“Nice Guys” and the Infamous Friend Zone

A dear friend sent me the link to this article the other day, and I just had to share it. I’ve put some excerpts here, but please go to Kelsey’s blog and read the entire thing. It is so worth the read. Any emphasis below is mine.



In the interest of bringing everyone up to speed (since most of the people who read The Independent Review are here for the books, and not the feminism), the friend zone is an invisible place that exists only in the minds of men who don’t know how to move on after they’ve expressed interest in women, and have been turned down. They’ve been banished to a barren wasteland where they’re doomed never to have sex with the women they’ve lusted over for weeks, months, even years. And they are angry. They feel slighted. They missed the train to the holy land, the Bone Zone, and are now the one-man population of a lonely little western town named Sexual Frustration, where the local walk is the blue balls shuffle.

The friend zone exists almost exclusively in the minds of “Nice Guys.” I’m sure you’ve heard of them. They’ve coined and popularized the phrase “nice guys finish last,” sometimes with the pathetic addition of “so their women can finish first.” Nice Guys are positively despondent, having spent their whole lives watching the women around them fall into the arms of “assholes,” “jerks,” and “douchebags.” Sound familiar? If you’re still fuzzy, here’s their collective favourite assertion:

“I’m the guy who you’ll complain about your boyfriend to, but never the one you’ll date. I’m such a nice guy, but all the girls I’ve ever liked have put me in the friend zone, and then come crying to me when they date douche bags.”

I can guarantee you that everyone knows, or at one point has known, a guy like this. He proclaims to anyone who will listen that he’s just a genuinely good guy, and doesn’t understand why the world has chosen to take a big, heaping, diarrhetic shit on his head. All he wants is to get to the Bone Zone. Is that too much to ask, for just one girl not to think he’s “too nice” to sleep with?

The Nice Guy, you see, is put upon by the world.

The myth that Nice Guys perpetuate among themselves is that they are, in fact, “too nice” for girls to take them seriously. Pretty soon, every nice guy starts to ask his friends, “Should I just start practicing my asshole routine? Will that get this fucking slut’s attention?”

See, the Nice Guys aren’t so nice any more — but, the reality is, they never really were. The Nice Guy is, at his very core, a petulant, entitled little baby, who doesn’t like to be told no. He has been led to believe that he is entitled to a woman’s attention. Entitled, just by being alive, and by being “nice.” If he shows her how “nice” he is, by being her friend for a while, by letting her cry on his shoulder, she will in turn see how dateable he is.

When she doesn’t, the Nice Guy is shattered. He did everything right — he was a friend, he was nice! Why wasn’t that enough? A lady’s gentleman friends should naturally be upgraded to a relationship status. Why has he been unceremoniously dumped into the friend zone? The friend zone isn’t where he wants to be — he never wanted to be a friend, he just wanted to have sex. The Nice Guy doesn’t think a woman’s friendship is worth having…

So, do you identify as a “Nice Guy?” Do you feel like you are unable to score a ticket on the train to the Bone Zone? Do you find yourself watching girls ride off into the sunset with Prince Douchebag McJerk? Do you hear the world’s tiniest violin playing for you? Lucky for you, I have some advice.

If you want to see results with the ladies, it’s time for a major personality overhaul. In order to truthfully call yourself a nice guy, and not a “Nice Guy,” you have to earn that right. Don’t just tell people you’re nice — prove it. Start by acknowledging that you were not born with the god-given right to a woman’s attention, and really internalize that. Someone’s attention — be it male or female — is another thing you have to earn, because you are not the Queen of England, or George Clooney.

Stop treating a friendship with a woman as a way to eventually enter a sexual relationship with that woman. Be a good friend, a true friend, who is legitimately there for her without an agenda. Don’t be opportunistic with your friendship, and  don’t treat it as disposable if or when she does not express romantic interest in you. When you’re rejected, understand that it’s not because you’re “too nice,” or because she’s a “shallow bitch.” Sometimes things just don’t work out.

And, for God’s sake, have a real personality that can be described without using the word “nice.” Have hobbies and interests and a job you care about, take pride in yourself. One of the best things David Wong writes in the article I linked to earlier is that being “nice” simply isn’t enough:

[Women] won’t put it as bluntly as [Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross] does — society has trained us not to be this honest with people — but the equation is the same. “Nice guy? Who gives a shit? If you want to work here, close.”

Women don’t care if you’re nice (well, they care, but not that much). There’s a guy down the street from the woman you like who’s just as nice, and he doesn’t whine all the time. She works with a guy who’s nice and, get this, funny, and who loves dogs, to boot. At the laundromat she runs into a nice guy who’s an avid jogger, takes his mom to brunch on Sundays, and has travelled across Europe and Asia. Expecting “niceness” to set you apart will never work, because it’s the lowest rung on the ladder of dateability.

Be a real person — stop hiding behind the term “nice guy.” It’s a flimsy facade to mask your outdated and frankly dangerous misogynistic attitude. Accept responsibility for your life, your biases, and your problems, and drop the put-upon act. Whiners are weiners. And so are “Nice Guys.”

– Kelsey


Please read this incredible article in its entirety. It is well worth it. Leave a comment for Kelsey supporting her clear, much-needed voice on this matter.

I’ve learned some harsh lessons over the past few years, as you well know readers. One of the main ones is not to believe who people tell you they are. Whatever they say they are, they are usually the exact opposite, like these guys claiming to be “nice.” It’s much more reliable when people show you who they are, over a long time period. Like, a year. Not three months, no, around that time, if you spend enough time with them, the cracks begin to show. After six, patterns begin to emerge. After a year, you will have a pretty decent indication of who they really are.

Maybe. That’s if you spend a great deal of time with them over that year and have at least of level of intimacy and communication beyond casual friends. Close friends, at least.

If you just see them at potlucks and dances and the like, you don’t know them. Not at all.

Don’t fool yourself.

(Another great read:  6 Harsh Truths that Will Make You a Better Person)

~ by omgrey on January 16, 2013.

25 Responses to ““Nice Guys” and the Infamous Friend Zone”

  1. Normally I like David Wong’s posts. However, I guess I’ll always be a loser because I thought Alec Baldwin’s character was an asshole.

    • Me, too. 🙂

    • I’d take it very personally and I would walk out the door. In fact, I take it personally now and it’s just a movie. I never liked coaches and all that macho pep talk crap. So paint a big L on my head.

      • That kind of hard coaching talk is just bullying, in my eyes. I don’t think that makes you a loser nor do I think it makes me a loser. It just makes us not salesmen.

        Seeing as how every single salesman I’ve ever met has been a crook and a manipulative bastard, I’m rather proud of that fact.

        Although, the article has a point. The world really only does care what it can get from you. If you are not offering something they can use, you’re just another face in the crowd to them. That is very accurate. You don’t have to be a Douchebag or manipulate people or hurt people to accomplish that.

  2. this is kind of stupid article written by some stupid phoney come on everyone wont be same some are born shy you hating nice shy guys cos you all complete d**ks thats all get a life you fucking horn dogs talking about shity confidence blaming the he wasnt tell no jokes no excitement go to hell you fucking homes no body is listening to this stupid western shit god bless asians wow asia is always better look the girls here they were so respectful no one is complaining here like you were western shits

  3. I think this is sort of like saying, “are men attracted to nice women?” Of course not. Not, that is, per se. When’s the last time you heard a man (in public, anyway) say he was attracted to a woman because she was so nice? He lusts after her because she volunteers at a hospital, right? Won’t hear it. He might say because she’s funny, smart, successful, good in bed, pretty, shares common interests, tolerates his faults, comes from a rich family, is hard-to-get, “is such a bitch,” etc. Niceness is incidental, though it may be a requirement, for them, to marry. So why do these whiny shits hold women to a different standard? Why are we not permitted to be attracted to someone just bec he’s a challenge, bec he’s “a bad boy,” because we just like his damn ass, because he’s good in bed, because he has an interesting career, etc? And yeah, we DO get to complain about him to our nice and supportive friends, male and female, and have those friends get sick of hearing about it… how we take so much crap from this person, etc — just as men complain about their wives and dates all the time…. But no one tells them they must have low self-esteem or some psychological pathology going on — they simply say they are “whipped,” ie, they like sex more than they like being treated well in other areas. Well damn, i like sex, esp good sex, better than that , too, much of the time, so count me as whipped. No shame in that, baby, and no shame in me complaining about the sexy guy being a bastard. This stuff is about human nature, not about women having an aversion to (alleged) nice guys. We get to have the privilege and the right to be shallow, to be attracted to that which we cannot get, to choose a hot bod over a warm heart (and still complain about a cold heart), and all that other stuff that makes people — oh, what’s the word again… oh yeah — HUMAN. And, to you oh-so-long suffering men: if we women are such jerks because we prefer the asshole over the nice man — then that makes US not-nice — and these “nice guys” ought just move their romantic attentions to a woman who is nicer, now shouldnt they? Unless THEY arent actually attracted to nice women…. 😉

    • Nice.

    • Why do men seem to think we should get some credit for being nice? Honestly, it is because we are always hearing women complain about how they can never find any nice guys. It isn’t that men value niceness. It is quite apparent that the vast majority of men value physical appearance. We tend to be pretty consistent about that as a group, although tastes differ.

      No, the issue is that men believe that WOMEN value niceness. And that is because the vast majority of women tell us that they value niceness, and that they are having difficulty finding that value. And then they go chasing after another jerk who abuses them.

      For men that care about women, this is very frustrating. I’m not claiming to have a solution, just noticing the elephant in the room. I suspect that we do things that are just as frustrating to women, so it isn’t that one side of the other is to blame. We’re all human and stumbling over the same types of communication issues.


      • Again, there is a difference between “nice” guys and actual nice guys. Behaving in a “nice” manner to get laid is completely different than actually being a good person who genuinely cares about her as a human being and doesn’t feel like he’s entitled to her body for use as an ejaculatory tool because he’s displayed how “nice” he is.

        As for why “women” keep chasing after “the next jerk” who treats them badly, it’s because in this society violence against women is so very pervasive, they have been socialized (likely by their own fathers and certainly time after time by their treatment of men) in a way that fuses love and abuse together. They can’t tell the difference as certain kinds of abuse feel like love, especially emotional abuse. It’s how they’ve always been treated by men who “love” them. It’s all they know.

        Still, “women” are a huge group of people who you’ve just generalized and stereotyped in to always chasing the jerk. There are many women who don’t.
        Those who have been raised with actual love and treated with respect. Those who have been taught by example and support that they have worth outside of their pussy and they owe “men” access to simply by existing. Because that’s exactly what society teaches us, and that’s exactly how “nice guys” behave.

      • Also. “Nice” is a word that has become meaningless for this very issue. Women say they value NICENESS because they’re tired of falling for a disingenuous man. Someone who seemed so nice because he was acting. All these abusive assholes you mention largely don’t appear so at the beginning. They seem “nice.” Woman may not see the obvious assholery you, as a man, sees in these “jerks” because you are not their prey. The woman is. These “jerks” show a different side to the woman to ensnare her, likely telling her some sensitive bullshit about their gruff facade to protect themselves (of they’re overtly aggressive to others) and that they feel they can be “truly themselves” with said woman. Not until a woman is quite trapped in the betrayal bond usually, although it’s often right after the man gets his dick wet, does she find out who he really is.

        As a woman, I value honesty, integrity, and being genuine far more than being nice, and especially “nice,” since that is far from any of those things.

        I’m fortunate to have married one of the very few genuine men I’ve ever met. That said, I think by far most people, not just men, are disingenuous, seriously lack integrity, and choose to deceive. Most people, I’ve learned, aren’t worth knowing.

      • Gee, Doc, you just state that the vast majority of men value physical appearance (which i dont happen to agree with, but let’s go with your perspective). THAT alone, makes them N OT nice. And you have not stated that you are an exception, but even if you think you are an exception, if the vast majority of males are not “nice,” then the vast majority of women will be with those men, because the truly “nice” males are so incredibly rare. This is simple math. So you think it’s our (women) job to stay fucking celibate til we find one? Fuck off.

  4. “Niceness” like it’s some big reward, ahahaha. There was a Cracked.com article that pointed out, niceness is a prerequisite for being a decent human being. The author put it this way: Touting being “nice” as if it’s a big thing that ought to get you laid is like a movie poster saying “this movie is in English and its actors are visible”.

  5. So if only wants to move to this bone zone then be the classic jerk. A narcissistic self centered tell you what you want to hear life of the party is the way to go? Lets be honest here and tell the whole story. Is it truly the nice guy who feels entitled or the person I have described? I have been a self centered jerk and and have played the game just to get laid. In the author’s eyes I’m a true man. Having the right job? Really most people work at a job that pays the bills but lacks fulfillment, I’m guessing in a perfect world we would all love our jobs. Thus making us a better person taking mom to brunch is very impressive tho, lol. I believe I would rather just be the man I have become, one who has learned from my past, I will call it as I see it and yes I tend to be every lady I know big brother. Does this bother me? Yes at times, do I whine about it? Simply put NO! Better to find the right one being myself then a laundry list of the wrong ones playing the game. This article seems to suggest that if one is nice and respectful then they are fake and outdated. I would rather be a nice guy then a narcissistic ass who always feels entitled. Just my thoughts, I will now return you to your scheduled nice guy bashing.

    • Wow! What a wonderful example of mansplaining and completely missing the point. Bravo!

      So much of your rambling comment doesn’t even make sense, so I don’t even know where to begin.

      As for your closing line, it’s so utterly passive-aggressive and full of gaslighting goodness that I choose to ignore that as well.

      Fuck off.

  6. Wow, ok I will just go and fuck off now

    • The point you missed, Mike, is that the narcissistic asshole who says anything just to get laid, as you admitted to doing yourself, IS the “nice guys” the article is talking about. They’re playing “nice” to get fucked.

      Big difference between “Nice Guys” and actual nice guys. “Nice Guys” pretend to be someone’s friend in order to get laid, but if they don’t get laid, then the woman is a cold-hearted bitch. There’s an excellent article about being put in the “girlfriend zone,” outlining this practice even further. It’s about men who view women as sexual objects and ejaculatory machines…who pretend to be “nice” and their friend as a way in the back door to their pussy.

      Your closing sentence was extremely aggressive and offensive, and I really expected more from you. You’re either showing your true colors here, which, if that’s the case, then really do fuck off (as when I replied I didn’t know it was *this* Mike), or you misunderstood the article. If the latter is the case, please read it again and show me respect when you comment on my blog.

      Thank you.

  7. I never claimed to be more than who I am, I never said I was narcissistic but when younger yes I played the game. But have learned and progressed to be true to myself. If I misunderstood the meaning then that’s on me, as for being disrespectful then I will apologize for that. However I do believe that true learning and understanding comes from open uncensored communication. I would never answer a point of view with fuck off! But it is your post and I will respect that and keep my opinions to myself even if I did miss the point. Keep up your fight.

    • “I would never answer a point of view with fuck off!”

      You’ve never been raped and ostracized by your entire community, then minimized and dismissed by the police. You don’t have to put up with an entire culture of rape and patriarchy telling you your crazy day after day.

      I’ve said many, many times before, disrespect will be answered ten-fold, as will kindness. Your closing, jibing comment to return to my scheduled nice guy bashing was bullshit. It was derailing, misogynistic, and full of gaslighting.

      You did miss the point. That wasn’t the problem I had with your comment, it was the tone and attack. I take that from no man, or woman, for that matter. I’ve answered as such to women as well.

      I want to hear your opinion, but not if you’re going to present it aggressively with accusations. Plus, so much of your original comment didn’t make sense. Try reading it again out loud, and you’ll see what I mean.

      I will keep fighting. No misogynist is welcome here, and I know many “nice guys” are misogynists in disguise. I’ve met far too many of those in my life. So, you either truly respect women, or you’re doing so to get laid. Only time will tell if any nice guy is a true nice guy or a “nice guy.”


  8. It’s getting so easy for me to see through the Nice Guy act — and there are barely any males i can tolerate, as so many males even believe they are nice guys — or seem to believe it.

    • Indeed, and agreed.

      So many believe they love women, support women, respect women, but in the end it’s a means to an end or a way to get in deep, through that back door, before showing their true colors.

  9. I know, it’s very, very confusing. Hence the effectiveness of the gaslighting. Sending mixed messages is abusive, so abusive.

  10. I have seem to have been judged and found wanting, I will post no more I will also not message you nor follow. I had no hidden agenda, and you must not judge so harshly everyones interest. Not all men are looking to score, yes i did do that back in high school, that was a lifetime ago. But it matters not i wish you well with your recovery and your writing. I have just posted my last post on twitter as I never saw myself in the light you painted me in. I still seek justice for you and all victims. Good bye


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