Q: I have been on a few dates, and I always hear “you’re such a nice guy, but I only like you as a friend.” I thought women wanted nice guys instead of jerks? What do they mean by “nice?” How can I be a nice guy and still get past the first couple of dates?
– “Nice Guy,” Buffalo

A: If you look up the word “nice” in the dictionary, some of the words you’ll find are “pleasing,” “conventional” and “agreeable.” While there is nothing wrong with being nice, we generally don’t equate “nice guys” as being exciting, passionate, or strong – all more desirable qualities in a lover.
Giving too much too soon can be an unintentional turnoff that is hard to recover from. Women are looking for a guy who is confident, opinionated and lives a full, exciting life. On first dates, the typical nice guy will be complimentary and agreeable, rarely voicing his opinions in fear of them – and him – being rejected. In reality, it is favorable to have your own point of view and to present yourself as a unique individual.
To get yourself in the zone of confidence, try adjusting your appearance. Nothing trips a woman’s trigger like a guy in a sharp button-down shirt and a leather jacket, for example. This look suggests high self-esteem and a bit of an attitude.
This doesn’t mean you should be rude or inconsiderate toward your date. Just don’t be too eager, and don’t let yourself be the one making all the effort. Sometimes when we want something so much, we become unable to negotiate and don’t take our own self-worth into consideration. It’s human nature for people to interpret this kind of behavior as weakness, and therefore as being a less valuable match.

Be wary of age gap

Q: I’m a 45-year-old woman, in great shape and very successful. My boyfriend is 23. We’ve gotten a lot of flack for our age difference, and I’ve even tried to break it off because of this. However, I really feel that we’re soul mates. I want to know if you think it’s wrong for us to be together.
– L.H., Lancaster

A: Thirty-forty years ago, it was widely acceptable for a man to date a woman much younger than himself. It always has been a double standard, though. Women who date younger men are considered cougars, and these types of relationships are often looked down upon.
While I don’t doubt that you and your boyfriend have a great connection, it’s important to consider the hardships you will face in the future. A 23 year-old man is not the same man that he will be at 30, 40 or 50. As he ages, his maturity level increases and his tastes and interests change.
Also, you don’t mention your position on having children. Your boyfriend may not want children now, at 23, but that could all change at 30 or 35; by that time it’s likely to be risky and illogical for you to conceive.
This isn’t to say that relationships similar to yours can’t work, but the odds are against you. It is for this reason that I advise my clients to date closer to their own age.

Patti Novak owns Buffalo Niagara Introductions ( Email questions to and include your initials and hometown.