10 warning signs you’re dating a fake nice guy

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So, you’ve finally met a great guy – so great he knows all the right things to say, opens doors for you, and showers you with so much love and attention.

Sounds good, right? Not so fast. 

The dating world is filled with all kinds of people, and that includes the fake nice ones. 

How do you know if the guy you’re dating is a fake nice guy, then? Here are ten warning signs to tip you off: 

1) He tells you he’s a nice guy

Let’s start with the most obvious one – a self-proclamation of his niceness. 

When I hear a guy saying this, it instantly triggers alarm bells for me. You know why? 

Because I’ve had my fair share of fake nice guys, and this statement is something they all said on our first dates. 

But since I didn’t know any better, I took it to mean that yes, they were nice and I was so lucky to have found them! 

Fortunately, I’ve now wised up, thanks to those experiences. Now I know that the truly nice guys won’t be tooting their own horns. They’ll be showing you their niceness – no, their kindness – through actions rather than words. 

As the old adage goes, “If you have to say it, it probably isn’t true.”

2) He’s so nice and charming, all the time

This one’s a little trickier to spot because let’s face it, in the early days of any relationship, everything is so much sweeter and nicer. 

But I think it’s worth looking at how he deals with bad days. I mean, would you even know he has them? 

If you can’t tell if he’s had a bad day because he’s upbeat and charming all the time, that could be a warning sign. 

Because it’s not normal to always have a winning smile plastered on his face or to be whispering sweet nothings in your ear all the time. That just smacks of insincerity.

And that’s just not how real life goes. At least not for people who are authentic

Personally, I like seeing how someone manages their frustrations and bad times. Even if they need to let out a few curse words here and there, or go on a solo walk to blow off some steam, I take all of that in a positive light. 

Because for me, it’s a sign that they’re showing me their real self. 

3) His words and actions don’t match

As I mentioned earlier, the truly nice guys won’t need to butter you up with smooth words. Their actions will always prove their niceness.

For example, I once had a boyfriend who would promise me the moon and the stars, who would say things like, “I’ll always be here for you.” But then…

When I did need him to be there for me, he was nowhere to be found! 

More and more, I found a great deal of disconnect between his words and his actions, which eventually made me realize he was nothing more than a fake nice guy

4) He does nice things for you…but they feel transactional

What if he does come up with ways to make you happy? Well, good for you then!

But if it all feels a little transactional, like he’s expecting you to do something nice for him in return, that’s a warning sign he isn’t really nice after all. 

Let’s say he treats you to a nice dinner at your favorite restaurant, with a cute gift on top of it. But then, he seems to expect you to reciprocate in some way – whether through praises and constant appreciation, favors in return, or a romp in the sack. 

Fake nice guys have an agenda, plain and simple. That’s the whole point of putting their best foot forward. 

But the truly nice guys? They operate from a place of love, kindness, and generosity. They’ll do things for you because they truly want you to be happy, no strings attached.

5) He’s never at fault

What’s more, if you feel like he’s being manipulative and you call him out on it? Well, good luck on getting him to own up to it!

Because fake nice guys are masters at playing the victim. Nothing is ever their fault. 

And you know what? They’re experts at turning the tables, too. With a fake nice guy I used to date, I never got a single apology. Never. 

I’d start out expressing how I felt about his behavior, and by the end of the conversation, I’d be left so confused and even apologetic. Because he was so good at twisting the situation and making me feel guilty.

Lesson learned: you can never have a healthy relationship with someone who always paints himself as the victim.

That’s precisely why…

6) He has a history of short-term relationships

We all have our pasts. And much as I’d like to say that it shouldn’t be a factor in choosing a partner, the reality is, someone’s past relationships could give us a clue into what kind of person they are. 

So take a look at your guy’s history. Are his past relationships mostly short-term? That doesn’t automatically mean he’s a fake nice guy, but it can be a red flag.

You know why? Because it could mean that he’s more interested in the thrill of the chase – in those exciting honeymoon days – than in building a deep, long-lasting connection.  

So, he’d be oozing with charm in the early days of the relationship, but once the initial rush wears off and the relationship gets real…that’s when his true colors may start to show. 

When disagreements happen, when compromise is needed, when his partner needs emotional support – he often bails. And that explains why all he has is a string of short-term relationships.

Meanwhile, a genuinely nice guy would be there through the good and bad times. He’s willing to put in the hard work that goes into real, imperfect, honest-to-goodness relationships. 

7) He gets upset when he doesn’t get his way

This is connected to my previous point about fake nice guys having an agenda. And when things don’t go the way they want, they can easily spiral into anger or aggression. 

That should quickly alert you to the fact that their niceness was just a front all along! 

In contrast, a guy who’s genuinely nice will be able to express himself in a healthy way. When he gets frustrated, he’ll make it known without lashing out. 

8) He’s controlling

Ah, this one’s a really clear sign. Unfortunately, many women don’t see it right away because they see “protectiveness” instead of control. 

They might even feel good knowing that the guy they’re dating cares about their safety and well-being. Has their best interests at heart. 

Not so fast. I hate to say it, but fake nice guys look after their own interests, period. And that means controlling you so they can meet their agenda. They truly believe they know what you want better than you do.

There’s a very fine line between protectiveness and control. Because both types operate from the idea of “concern”. A protective guy would express concern if you’re going home late. So would a control freak. 

So, how do you distinguish between the two? 

I guess it boils down to how you feel. If your partner’s protectiveness feels stifling, as if it’s limiting your freedom and individuality, it might be crossing over into control

A truly nice guy would still respect your decisions, however concerned he may be. And you’d feel secure and loved, not repressed or guilty. 

9) Something feels off

Speaking of how you feel, there’s great value in tuning in to your intuition. How does he make you feel, especially about yourself?

If you’re feeling weird about his being overly nice or perfect, listen to that. That’s your intuition trying to protect you. 

And watch out for the sneaky comments that don’t quite sit well, but you can’t really put your finger on what’s wrong with them.

Things like backhanded compliments or subtle digs are some examples of that. 

For instance, I once dated a guy who would say, “I love how you can be so confident about what you wear,” or “You really look pretty when you try.”

And when I’d call him out on it, he’d follow it with, “I’m just being honest!” 

In the end, those subtle comments chipped away at my self-confidence. And once I noticed, I had to accept that he was indeed just another fake-nice guy. 

10) Your friends and family have doubts

Lastly, we get to what your loved ones think of the guy. 

Sometimes we can be so smitten with the men we’re dating that it’s hard to see them for who they really are. Sometimes, even when our intuition is already alerting us, we’d brush it off because of all the wonderful compliments and sweet gestures we’re getting. 

That’s where the observations of our friends and family can help. Their outside perspective can really shine a light on the things that we might miss. 

So, if your tribe expresses concerns about your guy, don’t ignore them. They can save you from yet another heartbreak. 

Final word

Dating can be tricky, and it’s not always easy to tell if Mr. Nice Guy is genuinely nice or just putting on a show.

Hopefully, this list can keep you from falling for the wrong guy. You deserve to be with someone whose niceness is the real deal – someone who’ll be in it with you for the long haul and who isn’t afraid to show you his true self, flaws, and all.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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