Dating in New York City – Holding Hans with Brian Hansbury: Nice Guys Finish Last

Q: My last boyfriend was a total jerk. Despite this fact, I stayed with him for over a year. I cut the cord after he made a totally inappropriate rape joke at a dinner with my parents. I can’t seem to find a nice guy and I’m starting to wonder if I’m falling victim to the cliché about women and bad boys. Are there any nice guys in New York?

A: Just tell me real quickly where/when a rape joke is appropriate besides Dorrian’s around 1:30 in the morning? True, I just made a rape joke, but it was more an indictment of Dorrian’s than anything else and so then subtly too it was a commentary on the bankrupt mores of the prepster elite. Regardless, if I were your father at that dinner table, I’d first destroy your boyfriend’s face and then vom my Swiss chard all over the table. Then ground you for life despite your no longer living in my home. What on earth did you ever find attractive about that guy, young lady?

I’m going to make a safe assumption that you’re approaching your dating life entirely incorrectly. No need to feel singled out as my scientific analysis suggests 99.9% of women blow their opportunity to meet a great guy 100% of the time. These important numbers are part of a longitudinal study I’ve personally conducted concerning the downsides to being a nice guy.

I’d like you to consider the vulture. As an animal on the Serengeti, this brash bird serves an important role in the regulation of a delicate ecosystem. In New York City bars, the vulture is traditionally part of a conniving pack of like-minded predators (jackals, sharks) intent on dropping your panties and breaking your heart. A vulture doesn’t care that you are talking to your girlfriends. It is unfathomable to a vulture that you might enjoy being left to your own devices. A vulture assumes you are there for him to prey upon you, otherwise, why did you come to the same bar as him? Most duplicitously, a vulture will often disguise himself as a nice or interesting guy in order to break into your pants (If his opening line involves the word “masticate” as a clever play on “masturbate” you can be assured you’re speaking with a vulture).

This brings me back to whatever it was you found attractive about that ex. Ladies, I know you’re susceptible to the peacock flash of a cock of the walk and if a vulture has any je ne sais quoi about him, you will likely find yourself lingering unexpectedly in some downtown pick-up hole like Phebe’s or Bull’s Head or Bowery Bar. Be warned, for eventually your lingering will lead to settling and a nauseous father.

In allowing yourself to be blinded by the veneer of men who see you as nothing more than sexual carrion, you are missing a valuable opportunity. That guy who came with the vultures to said hole, the really cute one you’ve been staring at all night, trying to get him to buy you a drink, wondering why he won’t come over because you’ve obviously been looking at him, because you’ve been doing all the things that seem to work with the other vultures, that guy’s never going to come over.

As a nice guy, he’s out of his element, removed from an area conducive to conversation and even consideration for that matter (overwhelmed by the pressure of knowing that in this city any advance, no matter how cordial, will be interpreted as overtly sexual and possibly grasping). There are scores of these men in every bar, every night of the week. Unlike other species of the animal kingdom, you have the benefit of a women’s movement. You’ve been told you can do anything (aside from dunk a basketball very well) and precisely because you can do anything you need to take ownership of your empowerment and start approaching men. Flip the script, ladies, and underneath you will reveal a thriving, underappreciated populace excited and flattered and ready to buy you a kidney bean necklace and remember your favorite soft drink.

This city is replete with nice men, some of them even attractive, who have been ignored for too long. Stop subjecting yourselves to the arbitrary whimsy of pick up artists and instead actively seek out a nice boy. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, he’s the one who isn’t hitting on you.

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