Dear Nice Guys… You’re Not Nice

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Thought Catalog, the home of no editorial oversight and endless clickbait, published a letter from Leo Steven on Tuesday entitled, Dear Girls Who Are (Finally) Ready To Date Nice Guys: We Don’t Want You Anymore.

Dear nice guys… Dear Leos of the world…

You aren’t nice. You’re a checklist. A nineteen-fifties ladymag instructional on the wonders of patriarchy. “A good husband is: a provider, a provider, a mild-mannered, steel-spined provider.” You ascribe to an algorithmic niceness where gestures of friendship and courtship both equal out to sexual affection in return. You held open a door (one point), you listened to her blather about her problems (three points), you didn’t push her for sex (five points). But now. Now you’ve leveled up. Now you’ve earned your prize. The woman of your dreams. A woman who respects your good qualities (a bank account, a car, your mastery of etiquette) and revels in your myopic sociopathy (what are you, an economist?).

There is nothing nice about nice guys. There is nothing nice about treating women like dysfunctional robots in need of reprogramming (see, you should have been dating nice guys all long–lemme fix that for you), or an investment you’ve slowly nurtured (I’ll take stock options, in the form of sexxxxx). There is nothing nice about the self-help industry that has been built on the foundations of your need for a “sure thing.” Whether it’s The Game or The Art of the Approach there is nothing nice here–just a cold calculus where women are the final ticky box on the checklist of your life.

Niceness, real human kindness, isn’t motivated by an expected ROE. It isn’t chivalry–I can open that door myself, thanks. And it isn’t a by rote performance of outdated etiquette. It doesn’t leave you bitter over dashed expectations–according to science, being kind makes you happy. I can’t help you “get a woman,” but I can help you be happier. I’ve got a checklist. Are you ready?

1. Recognize that women are human beings with complicated emotions and motivations–just like you!

2. Let go of the notion that a relationship with a woman will complete your life–it won’t. People and relationships are works in progress. You’ll be the “complete package” at only one point: when you die.

3. Do nice things for other people. When you feel like it. When they need a hand. Do nice things for women (and men, and the elderly, and dudebros, and mean girls, and nice girls, and lawyers, and mail carriers, and potted plants, and llamas, and, for god’s sake, especially your mom) without expecting anything in return.

4. Do nice things for yourself (like developing a personality!) and spend your time working toward goals of personal significance, not abstract dick measuring contests. I will Clockwork Orange this into you, if I have to: happiness comes from within, happiness comes from within, happiness comes from you being ok with you, not from the emotional validation of hot women, or your ability control their life choices.

5. Finally, and this is the most important point, let go of the past. So you were spurned, scorned, and possibly humiliated. So were we all. Rejection hurts. Loneliness even more so. But neither rejection nor loneliness are a license to douche. STOP BEING AN ASSHOLE BECAUSE YOU’VE HAD SOME BAD DAYS.

Dear nice guys,

Follow my simple five step checklist for hating yourself a little bit less! I can’t promise you a relationship–no one can–but I can promise that you’ll stop thinking you can cheat code your way into completion.

Have a great day,

Megan Purdy

Megan Purdy

Publisher of all this. Megan was born in Toronto. She's still there. Philosopher, space vampire, heart of a killer.