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28th Jun 2018

#ShiftHappens Dr Alex and the burden of the unfortunate, entitled Nice Guy

Shift Happens

‘Nice Guy’ (adjective):

To describe a man who sees himself as polite, caring, and considerate of other people’s feelings. He is, on paper, a Nice Guy who believes that this self-professed niceness entitles him to things that other men do not get, eg; female attention, sex, and reciprocated feelings.

The Nice Guy cannot comprehend why certain women are not interested in him. He feels entitled to their attention because he believes that he treats them with respect, but often becomes angry or aggressive when their actions do not meet his expectations, thus rendering his Nice Guy status useless.

Dr Alex is a Nice Guy… And for the first two weeks of Love Island, I was staunchly pro him.

I found his awkwardness endearing, his coyness attractive, and his inability to look any of the women in the eye challenging.

But most of all, I felt bad for him.

I wanted Alex to meet someone who was good enough for him, someone who got what he was about, or just had any sort of interest in getting to know him.

Then Ellie happened and suddenly Dr Alex became painfully familiar – he was a Nice Guy and everyone in the world had already met him before.

If you’re not at all familiar with what happened between Alex and Ellie, it was next to nothing.

Nothing as in they slept in the same bed but never touched. He kissed her and she didn’t pull away but she didn’t move in either. He told her he was looking forward to getting to know her in a romantic setting and she said ‘thanks for saving me.’

All of this happened about three days ago despite it feeling like it was actually about four months.

Since then, Ellie has been accused of leading Alex on, of giving him false hope, and of using him to stay in the villa.

Whether she was or not though is irrelevant because you can’t force somebody to like you. Outside of the context of Love Island itself, somebody like Alex expecting something from somebody like Ellie is not a rare occurrence.

If she wasn’t using him for the sake of the show and to further her own Instagram career, she’d be accused of messing with his emotions. She’d be the bitch who wouldn’t give this Nice Guy a chance when all he had been was polite, affectionate, respectful, kind, caring, loyal, attentive, and the host of other attributes that are absolutely delightful if they’re wanted.

She could have been all of those things or she could not have been any of them. That doesn’t change the fact that she just didn’t like him.

For the Nice Guy though, not liking him back just isn’t an option. Not when he’s been so nice this whole time. He feels entitled to her attention, loyalty, kindness, affection and all the others things he’s given her that she simply doesn’t want.

The reaction to this entitlement comes in a few different ways. Alex chose frustration, got angry, and made some weird comment about never having been so livid in his entire life which means he’s never actually left the comfort of the womb.

Others get sad, hoping to gain some amount of empathy from the lads or other women who know how nice they are but also know that you just can’t force someone to fancy you.

Nice Guys are, probably, a whole lot nicer to deal with than General Assholes. They won’t dump you after you give them head on the telly or laugh when you admit that they hurt your feelings. They are actively awful.

And yet, Nice Guys can be fairly awful too, especially when they don’t get what they want. Their behaviour is more insidious, leading you into a false sense of security until you tell them you just want to be friends and they, as Alex puts it, “explode.”

An Alex is preferable to an Adam (anything is really, let’s be honest), but he’s not preferable to someone who is nice and doesn’t expect sex in return.

And he’s absolutely not preferable to someone who wears adequate amounts of suncream.