for the more neurotic females around, to just be treated well. We need to know we matter (that goes for men too).

We’re different. We’re special. We’ve made you do things you’d never considered before, that when you swear everlasting love (or to do the ironing) you mean it, you mean it because you love us and not just because you’re a nice guy who thinks it’s the right thing to do.

Do you give us backrubs and hang up our wet towels and tell us you’ve never met anyone as perfect because you love us more, or at least differently than anyone you’ve ever been with?

Or is it just what you do because you’re a nice guy, because that’s how you’ve loved all your girlfriends, because it sits well in your gut?

And if that’s the case, what’s different about this relationship? You’ve put an equal sign between us and your last lover, marking us as the same.

I could be anyone, I always think when I date a man like this.

How are we different from your high school sweetheart, your first love, your last love?

Do we move you? TC mark

image – Juliana Coutinho
Powered by Revcontent

I asked women to be honest about their Instagram photos

“The essays in this book are short and sweet, and incredible. Love love loved this.” — Alex

“I’m so in love with this book! It’s so moving and some of the stories bring me to tears not because it’s sad, but because it’s relatable and shows that we’re not alone.” — Kendra

This is the reality of Instagram...
On Bad Boys And Nice Guys is cataloged in , , , , , , ,
  • Anonymous

    hmmm. 

  • Maggie

    JFC – Thought Catalog narrates my life to a T.

  • Erin

    HOLY SHIT.

  • Asdf

    I think that you’re overthinking this to the point of banality. Serious over-analysis going on here.

    • http://twitter.com/tashny Tashny Sukumaran

      word.

  • IA

    It’s a bit degrading to guys, don’t you think? To girls, those bad boys are just trophies, conquests, etc.
    Personally, if a girl is actively looking for a bad boy then she’s not ready for a serious relationship. Instead of accepting a person for all that they are, the girl wants to dominate and control.

    • Hurr

       “To girls, those bad boys are just trophies, conquests, etc.Oh noes. Objectification. 

    • guest

      Maybe, but aren’t women, more often than not used as trophies by men!?

      • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.roseboom Jonathan Roseboom

        oh so that justifies your actions. eye for an eye, eh?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FSULMOB3WNYMOT5SBKVGZM27GM Ramathorn

    Um. I consider myself a “nice guy,” And what i’ve realized is that women just like something new and different, and being nice 24/7 isn’t an adventure at all. But the statement “A bad boy, with his deep rooted insecurities or mommy issues or broken heart, he’s fixable” doesn’t make much sense to me at all.

    • Customconcern

      How about you be yourself instead of being ‘nice’ all the time, then you won’t be such a doormat all the time. ‘Nice’ in this context isn’t for the benefit of others; it’s selfserving. 

      • Jordan

        Props on the Modest Mouse name.

      • Customconcern

        Seeing them live in August. Excited. 

      • Jordan

        I’m still pissed I passed up watching them play maybe 8 years ago because my job at WENDY’S was so goddamn important as a sophomore in college haha.  Damn, don’t think they’ve been back since.  Enjoy!

      • Jordan

        Props on the Modest Mouse name.

    • Guest

      I’m pretty sure anyone is capable of being both adventurous and nice at the same time. Try it sometime, boring one.

    • Hmmm

      Yea but you don’t want to be with the kind of girl who wants that… Girls who think of boys as projects thrive on drama. They are just as emotionally unavailable as the assholes they want to fix, they just don’t always realize it. 

  • Customconcern

    http://www.heartless-bitches.com/rants/niceguys/niceguys.shtml

    “But if a nice guy, a good boy, tells you you’re perfect or that he loves you more than anything, now that’s suspect. Has he said it to an old girlfriend? If he has, he probably meant it.So really, who is the dishonest one here? The man who you know is lying to you, or the man who pretends he’s giving you something new and untainted and special when it’s really just second-hand sweet nothings?”Treat them mean; keep them keen…

    • Customconcern

      Oops. Goddamn line spaces. 

      Girls will always be more attracted to the guy who behaves an ‘asshole’ than the guy who rubs their back/whatever.

      Guys who don’t realise this and bitch about it need to get some fucking self-respect. 

  • Natallie

    I just have to say right now I didn’t like this at all. So your telling me the ex that I had previously who was a  “bad boy” should have been the one for me despite the fact that he was emotionally abusive and made me feel like shit. And the guy who I’m dating now who is a “nice guy” I should dump because he all of the nice things he has done to me is all a lie? yeah… about that. I’m just saying don’t speak for everyone. Oh and by the way in most cases, you never “fix” the bad boy. They keep you around by thinking that you changed them from my own experiences with them.So I guess that means I’m not special. Oh well. But to each their own I suppose.

    • tash

      uh, not exactly.
      https://thoughtcatalog.com/2011/dating-an-emotionally-abusive-man/ is an earlier piece, i sort of feel they go together. i got out of something bad too, and i’m still healing – all this self-mindfuckery is part of the process (i hope). and i agree – you never fix the bad boy.
      and i’m very happy that you got out of that abusive relationship. good on you, love.

    • Guest

      you are making this way too complicated. so is the author. if all you want is a guy that does nice things for you, then keep him. duhr?

  • guest

    my two favorite things are commitment and changing myself.

  • Tynan Sinks

    UUUH so this is awesome and spot on.  You put into words what I’ve been trying to explain for forever.  So thanks!

  • LEAH DESSIN

    Wanting to ‘fix’ a bad boy is no better than being cookie-cutter ‘loved’ by a nice guy. Both of those actions delight in the process, not the person.

    I agree with your main point, which is telling good guys to reconsider *how* they love someone and to emphasize the “why” but I’m not looking for a guy to fix. Hammers are for houses not for hearts, and I might hit my own thumb in the fixing. 

    • Guest

      yeah. all of the nice guys i’ve met seem to fall in love SO easily. i’d rather be with the asshole that reluctantly falls for me, cause that’s more fun and it makes me feel accomplished. i’m not kidding here, I actually do like that..

  • guest

    so the argument here is that nice guys will have already been nice and sincere to other girls, so when they express affection it is hollow and meaningless, however because the bad guy is a jerk, he  must never have expressed love or affection so when he does do so to you he is being honest and truthful?  wouldn’t that then make him a nice guy?  

    and most of the girls i see that date jerks and try to change them (i guess so they can feel special?) end up in one failed relationship after another.  

    or maybe this is a joke and i dont get it. im not that sharp, and its early

    • Guest

      I mean, you might think it’s dumb, but this article is true to some extent. a lot of nice guys fall in love with practically every girl they date. the asshole type guy doesn’t fall easily for girls, so when he finally does, you know it is real.

      • Guest

        The article is true in that it accurately represents the way insecure women think. Life isn’t a romantic comedy and in real life the scenario playing in your head hardly ever happens. What really happens is an insecure, immature girl goes for “bad boy” who ends up treating her like garbage, sometimes even abusing her, or he “changes” was never that “bad” to begin with. If you actually think you can change men you’re delusional. People can only change themselves. 

        And again, why do you care who someone “fell in love with” before they dated you? Isn’t that better than some man whore that slept around with a bunch of tramps and got herpes before he met you? 

      • Guest

        hey, show me a woman who isn’t insecure at all and i’ll be your slave for life. thanks.

      • Guest

        even if a dude hadnt been fucking around with a lot of girls, he probably wanted to, so whats the difference?  you cant blame someone for getting something they want. who cares.

      • Humano

        Agreed on the last point

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=707272007 Alex Thayer

    i’ll be your project any day gurl

  • Michael Lynch

    Your quest to change ‘bad boys’ is so self serving. You shouldn’t be looking to change people. Let people be who they are.

    I also find it odd that you’re equating being kind with being insincere. Can a nice guy not be kind and mean it? Yes, perhaps he’s been nice to a lot of other girls in the past, but that’s better than being an asshole to a lot of girls in the past.

    If you truly take pride in changing people and only feel special after you’ve tamed a beast then you ought to check yourself. Good luck finding your asshole and my best regards to that poor soul.

    • Customconcern

      ‘Fore you wreck yoself. Indeed. 

    • Customconcern

      ‘Fore you wreck yoself. Indeed. 

  • Nate

    What are your thoughts on the nice guy with a bad case of gas? 

  • Asdf

    So when are we going to get the article about how abused girls shouldn’t whine about being thrown around, since they didn’t have enough “self-respect” to handle the situation. All they do is bitch and moan, but never actually leave their abusers. So, really, they’re the ones asking for it.  We all knew it, y’know, we just didn’t want to say it.

    Let’s fall back to axioms of truth: bitches go’n bitch, haters go’n hate, and you suck.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1811614915 Amy McDeath

    You know, as pleasing as it would be to have a perfect sociological answer to this supposed phenomenon, the world isn’t that simple. Especially when you’re trying to label people with such wildly subjective words like ‘nice guys’ and ‘bad boys’.

    Still, here’s a far more simple answer:
    When you’re into someone who isn’t into you, the people they are into are assholes.

    (Could go into the way that guys are fond of rationalizing and reasoning and bargaining their emotions away. Just look at the pros & cons! It’s clear that, logically, she should choose me!)

    Tbh, gotta steer clear of anyone who buys into this ‘girls go for assholes’ bs.

    • http://twitter.com/laurahtfraser Laura Fraser

      brilliant

  • Guest

    Aren’t you just trying to flip the whole situation around? Instead of the “nice guys” being the ones who do things for the other person so they can feel that they matter to them, YOU want to feel like you’re “in control.” Only instead of reciprocating love from someone who might actually like you, you prefer to find pet projects you can change so you can feel superior. I don’t see how you could love somebody who was an asshole from the start besides the fact that you “made” them. I think you might’ve got burned by one too many nice guys who realized you were kind of a bitch.

  • Guest

    Aren’t you just trying to flip the whole situation around? Instead of the “nice guys” being the ones who do things for the other person so they can feel that they matter to them, YOU want to feel like you’re “in control.” Only instead of reciprocating love from someone who might actually like you, you prefer to find pet projects you can change so you can feel superior. I don’t see how you could love somebody who was an asshole from the start besides the fact that you “made” them. I think you might’ve got burned by one too many nice guys who realized you were kind of a bitch.

    • tash

      actually, it’s more being burned by not-so-nice guys that has reduced me to a puddle of insecurity who tries to self-sabotage the healthiest of relationships by way of imaginary problems.

      • Guest

        Woman, you need to calm the fuck down. Love is like being a child again. Psychoanalyzing it and turning it into a therapy session defeats the purpose of falling in love.

      • http://twitter.com/tashny Tashny Sukumaran

        you’re not the first to tell me that, and the sensible part of me agrees 100%. 
        i kind of feel a lot of people missed the point of this piece – which is totally my fault because it means i didn’t write it properly :p

    • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.roseboom Jonathan Roseboom

      ^this.
      you couldn’t be any more right.

  • Sad Girl

    OMG — yes!  You hit the nail right on the head!!!  I never could quite put it into words and you just did!

    • http://halooverride.blogspot.com/ Halo_Override

      This is probably why you’re sad.

  • Amy

    I think this is a good topic and I’m glad you wrote about it, but I think that grouping men into the two catagoeries of “nice” or “asshole” is over generalizing.  Most people are capable of exhibiting either of these qualities. I’ve seen some “nice” guys do some pretty awful things and some “assholes” act extremely honorable.  I also think trying to change or fix someone is always a recipe for failure.

    • Guest

      I agree. I like this topic, and I think the author does make a good point about how we irrationally want to feel like we were the most special/unique person someone has been with. But I also feel like there are no such things as “bad boys” or “good guys.” I’ve never met one of either.

  • womp womp
  • womp womp
  • Jordan

    I think people have different definitions on what is meant by ‘nice,’ which causes much of the debate here.  People should get the point that ‘nice’ and ‘un-interesting’ are two different things.  That nice needn’t equal doormat.  It CAN, if nice is wrapped up in other bad qualities.  I think in this debate people wrap up nice, insecure, doormat, weak, all under the same umbrella, when these things need not be mutually inclusive.
     
    Consider your best friend, they’re generally  ‘nice’ to you (of course everyone falters, but I’m saying generally), but they’re interesting and engaging and thats why you’re bffs 4 life.
     
    Guys can be ‘themselves,’ ‘nice,’  ‘interesting, ‘and ‘intruiging’ all at once!  They can be a lot of things all at once, as can women.  I would propose a referendum on using ‘nice’ as the operative word here, but I don’t think thats gonna work heh.

    There would be no debate if the line was “Insecure guys finish last.”

    • Jordan

      With that said, didn’t we read this twice in the past month or so?

  • Jordan

    I think people have different definitions on what is meant by ‘nice,’ which causes much of the debate here.  People should get the point that ‘nice’ and ‘un-interesting’ are two different things.  That nice needn’t equal doormat.  It CAN, if nice is wrapped up in other bad qualities.  I think in this debate people wrap up nice, insecure, doormat, weak, all under the same umbrella, when these things need not be mutually inclusive.
     
    Consider your best friend, they’re generally  ‘nice’ to you (of course everyone falters, but I’m saying generally), but they’re interesting and engaging and thats why you’re bffs 4 life.
     
    Guys can be ‘themselves,’ ‘nice,’  ‘interesting, ‘and ‘intruiging’ all at once!  They can be a lot of things all at once, as can women.  I would propose a referendum on using ‘nice’ as the operative word here, but I don’t think thats gonna work heh.

    There would be no debate if the line was “Insecure guys finish last.”

blog comments powered by Disqus

More From Thought Catalog