The over-valuation of “nice”

I find myself rolling my eyes a lot lately at the seeming plethora of posts in various places whining about how nice guys or girls finish last. This is generally a complaint about how the object of somebody’s affection doesn’t like them back and supposedly only likes the bad ones.

Because when you can’t find a relationship, the common denominator is clearly that a entire gender all shares the same failing rather than being you. Uh huh. Or maybe it’s just daft to expect that simply being nice is a ticket to love and sex and happy ever after.

A large number of people on the planet are, as a baseline, quite nice. It’s a good thing to be, the right thing to be, but it’s not a particularly distinguishing feature. It does not mark you out as the person who is most compatible with your crush or is going to make them happiest. You need to show what you have to offer – and I can guarantee that the most interesting and attractive thing about any given person is not simply that they’re nice.

It’s pretty entitled to expect that the mere fact you’re not a raging asshole will have somebody weak at the knees for you, and to chastise them when they’re not. Being decent is not some highly notable trait. It’s actually the most basic thing in the world that we all should be. You do not earn special plaudits for doing what you ought to be doing anyway. Why should they pick you over all the other nice people in the world? It sucks to be unrequited, but it doesn’t mean you’ve been denied what should be yours.

That’s before we even start on what an unpredictable thing feelings are and how there’s just no accounting for them. Sparks fly where they will, they don’t pay attention to a tickbox list of worthy attributes. Sometimes the chemistry isn’t there and it’s nobody’s fault.

There are a lot of perfectly lovely people in this world who are in relationships, who did get the guy or the girl. They’re nice and they “won,” but they didn’t do it by sitting back and expecting that being nice was all it took. And they didn’t do it by sitting back and resenting the people who didn’t want them instead of making moves to find the one who did.

It’s true that some people have an unhealthy habit of continually picking unsuitable partners. If you do come across someone who’s just got a thing for the bad ones, it’s their loss. Move along. But don’t generalise like they’re the entire gender. You’d do much better to have a rethink about how you approach people, the ways and places you’re trying to find someone compatible, and to do something productive to open yourself up to potential partners and show them what you have to offer.

*This rant comes to you from a nice girl who hasn’t yet won but knows why – and it’s not them, it’s me. I’m working on it.*


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