Can a Guy Be Too Nice?

Women say they want the nice guy. But I'm not so sure.

Women say they want the nice guy. But I'm not so sure. I recently had the following IM conversation with my friend Jill:

RICH (11:09:02 AM): punks, and rock stars

JILL (11:09:12 AM): pretty much

RICH (11:09:21 AM): hence Dave and you will never be together

JILL (11:09:27 AM): he's a good guy

RICH (11:09:30 AM): haha too clean cut and nice

JILL (11:09:35 AM): pretty much

Poor Dave! He's losing out to punks, bar tenders and rock stars! Nothing against these occupations (not that being a punk is an occupation). But the more important part of this conversation is that Jill stated that Dave (who adores her) is too nice.

A little more about Dave: he is well off, takes care of Jill as a friend, and asks her to do fun things all the know...dates? Imagine!

I had a friend who is now married who suffered from the "nice guy syndrome".

Architecture, Urban area, Town, City, Metropolitan area, Street, Lantern, Sidewalk, Coquelicot, Sign,

(Image credit: Archives)

On one occasion, we were standing in the bar and he announced that he had to walk 5 blocks to the subway station to pick up his date and walk her to the bar. We were none too pleased with this: Maybe we are not old fashioned enough, but we figured if a girl makes it out of the New York subway, she should easily capable (and independent) enough to walk five blocks to a bar.

His worst showing of being too nice was when he was on a first date with a girl and he walked her into the subway station (behind the turnstile-- he paid even though he wasn't riding the train), and waited with her for the train to come. When she stepped onto the train, he then ran along as the train was leaving waving through the window at her until he couldn't keep up.

His gentlemanly strategy did not pay off. A few weeks later they were no longer seeing one another when she and I ran into one another while we were out. She joked about the train run-along and proceeded to hit on me. Was he too nice, or was she just a bad seed? Maybe a little bit of both.

Is it possible for a guy to be too nice? Here are some ways that this could ring true:

He's So Nice, He Can Only Be a Friend

Hey, a good friend is hard to find. What sometimes happens when we get into a relationship? It eventually runs its course and ends-which means awkwardness, or, and/or change in both of you since you started off as friends. Maybe you can recover and remain buddies, but is it worth the risk if you find that you're really good friends with a nice guy? Also, sometimes the nice guy just has no edge, so he's destined to be just a friend.

He's So Nice, He's Not Challenging Enough

I've recently learned from your comments: women enjoy the thrill of the chase a bit too. People like to wonder what's going to happen, that nerve-racking first few months when the "training wheels" are still on the relationship. And, no matter how much we try to deny it, we do like that we've won someone over instead of just having them give themselves up to us. If a guy is too easy, he may be ruining his chances.

He's So Nice, He'll Always Be There

I've seen some friends take their time with a nice guy. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't. Maybe a woman wants to meet some new guys and "sew her wild oats" while the nice guy fawns over her. She enjoys keeping him in her life as a friend, but somewhere in the back her mind she knows that she can probably return to him later at some point. Again, it's all about risk management: if you want to take the risk of him meeting someone else, then go for it.

He's Too Nice, You Can't Trust Him

Sometimes people are so nice that it seems like they might have sinister overtones. I always see it on Lifetime movies: the guy comes into the woman's life and he is just perfect. Then he slowly disintegrates into a psycho freak. Perhaps a guy can come off as so nice in the beginning that he appears to be covering up for something bad. A woman might avoid a relationship with him if something just doesn't feel right.

What makes a guy too nice, or "friend" material instead of dating material? Do you avoid getting into relationships with a guy that's too nice, or is he destined to be a "friend"?