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“Nice guy” has come to be a very loaded phrase. As in, “girls don’t like nice guys like me!!” It’s a pretty juvenile perspective that seems predicated on the idea that if a man does enough nice things for a woman, she owes him some kind of affection. It’s a huge red flag most would run away from, and for good reason, as demonstrated by this huge Reddit thread. The whole thing kicked off with user targetgoldengoose taking to r/AskReddit to say:

Has anyone ever given a "nice guy" a chance after they’ve thrown a tantrum because you didn’t let them treat you like a queen? And if you did, how did it work out? from AskReddit

Thousands of responses came in. Spoiler alert: they were not great.

1. There’s so much fragility in these stories.

I finally allowed him to take me on a date to breakfast. Figured midday would be ideal to meet up in public.

I offended him immediately when I spoke to the waitress. I said, “We have two” when she asked how many we had. He insisted that she was asking him, not me, and I emasculated him in public. I laughed it off as a joke. I grew up with all brothers. Surely, he was trying to be funny.

We sat down. The waitress asked for our order. I gave her mine. He groaned and asked her to come back in a second. He told me proper protocol was for me to discuss what I wanted to eat with him, allow him to make the decision, and he was supposed to relay that to the waitress – not me!

I told him he was crazy and left. Blocked his number. Ghosted completely.

– AndThenThereIsJess

2. If your personality is based on knocking others down, you’re probably not doing great.

My wife did while she was in college.

He had constant low self esteem which annoyed her, he also loved making fun of other people. Sounds like he was just a toxic guy.

When she broke up with him he wrote a suicide note naming her as the reason and showed up on campus with a gun.

Fortunately nothing happened. He got some therapy and wasn’t allowed back at the school.

– slin25

3. The ego is off the charts.

A girlfriend told me that when she was still new to dating, she gave a nice guy a shot. They were in different states and after weeks of “owing him” a sexy picture or video she agreed to FaceTime him with a wink wink agreement that things might get steamy.

The day comes and this 300lb unwashed dude called her (190lb, 5’6) “nice, but bigger than he liked” and suggested she start working out. He then pushed for an in-person visit near him so that he could show her the wonders of carnal things.

She ghosted him shortly after that.

– milkeymikey

4. Giving endless gifts can be a bit much.

My sister did… She is a hairstylist and one of her clients was very aggressive about asking her out. He repeatedly bought flowers, concert tickets, and other gifts which he brought to her at work, and she said no each time because he seemed a little off.

He got in a car accident and was really badly injured, and she felt sorry for him so she went out with him finally. They dated a few months before breaking up, I don’t know the exact reason why. But after that he started stalking her.

It’s been over 5 years since then and he is still keeping tabs on her. She’s reported him to the police multiple times, has a restraining order, and has blocked him on FB/everywhere else, but every few months he finds a way to contact her.

So if you get weird vibes from someone, don’t give them a chance or you might end up with a lifelong stalker like my sister has.

– Isaac_The_Khajiit

5. Careful of those who always play the victim.

I dated one for 2 years. He seemed nice and was happy when I first started dating him cause girls “didn’t give him a chance due to his looks’. (He was super nerdy, I was 16 and he was 19.) He was very needy and always demanded we do what he wanted. I missed out on a lot of things, including missing out going to see Phantom of the Opera with his mom, because he didn’t want to go and would get sick at the last minute.

When I lost my virginity to him, he said I basically raped him because he didn’t realize he wasn’t ready for something like that till after we had sex. About a year and a half into our relationship he got religious. So then, whenever we had sex, he would want is to pray for forgiveness afterwards. But if I refused sex, I was a cold bitch.

– preyingmantid

6. One recurring element in these stories is how controlling these guys are.

Yes. The tantrums continued throughout the relationship. He was very controlling. If I was out with friends he would be upset that I was having fun without him.

He ended up cheating on me and dumping me only to beg me back. He semi staked me for a couple of years.

Had an online blog about what I did each day and tried to befriend my exes

– Lrad5007

7. Reverence becomes control when you take away someone’s agency.

I was once in a similar situation. I dated a sweet guy. But honestly, “sweet” is subjective. He was a gentleman, but he INSISTED on ALWAYS opening the car door for me (he literally would not let me touch the car handle, like at all), letting me eat first ALWAYS (instead of both at the same time cause honestly it’s not a biggie for me), commented that I should never cut my hair, etc…

I felt like I was with a man from the 50s. It was draining to be treated “like a queen” instead of an equal. Other than that, he was okay.

Anyways, when I broke up with him, I felt like he didn’t want to let me go. Like I had to explain over and over again that I wasn’t feeling it and that he deserved someone that would feel the same way about him.

He hung up the phone with, “you don’t know what you missed out on.”

… Mmmm… Okay, I guess…

– 100_night_sky_

8. Hopefully, we learn these lessons early.

Way too many times in college. I had guys in the “friend zone” who I decided to give a chance because I was stupid and I felt sorry for them

I last straw was when a guy took me shopping. I said “yes” in lonely desperation on a Friday night, this was a Saturday afternoon.

After every store I went into he would either criticize me for not wanting him to buy me anything (I’m not much of a shopper anyways) or ask me for sex because he bought me a used videogame I wanted.

Never again. There’s a good reason incels are incels

– MinMaxMarissa

9. Breaking relationships down to a transaction is dangerous.

Yes. It worked out that he also felt entitled to other things and felt like “no” wasn’t an acceptable answer for things like sex when he “did so much for me.”

– ApricityAmends

10. “Chivalry” is often used as a mask for being a chauvinist.

I was celebrating my last day in a city I had lived in for four years and had invited a bunch of friends out for a night on the town.

And one of these “friends” was a self proclaimed chauvinist who insisted to walk on the outside of the sidewalk. So I thought it was uncomfortable that he kept on switching to the outside as I didn’t feel I wanted that treatment. There are no horse carriages that splash shit on people anymore, I don’t need a walking feces shield, thanks. But he basically ignored my lack of comfort with that and continued to explain that it’s his duty to do that.

He ended up eventually full out yelling at me and I cried and left. That was my own night to hang with people before departing.

– queendorkus

11. Here’s a gender-reversed version of the story.

I had an experience with a ‘nice girl.’ Red flags everywhere, but I have it a shot. Extremely bad situation. It began with her moving into my place without asking within the first 2 weeks, thinking it would be a ‘surprise that I would/should love.’

She didn’t work, but expected me to make all the money AND also do every single chore since it was “my apartment.” It was only “our apartment” when she wanted to decorate something her way or change my stuff around. She had tantrums about everything possible, and if nothing was wrong she’d make something up to lose her mind about.

She also hit me with the “why don’t more guys just want someone who will love them unconditionally?” The irony of that escaped her. Men should want crazy girls because they’re crazy because they love you.

Yeah, fuck that.

– StolenCamaro

12. It sucks to feel like you’re trapped in these things.

I dated a nice guy for 7 months after he cried and begged. He was a ‘friend’ and he made me laugh so I figured ‘why not’.

It was the longest 7 months of my life. He didn’t let me have friends. He didn’t want me to get a job (he said I’d fuck the customers), he cried all the time (especially when he suspected that I loved my sisters more than him). He ended up cheating on me by writing love songs/poems to girls online. I was so happy he did that cause I thought I had to wait until ‘he did something’ to warrant breaking up. Even when I confronted him, he insisted we just go on a break.

Yeah that was the fucking worst

– ToastedMaple

13. Insecurity can get toxic real quick.

Constantly got accused of cheating because I would fall asleep talking to him (you didn’t fall asleep, you went to a party and fucked around).

Let’s see- got called names, etc. And guilt-tripped into staying with him until I finally put my foot down. Stopped staying at his house and fastened to his hip.

And one of my other ex’s always played “nice guy” until I responded with ‘I don’t know’ when he asked when we could hang out and then he replied with “You are ugly anyway”.

Had a good laugh out of that one

– ezmayalice

14. Overall, the posts were not encouraging.

Checks for stories where it worked out well.

\*crickets***

– christophersonne

15. But hopefully, people can learn, and change.

I was the ‘nice guy’ who got turned down for a second date. I said the same bullshit that any ‘nice guy’ says when that happens, ie) all women are the same, say they want nice guys, only date assholes, etc.

She said ‘Well, fine, let’s have that second date but doesn’t it make you feel weird to have to convince someone to date you? Don’t you want someone who wants to be with you?’

Me: …

Changed absolutely everything about dating for me.

– WackyNephews

If you find yourself cringing from recognizing any of the behaviors described in this story as the sort of thing you’ve done, don’t give up. Recognize, evolve. Don’t be that “nice” guy.

Have you had experiences with this sort of thing?

Tell us about it in the comments.