If you’re dating a nice guy but aren’t attracted to him it can be very frustrating. You may want to figure out how to fix this to be happy with the nice guy.
But the first step to fixing the issue is to understand more about why this may be happening.
Dating a Nice Guy
Being in a relationship with a nice guy can mean different things to different people.
The first question to ask yourself to understand more – and you can use this as a journal prompt – is:
- What about this guy makes him a “nice guy” to you?
- Does he look good on paper?
- Does he treat you well? Perhaps this is the first guy you’ve dated in awhile that seems to value a relationship, getting married, or having kids (which you want as well)?
- Or maybe your family really likes him?
- Perhaps you feel like it’s “safer” to date the nice guy you’re not attracted to i.e., you think he will never cheat on you?
These are just a few examples. Take some time to explore why this guy is a “nice guy” to you. Of course, you may have multiple reasons this guy is “nice.”
Honoring Your Reasons for Dating the Nice Guy
Now that you have taken some time to understand exactly why you find this guy to be “nice,” the rest of the article will help you understand your needs further.
Throughout this article, you will explore some of the common reasons you may be dating the nice guy without being attracted to him.
Pressure to Date the Nice Guy
When you were exploring the reasons this guy is nice, did you notice any sense of pressure from others to be with this guy?
Maybe this is the type of guy you were taught you “should” want?
Perhaps you want the same things for your future like having a family? Or he’s religious like your own family? Maybe he has the “right” kind of job to make your parents happy?
If you relate to any sense of pressure to be with this guy, it can feel really heavy and confusing to not be attracted to him!
Noticing What You Should Do
It can be really overwhelming to feel you should do something to make others happy. Especially something as big as who you “should” date!
This pressure is real! And you can internalize this pressure to the point of forcing yourself to be in a relationship that’s not quite right for you.
If you relate, there is nothing wrong with you at all. In fact, this sense of pressure around what you feel you should do is very common.
Pressure from Others to Date the Nice Guy
One therapy model is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. As part of this model, there are common ways of thinking which add to a sense of anxiety or unhappiness in life. Should statements are one of these ways of thinking.
Should statements prevent you from living with true joy and authenticity because you are living to please others. (And yes, it’s a therapist joke to say we are “shoulding” on ourselves whenever we say we “should” do something.)
Stop “Shoulding” on Yourself
Do you relate to the idea that you may be dating this nice guy even though you’re not attracted to him to make others (like your family) happy? Or to impress someone like your friends?
If so, please have compassion for the fact that it’s so easy to sometimes feel you should do something for others approval. You may also find it helpful to explore exactly why you may feel this sense of pressure which the following worksheet will help you do. This worksheet helps you explore your history to identify why it makes sense you sometimes should on yourself.
Letting Go of Living for Others
The antidote to living for others is to become more authentic.
You are already taking a huge step towards being more authentic (if you relate) by acknowledging both:
- That you feel pressure to date this nice guy and,
- You aren’t attracted to him
Taking this a step further, you may choose to ultimately end this relationship if you’re only dating this nice guy to make others happy rather than yourself.
How to Become More Authentic
If you want more support becoming authentic, a great place to start is by working on your boundaries and self-acceptance.
Many of the articles in this blog will help you towards this goal! Here are just a few articles to help but take your time to explore this site to learn more as you wish:
- Building Self Confidence in Your Relationships
- 3 Therapy Skills to Overcome Perfectionism and,
- Dating Boundaries List for Healthy Relationships
When Dating a Nice Guy is Unfamiliar
If you have a history of bad or toxic relationships, you may feel uncomfortable dating a nice guy. This can translate, in part, to not being attracted to him.
However, this lack of attraction may be more emotional than physical. This is especially true if the trauma of bad relationships (this includes family relationships too) has impacted your sense of self-worth.
Sometimes, when you are used to being treated poorly, you may not believe you deserve a guy being nice to you. This may make you want to reject or avoid him because it’s so unfamiliar.
When You Don’t Think You Deserve Being Treated Well
You may lack attraction to this nice guy if a part of you doesn’t believe you deserve this treatment. This is related to social verification theory which explains that people tend to want to spend time with (and date) people that see them the way they see themselves.
In this episode, “Codependency, Sustainable Self Care and Handling Ghosting Trauma” of The Love Fix podcast, I discuss this theory in further detail.
The antidote to struggling to be attracted to a nice guy because it’s unfamiliar is to develop more self-worth.
When you believe you deserve to be treated with respect, you may in time find the nice guy attractive. Truthfully, it took a lot of self-work to be attracted to a guy who treated me with as much respect as my husband immediately did. Prior to feeling self-love, I wouldn’t have understood why he treated me so well. After all, I didn’t even like myself for a long time!
If you want a free daily journaling worksheet for Self-Worth, please check out the article Self Worth Journal – Free Daily Journaling Worksheet. There will be a link to receive this free journaling worksheet in the article.
The Illusion of Safety
At times you may date a nice guy you’re not attracted to because a part of you thinks no one else is too.
For example, if you’re afraid of being cheated on you might settle for the “nice guy” because you think he will never betray you. This is understandable. After all, if you’re not attracted to him, it can feel like others aren’t as well.
Safety, Attraction and Trustworthiness
However, settling with the nice guy you’re not attracted to for safety is an illusion. A person you’re not attracted to is still capable of cheating.
Instead of settling, the healthier path is to choose a partner you genuinely are emotionally and physically attracted to while building trust with him.
Attraction is Chemical and Emotional
There is an emotional component to attraction and the lack thereof. If you feel pressured to be with a nice guy, this can be a mood killer.
Or if you feel like you don’t deserve to be treated with respect, you may find you struggle to be attracted to a kind partner. Sometimes too, especially if you have experienced certain types of trauma, you may sexualize being mistreated or having a lot of conflict in a relationship.
At the same time, there absolutely is a physical component to attraction.
The Science of Attraction
Of course, your emotions play a role in sexual attraction. But there are also times where someone is truly not a sexually attractive match for us.
Research indicates that there is an odor component to who you are sexually attracted to for example. And if you’ve ever found yourself wearing a partner’s sweater and inhaling their scent when they’re away you know this is true.
There are some people you just aren’t attracted to. No matter how nice they are or how much you wish you were. For example, if someone’s natural scent turns you off it may be impossible to overcome this.
Take Your Time As Needed
It can be hard to understand exactly what you need if you’re dating a nice guy without attraction.
Take your time to explore why you’re dating this nice guy without attraction. Do you feel you should? Do you like him but you’re scared? Are you used to being treated with disrespect? Or maybe you think he won’t cheat on you?
Once you understand your why you can go deeper. Really explore how it feels to be around (and smell!) him. Sometimes as you get clearer on your authentic needs and connect to your self-worth you may realize you are attracted to this nice guy.
Side note: If you’re used to toxic relationships, you may believe sexual attraction is supposed to be an all consuming passion. However, in healthy relationships, sexual attraction is just a part of the equation. They are both your friend and your sexual partner. It tends to be a quieter, more intimate type of sexual attraction than in some unhealthy partnerships.
It’s OK to Not Be Attracted to the Nice Guy
Other times, you may realize that you just genuinely aren’t physically attracted to him. That’s ok – you don’t need to force yourself.
This is an abundant world. There are absolutely partners out there you will both be attracted to and treated well by! It’s an act of love to release a nice guy you’re not attracted to for both him and yourself. You both deserve the magical combination of mutual attraction in a healthy relationship!
About The Author
Krystal Mazzola Wood, LMFT is a practicing relationship therapist with over a decade of experience. Currently, Krystal sees clients at her private practice, The Healthy Relationship Foundation. She has dedicated her entire career to empowering people to heal from unhealthy relationship processes. She does this by teaching the skills and tools necessary to have a life filled with healthy and loving relationships.
This passion led her to write her best-selling books and create courses. Her books, The Codependency Recovery Plan: A 5-Step Guide to Understand, Accept, and Break Free from the Codependent Cycle and The Codependency Workbook: Simple Practices for Developing and Maintaining Your Independence have helped many people heal.
Her third book, Therapy Within Reach: Setting Boundaries, will be released September, 2023.
If you have any personal dating or relationship questions, Krystal is happy to provide advice using her expertise and compassion. If you feel comfortable, feel free to leave any questions in the comments of this post. Otherwise, you may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or DM her on Instagram. Your name and any other identifying information will always be kept confidential.
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