5 Clear Differences Between A Good Man And ‘The Nice Guy’


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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.

Click here to get my new e-book, The Modern Man’s Guide To Chivalry And Courtship!


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  1. Ginger on February 27, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    “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.”

    And, of course, this one goes both ways. I could stay in “nice girl” mode and go along with everything he wants without ever stating my opinion or wants but then when I’m unhappy with the relationship, who do I have to blame? Me… because I never told him what was important to me. And, I can be the initiator, chasing him down some, and not come across as a “bad girl”.

    I made the first move with the guy I’m dating now and we have a nice balance of “who’s in charge”… It helps both of us to feel powerful in the relationship and respected but also giving towards each other.

    Great article!

  2. Alex on February 27, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    Great article, but I’m in a bit of a situation. Since reading your articles I’ve realized I need to be more honest about my intentions. I’m friends with this girl I like, for a few months now. Friends first then I started to like her and thought she felt the same, but I’m bad at reading the signs. I’ve now moved away and will be away for a couple years. I didn’t express me intentions/feelings before leaving because I didn’t wanna put that unnecessary pressure. Since discovering this site, I want to start expressing my intentions, but I now won’t see her for a few months at least, and I don’t want to be one of those losers that express there feelings in a online message on Social Media. (don’t have her phone number) Mostly I swam daily at the pool to get in shape and she’s a lifeguard and we became friends. I still wanna be friends if I’m rejected, but whatever happens happens. Thoughts?

    • Gilbert Chad on February 27, 2015 at 5:30 pm

      Alex, you;re a pussy.

      • Alex on February 27, 2015 at 5:48 pm

        Thank you for your input. I’ll definitely try that.

    • John on March 30, 2016 at 11:14 am

      Dawg, there’s other girls out there. If you want to tell her how you feel, tell her. If you don’t want to, don’t tell her. Either way, own the decision, take the action, and move on. Don’t sit and ring your hands over it.

  3. Shelley Bailey on February 27, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    Hi there,

    I’ve found a website by chance that is IDENTICAL to yours as in all the posts are the same? Do t know if it’s a pseudo name you use but if not just thought Id tell you!



    • Graham Phoenix on February 28, 2015 at 1:12 pm

      Hi, no it’s not identical. The site you mention is mine and is one I have been running for around 5 years. The work on it is all mine and is totally original. You can see that the post you link to was written nearly 4 years ago. If it is the same it is because we have the same message. This is the first time I have been here so I am interested in someone who thinks and feels the same about men.

  4. arrowlynx on February 28, 2015 at 8:43 am

    slowly but surely we come things closer……… 🙂

    “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.”

    that’s the essence….. but the other points are also good.

    I think here we have a basis where men an women (including our feminists) can live with. The rest depends on the particular situation.,,,,,

  5. Tapestry Communications on February 28, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Intriguing…the bridge between bad boy and nice guy could be – be an honest man. Don’t morph yourself into being her friend, which, inevitably, just when she believes that’s all your want, something will happen – because you’re a guy – the hand may creep over or flirting – and yup, you’ve lost a friend. Worst, she feels betrayed by the ‘honest’ times that were not that at all. Just be yourself. Stop playing games to get her to want you. That’s being a ‘bad boy’ – great writing here… I have a blog about 50 shades of grey on my blog, should you consider a follow up read. Much appreciated. Thank you.

  6. Bellaisa on March 4, 2015 at 11:21 am

    I have an example of how important confidence is. I went on a date with a guy who was very unsure of himself. I wasn’t attracted to him at all. I liked him, but he wasn’t dating material for me. Then, we went out and hung out with some of his friends. Suddenly he was confident. He was comfortable and sure of himself around them, and – guess what – he was suddenly attractive to me! But, when we went on another ‘date’ that lack of confidence showed up and, again, I lost that attraction. It’s so important.

    • arrowlynx on March 4, 2015 at 12:30 pm

      Hope that a lot of guys read that……………..:-)

  7. rafasasaki19 on May 27, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    Reblogged this on codigocavalheirismo.

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  10. Clarence on May 10, 2016 at 2:31 am

    Wow! this is very insightful ^_^… Anyways, just for the sake of sharing, I have a fictional dystopian book that relates about this so-called “nice guy syndrome”… here is the kindle link, try to check it out: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Niceman-please-this-disease-ebook/dp/B01A3NOQVC/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1462643246&sr=1-1&keywords=the+niceman

  11. Bella on January 5, 2017 at 11:37 am

    I started to like a boy while in my 9th grade.he didn’t feel anything at that time..but now,after some 6 years,he does and we exchanged phone numbers too.since I have started to talk to him I have realized that I have been wasting my time, thinking and cherishing him.I wanna back out since he gets abusive at times.I can’t figure out whether he really loves me or merely fakes it..I’m real confused.can I get some help?

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