Why Nice Guys Finish Last


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A young guy is leaning in to kiss a girl be she is frowning and making a hand gesture to stop him. They are wearing casual clothes.

Maya Zohar, Co-Editor

We’ve all heard the classic phrase “nice guys finish last” though it may seem cruel and even foolish, there is a logical explanation for why it is so popular and relatable. Growing up as a girl, I have watched hundreds of cheesy romance movies ranging from Disney princesses to The Notebook, all of which have one thing in common, they are unrealistic. Watching these movies, especially when I am having a particularly bad day, gives me comfort and hope that I won’t end up alone with five cats scrolling through dating apps for the rest of my life. 


The majority of these romance movies have a similar plot; the “bad boy” falls in love with an angelic girl, she causes him to change his entire life for her, and they live happily ever after. It is every girl’s dream to find those bad boys with a soft spot only for them because we believe that we can “change him.” Unfortunately, ladies, that is only a fantasy; 90% of the time, when a boy shows us they have bad intentions, that is all it is, and there isn’t much that we can do to change that. Not all boys have those intentions, there are plenty of guys out there that know how to treat a girl with respect and kindness, but they are often brushed aside. The real question is why? Why would girls rather choose a guy who would treat them horribly for the slight chance that one day he will change vs. a guy who already treats them with so much love and truly values them? 


Recently I watched the rom-com movie He’s Just Not That Into You, and the first scene changed my mindset for life. The film opens up with a scene with a little girl, approximately four years old, crying to her mom about a boy pulling her hair and her mom then said the phrase that all of us have heard before “that means he likes you.” The narrator continues to explain how we are conditioned from a young age to believe that if a guy treats you poorly, they like you. This belief continues as we get older and are in that ever so desperate search for a meaningful relationship only to keep hitting deadends with these men,yet we still go back to them because it is engraved in our minds that we need to justify all of their actions. It is almost as if their red flags are being waved directly in front of our faces. Instead of turning around and walking away, we charge straight towards them like bulls in a rodeo. 


Do not get me wrong, there are a few cases where a girl has found a guy who is a bad influence and has been able to change him, but it is not common. Due to today’s day and age, with technology being so advanced, it is pretty simple to compare our lives with those around us. We tend to fall into the “but they” trap where we look at the relationship of a friend of a friend that turned out so perfectly and automatically assume that because it happened to them that it will happen to us. So even if you are not the type of person who enjoys those cheesy romance movies, you may still be comparing your love life with someone else’s story. Learn to break free from this norm, learn to create your own love story even if that means that for the time being, you are alone and need to fill that void without a significant other. Learn to love your own life and who knows, maybe one day, when you are ready, that nice guy will come at just the right time, but this time you won’t look past them because you will realize that even though they aren’t Danny Zuko from Grease, they are everything you want and more.