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Author Topic: Meditations on "Nice Guys"
Dogbreath
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I really liked this. I wonder if any of these friendzoners would just simply try something like "Hey, you're really cute! Can I have your number?" and then, you know, ask a girl out on a date or something, if they wouldn't find themselves having a lot better luck. Because of all the guys I've ever heard complain about the friendzone, I can't think of any who have actually tried asking more than a handful of girls out. Instead, they try and befriend the girls they like, and then get angry when the girl doesn't respond to their creepin'. Rejection isn't that terrifying, I mean, my friend Ed is famous for approaching two girls at a bar and saying "Hey, you're beautiful. Want to dance?" "No? Well, what's your friend's name?" and then asking her friend the same question. He might talk to 10 or 20 girls in a night, but he usually ends up taking one home because he's not terrified of the first 9 or 19 or whatever rejecting him. He just smiles and moves on.
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T:man
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quote:
Originally posted by Dogbreath:
Rejection isn't that terrifying,[/b]

Please speak for yourself! Luckily I don't have to approach women, all of my relationships found me.
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DarkKnight
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This is from Jenna Marbles... she is bit crazy in a good way and it does contain bad language but at least it is a women's point of view...
Jenna Marbles Nice Guys Do Not Finish Last (Does contain many curses)

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Samprimary has almond breath. Discuss.

Cyanide poisoning? Get to a doctor, Samprimary!
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Samprimary
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no jokes, I've been direly ill for over a month now and poisoning was one if the things being investigated medically alongside video records
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Sa'eed
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(Post Removed by JanitorBlade)

[ February 08, 2014, 05:54 PM: Message edited by: JanitorBlade ]

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Sa'eed
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(Post Removed by Janitorblade)

[ February 08, 2014, 04:52 PM: Message edited by: JanitorBlade ]

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The Black Pearl
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I told this story on the other site. But my old roommate had a conversation with a girl and recorded it without her knowing so he could listen to how he talks to girls. I got back from class and he was literally watching it on my HDTV.

weirdo

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Emreecheek
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This is always what I think of when somebody says "nice guy"
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David Manning
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
...this comic...

Am I the only one kind of bothered by the fact that the female protagonist violently attacks the male when he was being verbally obnoxious?
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Rakeesh
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1. It's a comic in which the characters are literally costumed vigilante-types, inspired by, well, comics. Fisticuffs are rather expected. Now if you actually believe the moral is 'use violence against guys if you don't like what they say', thenn I think you might have a point, but I think such a reading would be pretty bizarre.

2. Labeling her an evil bitch and asking for romantic credit for not raping her (do you recognize the implicit threat there, by the way?) is a little more than just 'verbally obnoxious'. That said, though, if you do believe the point was 'violence in response to words', I'll agree with your uneasiness.

3. Personally I was a little annoyed at the near-nudity. I mean it's like she was some sort of exhibitionist, isn't that a little unsettling? And did they ever pay for their meal or what? I'm not sure I like the message that sends.

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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
Originally posted by Dogbreath:
I really liked this. I wonder if any of these friendzoners would just simply try something like "Hey, you're really cute! Can I have your number?" and then, you know, ask a girl out on a date or something, if they wouldn't find themselves having a lot better luck. Because of all the guys I've ever heard complain about the friendzone, I can't think of any who have actually tried asking more than a handful of girls out. Instead, they try and befriend the girls they like, and then get angry when the girl doesn't respond to their creepin'. Rejection isn't that terrifying, I mean, my friend Ed is famous for approaching two girls at a bar and saying "Hey, you're beautiful. Want to dance?" "No? Well, what's your friend's name?" and then asking her friend the same question. He might talk to 10 or 20 girls in a night, but he usually ends up taking one home because he's not terrified of the first 9 or 19 or whatever rejecting him. He just smiles and moves on.

This was bothering me for a while and finally motivated me enough to respond:

a) yes, effortlessly, confidently saying "hey, want to dance?" works fine *if* you are not terrified, if you have an array of important social skills which do not come naturally to some people.

(I am reminded of this comic. )

b) the actual recommendations by PUA books prominently tell people "don't get fixated on one girl, ask a whole bunch of people out, you'll get practice and you'll gain confidence." They also do come with a bunch of advice (some good, some bad, some ugly) on how to approach women and be interesting to them, but acting like all you have to do is be simple and open up with a confident one liner is just false.

You won't be successful trying to approach it with all the numbers and strategy in your head - but there's a bunch of subtle stuff going in the "hey, let's dance?" that some people just don't know and that you're not noticing because it's so second-nature to you.

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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
This was bothering me for a while and finally motivated me enough to respond:

a) yes, effortlessly, confidently saying "hey, want to dance?" works fine *if* you are not terrified, if you have an array of important social skills which do not come naturally to some people.

I'm not entirely sure why you would be terrified, or what those skills would be.


quote:
(I am reminded of this comic. )

b) the actual recommendations by PUA books prominently tell people "don't get fixated on one girl, ask a whole bunch of people out, you'll get practice and you'll gain confidence." They also do come with a bunch of advice (some good, some bad, some ugly) on how to approach women and be interesting to them, but acting like all you have to do is be simple and open up with a confident one liner is just false.

Ok, full stop. I'm neither talking about being a pick-up artist or endorsing any kind of "strategy" so to speak. I've never had a one night stand, and there's a *huge* difference between successfully getting a girl you just met to have sex with you that night, and getting her to give you her phone number or maybe asking her on a date. The former seems to rely on blind luck, alcohol, incredible good looks, and good social skills. (usually in that order, unfortunately, though I'm not entirely sure) The latter mostly involves just being a honest and decent person, having reasonable expectations, and, you know, talking to somebody.

That being said, you definitely have a point about practice, which I guess is mostly what I'm trying to get across. For me, I started swing dancing socially when I was 16 (took a class, and me and my dance partner at the time went every Friday night), and I learned quite a bit instinctively from that. (my wife and I met swing dancing, and we still go most weeks) How to approach someone with open, nonthreatening body language (to ask them to dance). How to make small talk. What seems creepy or disturbing, and what seems funny or charming. About 20 or 30 funny stories about myself I learned to tell over and over. (4-6 minute dances 30 or 40 times a night lead to repetition) Not that I was writing any of this down or doing it consciously.

That being said, those are basic social skills anyone learns in school. It's the whole point of dances, social events, games, parties, etc - it's a (more or less) safe environment to learn those sorts of skills by trial and error. It's not some sort of PUA playbook or complex strategy. And if for some reason you don't have those skills, you can easily learn them just by taking some time, finding a hobby you like (whether it's drinking or dancing or kayaking or hiking or whatever), and talking to people you meet.

I'm not trying to be condescending with this. I'm as socially awkward as your next nerd, and by no means am I a "player" or anything. I just think people (perhaps afraid of rejection, or maybe just situations they can't control) try to hard to manipulate and strategize their way through a perfectly simple and natural process.

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Raymond Arnold
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Hmm. I'm realizing that the point I'm making was relying on a lot of underlying assumptions we don't seem to share, and I don't know if its worth the time to discuss them in full detail.

Your paragraph listing skills you learned in swing dancing is a good example of the sorts of skills I'm talking about, and the way you went about it was a good way to go about it.

But they are also clearly skills that a) came easily to you, b) you were fortunate enough to learn when you were 16, where the stigma for screwing up at them was lower.

The more general point is that almost all skills work best when you've internalized them and can do them "simply, and naturally", but almost *no* skills are actually simple and natural.

When you first learn to draw, you have to learn how to hold a pencil properly (because you're probably holding it wrong), you have to learn how to look at objects and actually see them (because you are probably looking at objects wrong), and you have to learn to move then pencil where your brain actually wants it to go.

Then you have to learn how to integrate all of that into a single, fluid process.

To some people (like me), those skills come fairly naturally, don't produce anxiety, and I was good enough at drawing at an early age that I put a lot of practice hours in and got good.

To other people I've taught, they didn't come naturally at all, they had to learn each piece in a deliberate, strategic way, and it's only *after* they've learned all the pieces that they can integrate them into something smooth and natural.

And some people are afraid of "drawing badly and getting judged" just as some people are afraid of getting rejected. And we can come up with Evo-psych reasons why that might be the case, which are probably wrong, but it's still the case that a *lot* of people are terrified, and your statements still feel very dismissive of that to me.

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Rakeesh
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I think that if Dogbreath's remarks had been made in a more general context, waving aside anxieties over rejection in a more normal interaction, I would agree with you, Raymond. But in this context, wherein the inward anxiety of a given man twists into various shades of false, agenda-driven friendship with a given woman-and all of that somehow becomes her problem-I think some stern reminders that no, this anxiety isn't somehow immutable, and that even if it is, it's the given man or woman's responsibility to work through that rather than insist potential mates must accommodate, are in order.

For one thing,it's not really much like drawing. There are similarities, but this is an interpersonal thing, and no one, least of all a friend who is being falsely pursued, is under any obligation to value the anxiety and fear of embarrassment of someone else over their own dignity. The people in your example, even those deeply anxious and embarrassed about exposing their (initially) poor talent at drawing...they've got the option to take a class. Practice, study, committment. Granted the stakes are potentially higher in dating becaus you're offering up more of your own vulnerabilities, but isn't that the cost of entry anyway? Which is really better at cutting the anxiety? Direct advice on tools that will work if used, friendly sternness that it can be done; or an overall focus on the high stakes and acknowledgments that risking rejection is a big, dangerous hurdle?

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Dogbreath
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Raymond: I can definitely appreciate that some skills come more easily to some people than others, and that some people (due to bullying, or shyness, or other physical or social reasons) don't really begin socializing until their 20s. I can also understand and appreciate social anxiety - now I know a bit more of what you mean by "terrified" and it makes sense.

That being said, feeling terrified about admitting your feelings to your first crush when you're 14 is one thing, feeling that way at 22 or 23 is quite another. I think, much like how the first time you ride a given rollercoaster it's gut wrenching, but by the end of the day at the amusement park it barely causes any rush at all, it's something that should go away with practice. If not, it's probably indicative of bigger problems...

I guess my main objection is that many men and some women of my generation (including some friends of mine) seem to resort to dishonesty and manipulation to get around this social anxiety rather than simply working through it and getting better. Much like some people choose to take painting lessons, there are a plethora of resources for learning and practicing social skills. Speed dating, dance lessons/clubs, hiking clubs, kayaking clubs, fraternaties, social clubs in general, coed sports teams, "singles groups" at churches, online dating, even clubs and bars if you're feeling traditional. And it's not like every woman (or other man, I guess) is completely smooth or socially apt, either. Just making the attempt and being honest and upfront covers a lot of ground, no matter how awkward or uncomfortable it may seem.

It's easier for some people and harder for others. Finding a mate has certainly NOT been easy for me by any means, and I've had to struggle quite a bit with relationships and learning how to be a partner in a healthy relationship. Or, in fact, learning what a healthy relationship *is.* I spent a good part of my admittedly short life as a loner, and I've gone through quite a bit of pain and grief over the past 4 years because of it. So please don't think I'm being dismissive.

But would you recommend someone learn how to paint legitimately - even if it takes him or her 10 years to learn the fundamentals, or would you rather have him or her be a lousy painter who learns how to manipulate other people into telling them that their painting looks nice? Because I honestly feel if these guys would take the same time and energy they put into learning PUA tricks or befriending girls with the intention of guilting them into a relationship, and put it into learning actual social skills, they'd be a lot better off.

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Dogbreath
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Going back to the beginning comic, I'm paint a scenario that might help some of the heterosexual men here understand it a bit better.

Imagine you meet a guy. He's a lot bigger than you are and you feel somewhat physically intimidated by him. He's kind of shy and awkward, but he's really friendly towards you, and you two strike up a friendship. He's always there for you, talking to you after you've had fights with your girlfriend, seeing movies, spending weekends at the beach or waterpark or star wars convention, and he's very patient and kind and giving with his time. You start to trust him, telling him some of your deepest secrets, and consider him a close friend.

Then one day, he says:

"do you want to, you know, go out with me?"
"Um, aren't we out right now???"
"No, like, as a date."
"Oh. Wow, uh, no offense bro, you're really cool and everything, but I'm not into you that way..." (you don't want to hurt his feelings, he is a really great friend)
"This always happens! You stupid men never like me because I'm too *nice*. I spent all that time hanging out with you and being your friend and it means nothing to you! You just want some asshole, don't you? See what a nice guy I am, I didn't even rape you that one time we were hanging out and you were really wasted!"

And at that point your friend starts being a complete jerk and either completely ignores you, or starts being all stalkery and creepy.

Now would you think he was a genuinely nice guy who's miffed about being turned down, or would you think of him as a creeper? And would you feel grateful he didn't decide to take advantage of you, or would you feel completely creeped out that he thought that was an option in the first place? Would you even want to keep seeing him, knowing that everything he did was just an attempt to get you to have sex with him? Would you feel he betrayed you in some way?

I imagine that's somewhat similar to what women who have men befriend them under false pretenses feel.

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scifibum
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I think it's helpful to remember that preferring to make friends in low pressure, less stressful situations, and hoping that this may lead to some kind of eventual romantic connection is not always creepy and problematic.

If you think being a nice friend entitles you to romance and a sexual relationship, yeah, that's probably creepy. But lots of us who have genuine/good/healthy relationships got there through that sort of path.

The advice is: don't be an entitled creep.

One way not to be an entitled creep is to make your attraction known up front. This can require (or be a way to build) certain types of social skills to learn how to start dating people you are interested in.

But it's not the only way. If you can't stop objectifying and longing for the love of your friend who isn't interested in the romantic angle, you probably need to back off the friendship and spend your time with other people. But if you can just be friends with someone because you like being friends with them, and you aren't hung up on something they aren't up for, then that can be okay.

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Aros
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I think that the examples being used are prone to more than a touch of hyperbole. And I'd wager that a lot of this behavior stems from a lack of social skills.
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Dogbreath
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This thread is oriented around the sorts of people who specifically treat friendship as a means of manipulating girls into dating them and act as if "being nice" entitles them to sexual favors from said girls. It's a real problem.

That being said, of course there's no problem with falling in love with a friend. So long as you're honest with your intentions, there's not even any problem with befriending someone with the hopes of dating them. It's the "I'm going to pretend to be your friend, but really I'm trying to get you to screw me" attitude that is really the issue. And with that, the main problem is with the attitude afterward, the "she friendzoned me because I'm too nice!" entitlement bullshit. If it was more of "want to go out?" "No." "Ok, I accept that and respect your choice, because I am a well adjusted adult" it wouldn't be an issue.

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Raymond Arnold
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I just realized I hadn't been participating in the conversation prior to now, so it's probably not clear: I totally agree with the "nice guy" problem (I think scifibum's recent phrasing most summed up my position.)

What I don't like about the comic was that it dismisses the nice guy in exactly the wrong way. Saying "just be yourself and ask her out simply" is just about the most useless advice you can give a person, and I think the lack of *actual* good advice is part of why we end up with Nice Guys™ in the first place.

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Dogbreath
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How is it useless, though? I honestly think it's fantastic advice. I think the bad advice is the "don't ask consent, girls don't like being asked" and the "you have to play the game and do x, y and z to get a girl to like you" nonsense. I've stated repeatedly, and afaik every woman who has posted in this thread has agreed, that simply asking someone is by far the best way to go about it.

Obviously it can be more nuanced than that. And having appropriate body language, a nice smile, pleasent small talk, etc. can certainly make someone more likely to say yes. But why on Earth do you think teaching men to simply ask a girl out is a bad idea? This is mind boggling.

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Rakeesh
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I think Raymond's issue is with the specifics of the advice, rather than the overall approach. That said, though, isn't the only way to mitigate the often taught shame and reluctance associated with rejection to...well, advise those worried about it to just go for it and thus innoculate themselves by discovering it's not a terrible idea?
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scifibum
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quote:
That said, though, isn't the only way to mitigate the often taught shame and reluctance associated with rejection to...well, advise those worried about it to just go for it and thus innoculate themselves by discovering it's not a terrible idea?
A lot of dating advice tends to be oriented toward being confident and forward (and hopefully respectful and polite at the same time). I think there are people who do better with a different approach, that can resemble "Nice Guy" behavior in some particulars without amounting to the same thing.

One can take an approach that guards against a fear of rejection without going full on "Nice Guy" creep, in other words.

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Dogbreath
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Yeah, there's a lot to be said for being subtle. And it's entirely reasonable if you want to just be flirtatious and let the other person make the first move. (this is common and even, unfortunately, expected of women) And sometimes, if you happen to become attracted to a friend, it's better to drop hints or flirt and see if they respond in kind than force a direct confrontation. But that's all about comfort, situation, or preference. No matter how you go about it, you are making a proposition, and are standing the chance of being rejected. And if you're using a subtle approach *because* you're afraid of rejection, it's probably not the healthiest situation.

Honestly, if you have a crippling fear of rejection, it seems like you should take care of that before trying to get involved in relationships.

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Aros
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No . . . screw this post.

I would posit that this whole "nice guy" meme is nothing more than a defense for women, a rationalization to be a-holes. A genuinely nice guy becomes infatuated with a woman, treats her well, and at some point is rebuffed. He is not socially able to handle it well. That DOESN'T mean he is a bad guy, just that he isn't well socialized.

So . . . hey . . . there's a meme about it. Let's just assume that all the guy ever wanted was sex. The onus is on them. They're a creep, right? It's an obligation, right? Let's belittle the fact that he is a decent human being. Oh, what, he's not socially on par to make a proper romantic approach? Well, he should learn better, because he's coming off like a creeper.

I'm glad we can just make up memes to make us feel better about ourselves. You have guys pining all Dawson's Creek style, about some true romantic love or whatever, and sexist (yes, sexist) women minimizing their affections into technique to get sex.

Honestly, ladies. If that's all a guy wants, he would use a PUA approach. I would wager that 90% of these guys are just too sensitive or genuine or honest to go that route. They're hurt because you broke their heart -- might as well just chalk it up to rape culture, right?

I'm kind of ashamed for you all right now.

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CT
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Aros, there can definitely be bad behavior by individuals in any group of people -- women or men, young or old. And also, I think this is critically important:

quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
A genuinely nice guy becomes infatuated with a woman, treats her well, and at some point is rebuffed. He is not socially able to handle it well. That DOESN'T mean he is a bad guy, just that he isn't well socialized.

And his inability to handle it well is his problem. That doesn't make it easy to deal with, and it doesn't make it pleasant, but it is his to deal with and take responsibility for, not anyone else's.

That's the heart of it. It doesn't make him a bad guy, but it does make him a guy with a problem. His problem.

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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:


I'm kind of ashamed for you all right now.

And the entire gender weeps at your disapproval.

Wait, no. No, we don't. Because, as stated above, your emotions are not our responsibility.

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BlackBlade
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Perhaps part of the problem with nice guys is nobody really tells you what to do after you ask a girl out and they say no. If you are strangers it's not too difficult, but what if you have grown close as people?

You have unwanted feelings that you can't switch off. Do you retain the relationship? What if she gets a boyfriend, how do you accept a weaker relationship without feeling hurt? What if her boyfriend is abusive? Do you try to persuade the girl to break up with the guy despite the obvious reasons to recuse yourself?

I wish I could say I was a good friend when presented with these questions. For me, she liked me once, but I didn't like her back. Soon after I fell hopelessly in love with her, but she found a boyfriend who was seriously broken inside and abused her verbally.

I was *not* supportive in the ways I should have been. Part of that was dealing with love and sexual attraction for the first time, and at the same time with my best friend who I wanted to help because she was being hurt.

What do I do with my feelings? Do I show persistence and prove that I'm serious? All sorts of media says this will work. Surely I shouldn't repress them because they are new beautiful painful powerful emotions I've never felt before, and that would be sinning against myself. But these feelings make me unhappy, but they wouldn't if this other person would just change how they felt about me. I would be indescribably happy if these feelings I had were reciprocated. Possibly the most important thing that could ever happen to me will happen if I try to change her mind. The cost of failure is easily eclipsed (wrongly believed) by the fruits of success. What's the worst thing that could happen? She continues to not like me?

Couple that with the seemingly therapeutic effects of venting your frustration at the source of your frustration and you have a potent recipe for a person acting like a selfish jerk to a friend.

I think learning to deal with unwanted attraction would be a good fertile ground to start preventing nice guy syndrome. Also men learning as others have said, that those feelings of attraction, loneliness, etc are *your* problem. If you felt incredibly angry, we'd all react in horror if you told a friend, "You should let me punch you in the face so I feel better." So why does, "I am dealing with strong feelings of physical attraction, you should let me have sex with you." feel so much more acceptable?

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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by dkw:
quote:
Originally posted by Aros:


I'm kind of ashamed for you all right now.

And the entire gender weeps at your disapproval.

Wait, no. No, we don't. Because, as stated above, your emotions are not our responsibility.

That's my point. Not much seems to be ANYBODY'S responsibility anymore. They're all ready to blame a meme and shove the onus in somebody else's lap.

People aren't memes.

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Aros
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BB: I don't think it's about sex in most of these instances. In my opinion, the men want relationships. Isn't it sexist of some people to believe they're one and the same?
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CT
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
That's my point. Not much seems to be ANYBODY'S responsibility anymore. They're all ready to blame a meme and shove the onus in somebody else's lap.

People aren't memes.

*gently

Yes, people are people. And adult people are responsible for their own feelings, actions, and reactions.

Adult people are not responsible for other adults' feelings, actions, or reactions -- no matter how close they may be, not even if they have been married for 20 years to one another.

We are each, as adults, responsible for ourselves. If we didn't yet learn what we needed to learn about emotional continence and appropriate actions, then it is our own responsibility to find a way to learn it. It is not any particular other person's responsibility to teach us.

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Dogbreath
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I really think you're missing a lot of the subtext. Nobody is saying don't be nice.

There are plenty of nice guys who ask girls out and get accepted. There are plenty more who are rejected and take it gracefully and with maturity.

The only thing that's being condemned in this thread is the entitled attitude and the dishonesty. And that definitely happens, to one degree or another, with a lot of people.

Can/do women use this meme as an excuse to be A-holes? Oh absolutely. There are people who use any excuse to be A-holes. And sometimes if you're a legitimately nice guy, you can get burned because a woman is too quick to be judgemental. Her loss, right?

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
BB: I don't think it's about sex in most of these instances. In my opinion, the men want relationships. Isn't it sexist of some people to believe they're one and the same?

You might not be thinking about fornication right now, but if you are thinking of being boyfriend/girlfriend you are navigating sexual attraction or put another way physical intimacy.

We can change the analogy to, "I have a strong need to be physically intimate, let me cuddle you right now."

"I have a strong need to feel loved, tell me you love me."

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Aros
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Meh.

This meme is a pill for women who don't want to feel guilty about leading on good men. They string them on as a backup plan and then dump the onus on the guy.

All of the posts have referred to this "behavior" as if it's a sort of strategy to get in girls' pants. 99% of the time it isn't.

I'm generalizing. So is everyone else on this thread. "Nice guy" isn't a thing. It's an excuse to make yourself feel better. You're not attracted to him? Fine. He reacted poorly? So what? His reaction is on him. But don't pretend like it was just a strategy to get you in the sack just to shrug off a real thing.

Affection is not equal to sex. Yes, they both get to the same place eventually. But that's like saying that the only goal in football is to go to the Superbowl.

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CT
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
All of the posts have referred to this "behavior" as if it's a sort of strategy to get in girls' pants.

*eyebrows raised, gently

quote:
You're not attracted to him? Fine.


Yes, it is fine.

quote:
He reacted poorly? So what? His reaction is on him.


Yes, it is on him.

quote:
But don't pretend like it was just a strategy to get you in the sack just to shrug off a real thing.


Yes to this, too. If this is what happened in a given circumstance, then engaging in pretense is the responsibility of the person doing it, and she (or he) would be engaging in inappropriateness.

And it is also true that no matter how badly someone wants something, that doesn't mean they get to have it.

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Dogbreath
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A pretense is still a pretense. Whether you're manipulating someone into having sex with you or into cuddling or smooching with you, it's still manipulation. If the friendship *is* genuine, then there shouldn't be this expectation of reciprocation and anger when it doesn't happen. "I did all this stuff for you and you still won't go out with me!" - but were you honest with your intentions or is you do that stuff under the pretense of friendship? If you were nice to her only because you wanted something back, you weren't really nice. And I think that most people (men or women) would view said "poor reaction" as an indication that you were doing just that. It certainly wouldn't build trust, in any case.

Again, being nice (to all people) is one of those basic, fundamental qualities of a decent human being. It isn't something that somehow entitles you to have what you want from someone else. It's that other person's choice to decide if they want to give that. All you can control is what you decide to give.

[ February 19, 2014, 11:52 AM: Message edited by: Dogbreath ]

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Dogbreath
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A pretense is still a pretense. Whether you're manipulating someone into having sex with you or into cuddling or smooching with you, it's still manipulation. If the friendship *is* genuine, then there shouldn't be this expectation of reciprocation and anger when it doesn't happen. "I did all this stuff for you and you still won't go out with me!" - but were you honest with your intentions or is you do that stuff under the pretense of friendship? If you were nice to her only because you wanted something back, you weren't really nice.

Again, being nice (to all people) is one of those basic, fundamental qualities of a decent human being. It isn't something that somehow entitles you to have what you want from someone else. It's that other person's choice to decide if they want to give that. All you can control is what you decide to give.

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Aros
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I still maintain, Dogbreath, that the perception of the reaction is incorrect.

Person A and B are friends.

Person A begins to "fall" for person B.

Person B doesn't reciprocate.

Person A expresses frustration.
- From person A's perspective, they are in love with someone who doesn't reciprocate. Period. They may react with frustration. They may react in anger. They may be embarrassed.
- If person A discontinues the friendship, it isn't because they "didn't get what they want". It is because they are hurt.
- If person A is upset, it isn't because they felt "entitled to sex", it's because they had anticipated reciprocation of emotion. They were wrong.
- If person A handles it poorly, they're human. If they break the law, they're a criminal.

None of this excuses Person B from poor behavior.
- This is a friend, right? They are hurt and embarrassed.
- Person A's primary goal wasn't sex.
- To blow a friend off as a "nice guy" is wrong. You're categorizing someone and believing the worst of their intentions.
- You're criticizing someone else's behavior and oversimplifying their motives. This isn't empowering. This doesn't make them a "creeper" and you a hero.

I'm not justifying creepy stalker-ish behavior. That's wrong. I'm talking about the "middle 80%" of the situations.

I'm just saying that people can't be oversimplified as memes. This isn't empowering for women; it's making them seem shallow.

I'm certain that both sides are correct, for a certain percentage of cases. But I feel like I am correct for the majority. And I feel it's dangerous to label any person exhibiting this behavior as a "creeper" or to believe that sex is their only / primary motivation.

[ February 19, 2014, 12:08 PM: Message edited by: Aros ]

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kmbboots
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If person A has feelings that aren't reciprocated, he can act like a grown up gentleman about it. If he doesn't, person B is right in believing that person A is not a grown up gentleman and revising her opinion of him. Person A does not get to make person B feel guilty about it. Not reciprocating person A's feelings is not "poor behavior".

There is nothing wrong with wanting a romantic relationship. The wrong is in blaming the other person for your disappointment. They do not have any obligation to return your feelings. Treating a friend like a friend is not leading them on.

By the way, this kind of situation is perfectly likely to happen regardless of the genders of persons A and B.

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Aros
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I concur. Not reciprocating feelings is not "poor behavior". Everyone has a right to feel the way they feel.

Labeling a hurt friend as a "nice guy", assuming a singular motivation of sex, and placing blame on the other person IS poor behavior.

Be nice. Be polite. Realize that feelings are complex. There isn't a single book out there that advocates "nice guy" behavior as a methodology to get laid. If sex is the primary motive, the guy would be following the PUA playbook. And the rules are pretty much the opposite.

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Dogbreath
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Why is it acceptable for person A to act poorly and lash out at person B, but not ok for person B to "act poorly" and not assume person A has only the best motives, especially in light of their childish and selfish behavior? For that matter, how are women who act friendly "leading on" nice guys? The "Nice Guy" label usually comes due to the manipulations and guilt trips and feelings of entitlement. If you can be honest and handle rejection like a mature adult, than it doesn't really apply, does it?
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kmbboots
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Aros, you keep mentioning that sex is not the motivation. Sex is usually part of a romantic relationship eventually. The "nice guy" meme applies whether person A is after just sex or wants to marry person B. In either case, A is angry that B is not providing what he wants and acting like B should give him what he wants - whether that is sex or love or any combination - just because he (previously) had acted like a decent human being.
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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by Dogbreath:
Why is it acceptable for person A to act poorly and lash out at person B, but not ok for person B to "act poorly" and not assume person A has only the best motives, especially in light of their childish and selfish behavior? For that matter, how are women who act friendly "leading on" nice guys? The "Nice Guy" label usually comes due to the manipulations and guilt trips and feelings of entitlement. If you can be honest and handle rejection like a mature adult, than it doesn't really apply, does it?

It isn't acceptable for anybody to lash out. But it is understandable.

Someone is upset and they say some things they don't mean. That's understandable. If they become super-creep or break the law, that's another.

But you have two sets of actions to judge:
- Someone who's just had their heart broken and their immediate "heat of the moment" reaction.
- Someone who, in a premeditated manner, is dismissing an entire friendship as a strategy for sexual gratification.

The first is understandable. The second is naive at best, probably delusional.

It is possible that SOME people use "friendship" as a misguided attempt to garner sex. I would argue that this is the minority and there are two problems:
- It's ineffective. And most people know it.
- Not all women are savvy enough to understand the motives behind behavior. Perpetuating this meme causes people to be judged poorly, if not unjustly.

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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
The "nice guy" meme applies whether person A is after just sex or wants to marry person B. In either case, A is angry that B is not providing what he wants and acting like B should give him what he wants - whether that is sex or love or any combination - just because he (previously) had acted like a decent human being.

No, it doesn't. It assigns a singular intention to behavior and oversimplifies a whole lot of human psychology.

Buying a car will also lead to a flat tire at some point. But one doesn't buy a car because their end game is a flat tire.

Arguing that sex is the end game is misleading and leads to some really bad places. I would argue that love is the real impetus for most of these cases.

You can argue that sex = love, but I don't buy it.

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Aros
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And I never said anyone should be expected to give someone else what they want. Only that I can understand the frustration that comes with rejection better than I can understand people perpetuating false motive.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
The "nice guy" meme applies whether person A is after just sex or wants to marry person B. In either case, A is angry that B is not providing what he wants and acting like B should give him what he wants - whether that is sex or love or any combination - just because he (previously) had acted like a decent human being.

No, it doesn't. It assigns a singular intention to behavior and oversimplifies a whole lot of human psychology.

Buying a car will also lead to a flat tire at some point. But one doesn't buy a car because their end game is a flat tire.

Arguing that sex is the end game is misleading and leads to some really bad places. I would argue that love is the real impetus for most of these cases.

You can argue that sex = love, but I don't buy it.

You're focused on sex, but Kate is not specifically talking about that. She's saying that, regardless of whether sex is the goal or not, the problem occurs when people get upset that someone else isn't doing what they want, as if they deserved it.

Her point, I think, is that no one has an obligation to give you what you want just because you think you deserve it. I'm sure she'll correct me if I'm wrong.

Regardless, I agree with (my idea of) what she said. It's a general principle, too. It doesn't have to be sex. It could be a date instead. Or marriage. Or helping you move. Or a college education. Or health insurance. Doesn't really matter.

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Aros
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I agree as well, and I feel like I'm the only one NOT focused on sex.

My argument was only that I feel it's a worse crime to judge a person's intent by a single outburst of emotion.

Obviously we're dealing with a sliding scale. At one end we have a friend casually asking another on a date. At the other we have full blown stalker.

I feel the meme itself is harmful and a form of discrimination. Every situation is unique. We're NOT talking about PUAs. The meme, however, says otherwise.

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kmbboots
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Yeah...wouldn't take it quite there, Dan.

But, relationship-wise, yes. Behaving badly when someone doesn't feel the way you want them to is certainly "human" as you keep asserting, Aros. So is being annoyed when someone is behaving badly toward you - and rather more justified.

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ElJay
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:

This meme is a pill for women who don't want to feel guilty about leading on good men. They string them on as a backup plan and then dump the onus on the guy.

All of the posts have referred to this "behavior" as if it's a sort of strategy to get in girls' pants. 99% of the time it isn't.

The problem with this is that in the first paragraph you're saying that the woman probably knows the man has a thing for her and is stringing him along as a back-up plan. In the second, you're saying that the man probably started out intending to really just be friends and found himself falling for the woman unintentionally, then having to deal with the emotions. You repeat this in your other examples.

Why, in what you are positing for the majority, "middle 80%" of situations, is the woman a conniving bitch following a strategy and the man an innocent bystander not following a strategy?

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