What's Wrong With Nice Guys?

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But Does That Mean "Nice Guys" Are Boring?

Not at all. "Nice isn't boring, boring is boring," says Rachel, 30, a single woman in Toronto. Why, then, do people tend to make the nice-equals-boring equation? Here's one theory: when "nice" is the only word you can think of to describe someone, they're boring. Hence the association.

More specifically, when we say someone's "nice" -- or even "too nice" -- we often mean that he's too nice...to the world. That he has too few opinions, too soft a spine, too little nerve. We prefer some sass, a bit of backbone, a little harmless mischief. "I tend to go for naughty-ish men, but it's not the naughtiness itself that attracts me," says Caroline, 39, a single Minneapolis woman. "It's an irreverent attitude, an iconoclastic gesture, or some other rejection of life's cookie-cutter expectations."

So sure, we like nice -- when "nice" means kind, compassionate, and thoughtful. After all, if you think about it, "thoughtful" can also mean "interesting."

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