Nice guys finish last?

In my practice, I get to hear both sides of a common struggle of the sexes: women struggle to find a good, quality guy and some of the guys who fit that description can’t seem to get the women. What’s this all about?

Well, Dean Melcher, founder of The Modern Man, a company in Australia that provides dating advice, has a hypothesis. He believes that some men fall into the Mr. Nice Guy category. These are the guys who “patiently listens to a girl complain without interrupting her. Because of his sweet nature, he puts the girl’s demands first, altering his weekend plans to fit her schedule. He may be uneasy about making a decision for fear of being domineering.” Melcher coaches his clients to be more assertive, to show more of their own desires in a relationship, and to leave a little to mystery. (You can read an article about Melcher here on

“Nice” is such a charged word in the dating world. In my single years my guy friends and I would always cringe when a woman used that word to describe us. There’s nothing inherently wrong with being nice, of course. It’s just such a bland word. I think men are described as being nice when women don’t have anything better, anything more exciting, to say. I’ve never met a guy who really wanted to be Mr. Nice Guy.

I encourage my Mr. Nice Guy clients to examine the reasons they tend to defer their own desires, their selves to women in dating situations. What fears come up around the thought of being more assertive? What would it take to accept a little more risk of rejection? Most women want to be with a man who shows up, who shares his opinions, and who isn’t afraid of having a different perspective than the woman.

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