Do Nice Guys Finish Last in Love?

Florence Williamson
3 min readJun 8, 2022

The teenage and early adult years can be a rough time in a man’s life. It’s during this time that he learns two valuable lessons:

First, that nice guys finish last.

Second, that girls always fall for bad boys.

In his first few attempts at dating, these ideas may seem to him like universal truths. His attempts to secure a woman’s love through kind words, self-sacrifice, and honesty end in failure, because in the end, he is boring. And youth is uninterested in boring.

Who Are the Real Nice Guys?

To be fair, not all nice guys are nice to be around. Women, no matter their age, don’t like men whose middle name is “doormat.” Nice guys aren’t to be conflated with men of low self-esteem and self-confidence, while those traits can certainly coincide.

A nice man is a person who respects his space and the space of others. He believes in discipline, respect, and self-control. They come in all shapes and sizes, and not just the nerdy accountant types we all imagine them to be.

A nice guy can be the guy who takes his studies seriously, doesn’t spend his nights out getting smashed, or doesn’t mind getting in touch with his feelings every so often. He watches his manners and respects your boundaries.

And every now and then, that nice guy gets his heart caved in by a girl who thinks he’s too safe, and not interesting or fun.

A Period of Doubt and Change

Many nice guys, in the aftermath of a painful heartbreak, tend to overcorrect. They conclude that in order to be popular with the ladies, they need to shed their nice guy persona and become bad boys.

They start acting like hardened criminals, dress rebelliously, and shut down emotionally. This might work for a while. Their overcompensation may land them a few meaningless flings down the road, reaffirming that their metamorphosis is paying dividends.

And young women may like that sort of thing, but only for a while. But as both men and women progress in life, the nice guy/bad boy issue becomes a thing of the past.

Are the Nice Guys the Real Winners?

Sure. It’s hard to deny that nice guys fare better in the long run. When people get to the stage of marriage and having a family, their criteria for long-term partners change.

In my experience, I have seen a trend where nice guys do better in their careers, treat their wives better, and live a more well-balanced life.

Oh, so what about the bad boys then? Here’s the caveat: bad boys have to mature somehow and sometime. And when they do, they settle down and try to live life “properly,” like a lot of nice guys.

Those that haven’t settled down, who continue to party into their 40s, and refuse to mature, have a difficult time transitioning into family life. They refuse to move out of a phase that is toxic to both themselves and the people they meet.

The conclusion is that our teenage views on love don’t translate well later into adulthood. Women may be attracted to bad guys when they are young, only to realize that that same attitude doesn’t transition well to marriage and fatherhood. A man has to grow out of his anger issues, obsessive pride, and emotional baggage if he wants to have a healthy family life.

So nice guys, for the most part, end up winning in life. It’s a long-term plan that works out. And maybe more women should realize that.

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