Love & Relationships

Science Says Women Don't Like Happy Men Or Nice Guys. Let's Discuss

Uh-huh. I already know that some of y’all read the title and then circled back and read it again because you probably thought that a word (or two) was missing or something. Nope. Believe it or not, there are plenty of links out in cyberspace that tackle the topic of why nice guys seem to finish last, and some women really do revel in men being miserable.

And honestly, y’all, sometimes I have to give Instagram and TikTok a break because, real talk, there is also a lot of content out on the World Wide Web that basically cosigns on the same points, too (now how sad is that?).

Okay, but why is that, though? What in the world is wrong with a man who is out here enjoying his best life, and why do a lot of ladies, at the very least, think that nice guys are (yawn, yawn) boring? Hmph. I’ve got my own theories — believe that. And so, let’s get into what research reveals, what a few of my thoughts are and then please, hop into the comments to offer up your insights too.

As far as the title goes, let’s tackle the happiness thing first.

(Some) Women Don’t Like Happy Men. Now, Why Is That?

To tell you the truth, before even getting into this, I can vouch for it being accurate because some people are so entitled and self-involved that, so long as their own needs are getting met, they don’t care if the other individual is suffering or not; I have watched enough interviews, read enough articles and worked with enough couples to know this is indeed the case. Yet according to a particular study, the reason why a lot of women are “into” unhappy men is actually a bit more, let’s go with the word “shallow,” than that.

You see, reportedly, while men find women who smile to seem more submissive and vulnerable, women think that men who aren’t smiling come off as having a stronger sense of pride, which could mean that they are more masculine or competent. Strangely enough, women who participated in this same study also thought men who looked ashamed (yep, ashamed; probably because that plays into the whole bad boy image thing) to be more appealing, too.

Let’s unpack this, shall we?

As far as men finding women with happy faces to be more inviting, I guess that explains (even if it’s subconsciously) the whole “random men telling us to smile” thing, huh? For the record, whenever guys ask me why some of us don’t respond to that very well, I’ve shared that my opinion is, whether Black men realize it or not, telling us to smile can feed into the “angry Black woman” stereotype — because just because we’re not smiling, that doesn’t mean that something is wrong.

And so, a stranger telling us to do something can be off-putting because…we don’t know you. Simply saying “hello” or asking us how we are will typically garner a more positive result. But hey, that’s just my opinion. *Elmo shrug*


PeopleImages/Getty Images

Anyway, as far as women thinking that a man who doesn't smile is more of a masculine one — I mean, when I look at pictures of men who are not smiling, oftentimes it does convey a message of sexiness that can be hella appealing. At the same time, though, a man who smiles comes off as hella sweet and super endearing…so, I guess it’s all about what you’d prefer in a man, right (by the way, why can’t it be both)?

Now, I will say that if you prefer a man who comes off as melancholy or you think that a guy who is animated or excited a lot is “sassy” (does everyone get that sassy means bold and disrespectful, not effeminate?), you might want to do some self-reflecting on that — because that has more to do with you than him, sis.

The reason why I say that is because, well, it’s like an article that I once read that said a lot of people would choose unhappiness over uncertainty and that’s rooted in remaining in the energy that is familiar instead of trying something new. So…on the relationship tip, if you find yourself in patterns with men where neither one of you is very happy and/or there are low-grade levels of drama a lot of the time, you might want to ponder that 'unhappy over uncertainty' thing.

Oh, and if you’re someone who doesn’t so much prefer unhappy men, it’s just that you don’t care if they’re unhappy or not so long as you’re good — that’s called being selfish, and you’d be better off single than anything until you can get that together. A healthy relationship includes reciprocity of needs and wants being met. If one of you is lacking in that department, a dysfunctional dynamic is what you’re a part of. And even if it’s not immediately, eventually, both of you are gonna end up unhappy because of it.

(Some) Women Ain’t into Nice Guys. Is That a Fact or a Myth?

Nice guys finish last. Again, we’ve all heard the saying before. I’ve even written on the topic before, coming to my own conclusion that while they might finish last, they also tend to finish best. However, it wasn’t until I did some Scriptural deep diving that I realized that you’d be hard-pressed to find the word “nice” in any translation of the Bible except for The Message. However, what you will find is the word “kind” — take “love is kind” (I Corinthians 13:4). Now put a pin in that for a moment.

So, the research on women not liking nice guys. One study revealed that while men find nice women to be attractive, women? Eh, not so much. The article said that women find nice men to be a bit of a “womp-womp” and less sexually appealing. The conclusion drawn was that guys (mostly strangers) who were responsive oftentimes came off as either potentially manipulative or too eager to please. Some women also found them to be less dominant.

Another article I checked out said that women found men who drink and smoke to be more attractive than men who didn’t, especially when it came to short-term and/or casual sex situations. The same article said that the entitlement and self-importance of narcissistic people tend to turn folks on (chile) — at least initially.

Yet another article featured a psychologist who said that many women like the “un-nice guys” because they enjoy how unpredictable they can be.

And then there was a study that I personally found to be interesting: a lot of women, once they are ready to settle down, prefer a nice guy; however, while they are dating, they find nice guys to not be as sexually appealing.

Know what I got out of all of this? Women like the adrenaline rush of men who don’t fall into the “nice guy” category when it comes to dating, sex, and anything that has an expiration date. Oh, but when it comes time to settle down, and they are looking for dependability and stability, oftentimes, it’s exactly the nice guys they are after.


MoMo Productions/Getty Images

Hmph. No wonder many men are so sensitive about being “friend-zoned” and I get exactly why. Sounds to me like a lot of women use nice guys (more than actually love them), and that’s not cool. Know what else it sounds like? Like a lot of women aren’t very nice to themselves if they think that a nice guy isn’t an awesome person out the gate — and I’m kinda-sorta preaching to the choir when I say that because, while there is indeed something mysterious and alluring about men who aren’t very…agreeable, they can also take a lot out of you in the long run and not in a good way.

Because how can you build anything of value that will see the distance if the person you’re involved with isn’t very nice — or better yet, KIND.

  • Kind people are attentive.
  • Kind people are honest.
  • Kind people listen well.
  • Kind people tend to be generous.
  • Kind people act responsibly.
  • Kind people hold themselves accountable.
  • Kind people are respectful.
  • Kind people are reliable.
  • Kind people are open about their feelings.
  • Kind people care about others’ feelings.

If you read all of that and the first thing that comes to your mind is, “I get that, but they’re not the most fun, spontaneous, or sexually satisfying as the other guys” — eh, that’s not really true. It’s just that media, bad friends (or good friends who give bad advice), and whatever “programming” we’ve had from the former sex partners we’ve experienced has us believing that crap. Yet the reality is that you don’t need a non-committal ass in order to orgasm.

In fact, kind men are gonna care about you “pre-sex,” “during sex” and — get this — after sex. Days and weeks after sex. Not only that, but they’re gonna have sex WITH you, not just AT you — meaning, a lot of men get off on you getting off for their ego not so much your satisfaction. That’s why they don’t stick around very long. Their interest leaves with their ejaculate. That might be an “ouch” yet it’s true.

Besides, I promise you that, just like the happier you are within yourself, the more you will want to be with a happy individual, the kinder you are to yourself, the more you will want to be with a kind man. Not after you’ve been torn to shreds (emotionally) by men who weren’t nice or kind — right now. In the present moment.


It’s not shocking that a lot of women aren’t thrilled at the thought of a happy man or a nice guy. “Alarming” is the word that I would choose because, again, in order to have a healthy, happy, and thriving relationship, you are going to need to be happy within yourself and nice to yourself, and so is the man who you’re involved with.

If that doesn’t sound very appealing to you — well, a hoodie that I once saw (that I turned into a T-shirt because I totally dug the message — immediately comes to mind: “What you need isn’t love…it’s therapy” because two things that love consist of is internal happiness between two people and niceness and kindness towards each other. Full stop.

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