Ever met somebody who’s just too nice to date? Someone who’s a little bit full on and a smidge too lovey-dovey. In other words, they’re trying too hard to be nice, at least that’s how they come across. We all need a bit of friendly affection and gentle fondness every now and then, preferably from your mate or mum. Not someone I have to go for a drink with and keep entertained for a full evening of friendly banter or awkward “smiles” while staring at the bartender so often that the person you’re with thinks you’re on a date with them instead.
Nobody really wants an evening like that, so here’s four reasons why being overly nice can damage your dating ego:
1. Being too nice can cause friendly affection rather than sexual attraction
Imagine you’re going on a date with a good-looking specimen who is chilling by the bar waiting for you. You met on a dating app (or your mum set you up with her close friend Val’s long lost son), you get reasonably flustered, introduce yourself and sit down. Yet before the conversation has even begun properly, they’re already talking about the weather and what your parents do for work or their retirement plans. Yeah, it’s nice, but really not something I want to talk about on a first date when I’ve never seen this person apart from dating apps or Val’s photo album… from them as a baby. Small talk that doesn’t catch onto anything, that’s just well… nice. We all need a little bit of sexual attraction and chemistry, and that doesn’t mean going back to Mrs Reed in year 9 science class or sex ed.
2. Going overboard with kindness can scare the potential partner away
Match the potential partner’s effort rate. If you go into a first date, knowing little about them and you’re thinking of a grand gesture, probably a good idea to hold off on the bouquet of red roses. Gauge the room and their body language. Save nice gestures for when it’s appropriate, going in guns blazing with a love letter and a photo of your extended family reunion last year is most likely going to send her or him running to the Himalayas.
3. Being too nice can be associated with unwanted personality traits
Being too nice can be seen as trying too hard. Being overly friendly can be judged as ingenuine: being heavy handed with the niceness and then getting upset because he/she paid for a meal and didn’t get invited back for a cuppa is not going to lead to a second date. A general rule of thumb is be friendly, but DON’T GO OVERBOARD. You probably know somebody who is too afraid to make a move through fear of rejection. Even if the signals are as bright as the sun in the Sahara but will just smile and be platonically friendly all the time. Confidence is key.
4. Being too nice doesn’t leave a long-lasting impression
Your date may see you as “too nice” because you’re not displaying characteristics that leave impressions, like wit or confidence. Rather than introductory small talk, try starting a friendly debate or interesting discussion which, if you’re meeting through JigTalk, you’ve probably already done 😉. While we don’t recommend bringing up Brexit on your date, you should aim for more than the weather (however unusual it’s been in London lately).
However, for all you nice people out there, it’s not all bad news;
When asked, single men and women rank certain personality traits higher than being fit: for example, having a decent sense of humour was the most important trait in a potential partner for 70% of women and 55% of men. With conversational skills landing close to the top with 58% of women and 45% of men showing supportive traits, and intimacy, these and a bit of empathy, encouragement and kindness all rock the world.
Remember being nice has a higher chance of achieving long-term attraction – attraction isn’t an instant feeling, it grows. As a species were genetically engineered to respond to people who are more responsive towards us. So, on your next date, don’t act so cold and distant that they will think you’re doing a masters in Alaska. Find the middle ground, try not to come across as an arse or someone who’s already thrown all their eggs in one basket after messaging for a few days, and you’ll do just fine.