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Nice Guys Don’t Finish Last: Debunking the Myth

Dating Tips For Men

It’s a common lament heard from men in the dating world – “Nice guys finish last.” The implication is that being a kind, respectful gentleman is a hindrance when it comes to attracting romantic partners. Instead, the “jerks” who disrespect women and play games are the ones who end up in relationships.

However, this negative belief is not only disheartening but also incorrect. In reality, being genuinely nice is an attractive quality that contributes to positive and fulfilling relationships.

Why Nice Guys don’t Finish Last

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1. The Flawed Assumption

The idea that “nice guys finish last” is based on flawed assumptions.   It suggests that men can only be either “nice guys” or “jerks” with no room for nuance in between. This simplistic view fails to consider that confidence, self-assurance, and setting boundaries can coexist with being kind and ethical. A man can be nice without being a pushover.

Secondly, the concept suggests that being kind is only related to not being able to find love. However, being kind is also important for creating and sustaining healthy, long-lasting relationships.

While disrespectful or manipulative behavior may be successful in the short term for superficial flings, it is vital to share values like compassion and integrity for a committed relationship with emotional intimacy. Players and jerks tend to struggle once the pursuit turns to building something deeper and more meaningful.

2. Nice Guys Are Simply More Selective

Nice guys do not participate in mind games or deceive others by pretending to be someone they are not. They also do not use manipulative techniques to attract partners. Beginning a relationship with dishonesty is not desired, as they prioritize being loved for who they truly are rather than a fake persona. They carefully choose who they commit to, seeking a partner who appreciates their kindness instead of exploiting it.

What nice guys won’t do is engage in mind games, pretend to be someone they are not, or use manipulative pickup tactics. But why would you want to start a relationship under false pretenses? Ultimately, they value being loved for their authentic selves rather than for a false facade. They are also discerning about who they commit to, looking for a partner who values their kindness instead of taking advantage of it.

3. Nice Guys Have Confidence and Boundaries

Too often, the term “nice guy” is mistakenly associated with being timid, passive, or a pushover. However, these stereotypes are not accurate. A genuinely self-assured nice guy has inner strength and doesn’t allow others to take advantage of him.

He prioritizes self-improvement but does not sacrifice his own needs to please others. Setting and maintaining boundaries is an indication of a strong sense of self-worth.

This balance allows a nice guy to remain ethically caring and considerate while still advocating for his needs in a relationship. He doesn’t confuse being kind with sacrificing his identity or accepting disrespect.

A nice guy simply recognizes that trustworthiness and respect are the foundations for any meaningful partnership. Meanwhile, disrespectful hot-and-cold mind games are rightfully seen as manipulative non-starters. Nice guys crave authenticity, not flings with ulterior motives.

A kind-hearted man can maintain his ethical values and consideration while also asserting his own needs in a relationship. He understands the importance of trust and respect in a meaningful relationship and does not equate kindness with compromising his own identity or tolerating disrespect.

On the other hand, manipulative mind games are viewed as unacceptable behavior.   Genuine nice guys seek authenticity and genuine connections rather than flings with ulterior motives.

4. Kindness and Courage Go Hand-in-Hand

To truly demonstrate kindness, one needs to have inner strength, bravery, and a willingness to show vulnerability. In a society filled with skepticism, it is easier to distance oneself emotionally and pass judgment on others during tough times.

Nevertheless, displaying empathy and care, even if it means being taken for granted or hurt, indicates a resilient personality.

Furthermore, various types of unethical behavior known as “jerk” behavior often arise from feelings of insecurity, a fear of showing emotional vulnerability, and fragile self-esteem.   Tactics such as giving backhanded compliments, using negging with potential partners, and displaying selfish or unfeeling behavior serve as ways to hide underlying self-doubts.

However, genuinely nice guys do not feel the need to engage in these manipulative behaviors or build defensive barriers. Their kindness comes from a place of self-assurance and the realization that their worth is not determined by belittling others.

5. Being Nice Is Ultimately More Rewarding

When we look beyond the superficial complaints of entitlement, it is evident that the belief that “nice guys finish last” mentality is rooted in placing too much importance on initial physical attraction and struggling to attract short-term flings. If that’s the standard by which “finishing first” is measured, then yes, prioritizing niceness may not be an effective strategy for short-term relationships. Respectable nice guys are usually not the ones frequenting bars in search of superficial hook-ups.”

6. Confidence Isn’t the Same as Arrogance

One common misunderstanding is that nice guys are not confident, while jerks ooze it.   However, there is a significant difference between authentic self-assurance and arrogance/bravado.

A nice guy can absolutely have a healthy sense of self-worth without needing to put others down or act superior. Having confidence along with kindness is appealing, whereas arrogance is generally unappealing to people after an initial impression.

7. Kindness Isn’t Weakness

In our society, kindness is sometimes mistaken for weakness, particularly in the case of men.   However, showing kindness and compassion does not make someone a pushover. Despite being kind, guys can assert themselves and defend their beliefs while still upholding moral values and empathy. Helping others and treating people with respect is a sign of strength.

8. Nice Guys Listen and Empathize

One underrated aspect of niceness is empathy – the ability to listen, see from someone else’s perspective, and make them feel understood.  Unlike jerks, who are typically self-centered and lack empathy, nice guys who are empathetic have an advantage in forming emotional connections with others.

9. Looks Aren’t Everything

Many people believe that being a nice guy means not prioritizing physical attractiveness in relationships. They think that focusing solely on looks and dating the most attractive person can lead to disappointment in the long run.

However, once the initial attraction wears off, qualities like kindness and compatibility become more important for sustaining a happy and fulfilling relationship. Nice guys prioritize qualities that go beyond physical appearance, as personality compatibility plays a significant role in long-term contentment.

10. Patience Is Attractive

There’s a subtlety to how nice guys pursue dating—they don’t try to rush things through manipulative tactics or play games to get someone into bed quickly. Taking things slow and letting connections build naturally is a mature approach that leads to healthier partnerships.

However, that isn’t what most emotionally mature adults are really seeking in the long run.

11. Nice Guys Make Better Partners Long-Term

While jerks may have some short-term success landing flings and casual dates through manipulation, their behavior patterns work against maintaining a committed relationship. Nice guys who are respectful, caring, and focused on two-way communication and emotional intimacy make much better long-term partners.

12. Kindness Breeds Kindness

One underrated benefit of being a nice guy is that kindness is reciprocal. By treating a partner with love and compassion, you increase the likelihood of them responding in kind. This positive cycle helps cultivate a giving, supportive dynamic. On the other hand, jerks who are selfish and uncaring often get the same behavior in return.

13. Ethics Matter

At their core, nice guys allow ethics and integrity to guide their actions instead of just pursuing their wants at all costs. This commitment to having a moral code makes them more trustworthy partners.

Most people want a caring person they can rely on, not someone willing to lie and scheme for selfish gain.

14. Nice Means Well-Rounded

Being nice goes beyond just behaving in a pleasing manner. Nice guys are typically well-rounded individuals who value self-improvement, education, culture, and making a positive impact on the world. This results in creating men who are interesting and have a strong sense of identity that is not solely focused on pursuing relationships with women.

15. Niceness Sets a Model for Children

For individuals looking for a committed relationship and children, being nice serves as a strong role model. Kids learn by watching others, therefore, a father who is kind demonstrates how to show compassion, treat others with respect, and resolve disagreements without aggression.


Which mindset is likeliest to “finish last” there – someone authentic, compassionate, and focused on building trust, and someone who is superficial, self-centered, and lacks vulnerability?

The truth is, niceness is the gift that keeps on giving. Once an initial courtship period passes, it’s kindness and integrity that allow a foundation of mutual caring, comfort and teamwork to blossom. Conversely, narcissism and taking advantage of others breeds distrust and resentment. From building a family to overcoming life’s inevitable difficulties together, a partner’s sustained niceness is indispensable. Those are the “finishes” that really count.

So no, nice guys don’t finish last at all. They often get a late start out of the gate, true. But in the race that really matters – developing a loving, lasting, trustworthy relationship – treating your partner with unfailing kindness, respect and compassion is the ultimate key to coming out ahead. Those who rely on shallow tactics and manipulation are the ones who struggle in the long term.



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