If you asked women what they look for in an ideal partner, you will most likely get:
I want a guy who is attentive (sounds like a nice guy);
I want a guy who is sweet and chivalrous (this one also sounds like a nice guy);
I want a guy who will open up to me (obvious nice guy)…
So then why do we have this ongoing debate over nice guys versus bad boys? Shouldn’t every woman be choosing the nice guy?
Well for starters, it’s an interesting topic so people can debate for hours. Here’s the thing, the reason why there is a debate to be had is because the answer isn’t black and white! If it were a matter related to fact, (and we can debate over what “fact” is here, but we’re not going to) it certainly wouldn’t have lasted this long.
You may have noticed that I left out some other possible responses that are probably on your mind:
Are you thinking about this one, I want a guy who is confident (bad boys usually get this one, but a nice guy can also be confident, can they not?);
How about, I want a guy who can protect me (again, this one usually goes to bad boys, but can a nice guy not protect you? Sure they can!)
I hope by now you get where I am going with this. There are limitations to labels. The moment you create labels you create a challenge of having to define things nicely into categories. Life doesn’t work that way or does selecting a partner for that matter.
Before I address what it’s really all about, let’s put some definitions around “nice guy” and “bad boy” – note that these are strictly from my experience and perspective.
Let’s start with the classic nice guy! Stereotypically, nice guys will do most of the things that women want. They will listen to her when she speaks and they will do all of the sweet things that females often talk about – the flowers, the nice gifts and cards during birthdays and special occasions. They are the ones that women feel comfortable talking to because they are just so…. well nice!! In other words, nice guys are also often referred to as “doormats” because they probably don’t like conflict, so they’ll compromise and compromise; they’d probably also apologize even when they shouldn’t!
Now let’s talk about the classic bad boy! Stereotypically, bad boys look bad and what I mean by that is, they usually walk around with an aura of confidence (sometimes even cockiness). They usually don’t conform to norms (i.e. rules and traditions), so they are mysterious and rebel-like. They won’t usually do all of the things that women want, but since they can’t get away with doing nothing, they’ll do something on occasion (a variation of what she wants) – and it’ll be a BIG DEAL!! What else can I tell you? Oh and they are usually very charming.
This all sounds a bit silly, doesn’t it? If you don’t think so, maybe you’ll change your mind down the road in life (or maybe by the end of the blog). In the meantime, to those who do agree with me that it’s silly, of course it is! Because we are attempting to generalize people into two broad categories, so rarely will you find one person who will fit all of the criteria.
Ok let’s move onto what it’s really all about!
When I talk about my ideal partner, I like to discuss her ideal qualities. In fact, I list out the “must haves” and the “nice to have”, but that’s for a different discussion or blog. Qualities are also a matter of personal preference, but you can pick and choose without having to categorize them.
I’ve been labeled a nice guy for most of my life, so I know what it feels like to be pigeonholed – it’s not very nice! (No pun intended) Humans are complex creatures so categories don’t usually work. The major problem that labeling creates is that people get stereotyped, so a nice guy will automatically be thought of as a doormat or a bad boy will not be considerate and sweet.
The moment people buy into stereotypes they stop the discovery process – which by the way, is the most interesting and fun part about relationships and dating. When people who are in relationships stop discovering, they stop growing! When people who stop discovering in the early stages of getting to know someone, the potential of something great evaporates.
Have you ever written someone off because you thought of him as a nice guy or bad boy? Do you ever wonder what it would have been like to discover who they really were? Does answering that question create a long list of other questions? Do they come in the form of “what if?” You’re not alone in this. You can’t change the past, but you can do things differently now and in the future.
Good luck! Now go and talk to that “nice guy” or “bad boy” and discover what he’s really up to. Oh and one last thing, if it wasn’t obvious throughout my blog, this also applies to guys as well. She may look sweet and like a “nice girl” but mean in the… :p