This essay is written without a lot of thought given to the fact that it will be falsely taken to mean that a controlling, critical guy is better than one who accepts you as you are — which is certainly misleading and not related to who’s “nice” or not. Most women I know prize a guy who is nice or kind (not just one who’s passing for it, one who really cares) but that doesn’t mean that every nice guy is right for every girl. When women turn down a nice guy, it’s for other reasons. For instance, your high school guy wasn’t a good fit because he idealized you instead of seeing both the good and the imperfections — not because he was a “nice guy.” It almost sounds like you wrote this to make your critical spouse happy. If he’s kind and encouraging, good, but if he criticizes you constantly, that’s unacceptable. “Nice guys” ARE desired — but it doesn’t mean you’re going to be a fit with every one of them, and when you’re not, it’s not because they’re “nice.” Plenty of women I know married nice guys, and they have a sense of humor, interests, and aren’t doormats. It’s important to see nuances. Don’t go giving fuel to the fire of those who are abusive or hypercritical. Nice is better, any day.

Journalist & author of nerdy novel CARRIE PILBY (film version‘s on Netflix). Finishing up offbeat memoir. Love dogs & puns. Read more: http://carenlissner.com.

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