Do NICE GIRLS Finish Last in Dating and Relationships?

We’ve all heard the adage, “nice guys finish last.” It’s a phrase that echoes through the hallways of social media dating advice, and it’s used to suggest that men who are too accommodating, too hesitant to assert boundaries, or too shy to say no, often find themselves sidelined in love. Women are frequently advised to seek out partners who are confident, assertive, and unafraid to take charge. But when we flip the script, there’s a question that emerges from the shadows. Can nice girls finish last, too?

There’s a narrative that idealizes women as soft, feminine, and perpetually accommodating. This image, while draped in the allure of tradition, begs a deeper examination in the context of modern relationships. How does this expectation of niceness impact women in their pursuit of love and connection?

The Nice Girl Paradox – A Professional and Personal Dilemma

The professional world has highlighted insight regarding the “nice girl” paradox. Research indicates that women who display assertiveness in their professional lives tend to be rewarded with promotions, which signals a clear value placed on this trait within the workplace hierarchy. Conversely, women who shy away from assertiveness, perhaps in an effort to align with more traditionally feminine or accommodating behaviors, find themselves often overlooked for career advancement opportunities. This dichotomy emphasizes the critical balance between assertiveness and the traditional expectations of women. But it also begs the question… how do these professional strategies translate into the world of personal and romantic relationships?

As a recovering nice girl myself, I’ve done my due diligence in trying to be the epitome of what I thought was desirable. My journey towards being more firm in relationships with men has been eye opening, to say the least. I’ll share stories in greater detail later on, but in short, my experience has revealed that while niceness is a virtue, it should not come at the cost of one’s voice and boundaries. My experiences have led me to wonder… in our personal lives, does the pressure to conform to these soft and feminine ideals deter us from advocating for our own needs and desires?

The dialogue around nice guys typically revolves around the fear of rejection and the struggle to be viewed as confident. Yet, for women, the narrative goes deeper into societal expectations and the balancing act of maintaining one’s softness while asserting one’s strength. And it brings us to question…in the pursuit of love and respect, can niceness be misconstrued as weakness?

Ladies, have you felt the weight of these expectations? How have you navigated the balance between kindness and assertiveness in your relationships? Let me know in the comments or shoot me an email and we can talk about it.


Until next time,

Ash Pariseau


  1. Hi, Ash,

    Years ago, when I was in the Navy, one of my COs said, “There’s a fine line between assertive and obnoxious and you are frequently on the wrong side of that line.” My exgf said that I was “cocky and arrogant.” She said that she didn’t like me at first. I asked why she kept going out with me and her reply was that I “…was relentlessly persistent and, at times, you can be irresistibly cute.”

    Prior to meeting the ex, I was in the Officer’s Club one night. I was the only person aside from the bartender in the place. An attractive woman came in and we started talking. She out ranked me. Almost immediately, she started telling me about her accomplishments. She’d gotten a medal for this, a Letter of Commendation for that, and she’d been personally requested for an Admiral’s staff. Nothing about where she was from, what she liked, etc. It was all trying to justify herself to me. I said something and she asked if I didn’t like assertive women. I replied that it depended on what they were being assertive about. By this time, I’d had enough. I finished my beer and said goodbye. She asked where I was going.

    “I liked you a whole lot more before you started giving me your resume.”

    Personally, I like self-assured, independent, and self-sufficient women who are comfortable in their own skin. My take on it is that if a woman like that is with me it’s because she wants to be, just because, not because she needs something from me.

    • Totally hear you on that! Apologies for the delay in response… had some life stuff I’ve been dealing with. I can’t imagine how off putting it would be to hear about someone’s whole resume. There’s definitely a way to talk about yourself, your life, and even work without overdoing it. Sadly for many people, work is their whole life.

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