Part 6: 2 types of “safe” guys, and why logic doesn’t work to attract women


(OkCupid original post date: 5/5/12)

Quick vocab lesson if you didn’t read the first post about nice guys:

“Safe” – Predictable, caring, very nice guys who you know will drop everything to be with you, eager to please, very sweet. The type of guy you’d want to have a family with – good father, dependable, doesn’t cheat, etc. The type of guy who often ends up in the friend zone.

“Unsafe” – It’s about being your own person. Not being needy, being independent, being self-assured, making your own decisions, and not caring so much about what other people think about you. Someone who doesn’t need a lot of validation from others and has an “I don’t give a fuck” attitude.

Also, for reference: The safe/unsafe chart.


I want to clarify that there are two types of safe guys. I think I’ve been focusing mostly on the more extreme types of safe guys in my examples, not just normal, well-adjusted guys who do not necessarily need to be in relationships to feel good about themselves, but who also don’t have a high success rate of attracting women.

Type 1: Extreme-Safe Nice Guys

Guys who are like Ty in Part 2 of the posts – the type of guy who sinks into a puddle of depression if he’s not in a relationship, yet has no idea that the way he’s acting around them is probably actively repelling them. He’s clueless. The type of guy who says, “all girls just want to date assholes.” I suspect your average run-of-the-mill guy does not fit into this category.

Type 2: Regular-Safe Nice Guys

Guys who feel okay being single most of the time, and like being in relationships if there’s someone who piques their interest. They don’t want to bang/date just anyone. The types of girls they like: a cute girl in class, a co-worker they’ve come to know a little bit, or someone they’ve met through mutual friends. They probably like girls who possess at least some inkling of intelligence, and are not really attracted to the shit-for-brains type. I know lots of guys like this, and they come in every variety. Most of them are really intelligent and successful in their careers, but can’t recreate that same success with women. Your average regular-safe guy has probably had either none, or a small number of girlfriends in the past, but is far more likely to get friend-zoned. I feel like these are the guys who might benefit most from the advice I’m giving. You’re not clueless, but you do need MORE of a clue in how to be viewed as a romantic interest with the girls you want to pursue.

In addition to the other stuff I’ve written that you can do to try to accomplish this, I want to talk about why so many safe guys with different upbringings and life experiences think alike. It’s not like you all grew up in the same small village in the middle of bum-fuck nowhere where you all drank from the same well and knew the same people. Knowing why you think alike might help you to better understand your own behavior and give you an idea of why what you’ve been doing in the past hasn’t been working.

I said this in a previous post: “I don’t know why guys think that if they show tons and tons of interest, the girl is going to be like “Wow, he’s so into me! This makes me really want him too!” I guess it’s logical, but unfortunately it doesn’t work that way.” Since then, I’ve thought more about this. It really lies in the logic part. If you’re a naturally logical person (which many people are, and especially engineers or similar), then what you’ve been doing to attract women actually makes perfect sense. Pretty much everything else in life works well when you think about it in that way, right?


1) You’re trying to get a promotion at work. You put in tons of effort, work late, do extra tasks, go above and beyond. If your boss values your work ethic and and appreciates what you’re doing, you’ll probably eventually get rewarded with a raise or a nice year-end bonus or something. You work hard so you get rewarded. Makes sense.

2) You’re trying to get a good grade in your class. You go to all the classes, see your professors in office hours, do extra research, form a group to study with, write draft after draft so you can write the best paper possible. You get an A in the class. Very understandable.

3) You wait tables at a restaurant. You take orders quickly, remember special requests, fill water glasses before they’re empty, and you have a positive attitude towards your customers. At the end of each shift, you make a lot more than your fellow co-worker with the pissy attitude who largely ignores his or her tables. It doesn’t surprise anyone that you get better tips. It makes perfect sense. It’s… logical.

Okay, so then let’s try this.

4) You meet a girl at a party your friend is having. She’s pretty and smart, you have a conversation, and you really want to get to know her better. It’s all very casual, and you guys say something about adding each other on Facebook. The next day, you add her and write her a message saying how nice it was to meet her. She responds after a day or two and says it was nice to meet you too. You’re very encouraged by this and think that’s a good sign. You send her another message. She takes longer to respond, like say 3 days or something. You respond immediately. She doesn’t respond. Maybe she didn’t see it? You send her another one, jokingly asking if she’s still alive. No reply. What happened here? You got too predictable, easy, safe, whatever you want to call it.

Logically, it makes sense. You like a girl, put in your best efforts, make it known to her that you’re very interested, and you SHOULD get that promotion/A grade/big tip/her. Sorry folks, doesn’t work that way. Less is more. Keep that mystery happening. I’m not going to rehash everything I’ve written in the other posts or it’ll just get really repetitive, but just realize that what feels right to you naturally is probably working against you with women.

5 Responses to “Part 6: 2 types of “safe” guys, and why logic doesn’t work to attract women”

  • Anonymous Says:

    See, this is the dilemma that us guys have:

    We are expected to initiate, keep the conversation going, make sure the contact stays alive after we have met the girl. These are all very clear signs of interest. At the same time, you are telling us not to show interest, because it comes off as readily-available. It just does not match up. It is impossible to not show interest and still keep things going. Sure, there is something like too much interest. But most of us guys are not completely socially inept.

    We know that what the guy in example #4 does is way too much (even though you describe him as a “regular-safe nice guy”, while he really is more of the type “extreme-safe nice guy”). The way he acts has got desperation written all over it.

    His real mistake was not that we wrote too fast/often. It does not really matter how fast you write – you can even write the same day. All those “wait x days, before contacting her again” rules are nonsense. If the girl is interested in you, she’ll say yes. His mistake was, that he did not escalate at all. “It was nice to meet you” – really? This is all he had to say?! He should have suggested to (casually) meet her again in the next couple of days (party/movies/concert/…).

    If, in your opinion, his mistake really just was that he replied too quickly, I would like to know, what would have been better. Not reply at all? You know, where that leads to? Nothing. The real answer is: it was not in his hands, whether she would reply or not – no matter how fast/often/rarely he writes. She was simply not interested. Probably because he did not make a very good impression, when they met, or because he failed to escalate. Time to move on.

  • Ross Says:

    See, the difference here lies in one key thing: actual attraction.

    If the girl was attracted to the guy, she would have welcomed his pursuits. She was clearly unreceptive though, as she didn’t even respond to the introductory message for days.

    The issue was not that the guy was too desperate, or “safe”, but that the attraction was not there.

    Niceness/Safeness is only creepy if the girl thinks you’re ugly.

  • Mel Says:

    “I don’t know why guys think that if they show tons and tons of interest, the girl is going to be like “Wow, he’s so into me! This makes me really want him too!” I guess it’s logical, but unfortunately it doesn’t work that way.”

    Because so many girls do this to us! Why would they do this to us if it never works on us, and they know it wouldn’t work on them? That’s just stupid.

  • N Says:


    Girls do the same thing to us because they’re in the same situation as us. Not all of them realize that showing too much attention is a turn-off, just like how not all guys know that showing too much attention is a turn-off.

    It seems to me that girls and guys aren’t very different. Some guys think that girls are some alien race and that they can’t relate to them. In general, girls have the same problems as us but yet we make it as if girls are the source of all of our problems.

    I guess another question would be more appropriate: If so many girls show affection to guys, then why do guys continue to do it to girls? (Even though guys know that it doesn’t work).

    Hope that was somewhat helpful. If not, I don’t mind criticism.

    • Mel Says:

      Sure, that’s one way to look at it. But the premise here was that guys are (too) logical, and girls are (more) emotional. (“There are two types of safe guys”.)

      One can’t simultaneously be surprised that guys are too logical at romance, and claim that women are just the same.

      You sound like you pick the latter, and I would agree, but the article paints men as unique creatures who treat every problem in their lives as an engineering project.

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