Guys, Are You Too Nice

Being a pushover is the kiss of death for a man… only how can you strike a balance? Read these tips to be a little bit more bad in ways women love.

By Lisa Freedman

orry to break this to you, guys, but it is possible to be too nice. And if you’re reading this article, chances are you’ve fallen into the trap of following all the rules — you wined and dined her, asked her questions, called the next day — but still didn’t get the girl. What gives? “Women like a nice guy at first,” says Robert Glover, author of No More Mr. Nice Guy. But niceness can also be seen as weakness—and that’s a major turn-off for most women. So how do you show a gal you’re genuinely interested in her, without going overboard? We asked Glover and single men and women for some pointers that should help even the meekest guy make a stronger statement.

4 things to do…

Do take charge “Dating is like a dance: If you don’t take the lead,
“Most women don’t want to be in charge.”
she has to,” Glover says. “Most women don’t want to be in charge.” Asking her out is a big step, but it’s not enough. Glover suggests having a particular day and plan already picked out: “Asking her to go out sometime leaves to many details to be determined. Instead, ask her to meet you for drinks on Tuesday.” That way, all she has to decide is whether or not she’s free that night.

Do disagree with her “Nothing irritates me more than someone who agrees with everything I say, even when I can tell he has another opinion,” says Theresa from Washington, D.C. “If I wanted to hear my thoughts on a subject, I would just talk to myself. I want a guy who will challenge me.” By avoiding conflict with your date, you may as well be wearing a big sign that says, I’m a pushover! If you don’t see eye-to-eye with her, tell her.

Do tease her a little You won’t ever find a woman who doesn’t like a guy who’s funny. So go ahead, and let your sarcasm or dry sense of humor shine—just do it playfully. Sean, 35, from New York City attests: “I used some playful teasing on my last date — I told her, ‘Your head isn’t nearly as large as it looks on your profile’ — and we were able to use all that built-in first-date tension to our advantage.” By carrying yourself this way you’ll look confident, which, by the way, is a turn-on.

Do talk about yourself Don’t do it constantly, but mentioning things about yourself is a good way to make sure your date doesn’t feel like she’s interrogating you. Instead, ask
Only see her once a week at the start of a relationship.
her where she was born and then, when she’s done answering, drop relevant details about your life. “Everything was always about me with this one guy. It was so annoying,” says Alina from Chicago. “There’s no way I’m that interesting! I kept waiting for him to tell me something.”

… And 3 things to avoid…

Don’t plan elaborate dates “The first two or three dates should be simple, casual coffee-type meetings. You should pay for them, but they should be cheap,” says Glover. Do the opposite, and you just look like you’re trying too hard, says Marissa from Johnson City, TN. “A guy bought concert tickets to a band I had mentioned in passing,” she explains. “He spent way too much money. It was shocking and I felt like I owed him.” Clearly, not good feelings to build a relationship on.

Don’t compliment her too much “An ex-boyfriend gave me compliments all the time,” says Rachel from Harrisonburg, VA. “It got to the point that I didn’t believe him and I figured he said those things to every girl he dated.” Seeming insincere is bad, but it can get even worse: “She’ll like it at first but persistent flattery will start to spook her out,” says Glover. Forget the flood of compliments, and show her you care by the occasional compliment from the heart—and by being reliable.

Don’t try to speed up the relationship After a great date, you may feel compelled to ask her out again — right then and there — for the next night… and the next night. Go slowly—don’t overwhelm her with attention. Glover suggests you only see her once a week — at most — at the start of a relationship. If you seem too eager to see her, you’ll look needy and too available. “After a second date this guy wanted to spend all of his time with me,” says Caroline from Los Angeles. “I started to wonder if he had his own life, but I didn’t want to stick around to find out.” So to avoid that fate, pace yourself, enjoy the anticipation—and let things unfold slowly and steadily.

Lisa Freedman is an associate editor at Stuff magazine. She has dumped plenty of nice guys.
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