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Opinion | The plague of the ‘nice guys,’ why people are not obligated to always say yes

Rachel's Reflections

Editorial Editor

Published: Thursday, January 24, 2013

Updated: Thursday, January 24, 2013 22:01

I highly doubt this is a phenomenon only I have experienced, as it is so commonly elaborated on and highly discussed on various television comedies, blog and Internet platforms, but since when has a guy being nice to a girl elicited that she return as a favor the promise of dating him?

Girls seem to be constantly complaining over the fact that nice guys don’t exist anymore. “Where are all the nice guys?” is something commonly heard from girls after one more failed relationship or date occurs in their lives.

But what about the flip side of this scenario?

Let’s say someone has been nothing but nice to you, helping you out when you ask and being generous. Then they work up the courage, take the plunge one day, ask you out—and you politely say no.

Suddenly, a flip has switched. They’re no longer as nice to you, and you feel as if you’ve lost a friend.

I write about this specific situation because I have heard so many cases of this from others, and have experienced it myself.

But the worst part of this is that is seems as though everyone around asks, “why did you say no? You complain about not having a boyfriend/girlfriend/whatever, then say no to someone who asks you out? Why not give them a chance? You know it took a lot of courage for them to ask you out. It would be nice, or even honorable, of you to give them a chance and say yes.”

It’s as though you are expected and obligated to accept their invitation for a date simply because they were nice to you.

Now it may take some people more effort than others to work up the courage to ask someone out on a date, so I believe that if you do turn someone down you shouldn’t be rude or mean about it.

But being nice to someone doesn’t mean that they, especially females, return the prospect of a date or sex.

If we were to play some role reversal and put this situation in everyday, “normal” scenarios and explicitly state people’s sexual orientations, we would find no obligation of favors.

A heterosexual girl being nice and friendly to another heterosexual girl would not expect any extra favors.

But when we look at a heterosexual girl and a heterosexual guy, more often than not, the girls may be expected to give something in return for the guy’s gesture of human decency and kindness.

It’s not dishonorable or disrespectful to say no to someone who asks you out on a date. Girls are not obligated to say yes to any and every guy who asks them out.

If girls are supposed to say yes when they get asked out, why is it even up for questioning?

We are taught to say no to anything that makes us feel uncomfortable in any way.

If one person doesn’t feel an attraction or connection and they feel that they wouldn’t be comfortable going on a date with the other person, they are allowed to say no.

If you want to take a chance on someone, then by all means say yes if they ask you out.

No one should be made to feel uncomfortable simply because they do not want to go out with a supposedly “nice” person.

If they were truly nice, they would respect that you do not wish to go out with them or may not reciprocate feelings.

Someone who is only nice in order to benefit themselves, or who drops any act of decency after you say no, is not looking out for your best interests.

Labels such as “nice guys” are arbitrary and completely meaningless and only serve to hinder any chance of social progression for equality.

We spend so much time labeling and judging people that we overlook or forget qualities that maybe we should spend more time finding in others and working on in ourselves.

Qualities such as kindness without expected mandatory reciprocation, honesty and respect for everyone.

To bring everything down to a simpler understanding of things, remember the golden rule: treat others as you would like to be treated.

Don’t label those who choose to turn down a date even though the guy was “nice.”

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