Relationship Ramblings

‘Nice Guys’ Finish Last, or at Least Should

I’ve drop-kicked one of my male friends out of the friend zone.

The other night I was out with three of my guy buddies — Rob*, Carl* and Jim*. We’re all single/divorced and talk about dating and relationships often.

Jim has been on the prowl since his divorce was finalized last March. He’s shameless about telling people that all he wants is a one-night stand. He constantly trolls the online dating sites, even on his phone when he’s out with us. It’s rude and annoying, and we’ve all told him so … on more than one occasion. When he’s not scrolling his phone, his eyes scan the room for the most attractive girls who usually are a good twenty or more years younger than his fifty years of age. If he gets the nerve to approach them, they immediately turn their heads and look away. I can practically see their skin crawl. On more than one occasion Rob and Carl have told me, “I’m embarrassed to go out with him. Sometimes I tell him that I have other plans even if I don’t.”

In the past two weeks Jim has made some comments suggesting that I should be his bedmate. I assumed Jim was joking the first time since he made the comments in front of Carl and Rob. I ignored it. The second time I told him, “What you said about taking me shopping at Victoria’s Secret and offering to keep me warm in your big, empty bed was uncomfortable and in bad taste. Knock it off.”

A few minutes later, Jim was telling Carl about one of his prospects, a new woman from his church who tempted him with her black knee-high boots. He said, “Hi,” to her. She said, “Hi,” back, which he took as a sign that she found him attractive. He saw her again at a New Year’s Eve singles mixer, approached her, and said, “Hey, you’re the girl with the boots,” he said. “I’ve been wanting to meet you.”

“Tell me you didn’t approach her that way,” I said.

“Yeah,” he said, as if he was proud of his bravado.

I shook my head and said, “Women don’t like to be approached that way. They want to see that you’re interested in them as a person and not as a sexual object.”

“Hey, it works sometimes,” he said.

How often is “sometimes” for him?

Never, and it’s not as if I and several of my guy friends haven’t given him tips on how to approach and treat women … advice that he has completely ignored.

Rob heard the conversation from the other room, and later told me, “It turned my stomach. I’ve hung by his side all this time because he’s going through a tough time and he’s lonely, but he’s been like an albatross around my neck. Now I know have to cut the cord.”

I’ve written about guys like him before**. I often don’t know whether to laugh or get ill. I guess I have a fascination with them in the same viewing-a-train-wreck way some people take an interest in people like the Lindsay Lohan, Honey Boo Boo and her family or the Kardashians. This time, it’s really hitting me hard because one of these guys is in my inner circle of longtime and cherished friends.

Earlier that day, I came across an article, A note on the Nice Guys of OK Cupid. The article is about a Tumblr site that mocks men who pass themselves off a “nice guys” but turn vicious and vindictive the moment women turn down their pleas to date for companionship for sex on the online dating site OKCupid, which the author, Laurie Penny, describes as, “a dispiriting catalogue of desperation and misogynist entitlement.”

Before you assume that the article is just a rant from a feminist, which Penny doesn’t deny, Hugo Schwyzer penned a similar point of view on Jezebel, No One is Entitled to Sex: Why We Should Mock the Nice Guys of OkCupid.

I assumed the Tumblr site was active when Schwyzer’ s article was published on January 3, 2013. When I clicked on the link three days later, it was gone.

Thinking back on what Rob said about standing by Jim’s side all this time, I wish I would have quoted Schwyzer’ s summation about Jim-like guys:

So how should we respond, when, as Penny writes, “sexist dickwaddery puts photos on the internet and asks to be loved?” The short answer is that a lonely dickwad is still a dickwad; the fact that these guys are in genuine pain makes them more rather than less likely to mistreat the women they encounter. A rage rooted in anguish is no less dangerous because it comes from the Great Big Sad Place. For that reason alone, we shouldn’t make men’s pain into women’s (or in Rob’s case, best buddy’s) problem to solve.

At least Jim doesn’t fire off vile and venom at the women who have turned down his offer for a one-night shag, although he refers to women as “chicks” and “broads”. He remains cluelessly hopeful that one will fall in his net.

From the gut-wrenching disgust of desperation and douchebaggery brought on by someone I considered to be a friend for a little over 30 years, I’m even more militant about exposing these men. It’s not just for the sake of laughing and venting with women (including myself) who have had to spend more than one minute messaging, talking, chatting or meeting with this ilk that compose the scum of bottom of the sea of the “plenty of fish”, but also for the sake of defending men who truly are nice guys without the quotation marks.

Genuine nice guys are out there. Really. I have one in my life, and he’s one of the best, if not the best.

Genuine nice guys don’t have to a woman they’re a nice guy when they’re throwing out the bait to get to know her. They’re not looking for a hookup; they’re looking for a woman they can find beautiful inside and out, appreciate, enjoy, and want to be with the morning after and hopefully happily ever after. Sure, they want a great sex partner, but considering that sex typically lasts anywhere from only twenty to forty-five minutes, there has to be more to fill those hours and days in between. When they don’t snag a catch, they don’t project their failure as the fault of “bitches”, “whores” and “sluts”. Sure, they get lonely and disappointed, but they’ll fill their alone time reading, writing, watching movies, fishing, hunting, sailing, brewing beer, baking bread, smoking bacon, or any number of things that make them interesting.

And interesting is sexy.

*Names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.
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