Best-Of Advice

On nice guy syndrome

I’m a 21 year old guy with one more semester of college left. If there was a textbook of “nice slightly geeky guy,” it’d have my picture there. I’m not fat, I’m not pimply, but I’m not cut or super-hot either… just a slightly above-average looking guy who knows how to treat a girl.

All of that introduces my question: why is it that I always get thrown into the friend zone? To clarify, I get put into the “gay best friend” zone. I’m straight as the day is long, but I’m the one who gets to hear about new shoes, shopping, cute boys, shitty boys, assholes who stood them up… you get the drift.

Is it because I listen too much? Am I too nice? Should I not offer a shoulder to cry on, tell her the shoes are cute (when they are), or that the dude she’s dating is a douche who’s probably fucking someone else too?

Can you help me? I’m asking because there’s a gorgeous, intelligent girl I’d usually say is out of my league that has expressed lots of interest, and I don’t want her to turn me into another “gay best friend” style friend, where I get to hear about her day, her shoes, and her boy problems.


Ugh. Nothing rolls my eyes into the back of my head faster than a “nice guy” who whines about being in the friend zone, and quite frankly, if it weren’t my job to try and smack some sense into you, I’d tell you to go fuck yourself for the ignorant “gay best friend” remarks. (Not cool, dude.)

Let’s be clear, you are not a nice guy. You are actually a magnificent douchebag with a raging case of Nice Guy Syndrome. (Yep, it’s a thing. Look it up.)

While we’re at it, let’s be clear about something else. You don’t know how to treat a girl. You say you do, but you don’t have the slightest fucking clue. If you really knew how to treat a girl, you wouldn’t bitch about listening too much, and you wouldn’t act like a shoulder to cry on is only something to offer if it’s in furtherance of getting you laid.

That kind of thinking is glaring evidence of the underlying issue with guys like you. You don’t actually respect women. You pretend like you do, and you may even believe that you do, but it’s not real.

It’s outrageous and downright insulting that you think a girl has the ability to turn you into a “gay best friend.” You’re doing that to yourself, because you aren’t really being a friend in the first place. You’re just acting like one with the ridiculous expectation that platonic behavior on your part might somehow transmogrify into romantic behavior on her part.

Sorry, but it doesn’t work that way. Platonic relationships are different than romantic ones. They begin differently, they progress differently, and they sure as hell end differently. You better cozy up to that fact pretty quick, because you simply cannot continue to behave like this with the new relationship. If you want a romantic relationship, you have to be emotionally honest from the get go.

You have to put yourself out there, and if she rejects you as a potential romantic partner, you have to move on without thinking platonic behavior will eventually entitle you to something romantic.

(Check out my latest column over at Playboy.)


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