October 5, 2015 by Suzannah Weiss
On the ride home from a date spent struggling through a conversation with a guy I had very little in common with, he turned to me from the driver’s seat and asked, “So, want to do this again some time?”
I was genuinely confused by his suggestion.
He had spent the majority of our dinner at Applebee’s talking about his workout routines and the caloric content of the menu items; I was a Gender and Sexuality Studies student writing my thesis on how gender stereotypes contribute to eating disorders. It seemed like a horrible match.
“Honestly,” I said, “I’m not sure if we’d have much to talk about.”
“Do you mean all of that was for nothing?” he asked, taking me aback. “This always happens.”
“And what girls don’t realize is, I’m actually a nice guy,” he went on. “Most of the guys you dated before, you know, were probably just trying to pop you.” (I still cringe at that phrase
The unfortunate thing is, he actually succeeded in guilting me into a second date. At the time, I wasn’t well versed in what a self-identified “nice guy” (also sometimes known in feminist circles as Nice Guys™) actually was: someone who feels entitled to women for his supposed kindness.
I now know that Nice Guy™ behavior– which is based on one’s sense of superiority stemming from one’s “nice guy” status and usually accompanied by indignation when women reject the “nice guy” – is actually a telltale sign that someone is not nice.
While others may exhibit similar behavior, regardless of gender or orientation, “nice guys” are typically men who date women, since the entitlement they feel has misogynistic roots.
Since my first run-in with Nice Guy Syndrome™, I’ve encountered more “nice guys” who use similar arguments to advocate for themselves – statements I now view as red flags.
Here are a few popular claims made by “nice guys” and what you need to know if someone says them to you.