I was just thinking about the Nice Guys in my life who wound up hurting me, and I wanted to make a post to help men avoid doing that. Nice Guys are not actually nice. They’re the type who become friends to women they are romantically and/or sexually interested in under false pretenses and expect their feelings to eventually be returned in payment for their friendship or niceness. Not every dude who has or develops feelings for a female friend is a nice guy, but I’d like men and boys to ask themselves these questions to avoid hurting women in their lives. If you answer yes to any of these questions, you are likely a Nice Guy.
- Are you/did you only become her friend as a means to eventually get with the her sexually and/or romantically?
This is a big one. If the friendship is only a tool for you to eventually get with this person, that’s dishonest. Friendship has its own value and creating a false friendship that is only a means to an end will NOT help you get a new girlfriend. In fact, it will result in frustration and pain for both of you. Instead, try being honest with your feelings and simply asking the woman out.
- Do you expect the relationship to automatically lead to a romantic and/or sexual relationship?
Having this expectation is unfair. No one should automatically get with you. To hope it could happen is one thing. To expect it as an automatic outcome of befriending a woman you are interested in is another.
- Have you/will you punish her for not returning your feelings or showing feelings for other men?
This one may be difficult to answer honestly. But you may notice you treat her coldly or curtly when she gives attention to other men or speaks about her boyfriend. You may in more subtle ways punish her by refusing to hang out as much or rebuff her or say sarcastic or cruel things when the relationship doesn’t go your way. You may continually bellyache about your feelings and how unfair she is to you after she turns you down. That’s not cool. Either be a real friend or end your fake friendship and move on.
- Do you value the friendship you have with this person? Will you automatically end the friendship if she doesn’t reciprocate your feelings?
It’s fine if, after confessing, you realize it hurts too much to be someone’s friend later. But if you already don’t have any stake in the friendship except what you think it “should” become and already know that there’s no way you’d continue the friendship if it doesn’t lead to romance or sex, chances are you’re being a Nice Guy.
- Do you think you are owed your feelings being returned and that this person is ungrateful or bad if she doesn’t return them?
If you think that being nice or a friend to a woman and liking her romantically entitles you to a relationship with her, you are definitely being a Nice Guy.
- Do you expect her to be considerate of your feelings despite keeping them to yourself and not sharing them with her?
One unfair aspect of being a Nice Guy is how it puts all the pressure on the woman to be considerate of feelings that she may not even know about, which, instead of being revealed from the beginning, are concealed in order to enter a deceptive friendship. This behavior is often Step 1 to becoming a Nice Guy before you’ve even done anything else Nice Guy-ish. Be self-aware. Remind yourself that your feelings are YOUR responsibility.
- Have you done anything/do you plan on doing anything to guilt, pressure, force, coerce or manipulate this person into entering a romantic and/or sexual relationship with you?
This will put you into definite Asshole and Abusive territory. A woman has a right to say no. You might think to yourself you’d never do that, but be honest with yourself because this can be subtle. One time in high school a male friend of mine asked me out, and I turned him down. Later that year, he got the whole school to get him and me on the ballot for Prom King and Queen, even though he hadn’t asked me to prom yet. I said no to going with him. He was voted king and someone else was voted queen. I was unpopular already and didn’t care at all about high school politics, so I barely even noticed at all and had a blast at prom anyway. But if I was a different kind of person, or had status at my high school, this could have cornered me into going out with him or really humiliated me or resulted in being bullied for saying no. Subtle things like this can be coercive. So avoid putting pressure on people.
What should you do if any of these points describe you in a friendship you’re in right now? You have a choice. If you don’t value the friendship, then you should confess your romantic/sexual feelings, and if she turns you down, take it kindly and end the friendship (I would also apologize for being dishonest if she is hurt by the friendship ending). If you truly value the friendship, I would either confess your feelings and see what happens OR just continue being friends and don’t confess—but only do the latter if you can AVOID the behaviors on this list. I would only stay friends if you genuinely want to be friends. Otherwise, it’s a dishonest friendship. Be honest: ask her out if that’s all your interested in, there’s nothing wrong with that.
Sexuality is always a part of a character — however minimal — but some sort of romantic or sexual relationship is usually a significant plot point in superhero stories. A bisexual male superhero would disrupt the hetero male template of, “hero saves damsel in distress” that we see consistently in iconic stories like Superman, Spiderman, and Captain America. But it’s 2014, and sometimes men need saving too.
There’s something particularly elusive about bisexual male characters. There is a deeply ingrained misconception that a man can’t be romantically involved with another man and still be interested in women as well. It’s centered on the idea that masculinity requires a wanting, and “getting” of women, and not men. But the depiction of Constantine in Hellblazer proves that is a false assumption."
It’s bad enough networks don’t create bisexual characters let alone when they "straightwash" an existing one from (30 years!) canon. Make your voice heard!
- Sign the Petition then signal boost it to your friends on Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and anything else you can think of
- Tweet using the hashtag #BiBlazer (A combination of Bisexual and Hellblazer) to stop the bi erasure of a canon bisexual character. Direct your tweets to @JohnConWriters and @NBCConstantine.