The Nice Guy’s Guide to Manliness® – 20 Tips for Avoiding Wrong Relationships


Ever wonder what’s behind the phenomenon of Mr nice guy who is always heart broken or the good-girls-like-bad-guys syndrome most ‘nice’ guys complain about?

For the guys who have experienced this heart thump-heart trauma cycle more often than not, it is easy and often preposterous to make some conclusions.

Conclusions include but not limited to: treat them badly, never let your emotions show, don’t give your heart to any girl, don’t commit, be elusive and unpredictable.

All of this first aid, immature and wimpy response don’t suffice and don’t address the real issues. What happens usually is that you adjust your values, morality and sense of responsibility to the level of immaturity of the person who hurt you.

For once, can you stop passing the buck and figure out if the problem could have started with you. Understand as Einstein did, “We cannot solve a problem with the same level of thinking that created them.”

How does this illusion of trying to save a damsel in distress and being hurt in the process play out? Why do some guys repeat the same foolish patterns in relationships? What can be done to stop the cycle?

I have come to see that we sometimes need a rude awakening to cure our illusions. That is what I hope these 20 tips will do for you:

1. Don’t mistake closeness as an indication of a relationship in view

She is lovely, you like her and now she is sharing intimate details of her life with you. You are drawn in. You feel like a close confidant and then you logically think she wants a relationship. At least, why on earth would she share with you on that level. She even claims she hasn’t shared these things with anybody.

Guess what Mr Nice guy does? He mistakes the innocent sharing as an indicator to pursue a relationship. This is a mistake. Often times, he fails to realize she just needs a friend.

2. The best foundation for a relationship is friendship, purpose and shared mutual interests not fixing somebody

Your relationship is faulty if it is founded on fixing her problems. And what’s wrong with that? At least you like being the go-to-guy, the guy with the answers.

The problem is that you are seen as a trash bag for her problems. Simply put, you are only relevant when she has problem. You are ignored until ‘Mr Sherlock Holmes’ has another problem or mystery to solve and gladly you rise to the occasion. At least you are now in demand. It feeds your sense of relevance.

Instead seek a relationship based on shared mutual interests. Maybe you both enjoy a particular sport, dedicated to a common cause or values, you are passionate about the same ministry or enjoy certain hobbies.

That way, you have something outside both of you to enjoy together, something that can enrich each others’ experiences.

If your world is so good but her presence makes it better, then you have something worthwhile going.

3. Neglecting you is the secret to becoming a liability

Mr nice guy can often become a door mat, neglecting himself in service of others. While it’s nice to be there for others, neglecting yourself is foolish and counterproductive.

An example is the college dude who neglects his books to attend to his girlfriend’s whims and ends up with bad grades. The implication of his distraction is that failure to create a better future undermines your attractiveness in the long haul.

If you are going to be an asset, prioritize your own development. Be of help but never at the expense of your own personal growth and future. A woman will appreciate you better when you are forward looking and upwardly mobile.

4. Look for a strong and whole woman

Relationships work better when two people bring 100 percent into the relationship. To bring your 100, you must be whole. What you don’t have, you can’t give.

Looking for someone to complete you or make you happy is the thinking that thrives in the fool’s paradise. You must accept responsibility for your own happiness.

When she is strong and whole, she won’t bring you drama. When you don’t have a wailing drama queen, you can focus on becoming the person you are meant to be and making your impact on the world.

5. Be clear about what she is looking for – a shrink or a lover

Why do you think ladies visit a shrink, counsellor or pastor? They need someone who will listen without judgement or reservations. Being listened to is therapeutic for them.

However, Mr nice guy’s sharp sense of discernment start coming up with possibilities. A hand-holding spurt after a sharing session and he is in love. But are they on the same page?

6. Sex and infatuation will cloud your judgement

Nice guys are often saints in the process of perfection. A moral slip into premarital sex can have catastrophic effects. An undue sense of belonging or attachment that shouldn’t have developed in the first place is then introduced.

The easiest way to destroy your chances of finding out if a relationship is good is to elevate sensuality. After all is said and done, you will most likely find yourself glued, disoriented or estranged.

Leave sex where it should be, safe within the confines of marriage. But how can you know if she is good in bed the ‘wise’ one will ask? I found this quote somewhere and I paraphrase, ” The devil will do anything to get two people to have sex before marriage and to keep them from sex after marriage.”

The moral is that marriage is not all about sex. Sex is the icing when the cake (other areas of the marriage) makes sense.

By the way, I’m not advocating that you marry someone you don’t find attractive. Just understand that sex can be overrated especially when you are young.

7. Don’t downplay your needs or uniqueness to acquiesce to the relationship

This is the ultimate self-sabotage. Don’t downplay your needs, personality or uniqueness to accommodate her. You will develop neurosis after a while.

Do you feel free to be yourself around her or you easily become a bundle of nerves? If she gives you performance anxieties, then bolt.

You are not going to be perfect and it’s okay to be a jerk once in a while. My concern is when the relationship accentuate your weaknesses and undermines your strength.

You are work-in-progress, keep working on yourself but don’t be afraid of who you are. Instead find someone who celebrates you, who sees your weaknesses, strengths, personality as a unique package called YOU. You are not meant to be every woman’s taste. Stop trying to please or impress.

If you are going to impress at all, impress with who you are, not what you have or what you do.

You re a human being not a human doing. Stop borrowing your identity from what you have or what you do. They don’t define your intrinsic worth.

8. Recognize that you deserve better

Some guys have low self esteem and can’t figure out that their lack of self confidence is what attracts the flippant or needy woman.

When you have standards, you respect yourself and are striving to be your best self, it shows. You will begin to attract the happy, self confident woman that you deserve.

Be careful how you think about yourself. Our beliefs become our truth. Why are you expecting to date a princess when you think you are a frog? A kiss won’t transform you.

9. Figure out your life’s direction first and you will be clear about the choice of a woman

You are more empowered and discerning to the extent of your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual maturity.

Please note that age is no guarantee of maturity. Maybe physical but there is no guarantee for the other 3 areas. People often grow to the degree of responsibility they embrace for their lives.

Know what your goals, values and mission for life are. They should dictate who you marry. It is wise to choose a mate for who you are going to become rather than who you are now, for where you are going rather than your current situation.

10. Let her take care of her business.

Often times, people must be allowed to deal with their own mess. You can’t save people when they want to drown, otherwise you sink together.  Mr nice guy, you are not God and as such you are limited in the help you can offer her.

If your helping her points her towards God and taking responsibility for her life then it’s fine. But if it makes you assume the position of a messiah through your own inflated ego, then you have got it all wrong.

If you are privileged to facilitate the process of healing and grace for her, then it is just what it is – you are a facilitator not a creator.

11. Sometimes love and care is best shown as a friend

This follows from the above point. The vantage point for being a facilitator might be as a friend. Straight up real talk. As a guy, you can’t go around seeing every woman you meet or get close to as a potential partner.

Do you know what that does? You have unnecessary anxieties around ladies. You are always wondering if she is feeling you. Instead of being interested in her, you focus inordinately on being interesting. You are putting your best foot forward because you want her to see you in a certain light.

It’s wonderful what happens when you can just relax around ladies and be a friend. In addition treat them with purity as you would your own sisters. It’s not macho to take advantage of a woman’s vulnerability to you.

12. Be clear about your values. You will attract your kind.

When you are not clear about who you are and what you stand for, you increase your chances of meeting the wrong person. When you are broad and deep, you don’t attract provincial women (except if they are looking for something free).

A man will attract a society most like himself. If you are shallow and frivolous, you will attract your kind. Take care of who you are. Your best life is determined by the person you are becoming. This is not just about relationships with the opposite sex but also with the men too.

One of the best ways to discern a man’s character is to pay attention to his favourite company.

13. Stop being Mr Knight in shining armour with a wooden sword and a plastic shield

You have a wooden sword and a plastic shield when you don’t have your house in order and you are trying to pursue a relationship. This is not to mean that you must be perfect to get into a relationship.

Really, how can you be a blessing to others or her when you are not building capacity. You can’t lead yourself and you want to lead a woman. You are a broken tool trying to fix others.

Instead pay attention to your character weaknesses, the quality of your thinking, your relationship with your family and your work ethic.

14. Let her heal from her past

Don’t allow yourself become the rebound guy. When she is clear and sober, she is likely to wonder what she is doing with you. You can provide succour for her but be careful to ensure she has healed. Give her space.

It’s also important to ensure she has dealt with her past. No Ex knocking and asking. If she is still hung up on her ex, she is not good for you. It is wise for you and her to have made a firm break with the past. No ex-girlfriend or boyfriend BS. If your ex were good enough for you, you should be still be together.

However, your ex should not be your enemy. Wisdom just requires that you define boundaries. Old flames can be easily rekindled in unguarded and unguided moments.

15. Watch how she handles money

Are you a man desiring wealth, then be careful the kind of woman you marry. Thomas Stanley in the book, Millionaire Mind, where he analysed self-made millionaires in America found out that the choice of a marital partner was instrumental to their entrepreneurial success.

Matter of fact, it was a make or break deal for most. They credited their success to their wives’ nurturing, sense of responsibility and ability to delay gratification. Physical attraction was a bonus and not the substance of their relationship.

Marry a spend thrift, who despises saving and investing and you will have problems being an entrepreneur. You need a woman who can prudently manage your household income in those not-so-buoyant times.

16. Is she curious about intellectual development or you have found yourself a couch potato?

As a nice guy with a nice brain (I assume you are), you need an intelligent and classy woman who can sustain good conversations around a wide range of topics.

If you are upwardly mobile, you need the kind of woman you can boldly present before the kings you want to wine and dine with. I should believe you are too ambitious to hook up with a bimbo with a hot body. When the high of sex is gone, you are going to be left with nothing.

Marry a woman you will always crave her presence even outside the bedroom, a woman who feeds your spirit, who know how to treat a man.

17. Get rid of your fear of being alone

This is what keeps many a dumb dude in stupid relationships – Fear of being alone. If you struggle with being your own best friend, then you are not ready for a relationship.

If you think you are incomplete and need completion, then congratulations, keep searching.

The best partners are those who have a life, a purpose and an all-consuming passion to live a life of contribution. They are just too busy with their life assignment. A relationship only complements them. It doesn’t define them.

18. Is she interested in your journey as well as your outcomes?

If she is not willing to go through the journey with you, then she doesn’t deserve to be with you when you are made. Since success is a journey and not a destination, you need a woman who will stick it out with you through thick and thin.

If she is willing to jump ship at the next available offer, it means she is an opportunist seeking only permanent interests. When you can’t cater to her interests, she is gone. She is a fair weather wife or girlfriend.

What you need is a woman who seeks to be a blessing to you, who is willing to hold you down and help you up. She is supposed to be a help meet, helping you achieve your purpose and compensating for your weaknesses.

When you find the kind of woman the Bible calls – intelligent, virtuous and capable, please treat her right. It’s the honourable thing to do. Your most precious asset in life as a man is a good woman.

19. Let time confirm the wisdom of your choice

Albert Einstein said, ” The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once .” Whatever choice you make, only time can confirm the wisdom of your choice. Avoid rushing the relationship.

Scientist have found out that attraction is a function of hormones. Be careful of allowing biology override your thinking faculty. Allow the relationship to grow graciously. If it is right to proceed to marriage, it will happen. And don’t force it when you see danger signs.

A broken courtship as they say is better than a broken marriage. The essence of courtship is to validate the wisdom of  marriage. Marriage is supposed to be permanent. Courtship is not. Also, be careful of entering relationships lightly, it is folly and a waste of your precious time.

20. Ask God for Wisdom

The book of proverbs says, “Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.” Even our good human insight can be limited. It is wise to commit the choice of a spouse to God.

Be warned! Do not sit around waiting for God to dump a spouse on your laps. Spirituality should not be used as an excuse for lack of pep or willingness to embrace responsibility for your choice.

Many a man has followed in the footsteps of his ancestor. When issues come up, the man will later say “the woman whom you gave me to be with me” while he had earlier confessed, “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh”. God brought Eve to Adam’s awareness but he had to do the wooing.

There is a place for wooing a woman. Don’t frighten her with bogus scripture verses, daunting visions or high sounding nonsense. Be sincere about your intentions. If it is genuine, God will bring it to her consciousness.

In case you feel you have got a wrong relationship or you have made a mistake in your approach to a good one, can you work to fix it or make it good? Apart from your sentiments and hormones, have you got anything to lose if she leaves?

If you are yet to be in a relationship, please make an informed decision. It is wiser to be alone than to be in the wrong company.

To your wisdom,

Layi Adeyemi


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