Did you know that there is a difference between a nice guy, and a “nice guy”? 

If you are currently dating or just getting to know male friends, there is one type of man that you should be on the lookout for – the “nice guy”, or the men who possess the Nice Guy Syndrome. 

What is a “Nice Guy”?

“Nice guys” are different from actual nice guys. Simply put, the former are men who have confused themselves to be one of the latter. Some of them are good at hiding their “nice guy” side, misleading you to think that they are actually the good guys. 

It can be hard to tell the difference between the two. Sometimes you just have to suffer by meeting a lot of “nice guys” before you figure it out. Alternatively, you can read this article, which is written by someone who has suffered from meeting a few “nice guys” in the past decade, and save yourself the pain in the process. 

I, and my friends, have suffered enough on your behalf.

Here are 5 signs that the man you have met is a “nice guy”, instead of someone truly decent and nice.

  1. He believes that women only like “bad boys”, and other stereotypes

Image: Pexels/Wendy Wei

Here is a simple one: the easiest way to spot a Nice Guy™ is to listen to what he says about women.

This is even easier to do with the Internet when you can just scroll through his social media accounts. It’s where stalking comes in handy. For example, I have seen the following Facebook statuses/ Instagram captions/ Internet comments in different languages:

  1. “If a man is not a jerk, women will not like him”
  2. “Women only like bad boys”
  3. “Nice guys finish last”
  4. “Women are materialistic and only like rich or handsome men”
  5. “If he was handsome this would not be sexual harassment”, and so on.

A man who has Nice Guy Syndrome usually believes in a string of stereotypes about women. He also does not believe it is his fault that women do not find him attractive – he believes he is just “too nice” for women to date.

Make sure to delete him out of your life after reading such trash. 

  1. He is bitter about what he thinks women have done to him/ men

Once upon a time, when I was much younger, I believed that I should be nice to people by listening to what they have to say. I also felt like I had to reassure them when they felt wronged.

“No, don’t say that, of course you will find someone who is right for you!”

I wish I could go back and tell my younger self that there is no point in telling any bitter man that they will find someone right for them. Such men just want to wallow in self-pity.

While I still believe that I should be civil to people, I now have something called “boundaries”, which is a wonderful concept. I simply get up and walk away when a man complains incessantly about his ex, female friends, or women in general. 

Such men are simply not nice at all.

  1. He believes himself to be a nice guy simply because he possesses basic life skills everyone should have

Image: Pexels/Ketut Subiyanto

He has never physically or sexually assaulted a woman. This must mean he is a nice guy, right?

Unfortunately, not committing acts of crime is only common sense. I have heard a man complain once about how he did everything right for his crush, but she fell in love with someone else who was a “bad boy”.

The right things he did? Offering to be the designated driver and making sure she got home safe when she was drunk. 

Even my male friends can do that without expecting any romantic favours in return.

  1. He acts as though he deserves a reward for acts of service 

If he does something nice for you, but expects you to reward him in some way, is it nice in the first place? True acts of service are done without expecting any reward in return – they’re simply because the person wants to give from the heart.

A friend who went on a date in another country told me this story (paraphrased): 

“He came to pick me up from my relative’s home, took me out to a nice restaurant, and offered to pay for everything. I thought he seemed nice enough and we had a good date. Yet when I told him I wanted to go back as my relative was waiting for me, he just said goodbye and left me to make my way back alone late at night. He didn’t even check to see if I made it back safely.”

  1. He cannot take rejection

Image: Pexels/Keira Burton

Finally, one of the biggest indicators of a “nice guy” is his reaction to rejection. He will take rejection as a personal insult to him, and it is always the other person’s fault, not his. After all, he is a “nice guy”.

Chad* was an acquaintance who started dating another mutual acquaintance, Amy*, in university. A year later, I heard through the grapevine that they had broken up. Even though we were not close, Chad decided it was also okay to text me to complain to me about Amy breaking up with him.

Let us just say if you are the type of guy who thinks it is okay to complain to a virtual stranger about how your ex-girlfriend broke up with you, that virtual stranger is going to think that your ex-girlfriend did the right thing. Also, you are definitely a “nice guy” to be avoided at all cost.

May you not have to deal with too many “nice guys” in your life. Good luck.

*names have been changed.