What About Mr Nice Guy?

spangel__spike_and_angel_by_roowsj-d41sxlvI was late to jump on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer bandwagon. I had seen the 1992 film and had watched the occasional TV episode when visiting my friend (who was obsessed), but it wasn’t until I moved in with my ex-boyfriend that I really started to take an interest in the show – by this point Season 7 had finished and the programme had ended completely. It began during an evening of boredom, and so the ex suggested that we watched a few episodes to see whether I liked it. From that moment I was hooked, and managed to watch all seven seasons within just a few months.

I was surprised at myself – I was in my early-20′s, I’ve never been a member of anything that even closely resembled a ‘fandom’ and had always rolled my eyes whenever my friends discussed films and TV shows that were based on the notion of werewolves, vampires and suchlike, (and bear in mind that this was several years before the likes of ‘True Blood,’ ‘Twilight’ and ‘Vampire Diaries’ had hit our screens and bookshelves) – but I found myself engrossed in the storyline, willing the characters on in their battles with the ‘big bad’ of that season, and cheering with them in their victories.

However, above all else, there was one character that kept me coming back for more in the earlier series. Spike. Aesthetically, Spike, played by James Marsters, wasn’t my type at all. Angel, played by David Boreanaz was (and still is – David, that is) so pretty I could have cried, but there was something about the dark, brooding ‘Slayer of Slayers‘ that made me weak at the knees, despite the awful English accent and Billy Idol platinum look. Spike was the ‘bad boy.’ In his long, black leather coat he was rude, antagonistic, dismissive, sarcastic and dangerous and I couldn’t get enough. I must admit that I was a little disappointed when he changed over time into a much more sensitive character.

imagesThere are hundreds of characters that surround the archetype of the ‘bad boy’ in literature and the media – Christian Grey, James Bond, Mr Big, Tyler Durden, Captain Jack Sparrow, Loki, Tony Stark to name just a few – the drama, the fights, the rebellion, smouldering good looks and the lack of consideration for the future have an appeal that may be hard to resist for some women (and men). There may be all sorts of different reasons for this – a lack of self-esteem and a feeling that they don’t deserve better, a lack of desire for commitment, an attraction to drama or an attraction to something that they can’t have, a need to rescue the bad boys and encourage them to change their ways, even the desire to date someone opposite in character to a father figure… However, it still doesn’t stop the tears and disappointment when the Bad Boy has lived up to his namesake, again.

I’ve done the Bad Boy relationship. Over the space of 18 months I made excuses for his behaviour and accepted the awful way in which he treated me because I felt that he loved me and wanted to be in a relationship. Eventually, after I’d lost a lot of friends and my self-esteem was at rock bottom, I decided that I deserved better and left.

I’ve got some news for you ladies – it is very rare that the Bad Boy will change his ways for you and you alone. Very rare.

But what about Mr Nice Guy?

The nice guy. The one who calls when he says he will, who is where he says he is, with who he says he’s with. The one who is upfront, honest and reliable. The one who doesn’t get involved in mind games. The one women will often go to for a shoulder to cry on after the Bad Boy has let them down.

Yes, that one.

The stereotype that seems to surround Mr Nice Guy is that nice is boring, unexciting and is physically unnatractive, and in my experience I absolutely disagree with all of these. I saw a quote somewhere that stated ‘Nice is not boring, boring is boring.’ Attractiveness is in the eye of the beholder – we all have different tastes and opinions on what we deem to be pleasing to the eye. Nice people are often more respectful, happier and easier to be around.

Here are my reasons why you should get rid of the Bad Boy and give dating Mr Nice Guy a chance.

Nice+guys+finish+last.+Ba+Dum+Tst+Porn+stars+without+makeup_ed7d74_46752431. What you see is what you get. While it is impossible to absolutely, truly know someone, Mr Nice Guy is usually who you think he is. There are no mind games, no lies and no bullshit. If he likes or dislikes something, he’ll tell you.

2. He follows through on what he says. He calls and texts when he says he will, he suggests plans and sticks to them.

3. He likes you for you. He listens to you, cares about your opinion, has respect for you and accepts your quirks.

4. He’s up for anything and willing to please. Read into that as you will ;). Note: whatever you imagine is likely to be followed by Mr Nice Guy cooking you breakfast the following morning.

5. Chivalry. Before I start being attacked by feminists, I strongly believe that men and women should be treated equally and that it is important that women should stand up for their rights and what they believe in. However, I do like the chivalrous aspects that accompany a date with Mr Nice Guy. I have been given a date’s coat when it has been cold, doors have been held open for me – I’ve even been offered a pair of shoes at the end of a night after a night of dancing in high heels. I turned down the offer, but I thought it was a lovely gesture. Others may disagree and think that the man had no backbone – I saw it that he wanted to make me comfortable. Unfortunately, this leaves Mr Nice Guy in a situation that he may not ever win – if he opens a door, his date may be offended. If he doesn’t, his date may think he is rude.

6. Others will like him. While the opinions of others shouldn’t matter too much when you are dating someone, the stress of negative feelings from family and friends can sometimes cause a strain on the relationship. Chances are, they’ll like Mr Nice Guy as much as you do.

Note: By no means am I suggesting in this list that Mr Nice Guy is a pushover and someone who can be taken advantage of. Mr Nice Guy will have faults, as we all do, and shouldn’t be settled for simply because the Bad Boy has let you down.

says-she-wants-a-nice-guy-like-you-doesnt-want-to-date-youSo ladies (and gentlemen), if you want to be spending your evenings waiting by the phone, crying because he’s lied yet again, belittled you, cheated on you and hurt you, you have every right to do so. Carry on. Enjoy yourselves. But stop complaining when you’ve been let down.

However, if you genuinely want to have a committed, fulfilling, adult relationship, then look no further than Mr Nice Guy. Stop putting them in the friend zone and give them a chance. There’s more to them than you think.

Can anybody add to this? I’d love to hear your stories and experiences – do you prefer the bad boy or nice guy?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @Suzie81blog.

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Image Credit 1: roowsj
Image Credit 2 & 3: someecards.com
Image Credit 4: thecontrarion1012

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43 Responses to What About Mr Nice Guy?

  1. Kate says:

    I always liked Spike over Angel (still do)… Not because he was bad but because he chose to be good. Angel had to be cursed into it… Personally I like men who make the choice rather than being forced into it. A bad boy who is good is my weakness. :D

  2. This actually made me feel a lot better today. Thanks!

  3. bublick123 says:

    what an enjoyable post, but, in relation to the “nice guy”, may I speak up for so many nice guys out there when I say that it is very hard at times, as such a guy, to fulfill or live such a role when it sometimes seems that society is against you

    You speak of the merits of opening doors,and taking coats. etc, but pity the poor guy who actually tries to do such things. Nothing will stop the old fashioned gent wanting to do such things, but it is tricky when a lady glares at you suspiciously at you as you offer her a seat, or verbally ticks you off for offering to help with her coat or shopping. It is though we are viewed as predatory males, on many occasions, and, all to often, it is a reputation or a character assement that we do not deserve

    As regards dating, how many lasses say that they like the nice guy, but then ignore him as some macho brain in his balls guy comes along. I have been told many times that I am one of these nice guys, and that the ladies in question would love to see other guys following our example, but then other more vocal guys come along, and we are pushed into the shade

    Mercifully though, there are exceptions, and so it is that I am now very happily married, but there is one comment from years ago that I do recall

    I knew an attractive young lady from work and we used to go out to concerts in London. I would escort her back to her flat, and see her inside safely, and then go. If she invited me in for a coffee, it was only a coffee, and I never made any move, for no such move was desired. In essence I gave her both the support and space that she needed in order to sort out one or two problems and to fully mature, but one evening after a concert she was very quiet indeed.I asked her whether there was a problem, and got the reply that no, there was no problem on her mind

    “I have been thinking though, ” she told me, ” at just how lucky I am. We go out for an evening, and you escort me home. I invite you in for a coffee. We enjoy the coffee, and then you go. I am 19, young, and I hope attractive, but you are one of nature’s gentlemen, the likes of which I have rarely experienced before, and it’s lovely”

    I thanked her for the compliment but pointed out that such guys were around her all the time. We were quiet, if we had a drum we very rarely played upon it, yet, if called upon we were always there.

    She has moved on in life, and sadly I have lost touch with her, but the memories remain. There are a multitude of nice guys all around you, ladies, but it is up to you to recognise our qualities, and to actually appreciate that we are there

    • suzie81 says:

      You’re absolutely right, particularly about the chivalry thing. I have seen some women do exactly that – chastise their partner for being courteous. In fact, I’m going to edit my post to include that…

  4. helenjain21 says:

    Hey Suzie,
    Great post! Since I married a guy who falls into the “nice” category, I will just add this. The nice guy thinks about you first. When you are scared, hurt (by friends, family or just rejection related to work/school etc.) or just a little down, he lets you cry on his shoulder and gives you the support you need to move on. And more so, he encourages you to reach for your dreams, regardless of how silly, crazy or just plain unlikely it may be.

    A nice guy is the one who lasts a lifetime.

    • suzie81 says:

      Absolutely – I have one too, but I’ve certainly gone out with the bad boy before I met him!! That’s a lovely addition to the list – thank you!

  5. markvnathan says:

    I’m tempted to send this to every girl I’ve ever dated! Haha

  6. markvnathan says:

    Reblogged this on threehundredand65letters and commented:
    Great post!

  7. Loved logging in, and see BTVS on my newsfeed on this cold Monday morning!

    I love that show. For many reasons – Spike merely being one of them. His looks didn’t hurt, but James was a fantastic actor, and Spike’s character transformation was testimony to the great writing on that show that was’t always acknowledged or lauded in the mainstream as it should have been.

    I’m with you, though. I never understood the overly fervent fans that were out there – until I started watching Buffy. I’m far from over the top, but I would consider myself a huge fan.

    Great post, great list! :-)

  8. Louise says:

    I’d agree with Kate above on Spike as well – I loved the story line with him – and the struggle to choose to be good. They pretty much made him do and become what everybody who has ever loved the BAD boy hopes he will do – choose to be good/change his ways – and do it because he LOVES you so much. Even “getting” that as I watched it though – I still preferred him to Angel – he was so much more fun. Kitten poker. Need I say more?

    As for the whole good guy/bad guy dynamic – I married the good one – for many of the reasons you list – no games, upfront, called when he said he was going to etc…. As for the “bad boy” – and people in general – I’m forever surprised by people who date someone and are then shocked when they behave exactly the way they’ve always behaved. Spike is the exception – not the rule. It’s why they call it fiction.

  9. I have tried a different array of flavors. I am going to marry a true chivalrous, door opening, shoulder to cry on. I love him for all these reasons and more. What amazes me though are all the other girls who he has been kind and considerate towards, not all but a fair amount of female friends, who now come out of the woodwork and act like they own him. The girls who used his kindness and now that he’s not available anymore think they have claim on him. These girls wanted to have him as a backup plan. Now he’s is worth WAY more than that!!! Way more than any bad boy but some girls somehow think they can string a ‘nice guy’ along and then claim him if nothing better comes along. I value my guy, yes he’s a nice guy but more than that he’s a keeper.

    Thanks for your thoughts and I must admit that I too had a weakness for Spike…

  10. Pingback: Is he mr nice guy??? Then he’s probably a keeper!!! | casuallyfabulous

  11. sunshinebright says:

    Just a short note: I’ve been lucky enough to have had 2 NICE GUYS. My memories are my precious treasures.

  12. Great, great post! It is difficult, however, when the nice guy is not a good guy. He is sweet and polite but never follows through on anything and ends up hurting you. I wonder if there is another word for that type of guy.

  13. Janie Doh says:

    I definitely prefer the bad boy – and I am totally on Team Spike!

    • Sandra says:

      Ditto, Team Spike here. He wasn’t that simple though. His character seemed the most complex of the bunch. The most genuine. That’s what I like. Great post as usual Suzie, Thanks! Take good care!

  14. That EJ says:

    Well that was a nice read. Sweet post, Suzie. Good on you for backing up all the ‘nice guys’ out there. They/we appreciate it, I assure you. And you’re right, too. Having heard what I have from so many women, it makes little sense that the good guy would still be overlooked these days, but it’s still a thing for sure. I’m sitting here lonely on a Monday night as perfect proof right now. And absolutely we’re seen as boring, I think. There’s perhaps no sense of adventure. Maybe. I’m not sure if that’s right. Anyway, I loved the post. Glad you got one of the good ones, you deserve it. :)

  15. baileyapple says:

    Hey, thanks for checking out my blog! I like the post, and I’ve gotta agree about the Angel thing. I think far more people appreciate Spike, whereas I feel Angel was a better character and romantic interest for Buffy. I’m glad to see a post supporting nice guys. A friend of mine had been dating a “bad boy” for almost two years until they recently broke up. She spent the whole time believing she changed him, until he abruptly broke up with her a few weeks ago, and it turned out he was cheating. So I gotta say this blog post rings pretty close to home.

  16. Samantha says:

    Great post! And as it did for me, I’m sure it hits close to home for many readers. It reminds me of something my mom used to say in regards to clothing: “it may not look very good on the hanger, so you better try it on to see how it fits.” I think the same can be said for the Mr Nice Guys of the world; on paper, dating a good guy instead of the bad boy not seem very appealing or attractive. But once you give it a chance, you might find that he’s exactly what you wanted all along – you just had to try him on first!

  17. Aussa Lorens says:

    I’ve never seen a minute of Buffy, but! I can weigh in because I have dated nothing BUT “bad boys” in the past. Total asshats when all was said and done. Each time it ended (so badly) I would tell myself “never again” and yet get caught back in that toxic loop of attraction to the evil ones… but I finally broke that cycle and have a guy much more like the one you described up there! I totally understand the lure of the bad boy but he will drain all your energy from you so that you can’t focus on doing or becoming anything.
    Rant over.
    Loved this :)

  18. Sonel says:

    Love these ‘bad boys’ but been married for 28 years to a Mr Nice Guy and no regrets. Guess I’ve had enough of them when I was single..hahahaha. Angel is adorable and Spike is so sexy! Damon of course is my absolute favourite. He is so naughty! LOL! Great post. :D

  19. y0urb0okness says:

    So true, so true! However,the problem is that many “nice guys” are just self-proclaimed nice guys, who complain about women/men not wanting them. ” I treated her/him nicely, so why is she/he not sleeping with me?” Real, genuine nice guys are hard to find.

  20. I’ve had my fill of bad boys. Their “I just wanna have a good time” attitude always gives me the blues.

  21. When I write I’ve found it’s sometimes more interesting to write the love story of the bad boy (more complications, allows for some character arc) but I would never want to end up with one :)

    • suzie81 says:

      Definitely! I don’t create characters or write fiction – my brain isn’t geared towards that style, but i can imagine the Bad Boy is far more interesting…

  22. suzie81 says:

    Reblogged this on suzie81's Blog and commented:

    Something you may want to think about… Hope you’re all doing well!

  23. Reblogged this on Crystal Puzzle Pieces and commented:
    This was a great post! I’m going to share this if you don’t mind :)

  24. Jennifer says:

    Hope you’re feeling better!

  25. Ana Linden says:

    This brings back memories…. This show used to be one of my guilty pleasures years ago and although the choice between the two guys wasn’t an easy one for me, I generally rooted for Spike :-) There was something ironic, yet believable about him losing the girl when he decided to be good in order to measure up to her standards. But weren’t they both bad boys at some point or other, eventually brought back on the right path by the right woman?… I guess that’s the mirage most women generally fall for; but let’s not forget that life is not a TV show or a romantic comedy, ladies! The nice guy is the one you settle down with – if he’s still available – once you’ve gotten all the bad boy drama out of your system.

  26. Jennifer says:

    I watched all seasons of Buffy, one of the shows I used to watch. I agree, David was and still is a dream boat, but I always had a soft spot for Spike. He was just so funny at being bad he was cute.
    As for relationships I’ve only had one (yes, I’m one of those) so have no idea about the whole bag guy/good guy thing.
    Now, you’ve just made me want to go and hunt out Buffy again, damn you Suzie.

  27. ponymartini says:

    Excellent post. I say, have a couple of flings with the bad boy, knowing full well it won’t go anywhere and then marry the good guy for a lasting, fulfilling relationship. In the Buffy-verse I’d probably start with Angel and end with Riley (poor guy totally got the shaft. Epitome of the nice guy!).

  28. TK says:

    As I’m reading this, all I could think of was ‘Disney lied to me!’ Growing up, we see so much imagery about bad men who fall for women and, through their desire to be the best man for her, change in to good people. I mean, just look at Beauty and the Beast. There’s some major Stockholm Syndrome if I ever saw it. I don’t trust the beast is suddenly going to start acting like ‘prince charming’ just because he no longer looks like a beast.

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