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by Jennifer Brown Banks

Do Nice Guys Finish Last?
The Verdict is in!

The other night, while riding home from a local hot spot, my friend Larry and I toppled upon a topic that seems to cause great controversy between the sexes. He swears that though women openly wish for romantic guys, and complain about how chivalry is dead, we are actually to blame for our own state of affairs.

“What women say they want, and what they respond to are two different things” he argued. Females have nice guys for friends, while rough necks get all the action.”

I shot back with several examples and counterpoints of situations where my friends and I had chosen guys with “substance” over “glitter”. I tried to reason with him, providing proof that he just wasn’t buying!

Larry, like many other guys, foolishly believes that thugs and “bad boys” rein supreme on the single’s scene! Despite the fact that he’s built like a Greek God, works and goes to school, and has a good head on his shoulders, he feels that his “nice guy status” brands him like a scarlet letter!

So this column is dedicated to all the nice guys that don’t get their “due.” Because far too many are getting passed over, pissed off, and misrepresented!

Defining The Nice Guy
For the unenlightened, a definition of a “nice guy” is definitely in order; particularly because they seem to be becoming more and more extinct, and may eventually become difficult to recognize in times ahead.

A nice guy holds doors, pulls chairs, keeps promises, and holds the opposite sex in high regard. He typically has good relationships with his mom, his friends, co-workers and associates.

This fella’, for the most part, is drama-free. He does not try to assert his “manhood” by being difficult to deal with, playing games, proving points to his pals, or exerting his macho power. He’s usually accommodating of his woman’s needs. His actions are not an “act.” He’s a kind soul who cares about the feelings of others. And may even be known to shed a tear or two. He’s the type of guy that can be counted on to go the distance, to provide a helping hand or a needed shoulder. He’s the guy women go to for emotional refuge.

“Nice guys” are not to be mistaken with guys who are doormats or dull to be with ¬ and there is a difference.

Identifying the Problem - Don't Believe the Hype
The problem is focus. Just look at how the news and the general media gives “focus” and exposure to the negative ¬ to the horrific things that happen in on our society. We are bombarded by daily messages of violent crimes, moral decay, and sensationalism.

Though there are many daily acts of kindness, heroic happenings, and good causes going on around the world, they don’t typically make the 10 o’clock news. Why? Because it wouldn’t make for high ratings.

The same holds true for nice guys! Movies glamorize villains, bad boys grace romance novels, and as a result, far too many buy into the myth that nice guys finish last. But it ain’t the truth! Don’t believe the hype.

I took an informal poll of friends and business associates (male and female), and nice guys fared far better than some would expect. Here are the varied responses to the question…do nice guys finish last?

“That’s a widely held belief, held by most people, and to a great extent, it might be true in the cut throat business and political worlds. But in the emotional realm of interpersonal relationships, I have a different viewpoint: nice guys who associate with other nice people, (both male and female) often have great experiences and positive results.” Nice doesn’t have to mean naivete my brother!” ~ Aaron, age 50 —Editor

“Nice guys finish last only if they want to.” ~ Joanne

“Women are attracted to “bad boys” because they get things done!” Women find their aggressiveness appealing.” ~ Daryl, 48 –Artist

"It’s not that women want an abuser, a cheater, or liar. We just want a guy with a little 'grit' to him." ~ C.B., 48 –Nurse

“Bad boys are for young girls who make bad decisions! Once they’ve lived a little, they will recognize the diamond in the rough that nice guys represent!”
~ Elaine, 39—Writer

“In my opinion, that day is rapidly changing.”---- Michael S.

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Jennifer's Gems is a weekly column written by award-winning poet and writer, Jennifer Brown Banks. It is published every Wednesday. Click here to read her welcome letter.

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