I'm new to the subreddit, and around here it seems that the most valued quality from a man is demonstrated, clear, and consistent interest. Since most of us have been breadcrumbed or ghosted by fuckboys, this at first seems to be a good metric. But there's another side to this coin that I've been wondering about:
What separates a clear, interested HVM from a "Nice Guy" who is so desperate to be with anyone that he will completely misrepresent himself and kowtow to your every demand? And no, you can't avoid these by only dating the stable and successful. I know plenty of these "Nice Guys" who have good careers, financial stability, and attractiveness-- they just have some insecurity deep down where they never feel good enough as they are.
I read No More Mr. Nice Guy (by Robert A. Glover) last night, and I've seen this pattern in some of the men I've dated.
Some people reading this, I'm sure, are thinking "why is this a bad thing to have someone that's so interested in you that they always try to do what you want?"
Here are a few reasons:
-- They're dishonest. By not expressing what they really need and how they really feel, and just going along with everything you say and do, they misrepresent themselves, and later start to resent you for not "reading their mind."
-- They're desperate. They're not interested in you for the reasons that make you unique-- they're interested in you because you happen to be there. You're replaceable. If they consider you 'better' than them in some area, they will gain confidence and will wonder if they could land someone even 'better' than you, and dump you.
-- They're conflict-avoidant. If they do something to upset you, instead of owning up to it, they will hide the evidence, minimize it, gaslight you, tell you you're too sensitive, etc.. Because of this, they're passive-aggressive and will 'punish you' and then deny that it ever happened.
-- They seek lots of validation. Anyone's negative opinion could send them spiraling, so they play different roles when interacting with different people. They're terrified of making mistakes or seeming inferior-- one Nice Guy said he'd never been ice skating before and wanted to go with me. When he got on the ice he was suspiciously good. Turns out he'd gone skating the day before and the day before that so he could be 'good' when I saw him skate for the first time...
-- When they give something, it has strings attached... even if it isn't apparent at first. They feel cheated if they don't get the response they wanted and will get angry. Not all of them are to the level of "I did something nice for you-- now you have to have sex with me!" And when they fight, they bring out the scorecard...
-- They get hurt when you talk about the reality of dating for women-- one Nice Guy backed off when I told him I didn't want him to pick me up at my place on our first date, but then later complained about it. I found him online-- I'd never met him before in my life. He even said that he would be willing to send me documents, like his social security number, to prove that he was who he said he was. (But domestic violence incidents won't show up on there...)
-- Some of them use their pain as an identity as a way to gain sympathy and to 'rationalize' their behavior. That way, they can be free of blame and shame-- it's their dad's fault or their ex girlfriend's fault for "making them this way."
So there are quite a few similarities in HVM's and "Nice Guys'" behavior:
-- They initiate dates with you.
-- They contact you when you're apart.
-- When you get busy and don't respond to their texts as often, they may slow down theirs, too. (HVM, to respect your schedule... Nice Guy, to passive-aggressively 'stick it to you')
-- They ask for your opinions and respect them. (An HVM will respectfully disagree with you sometimes, but a Nice Guy never will.)
-- They try to help you with your problems (this one might actually be more Nice Guy, because a HVM might ask if you need help first. A Nice Guy will just jump right in and try to fix things based on his opinions...)
-- They back off when you tell then where your boundaries are (but the Nice Guy might secretly resent it)
-- They remember what you said and try to make you feel special.
Are there any more red flags to look for with this sort of behavior right away? Most of these problems don't actually surface until you're in a relationship with them...