Do nice guys really finish last?
It’s believed that nice guys, the ones who are respectful, well-behaved and altogether good, don’t stand much of a chance because girls these days like a little bit of spice. But when we look at the finish line, who’s standing there?
Here we take a little dive into the complex world of love and relationships, and whether the type of partner we want changes as we grow and mature.
1. It’s puppy love! Giggles, handmade cards and ice-cream
At this stage, usually in primary school, it’s all giggles and butterflies. We’re sure you have memories of this as a child! You enjoyed being in each other’s company, doing things together that made you happy. It’s a pure, childlike version of love — not always romantic, but always real.
There wasn’t too much room for complications then; adventure was waiting and you simply wanted to spend good times with a good friend.
2. Giddy days of thrilling romances; it’s the teenage years
Some of us are here now and some have left it in history. The teenage years are when romance becomes a little more real, and we girls start wondering (perhaps) what kind of guy we want to be with.
Usually, at this stage it’s the grandest gestures that make the most significant impact; we think nice guys just aren’t assertive enough. It’s the hot guys, the popular guys and the social kings who take little pieces of our heart.
But while there are many married couples out there who were ‘high school sweethearts’, there are probably more who had relationships in their teenage years which didn’t last. Perhaps it’s because it’s in these years that we slowly start to realise the kind of guy we really want.
3. When we start to grow up and know ourselves a little better
At this point, it’s one of two things: exploration or commitment. Studies show that women perceive nice guys to be the ones you choose if you’re ready for a long-term relationship.
They’re believed to be steady, dependable, morally upright and less volatile than the charmers and social butterflies.
A 2006 Li & Kendrick study has also shown that women looking for short-term lovers choose physical attractiveness over niceness, simply because they know it won’t last. So having grown up, we know what we’re looking for and therefore steer ourselves in the general direction of men we think fit the bill.
So, who’s better? And should I change myself if I’m a nice guy?
No, you shouldn’t. We all know that “nice” is a solid characteristic that positively influences women’s preferences. Don’t compromise your life principles just to fit in. What you need is to achieve a balance of all the characteristics you would like to embody. There’s a woman out there who will love you for you.
And girls, no one is better; the charmers have their qualities just as much as the nice guys do. It’s about knowing what you want and being mature about it. Don’t lead the guy on if your expectations are different from his, and don’t judge a book by its cover! Sometimes, there are even charmers who are actually nice guys inside; it just takes a little bit of digging to get that part out.
As Professor Adam Grant said, “Good guys and gals have a better chance of finishing last than the rest of us, but also better odds of finishing first.”
Have you ever misjudged a guy based on your wrong impression of him? Do you think nice guys have a lower chance of winning a girl’s heart? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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Featured Image Credit: First Met