Clinical Psychologist Explains Why Nice Guys Finish Last

Clinical Psychologist Explains Why Nice Guys Finish Last

nice guys finish lastLifestyle

Most women dream of falling “head over heels” in love with the perfect man. You envision a proverbial house with a white picket fence as well as children underfoot. Why is it that you don’t fall for the nice guys, but you would rather have someone who is either unavailable or the classic “bad boy?”

There are plenty of good men who are serious and able to have the relationship you want, yet you waste all your time on men that toy with your emotions. Is it the thrill of the chase getting someone who runs hot-and-cold to fall in love with you? Thankfully, psychology may have some of the answers that you need.

Don’t worry, we are not picking on only the men. This concept can apply to females, as well! But since the famous saying is about “nice guys,” we are rolling with it.

A Groundbreaking Study Has Shocking Results

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According to Psychology Concepts, Dutton and Aron did a study to determine some of the rationales behind the lady’s choice back in 1974. For this evaluation, they needed women to stand on two different bridges. Each lady asked a random guy to come across the bridge to meet her and tell her a story of their life.



To make things interesting, the first bridge was a traditional overpass that wasn’t daunting to cross. The waters below were calm, and potential suitors could see the situation was safe. However, the second bridge was an entirely different situation.

Bridge number two was tricky, as there were rapid waves and rocks beneath that would challenge the guy’s nerves. To fall from this suspended structure would cost them their lives, as it was 230 feet in the air. For this study, they deemed the one structures safe, and the other one was scary.

What happened next was astounding. The men who had no problem taking on the scarier bridge told the ladies different stories than those who played it safe. These men weren’t afraid to include erotic descriptions in their tales.



Additionally, the women gave the men their phone numbers once they were done, and the men who crossed the dangerous bridge called back. It baffled researchers because the men who took the most significant risks seemed to be more interested in the women.

Now, mind you, it was the same woman who stood on the scary bridge that also stood on the safe one. Why did the suitor find the female more attractive in a dangerous situation more so than a safe one? The conclusion was groundbreaking for relationships.

When crossing the overpass with more significant risks, any man would feel symptoms of anxiety or arousal. Faced with this situation, they would experience things like an accelerated heartbeat as well as profuse sweating. The experience was stimulating, and thus it gave them a different attraction to the lady.



Relationships of Today, According to Dr. Chloe Carmichael

The study was conducted back in 1974, but Dr. Chloe Carmichael finds that she still sees this phenomenon today. As a clinical psychologist in Manhattan, her private practice deals with stress management, relationships, and building self-esteem.

Dr. Carmichael is a graduate of Long Island University, and she holds a doctorate in psychology. She is well known and is on the advisory board for the famous publications known as Women’s Health Magazine. One of her astounding articles was on the ten rules for dating.

One of the common issues she deals with in her female clients is that they often feel attracted to emotionally unavailable or unpredictable men. The nice guys usually get a bad rap as their stability and strait-laced nature aren’t as appealing. Is part of the chemistry these ladies feel brought on by their arousal more than real attraction?



The study from 1974 seems to prove that arousal is more stimulating than chemistry. To help correct this matter, Dr. Carmichael suggests that ladies create a list of what they want in a partner. This is especially helpful before you hit the dating scene.

Defining What You Want and What Annoys You

The first step in the process is to make a list of behaviors that you consider undesirable. These should be habits and actions that annoy or irritate you. Regrettably, this concern or irritation might be misconstrued as attractiveness for the guy who is triggering the frustration.

By making this list, it will help you to identify the things that drive you crazy. Your list should include items like:

  • Chronic lateness
  • Failing to make clear plans
  • Being emotionally unavailable
  • Failure to commit
  • Canceling dates at the last minute
  • Not answering phone calls or text promptly
  • Being vague about family
  • Not sharing previous relationships
  • Dishonesty

Keep in mind that life happens. It would help if you never judged someone based on 1-2 issues. Things can happen in the blink of an eye that changes everything, so some leniency should be made given the circumstances. However, these are not behaviors that a lady would typically find in nice guys.

Instead, while the bad boy may be more appealing, these little habits can break a relationship. Attraction only goes so far; then, you need substance or glue to hold the relationship together.

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Desirable Behaviors in a Relationship

The second list should be the safe behaviors that you enjoy and welcome in a relationship. Nice guys aren’t just sappy and boring, but they will certainly do these things:

  • Always be on time
  • Bring flowers or candy
  • Call frequently
  • Buy gifts “just because”
  • Make time for you
  • Ensures you are picked up and home safely
  • Lets you know that he is emotionally available
  • Tells you how into you he is
  • Is nervous about handholding and kissing (at first)
  • Acts like you’re the greatest thing in the world

Playing Games with Love

Consider slot machines at your favorite casino. Relationships can be much like the odds of these games. The casino has the power to set the odds to give just enough winnings to keep the player enticed.

By giving you a few coins here or there, you will keep chasing the rewards. Your relationships with the bad boy are similar. They give you just enough attention that you keep chasing them, even if it means you won’t ever win the grand prize.

On the other hand, Nice guys would have given you everything you ever wanted, including the white picket fence. Yet, throughout history, women typically find themselves attracted to the one who is more excitement-provoking than stable.



Changing Your Point of View

Once you have both lists completed, it’s time to change your mindset. The list of dangerous behaviors equates to a more undesirable man. They may play “hard to get” or be emotionally unavailable.

In most instances, these men have troubles from their past that are interfering with their connections. For example, a fear of committing may come from watching a parent go through many turbulent relationships. They don’t want the same things to happen to them, so they keep everyone at arm’s length.

Another common scenario is that the person has suffered from trauma as a child and has unresolved issues. The problem is that they will bring all this emotional baggage into a relationship. If a guy is a rebel, you can almost bet there is a reason behind these behaviors.

The goal is to get yourself to the point where you can look at the man and see the irritations and not misplace it for attraction.

Learning to Love Nice Guys

Since you’re working on changing your behaviors towards the bad boys, you also need to work on the good guys’ viewpoints. Here are some ways that you can see the emotionally available men as more exciting:

  • Spice up your dates – Do something a little more risky or even scarier to feel that rush with this guy. Why not try a haunted house or a horror movie?
  • Use fantasies to spice things up – Many couples role-play or use fantasy to spice up their romantic life. Why not try something naughty or even forbidden? The goal here is to go on a date and get your heart racing rather than being bored. Perhaps you can be the one to make a few advances and see how the nice guy responds.
  • •Start planning your forever – Few things are exciting to a woman at a wedding, especially if this is her first time. If you need a thrilling experience, you can become engaged with the one who you know will be by your side for the long haul. Your interest in the unavailable will diminish as you make future plans.

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Final Thoughts on Nice Guys and Why They Finish Last

The old saying states that “Nice guys finish last.” However, you have the power to change your perception. Dr. Chloe Carmichael suggests looking at men through the “safe” and “scary” perimeters. Once you learn to change your perceptions of arousal, it will change how you view these two types of men.

Dr. Carmichael states that she has seen many of her clients use this list method to retrain their brains to think of men differently. Thankfully, it proves to be a successful method that helps ladies make better choices regarding whom they give their heart to.



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