Beware The Toxic 'Nice Guy.' Here's How To Avoid Falling For His Tricks

There are plenty of fish in the sea — but any single woman in the year 2023 will tell you that many of the fish are not exactly relationship material. One study asked over 64,000 women what they are looking for in a partner, and an overwhelming 88.9% of them claim that above all else, they just want to meet a nice guy. But when you're on the lookout for your dream date, beware the man who calls himself "a nice guy."

Stereotypically, the "nice guy" is known as a not-so attractive man who has unconventional interests or some social awkwardness. But the nice guy mentality has infiltrated all different types of men, convinced that all women are more interested in dating men that will hurt them just because they are traditionally attractive. In reality, these self-proclaimed nice guys are just as toxic as the men they attempt to separate themselves from — they are just more sneaky about it.

Men with the toxic "nice guy" energy should be avoided at all costs. Their motto, "nice guys finish last," has them convinced that their tendency to be kind to women is the reason that they don't have a girlfriend. For many of these toxic good guys, they expect to be rewarded for their kindness, and blame any rejection on women's inability to see how "nice" they are.

These 'nice guy' traits are total red flags

Whether you're swiping through the eligible bachelors on your favorite dating app or waiting patiently to meet up with the blind date your friends set you up on, be on the lookout for signs that this "nice guy" is definitely not the one.

Any guy who calls themselves "Mr. Nice Guy" is super suspicious. Genuinely nice people don't usually feel the need to promote it, so be wary of men who quantify their kindness. "I'm not like other guys," isn't always a great thing to hear.

Another behavior to watch out for is overwhelming affection and elaborate, backhanded compliments. On a Reddit thread asking users to identify toxic nice guy red flags, one commenter wrote, "[My ex] had me on a pedestal at first. He'd go along with everything I said but then do things to sabotage it. Passive aggression. Manipulation." Another reddit user shared that her toxic nice guy "became very clingy and critical. Over affectionate, lots of sarcasm directed at me and being condescending."

Men with nice guy syndrome will often mistake friendship for romantic interest. So if they do try to befriend you, they probably find you extremely attractive, and if you don't return the favor, they will blame it on you for not wanting to be "treated like a queen." They might think they're being the nice guy of your dreams, but really, they're just giving off creepy vibes.

This TikTok creator mocks toxic 'nice guys', and people's reactions are priceless

If you find yourself interacting with a man who is giving you total toxic nice guy energy, it's best to cut off contact completely. Even letting him follow you on social media can leave you open for judgment and unwanted interactions from a nice guy turned bitter. You may feel guilty for ending what feels like a harmless friendship, but understand that they see their niceness as transactional; expecting romantic or sexual favors in return for their attention is never a healthy dynamic to have.

Luckily, the seemingly "nice guy" energy has been put on blast in recent years, especially by TikTok creators like @theslappablejerk. This creator posts satirical content highlighting just how toxic "nice guys" can be. In one video, he repeatedly reminds himself, "She doesn't know that she needs a gentleman [...] she just wants someone to treat her like s***." He then compares himself to the Joker, which is a huge red flag if we've ever seen one. The videos may be a joke, but the feelings it stirs up in his followers are 100% real. One commenter replied, "Your videos activate my fight or flight response." They may be a tough watch, but we are glad to see the growing awareness to watch out for the toxic nice guy.

Nice guys refuse to respect boundaries

Even after relegating your nice guy to the so-called "friend-zone," he may still carry out boyfriend behavior instead of acting like an actual friend. While close friends still share a special relationship, someone that you recently met or have become friends with shouldn't still act like they're trying to get to know you romantically.

If he's still quite physical with you, tries to spend an excessive amount of time with you, and continuously brings you gifts, those are signs that he doesn't respect your desire for a friendship and still wants to fulfill the role of your romantic partner.

Another way to spot a nice guy? His inability to respect women's issues in general. After placing you on a pedestal and seemingly accepting everything you say as the gospel truth, he'll turn around and cry #NotAllMen when women discuss the issues they've faced at the hands of men. This will especially be magnified if a woman who he doesn't find attractive speaks about her firsthand experience with the patriarchy. After all, nice guys generally can only sympathize with women that they find sexually attractive.