Q: I want to fall for a nice guy, but I always seem to end up with a bad boy. How can I make myself attracted to a nice guy?
A: You want to want a nice guy, but for some reason, you — and many other women — don’t always view that type of man as attractive. Something about tattoos, motorcycles, and that devil-may-care attitude gets women every time; or maybe it’s just that aloofness some women find appealing or the sense that he is a man in charge of his own life. Bad boys have confidence, they never let anyone tell them what to do, and they are often charming in a rebellious kind of way that’s attractive to women. But, of course, in the end, that type of guy is often selfish and immature, hardly able to give a woman what she really wants and needs.
I can relate to this struggle, because I remember when I was really struggling with it when I was dating. That all changed when I met my husband. He is a nice guy, treats me very well, has very flexible gender roles, and has all the characteristics of that Sensitive New-Age Guy. He can talk about his feelings, and he isn’t afraid to listen to my feelings either.
But there’s a part of him that’s very male and very assertive. In other words, he does not let me walk all over him at all. I cannot push him around. If he even smells me pushing him, he fights back pretty overtly. So, he has the strength and confidence of a “bad boy,” but he is not going to forget my birthday or behave selfishly to assert his independence. That is the fine line most women are looking for in their Mr. Right. They want the excitement and passion that a bad boy can give them, but they also want the stability and security that a nice guy can offer.
So what’s a girl to do? First, make sure the nice guy in your life knows that you actually do appreciate independence and assertiveness. You might say something like, “I’d really appreciate it if you would tell me your opinion. Even if you disagree with me or you think I’m wrong, let me know!” By doing so, you can help him to see that he doesn’t have to be a doormat or a pushover to make you happy.
Next, look at your own behavior. You might say that you want a nice guy, but are you actually taking steps to make that happen? Or are you allowing yourself to waste time on guys that don’t really have your best interests at heart. Do you often find yourself in friends-with-benefits situations that take up all your time and energy? If you don’t make room for a nice guy in your life, then he is going to have a hard time fitting in.
And, when you are dating a nice guy, make sure that you allow him to assert his independence without getting threatened or angry. If you want him to be confident and in control, you need to exemplify that same behavior. For example, let him have a guy’s night without throwing a fit, and don’t try to drag him to see the next Twilight movie or get a mani/pedi. He is your man, not your girlfriend, so keep the sexual sparks alive by letting him be just that! Remember, a man can be assertive and dominant and a nice guy all at the same time!
— Dr. Laura Berman