The nice guy – the online counseling

A non macho has got it hard

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Chris is the nicest kind of guy you could ever hope to meet in your whole life. He is 23 years old and is studying business economics. He is very popular and has a large circle of friends, some of them girls.  Actually, he is getting along with women even better than with men!

They appreciate his kind, compassionate and considerate ways so much, that there is a constant coming and going of female fellow students in his room on campus wanting to share their small and big problems with him. And Tom simply always knows the right things to say and to do.

For them, he is a real gem in this man’s world filled with self-centred machos! But Chris is desperate. None of the girls is interested in him as a lover. His last relationship was years ago. He’s already seen the campus psychologist about it, but the expert didn’t really know what to tell him, other than being patient because the right one would surely show up sooner or later.

And sometimes, when he sees how his fellow students treat girls badly, who then cry their eyes out to him, because of such „fools” and ask him for advice, he feels a helpless fury arising about females… Now, what could be the reason for Chris’ „bad luck” with women? It’s actually quite simple: Chris is simply too nice to the girls!

Viewed from an evolutionary angle, women have 2 dominating principles in choosing a partner: 1.  Good genes 2.  Caring as well as capable of maintaining a relationship The latter principle is 100 % present in the nice guy, of course.

He should be strong and bold

But can we really argue that a nice man doesn’t have good genes? At this point, it becomes highly interesting in terms of evolutionary psychology! For one, good genes are of course visible. People with good genes are attractive.

But we also associate certain character traits with good genes. Women feel attracted to men who radiate strength, superiority and courage. As soon as women admire a man – no matter what the reason -, their sexual centre in the brain is activated. They associate admiration for his superiority with the good genes they seek to get a hold of for their offspring.

The flirt shows his true colours

When a woman meets a man, flirting is a form of testing him. She checks out his self-confidence. If he fails to impress her after a few verbal exchanges, that’s it. In terms of evolutionary psychology, women prefer men who can offer shelter and protection, which was of crucial importance for her survival in primeval times.

If she scores with words – he has lost her


© Evgeniy Vorobiev /

If she feels superior to him – and if it’s only verbally -, her subconscious can’t be convinced that he is the shelter she wants, and so must be lacking the good genes she is looking for. Her sex centre in the brain stops all further interest in him. But if a man is able to fascinate her with his witty eloquence, an interesting duel with words may develop, and if he can so maintain her interest, things can go forward.

Teasing and challenging a cheeky rascal of a woman could help to impress her. Of course it is not easy to challenge a being that is as powerful with words and as enthusiastically communicating them as a woman. Here a man needs a good deal of self-confidence to keep his position in a word duel.

Of course, if a woman already knows: „I want this man”, then she won’t test him like this anymore. Then she will be shy, modest and reluctant – led by the subconscious knowledge that a man quickly loses interest, if a woman appears too strong and dominant. Male sexual interest and a strong dominant behaviour in women just don’t go well together.

The nice guy is a wimp

Flirt in a club

Flirt in a club ©Jacob Lund/

But let’s return to Chris, our nice guy.  He can’t flirt in such a way that girls are impressed. It’s not that he is not eloquent enough, but he is way too nice to tease, taunt and challenge them in ways that impress them. He doesn’t think it is proper and it’s just not his style.

Chris comes from a well off family, where the tone was always respectful and obliging. Towards his younger sisters, he felt responsibility and was always protecting them in school. In other words: Chris is a gentleman from head to toe. When he fancies a girl, he’ll compliment her to win her heart.

But too many compliments, without a spur of witty venom have the effect of putting her on a pedestal – from which she will have no choice but to look down upon her admirer. It’s flattering for her, no doubt, but it also means pushing the „off button” for her sex centre in the head. It’s a sad truth that women often fall for bad boys, and cross a nice man as unmanly from their list.

Pigeonholed as „buddy”

Of course any lady would love to keep a heart of gold like him – just not for the one thing.  But he will only be a ‘good friend’, who comes back to her memory,  when she’s had her heart broken by another man….he is so sympathetic and can build up her self-confidence up like no other…. until she has recovered enough to try her luck again and throw herself once again into the arms of a „wild bad boy”.

She is looking for someone to look up to

The sexual behaviour of women is a lot more complex than that of men. Men find women attractive, when they look like the ideal beauty of the time. But it appears as if women are looking for something in ‘him’ that he embodies or possesses which she doesn’t have. She will admire him for that, so that he doesn’t even have to look good, just so long he has that special something. And usually, it’s also not enough that he is on her level. He should be on a higher level. THEN he becomes interesting!

The nice guy has a problem with himself


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But let’s return to Chris one more time and to his difficulties to find a girlfriend. Overly nice men usually have a problem with themselves. Deep down inside, whether it is justified or not, a nice guy has the notion, that he is not enough for a partner. This notion is rooted in his childhood and could have been caused by a real imperfection, such as not being as tall as the others.

But quite often, an overly critical family has set up such high standards of social acceptance, that the son is unable to meet them. Therefore, feelings of inadequacy and inferiority will arise early in a child’s development. Since the nice man falsely believes that he is somehow flawed, he will try to compensate for it by hiding not so nice character traits from his dream lady. And thus, nice men tend to hide their rough edges and flaws, to appear more worthy of love.

But unfortunately, those rough edges could actually help to establish a healthy power balance in a relationship, as a stable fundament for love. Because if a man is too nice, a woman feels no need to smooth over her own rough edges – unless she is an equally nice and obliging woman!  Then of course, you might have a couple that lives heaven on earth – but how many people are able to manifest this level? So, if a man is nicer than the woman, he is automatically taking the subdominant position and so appears unattractive to her.

Some take the nice man out of desperation



Despite of this, some women will accept the nice man, especially when they shipwrecked themselves with „real men” before and have a strong desire for children. During the desire for children phase, they are very motivated to have sex, but as soon as they have children, their interest in sex will wane dramatically. Due to his personality structure, the nice man is not able to arouse her libido. In this situation – perhaps even taking the advice of other women -, he will try to make even more efforts to improve the relationship, but unfortunately, whilst becoming more meaningful as a partner, he will not activate her sex drive in this way.