Main Doggednice Guy Discussion

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10:08:57 AM Jul 27th 2013
I'm doing a deconstruction of this trope where the guy in this situation is a Stalker with a Crush-turned-Fire-forged Friend to the girl, but she doesn't want to be romantically involved with him at all. It's not even personal either - she's reacted the same way to at least two other guys with different approaches*. Sure, he's saved her life once, but that doesn't mean she has to marry him for it. My fear is that this character will get a lot of fandom hatred for being a 'bitch' and not accepting his love.
03:33:15 PM Dec 12th 2014
Sounds a little like a Love Martyr and an Ice Queen in a Dysfunction Junction to me. I mean, yes, stalking was wrong and creepy, and yes, she doesn't "owe" him a Relationship Upgrade, but it still comes off as a bad vibes kind of message that you may never find (reciprocated) love but you have to be happy about it anyway.
03:49:50 PM Dec 12th 2014
Sort of depends on the perspective the story is told from. If it's told from the guy's point of view and his arc is about learning not to develop an unhealthy obsession with someone who's just plain not into him, it could work. If it's told from her perspective it could be a tougher sell: even if her rejection of him is perfectly sympathetic, it's tough to feel too bad for a character whose biggest "problem" is that guys like her too much. That's like trying to tell the story of a lottery winner who can't figure out how to spend his money.
04:25:31 PM Jan 5th 2018
Making it clear that she isn't a bad person for rejecting this guy is NOT implying that he's obligated to be happy about it, Celtic Kawaii. He can feel however he feels about it, but his feelings don't change the fact that she has a right to say no even if it's sad for him.

And hbi2k - having people romantically interested in you when you don't reciprocate actually can be really awkward or downright painful, depending on the situation and regardless of genders. You feel guilty for turning them down - it feels really bad to have to cause pain and disappointment to someone. Or maybe you feel so guilty that you *don't* turn them down, and you end up in a relationship you don't want or enjoy with someone you aren't attracted to and maybe don't even like. This sucks up a lot of time and energy and keeps you from doing other things you'd rather be doing and possibly seeing other people you'd rather be seeing, and it feels phony and unpleasant faking feelings for someone out of guilt and obligation.

And if the person interested in you turns out NOT to be so nice - and often you can't tell this until you reject them - you have to deal with someone who's angry, guilt-tripping, stalkerish, or dangerous. Not to mention having to deal with other people judging you for being "stuck up" or "not giving them a chance" or "so cruel to reject them" (especially if you're a single woman turning down a man).
03:09:42 AM Aug 28th 2012
edited by VVK
"Please keep the Real Life examples limited to those that examine the Dogged Nice Guy as a trope."

How can a Real Life example discuss something? Is the idea nonfiction works rather than real events?
10:41:48 PM Jul 6th 2011
If two characters have a one-night stand, and afterward one wants a relationship and the other's not interested, is that this trope or something else?
05:29:35 PM Feb 1st 2012
I think it can be, if that one a priori used the one-night stand as a tool to get more.
06:08:12 AM May 10th 2013
Yes, it is this trope if the sex wasn't treated as a prelude to a romantic relationship. Even in a "friends with benefit" set-up, if the relationship hasn't been romantic beforehand and one person is now wants a romantic relationship, chasing after the other person while the other person has shown no prior romantic inclinations, then it is this trope.
10:58:28 PM Dec 5th 2010
Removed this example because it was agreed to not actually be an example. Putting it here in case someone wants to dispute:

  • Say Anything.... Who could forget John Cusack standing outside the window of his Love Interest with a boombox playing Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes"? Is he or is he not the utter embodiment of this trope?
    • Debatable. They had already been seeing each other and in fact had already consummated their relationship in the backseat of a car.
    • Yeah, that's definitely not an example. All he had to do to get her to go out with him was call and ask her out, which happened in the very beginning of the movie.
07:10:16 PM Sep 28th 2010
edited by Soupdragon
How is this trope different from Did You Think I Can't Feel?. Switch Alice and Bob here and the other trope is this one from Alice's Point Of View.
08:13:39 PM Sep 28th 2010
Did You Think I Can't Feel is when someone acts like a total doormat, until they finally get sick of being stepped on and stomp off in a fit of pique.

This is when someone develops a crush and won't take no for an answer. Type 1 (overt) attempts to get laid via constant badgering and/or progressively larger and flashier attempts to impress their beloved. Type 2 (covert) pretends to be a friend, but only because they believe this demonstration of their dedication and nice-ness will eventually win the target of their affection.
03:12:14 AM Feb 4th 2011
Isn't she acting like a total doormat because she "doesn't seem to mind", because she is a Type 2? If she has a crush on Bob, but acts like his friend isn't she being dishonest? Isn't that a false friendship?
03:38:56 PM Sep 28th 2010
edited by Soupdragon
This trope kind of implies that you can't be friends with a girl first. She has to like you straight away. Thus a 'nice' guy can't even "like a girl for her personality and not her looks".
08:29:53 PM Sep 28th 2010
Nah, it's not being friends that's the problem, it's the dishonesty and the sense of entitlement. The point is that the dogged guy isn't a true friend; he's just hanging around because he expects that one day his "beloved" will magically recognize what a great catch he is and fall into his arms (or, alternately, because he thinks being "nice" somehow earns him Intimacy Points, which can then be cashed in for sex at a later date). It's kinda like a Gold Digger, but in this case rather than "false love for cash" it's "false friendship for sex".
05:18:22 PM Feb 3rd 2011
edited by Soupdragon
I see, so it's the dishonesty and entitlement that's the problem. I have some questions though.

Why do you think it's a sense of entitlement? What makes you think him think he's entitled to it? Why do you think he is expecting instead of hoping that she would like him eventually? Why do you think being nice to someone doesn't earn you intimacy points and what do you think does earn you intimacy points?
11:59:32 AM May 12th 2011
There are two different things going on here.

In the first situation, guy meets girl. They become friends. Guy falls for girl, asks her out. She says no. Guy accepts the rejection and moves on, remaining friends with the girl. Sometimes this may still hold potential, and the guy may even still desire girl... but the major difference is that he's not using their friendship as a means to try and force her into a relationship. Also, he's honest about his intentions, whatever they are.

The second situation is a little more complex. Guy meets girl, is attracted, asks her out, she says no. The guy then starts acting really nice to her, buying her gifts or just constantly being around her, hoping by being nice he can force her to like him.

Now I think a lot of times women are far too suspicious, and see men trying to manipulate them when really they're just trying to be decent human beings, to the point that I know some women who refuse to date a guy if he seems to be kind and gentle. This can cause a lot of frustration and anger. However, a lot of men also seem to be rather masochistic, in that they unerringly run to the girl they already instinctively know will reject them, ignoring all the nice girls who DO want a kind, sweet, caring man.
04:50:55 PM Mar 8th 2012
Soupdragon: of course being nice to someone doesn't earn you "intimacy points" that entitle them to romance/sex with you later. Nothing does. The creepy variety of Dogged Nice Guy thinks so, and that's why he's creepy. Being nice to someone doesn't mean they're morally obligated to date/bang you.
02:18:26 PM Jul 31st 2012
I think most cases where guys are accused of looking for such "intimacy points" are nothing of the sort. I won't say it never happens, but I personally have never seen a clear example of it. I think most of the times such accusations are made are just cases of an extremely cynical person systematically misunderstanding an extremely idealistic person, typically with a side order of mistaking shyness for dishonesty.
03:12:16 AM Aug 28th 2012
(Referring to the first post:) This trope doesn't imply anything of the even general sort, anyway, it's deconstructing or criticising it that does that.
02:35:01 PM Apr 21st 2014
edited by
Maybe Dogged Nice guys get this crazy idea that friendship will lead to romance because so many women these days say they want to be friends with their mate first, or alternately want to "marry their best friend." Or just the general notion that supposedly the best romances start as friendships. Maybe the guy isn't trying to "force" the girl into anything with his niceness but is just hoping that showing the best side of himself might change her mind or get her to see him differently. (admittedly, this is not likely, women can't really help what they're attracted to anymore than men)

This whole recent backlash against nice guys is going to have some ugly fall out if it sticks.
03:51:37 PM Dec 12th 2014
edited by
The whole idea that a man wanting a Relationship Upgrade with his female friend is an "entitlement issue" has a lot of sexist implications.

Allow me to explain. If we reverse the genders, you get a Girl Next Door and her hot male friend, who she has a crush on. He doesn't quite feel the same way, but she's hoping that he'll reciprocate her feelings for him, and she tries to get him to feel the same way. Is she "entitled" because she wants a romantic partner instead of just a friend? Is she "forcing" or "expecting" anything rather than just hoping and working towards making something happen? Imagine if we regarded females in this situation with the same disdain and suspicion as males. Pretty unfair for her, right?

Well, why isn't it the same for a guy? Why is he the bad guy because he happens to love her in a different way than she loves him (note that "love" is not "lust,")? I think the mentality that All Men Are Perverts has a lot to do with this, because people assume that by "a romantic relationship," he really just wants "sexual favors" out of the girl he is pursuing. He doesn't want to settle down with a wife and kids; he clearly just sees her as a Lust Object! He's not hurt because he's heartbroken and turned down; he's just angry because he's not getting snu-snu or that he can't own her!
07:36:54 AM Dec 15th 2014
edited by
The cold hard biological reality is that men and women evolved to see these things differently. In the caveman days, if a woman spent a night with a substandard suitor, she was potentially in for dedicating nine months minimum of precious irreplaceable baby-making time and resources to a suboptimal offspring. Therefore, it's in her best interests to be VERY choosy about her mate(s) and be VERY wary of a guy that she's Just Not That Into(TM) who seems to have what we in the modern age would call an "entitlement complex."

By contrast, if a man in the caveman days was a certain type of asshole and wound up spending a night with a substandard mate, he could unconvincingly grunt, "That was great. No, really. Og call you. Og promise," and then try to find someone more up to his usual standards the next night. So if a female actively pursues him, it's in his best interests to give her a shot, or at least deal with her sympathetically.

So while the Double Standard you're describing is very real, it's based on genetic imperatives that evolved over billions of years and it shouldn't be surprising that we haven't managed to completely erase it in a bare half-century of cheap ubiquitous birth control and academic papers on enthusiastic consent. Women are just plain hard-wired to be more concerned about being pursued by a male they're unattracted to than men are about women.
08:00:10 AM Dec 15th 2014
That was... an oddly well-reasoned and rational argument about a subject matter that tends to turn people into frothing idiots.

03:55:15 PM Dec 15th 2014
Why thank you.

All of the above having been said, I think it's probably worth dropping a line or two into the description explaining that the Rare Female Example is almost never the target of the sort of cynical deconstruction that a more typical male example might get.
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