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Ask E. Jean for DearSugar: Is there Such a Thing as a Nice Guy?

Dear E. Jean--

I really need to know: is there any such thing as a truly good guy?? No matter what I do or how I try to change my patterns from the past, I just seem to keep attracting jerks over and over and over and over. I've tried dating against my type -- choosing a quiet, polite science nerd (he was a graduate student in microbiology) instead of my usual brooding artist type. He turned out to be a control freak, a liar, and had a violent temper! I am still recovering from the shock of discovering his true character. I didn't go on a single date for over a year, not trusting my own judgment.

Recently, I went on a few dates with a person who just seemed to exude "good guy" vibes--thoughtful, gentle, good listener--and just when I started to feel like he was really trustworthy, he invited me out with his friends and then spent the whole night ignoring me and blatantly flirting with some other girl right in front in me. I was not only crushed, I felt humiliated in front of his friends.

So, please tell me--is there such a thing as a TRULY nice guy?? And how can I tell the difference? I'm starting to feel like all other women know some secret about this that I don't.

To see E. Jean's answer

MY YOUNG TROLLYMOG: No, my darling, there’s no such thing as a “truly nice guy.” As you’ve discovered, the moment you think you’ve found a nice chap, 99 times out of a 100 he’ll turn out to be a rogue, cad, dillweed, schnook, twit, drunkard, sadomasochist, lecher, pimp, nincompoop, egomaniac, zod, moron, mama’s boy, or jerkball. Stop looking for a “nice guy!” Gah!

Cease searching for a “type.” To hell with telling “the difference?”

It’s time to uncork your brain, open your eyes and sample all types -- shy boys, heroes, geniuses, poets, adventurers, daredevils, moguls, saints and scapegraces. Face down the dimwits. Go everywhere! Do everything! Be extraordinary, be celebrated, be a virtuoso of the male sex!

How? If you place yourself where there are high numbers of men, it becomes a mathematical certainty you will meet a non-dolt.

Where? Golf courses, cigar bars, batting cages, car shows, geek-meets, poetry slams, concerts, polo fields, rugby games, the gym, and church on Friday Night. (I like the men’s room at Yankee Stadium during the playoffs, myself.) Better yet, try a speed-dating event for young professionals; and dip your toe into

Best of all, if you want to meet someone who’s passionate, bright, caring and shares your philosophy, volunteer with a political campaign. Not only your love life, but your country’s future is on the line.

Because in the end, it is not about “types,” sweetheart. The secret is--yes! There’s a secret--If you limit yourself to a certain category of men, you’ll end up with a categorical clod.

To see more advice from E. Jean visit Elle Magazine and


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