I think one of the biggest problems with talking about Nice Guys™ (I’m using the term gender-inclusively) is that there are several different kinds of people who fall under the Nice Guy™ umbrella. Admittedly, some forms of Nice Guy™ will evolve into other forms of Nice Guy™, much like Pokemon, but if you don’t know your Charizards from your Charmanders, you’re just going to end up confused.
Therefore, I will now break down the four types of Nice Guy™ I have observed in the wilds of both meatspace and the Internet.
Stage One Nice Guy™, or the Pseudo-Nice-Guy™
A stage one Nice Guy™ is a person who for whatever reason behaves in a typically Nice Guy™-ish way, but without actually having the characteristic personality traits of a Nice Guy™. By “behaving in a typically Nice Guy™ way” I mean not asking people out, befriending people and then expecting romantic relationships to happen by magic, expecting all the problems in your life to be solved by Twoo Wuv, “joking” about how if the person they liked dumped their partner and went out with them everything would be perfect, observing that women only like assholes/men only like bitches… all that stereotypical shit. Not all people who do that are true Nice Guys™!
The stage one Nice Guy™ is usually somewhat socially awkward and highly afraid of rejection; they may be prone to some pedestalization of people they want to date, but not to extreme levels. Although their traits may pattern-match to those of the true Nice Guy™, they are usually not any more sexist or objectifying than the average person. They often make quite good partners if you don’t mind making the first move.
Stage Two Nice Guy™, or the Objectifying Nice Guy™
This is, in my experience, the most common type of Nice Guy™. According to this type, the people they want to sleep with ought to work according to a formula, and if the Nice Guy™ fulfills the formula, they ought to be able to date the person they desire. Common formulas include being nice, being physically attractive, being rich, and being willing to treat one’s partners “like a princess” or “like a king.” The stage two Nice Guy™ rarely asks people out, because they are still terrified of rejection; besides, as long as they fulfill the formula properly, people ought to be coming to them.
Many pick-up artists are stage two Nice Guys™ who acquired a new formula that involves actually making the first move.
Stage Three Nice Guy™, or the Entitled Nice Guy
The stage three Nice Guy™ deserves a relationship, and they are pissed the fuck off that they haven’t got one. Of course, they’re not going to ask people out or anything, because they just know that everyone despises them for being so nice and so successful. They have done everything right according to the formula, and since they still don’t have the romantic relationship of their desiring, clearly the problem must lie in all those people who are running about refusing to sleep with them.
It may be somewhat difficult to figure out the difference between a stage two and a stage three Nice Guy™. The big difference, I think, is in the response to being rejected. A stage two Nice Guy™ will respond by beating themselves up and trying to figure out what they did wrong; a stage three Nice Guy™ will get very angry. How dare someone not recognize how awesome you are and reward it with sex!
Stage Four Nice Guy™, or the Misogynistic Nice Guy
I say misogynistic, because I have only seen straight men ascend to this form. The stage four Nice Guy™ knows why he can’t get laid: because women are BITCHES and SLUTS and WHORES and FAT and UGLY and ENTITLED and he DOESN’T WANT THEM ANYWAY and he is going to get a woman from ASIA where they are OBEDIENT and know how to TREAT A MAN, or maybe a SEXBOT, and oh god he is so alone. Many of them infest or even write the more obnoxious pick-up artist or men’s rights activist sites.