When I was in high school, I had a job with a guy who complained to me that he had asked another coworker out and she had refused him, even though she had previously been nice to him. I told him that I couldn’t really criticize someone from being nice to people they weren’t attracted to; that seemed like a positive thing to me.
I forget how that conversation ended exactly, but I think he decided that maybe I wasn’t a good person to talk to about that kind of thing.
He was not the last person I’ve known who took it as a personal insult when some nice person wasn’t interested in them. But if you’ve ever found that point of view tempting, then I would encourage you to turn it around and look at it from another angle — surely there are people who are perfectly nice people, and attractive in a way that you don’t appreciate but other people do, who you wouldn’t be interested in romantically or sexually. If you turned them down, you wouldn’t (I hope) mean it as an insult, and it wouldn’t say anything bad about either of you; so when you’re turned down, why take it as an insult, or a commentary on yourself? I mean, it’s a disappointment and everything, but would you really want to date someone who didn’t actually want to date you too?
Going down the other path leads to dark places — look at any dating sites and you’ll see tons of guys who think that it’s a woman’s job to be attractive to them, and that there are situations where women are obligated to have sex with men, and so on, and yet describe themselves as ‘nice guys’. These are not the views of a nice person, and, anyway, it’s not like being ‘nice’ is some great achievement; it’s the bare minimum most people expect from anyone they meet. Stop spending so much time thinking about how nice you are; it’s just a distraction from the larger goal of being a good person instead.
Jacob Haller @jwghaller