Often times when I write on chivalry and romance, the article’s comment section ends up discussing the appeal of “bad boys” and why women are typically attracted to them over the “nice guy.”
Predictably, if we have to talk about why women like bad boys, we also need to talk about why they don’t like ‘nice guys.’ But I don’t think this is the case and I think that often times we have the misconception that a man has to be one, or the other.
I remember watching a movie called A Case Of You, which is about a guy who picks up every hobby the woman he’s interested in is interested in, just to win her affection – blurring his own identity in the process.
Here are five differences between being a genuinely good guy, and being a doormat.
A good man will show his intentions (respectfully).
I don’t want to lay all of the cards on the table in the first point here, but this is a big issue. I know this because I used to be this guy, and now I speak to many of them. Often times guys are a little nervous about making a move or stating intent towards someone they care about because…what happens if she says no? Do we lose our friendship? Is it awkward now? And then…they just never do it.
When we perpetuate this bad habit but remain friends with the woman we are interested in, she will eventually see us as a platonic pillar in her life who she can come to with guy problems and spend nights on the couch with eating ice cream and drinking wine. Now, this might not seem all that bad – but when you are the man in this situation and have a burning desire to be intimate with this woman, it is torture.
A good man can still be ‘nice’ but make his intentions known. Whether it is small compliments to gauge how she reacts, putting your hand on her arm to see if she mirrors your body language, or just stepping up to ask her on a date – women are not mind readers any more than you are. You’ve gotta risk it to get the biscuit, my friend – and you don’t have to be an outlaw rebel biker in order to do it. Nice guys get girlfriends, too.
Have the courage to step up, and if she turns you down, at least you know where you stand with her before you become too emotionally invested.
A good man still has boundaries.
Men and women have an inherent tendency to push whatever limits they can until they reach a wall. If you don’t believe this, simply observe a child whose parents don’t intervene with their running rampant. It will only continue and get worse.
The same goes for many people as adults. If you don’t set boundaries for yourself and become her personal Gumby toy, then not only will you be constantly self-sacrificing, but she will never gain enough respect for you as a man to see you as a potential romantic partner. Don’t shoot the messenger, I’m just being honest here. That leads us into our next point…
A good man has respect for himself.
This is one of the biggest perception differences between a good man and a doormat. If you allow someone to consistently walk all over you, never present your own opinion, never disagree with them, never make new suggestions for fear of escaping a comfort zone – then whether it is true or not, it will appear as though you don’t respect yourself.
A good man understands that he has his own identity and his own life. His own interests and unique suggestions he can bring to the table in a relationship. He has enough respect to say no and set those boundaries we talked about. A guy who is a “doormat” will (falsely) believe that if he brings any of this up it will make waves and she will get annoyed or mad, so he just lives his life smiling and nodding.
Smiling and nodding. Smiling and nodding…Stop it!
A good man has confidence in himself.
(Notice I didn’t say arrogance). The reason why some win and some lose at the dating game, is often tied to just that – confidence. It takes confidence to approach a woman in the first place. Confidence to make your move. Confidence to convey your feelings to her. Confidence to be secure enough with yourself to be romantic without feeling like you’re sacrificing your masculinity. A guy who would be considered a “doormat” rarely, if at all, displays this confidence.
Confidence to be himself.
Your confidence will be your foundation for success in relationships, and in life. Work on this first – and then move forward.
A good man isn’t overbearing.
I fully believe that a man should put in consistent effort to make the woman in his life feel special, beautiful, and loved.
But there’s a difference between showing someone your affection and smothering them until they feel socially suffocated. She should be a big part of your life, but not the entire thing.
If you follow her around like a puppy dog or insist on spending every single second together, she will feel like you’re emotionally crushing her and will need to get out. Fast.
Give her some space and some time to miss you. Plus – she wants you to have your own dreams, passions, and ambitions – not just hitch yourself to hers.
We can work to change the misconception that good guys finish last, because they don’t. Men who sacrifice their own identity for the approval of someone else, finish last. Men who get so caught up in someone else or a relationship that they lose sight of themselves and who they are, finish last.
You don’t have to be a bad boy OR a nice guy, you can be both. Challenge her, seduce her, empower her. But also love, honor, and value her.
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