I have an inkling into why the cliché “nice guys finish last” has become an axiom. Nice is not enough for many women to find a midlife man appealing.
I’m not suggesting that rude, obnoxious jerks are to be tolerated. But a man who’s nice — and only nice — is not enough. At least not for me.
Despite the myth that nice guys are hard to find, in my dating adventure I’ve met lots of nice men. They are affable, pleasant, agreeable, kind, even generous and thoughtful. But these traits are just the starting point for me to be interested in a guy. If a man lacks these qualities, he’s not for me. I need “nice plus.”
What does it take for a man to go beyond nice? Some combination of confidence, humor, personality, passion (for something in addition to sex), intelligence, integrity, introspection, curiosity, thought-provoking conversation. He needs to be “up to something” in the world, whether making a difference in his neighborhood, with his work, or through a charity to which he contributes time in addition to money. He puts effort towards more than his own workouts and watching his favorite sports teams.
In my dating experience I’ve encountered lots of nice men. However, during our conversation, if nothing was divulged that made me interested in getting to know them more, we do not move forward. Perhaps I haven’t asked the right questions; perhaps they were too modest to share how they single-handedly built 20 houses for homeless families or volunteered every Saturday to mentor troubled youth. Yet for the men who’ve intrigued me, they let slip that they are active in pursuits that contribute to others beyond their families. They are confident yet humble. They are proud of their accomplishments but not braggadocious.
How do you uncover if a man is more than just nice? Ask him questions about what he’s committed to, excited about, or passionate for. Probe what makes him jump out of bed in the morning. Uncover what makes him most happy. (His answers need to be more than “You,” although some smooth-talkers may try to sidetrack the questioning with that answer.) And you need to be prepared with your answers should he ask you the same.
Sometimes we are seduced by nice if we haven’t had a man be kind or considerate to us in a while, and especially if our last man didn’t treat us with much regard. Only you can decide if nice is enough for you.
What’s your opinion on nice guys? Have they finished last or first with you?
- Adventures in Delicious Dating After 40 was awarded the Best Blog of the Day today by the Blog of the Day Award site.
- LifeTwo.com reviewed Date or Wait: Are You Ready for Mr. Great? Read their review.
- Call in during my interview on Dr. Karen Kan’s radio show on Monday, Feb. 16 at noon EST. Details. If you miss it, you can hear the recording afterward.