They Do Exist.

A Letter From The Nice Guy

Editor’s Note: In today’s post, Douglas opens up a little bit – and asks you women to do three things. Love it. Douglas blogs fiction at Conversations With The Devil and tweets at @Douglas_AmongUs. He’s a writer, self proclaimed nerd and, as the title suggests, a nice guy. Men – want to submit something for this month? Check out the Contribute page. We’d love to hear from you. – Lauren

When I heard the Good Women Project was taking submissions from men, I jumped at the chance. Not just because I welcome any opportunity to write, but I’ve been reading the blog for a while now and have been amazed (and educated) by all the things that have been said – though I realize they may not have been meant for me.

At the same time, I find myself unsure of what exactly I can offer. I ask myself: what do I have to say to you? What can I, as a guy, say to you that would mean anything? Do I even have the right?

Because I’m a man (not much of one but enough of one) trying to tell you how to be better women. How dare I. What do I know?

So, I won’t tell you how to be better women, mostly because I don’t think I have to. The women in this community are doing a great job of that already. But I do want to ask something of you, and I want to tell you something about being a man, or at least my version of it.

You see, I’m not a typical guy. I don’t like sports. I’m not macho or attractive or all that ‘masculine’ by most people’s standards. I’m what you might think of as the typical nice guy. In fact, I’m definitely what you’d think of. But I’ve seen enough of what people call ‘men’ to be ashamed for my gender. I read the articles in this blog, about the men who have hurt women, the men who have hurt you. The men who have abused you physically and emotionally, who have told you that you weren’t worth it; men who have taken from you what never belonged to them; men who have convinced you that you were a thing and not a person; men who have been anything but love to you and, in turn, anything but men. And, as strange as it may sound, when I read these stories, along with shame and sadness, what I feel most is the overwhelming desire to punch those men in the face.

I’m serious. I have a black belt; I feel I could pull it off. I imagine if any man tried to do any of those things to a woman I know: to my real sister or my sister in Christ, to a co-worker or a friend, to my nieces, and I wonder, as nice as I am, if I would be able to control the wrath that would stir up in me.

But as much as I want to play the protector, a role I believe men are called to fill but so few really do, I wonder what God really wants of me. Because I don’t need to tell you how to be women. I wouldn’t know where to start. And when I think of the women in my life, I don’t think of girls in need of saving. I don’t think of damsels in distress, that tired, old metaphor. I have a hard time imagining a weak women because I don’t know any, because every woman I know is strong in her own way, beautiful in her own way, wonderful in her own way, even if they don’t realize it. Even if someone may have told them otherwise.

And while I believe I am called to fight for you, and as much as I want to, I realize there is more to it than that. Because the truth of the matter is: we are not meant to fight this war for you, we are meant to fight it with you. Partners, teammates, warrior princes and princesses, as a mentor of mine would say.

Because you need us, but we also need you. So, if I could ask anything of you it would just be this:

1. Find better men. Don’t settle for less than what your worth, not from yourself, not from society, and especially not from us. Take it from a nice guy: we exist, please come find us. We’re great listeners.

2. Challenge the men in your lives. We need it. We need to rise the occasion, and we need you to remind us of that, so that we can return the favor.

3. Don’t believe the lies. Because if I’ve learned anything from the women I know, it is that you are all amazing. All lovely, all wonderful, all strong. You are not too much or too little. You are not broken or a waste or worthless.

And lastly, I don’t know where anyone reading this might be in her life. I can’t imagine what they may be going through, and I feel so inadequate to try and give them advice. But, ladies, if you ever meet a man who tells you the kind of lies written about here, who treats you like anything less than what God made you, who tries to treat you like an object of his pleasure. Please, do your gender and mine a favor and punch them in the face. And if you can’t bring yourself to do that, come find me. Because we all have fists and hearts. And I think it’s high time we used them both.

Sincerely yours,

The nice guy.

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33 Responses

  1. Rebecka

    I love this! Thank you Douglas! After reading this I sit here with a huge smile on my face. :)

    March 6, 2012 at 8:13 am

  2. Andrea

    This was so encouraging to me this morning. Thank so much for sharing your heart, and know that they aren't wasted words. As a woman who is in a new place and having a hard time find good men around, even in the churches here… its makes made me hopeful when I read this this morning!!

    March 6, 2012 at 9:48 am

  3. I love this!!! Thanks for writing!

    March 6, 2012 at 10:13 am

  4. Heidi

    Thank you so much. My eyes are welling with tears and my heart is welling with hope. My husband abandoned me last year by text message after seven years of marriage. The pain was inexplicable. As you said, we all have fists and hearts and I'm starting to finally find mine. Your words pour strength into the hearts of women who are weary from the battle. I know, because I'm one of them. God pours His redeeming love out to me daily and today you were a part of that. Thank you!

    March 6, 2012 at 10:26 am

  5. I LOVE this!!! So awesome! It's nice to know that nice guys do exist, and believe me, nice girls will find you… though be patient because it may take some time. Thank you for writing this! God bless!

    March 6, 2012 at 11:02 am

  6. Be extremely wary about identifying yourself as "a nice guy" in a feminist community, FYI. Many of us have met far too many whiny "nice guys" who complain that women don't pay attention to them, insult the men we do choose to be with, and then wonder why we won't have sex with them. Google "nice guy syndrome" for more information on this type of man.

    If I were you, I wouldn't dare identify myself with such a group.

    March 6, 2012 at 12:14 pm

  7. wendy

    Hm. Pretty good advise….except for that last paragraph. It's pretty black and white. I think sometimes "nice guys" have a hard time understanding the background behind the kind of thinking of an objectifying man. If you want to fight with me, and you have the advantage of spiritual and emotional health, then here's what you can do: find those men who treat women badly, and mentor them. Befriend them, encourage them, point them to God to find their identity. That's what I need you to do. That is what I CAN'T do. Punching them in the face won't do anything.
    My husband (in a time of addiction) once cheated on me with prostitutes and strippers. Do you know how much I want to punch them in the face? But on the other hand, why are they there? Punching them in the face would do nothing to heal their wounds and save their lives, which is really the important thing.
    Thank you for having compassion for wounded women, but please let your heart break for your own gender's woundedness, too.

    March 6, 2012 at 12:20 pm

  8. wendy

    Hm. Pretty good advise….except for that last paragraph. It's pretty black and white. I think sometimes "nice guys" have a hard time understanding the background behind the kind of thinking of an objectifying man. If you want to fight with me, and you have the advantage of spiritual and emotional health, then here's what you can do: find those men who treat women badly, and mentor them. Befriend them, encourage them, point them to God to find their identity. That's what I need you to do. That is what I CAN'T do. Punching them in the face won't do anything. My husband (in a time of addiction) cheated on me with prostitutes and strippers. Don't you think I want to punch them in the face? But on the other hand, why are they there? Punching them won't heal their wounds and save their lives, which is really what is important here. Thank you for your compassion for wounded women, but please make sure your compassion for your own gender is stronger than your shame for them.

    March 6, 2012 at 12:44 pm

  9. Katie

    This. is. awesome.

    March 6, 2012 at 12:38 pm

  10. Hannah

    Thank you so much. I truly have enjoyed and been encouraged by your post, specially as I look at my past and the men I wish i had punched in the face.
    My only change to your article would be when you call yourself unattractive. I do not know what you look like on the inside, but outside you are truly a man of God and extremely handsome.

    March 6, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    • Hannah again

      oops I meant, "I don't know what you look like on the outside, but on the inside" It's my own form of dyslexia and I do it far too often. Sorry!

      March 6, 2012 at 12:47 pm

  11. Where ever could you be!? I'd love to find a nice guy like you, this is amazing and beautiful! Thank you so much for this, I think a lot of women needed this one today :)

    March 6, 2012 at 2:49 pm

  12. Alicia

    Douglas..this was so sweet <3 Thank you for your humility..just thank you for this

    March 6, 2012 at 3:06 pm

  13. Cujo

    As a "typical guy" myself, who loves sports, working out, my truck, who is tall, and somewhat handsome, this article speaks in generalities. Men can be assholes no matter what type of "man" they may be. There are always going to be assholes, just as some women are always going to be bitches. We can only that they get what they deserve. Being nice and being a type of man have nothing to do with each other.

    March 6, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    • Echo

      Thank goodness someone else didn't just get hooked on the bait by this "nice guy" and frankly this post is offensive to both women and men. First this guy starts out by saying that he is ashamed of his entire gender because of a few jerks and then goes on to say that no woman ever has to change and that no women ever has to be told that they need to be better, and that there are no weak women. Then he has the audacity to condescend to tell women to "find better men" what? no! really? DUH! My main beef with this article is that there is no balance to this viewpoint it serves up nice sounding platitudes to women to stroke their collective ego so that in turn those women can stroke his and tell him how sweet and nice he is while setting up every other man to be a jerk besides himself of course. If the writer really in fact respected women, he would respect them enough to tell the truth. The truth being yes, find better men but strive to be better women and love yourself enough to explore exactly why it is that you associate yourself with jerks and then change that. Yes, challenge men, but challenge yourselves as well, because not only men need it, everybody does. And lastly, you are not all lovely, you are not all wonderful, and you are not all strong and you shouldn't feel that you have to be. Most times women are lovely, wonderful, and strong, but (and here is the key truth) sometimes women are not those things. And though i'm sure a lot of disgruntled women will disagree, Most men are lovely, wonderful, and strong but not always, but that doesn't mean we're all bad. There are bad men and bad women but all that means is that neither sex can deny responsibility in who they choose to be with. And to not acknowledge that shows that in the writer is unable to view women (or men for that matter) in a real three dimensional sense, as complex, flawed, and fascinating human beings. Being put on a pedestal might feel nice, but it is disrespect in the end. Pure and simple.
      As a general caution this kind of man, the platitudinous self-proclaimed "nice-guy" is most of the time the worst kind of guy, especially one who condones physical violence. Seriously, he referenced punching a person in the face twice. I don't care what sex you are that is not cool.

      March 6, 2012 at 8:07 pm

  14. Echo

    I spent a good part of an hour writing a thoughtful rebuttal to this article and my comment was erased.. So i'll just say this; this article is stupid, the writer is sexist against men and more importantly women, it's banal, insincere and this website is a joke.

    March 6, 2012 at 7:20 pm

  15. Brent Acker

    Great post Douglas! I want you to know that you are not alone. Even though me and you are completely different, I will stand with you on this issue. I like sports, and working out, but I’m a nice guy at heart and that’s because God changed my heart. As men we have to stand up for what’s right and show other men how a woman is suppose to treated. So, it doesn’t matter how a guy looks or what he likes, it’s about his heart. Im encouraged by this post.

    Thank you,

    March 6, 2012 at 10:41 pm

  16. I love this. We are meant to fight this war together — the way God created us to. Thank you for sharing.

    March 6, 2012 at 11:18 pm

  17. wendy

    You said some nice things, but I feel really uncomfortable that you want to punch a guy for objectifying and using women. As if you've never….are you a robot? And guys who are jerks need grace, too. If you want to help us women out, befriend these guys and point them to Jesus, okay? My husband, in a time of addiction, cheated on me with strippers and prostitutes. Don't you think I want to punch them in the face? But on the other hand, what good would that do? How did they get there, anyway? They are hurting, broken women, and this website seeks to redeem women like these, yet you are ashamed of your gender. How about putting on compassion, instead. Shame is at the root of many addictions…don't feed it, "nice guy".

    March 7, 2012 at 5:47 pm

  18. Audrey

    I've punched my guy with a broken heart. My fist will heal while my heart needs God's way to heal

    March 8, 2012 at 9:51 am

  19. Annika

    Thank you Douglas!

    March 15, 2012 at 11:54 am

  20. Found

    I grew up in a home filled with abusers. My grandfather left my grandmother unwashed and forgotten in her wheelchair while he molested all his daughters and granddaughters. My father continued the cycle with me. He cheated on all his wives and beat them when they questioned him about it. I left home cowering in fear and thinking my body was the only way to keep men happy enough not to beat me. A long string of church guys took advantage of that fact despite knowing my history. Needless to say, I hated men and couldn't understand how people could call God a "HE" since men weren't capable of kindness or love. I didn't understand why God made men physically stronger since they used it for evil.

    I went to a Women of Faith conference and Stephen Arterburn spoke. During that speech, he spoke of his past mistakes with and apologized on behalf of the men that hurt them. When he slowly said, "I'm so, so sorry for the way we have hurt you," I broke down in sobs and couldn't stop. It was as if Christ himself had stood over me and comforted me. Until that day, no man had ever said "I'm sorry" to me, and no man had ever appeared protective and caring.

    I want to encourage you and all men to continue to share your stories like this. Hearing another man stand up and fight to defend us against all the abuse and misogyny helps me understand how men's strength can be good. Thank you so much for this. God bless you.

    March 17, 2012 at 8:28 am

  21. Jayme

    Thank you so much for writing this. It has truly gave me strength. I have had a very difficult past few weeks. My boyfriend broke up with me with no explanation other than "I just don't like you." This wouldn't have been so bad if it wasn't for the fact the day before he said he'd never leave me and I was his forever. Also, the day he broke up with me was the two year anniversary of my Dad walking out on my mother. I just wanted to let you know that after reading this post this morning, I have felt 10x better. Thank you so much for the encouragement.

    March 22, 2012 at 4:54 pm

  22. Mike

    Yeah but after reading this you know this kid will never get a girlfriend. If you're the nice guy and act the way this guy wants you to you get thrown in the friend zone. if you don't like men being asshole then stop settling for them and throwing real guys away.

    April 4, 2012 at 12:27 pm

  23. Rose

    Douglas, it's so great to know a nice guy is out there. Thanks for your encouraging words. I believe God blesses those whose hearts are gold. I've learned that walking with Christ means walking through valleys; yet hope shall rise because Jesus has already overcome. True love awaits..

    April 15, 2012 at 4:46 am

  24. Amy

    Thank you. I needed this. Your words are not wasted. They are needed, I needed them and we needed them. Thank you.

    November 12, 2012 at 10:12 pm

  25. Genevieve

    thank you very much.
    Praise God, I believe the He helped you with this.

    November 19, 2012 at 11:49 am

  26. Genevieve


    November 19, 2012 at 11:49 am

  27. Mannie

    great message, its touches the places in my heart that needed a little bit of acknowledgement

    December 10, 2012 at 1:57 pm

  28. Stacy

    This made me tear up and smile. You seem to have a wonderful heart and a wonderful way with words. A guy whom I thought I loved just recently broke my heart and it made me feel so hurt and insecure. But God has been doing amazing things in my life and has blessed me with incredible, loving friends who always make me smile and has blessed me through His Word, His love, and through people like you. So thank you for taking the time to write this! It means more to a girl than you will ever know :)

    January 6, 2013 at 5:08 pm

  29. Son of Lucifer

    “Please do your gender and mine a favor and punch them in the face”

    Don’t listen to this faggot or else your going to get your ass beat.

    No wonder he can’t get a girl.

    March 25, 2013 at 9:07 am

  30. Jordan

    Douglas = White Knight

    Maidens he’s rescued online: 37

    Rescued maidens that’s rewarded him with sex: 0

    January 13, 2014 at 4:38 am

  31. WJZ

    "what I feel most is the overwhelming desire to punch those men in the face."

    Here's the perspective of another man. A man who keeps it real and has no wish to come off as faux "nice" to women.

    – I will not protect you. I value my own safety over yours.
    – I will not intervene and play hero in a situation between you and another man.
    – I will not engage in any chivalry. I am not a Knight.
    – You are not all amazing. I will not blow smoke up your ass.
    – You are not a princess or a warrior.
    – You are not my team mate.
    – I refuse to rise to any occasion. I am satisfied with the way I am and only what I think about myself matters.
    – I don't know what "nice guy" means by women "challenging" men, but it sounds like a euphemism for nagging. Cos that'll keep you a man. Nagging.
    – Punch me in the face and I will retaliate.

    May 4, 2015 at 9:29 pm

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