Nice guys don’t always finish last, but men who think of themselves as nice guys often do.

This may seem paradoxical, but there’s a simple explanation. Women don’t have a problem with men who behave nicely. The men that don’t have problems getting dates are the ones who consider women equal, listen thoughtfully to their opinions, and behave well. 

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The issue lies with men who consider themselves nice guys—as in, “Women only like to date jerks, not nice guys like me.” Unfortunately, men with this point of view are astonishingly common. They do nice things to collect rewards from women, and women see through the act.

There are dozens of AskReddit threads sharing horror stories of “nice guys” behaving terribly.

The stories follow a similar pattern. The guy bends over backward being overly nice. He opens doors, insists on paying for food and drinks, and at the end of the night, he expects that he will be in a committed relationship with his date for his gallant behavior.

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The stories are as predictable as they are cringeworthy. Instead of rehashing the stories, let’s look at advice for nice guys from women who have turned them down.

Reddit user venomth91 says, “Being nice is the bare minimum. You should be nice to EVERYONE, not just pretty girls and you should do it because it’s the right thing to do, not because you think it’ll get you laid. You have to bring more to the table than just being nice.”

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No one wants to date someone whose only positive quality is niceness. On top of that, someone is not actually nice if they put on an act to impress a woman.

Speaking of acting, men should not take cues from movies.

Redditor Laura Miggs says, “Romantic comedies are nothing like real life, and using the tactics shown in them will only creep the object of your affections out, not win them over.”

There are many behaviors in rom-coms that could land someone in jail, but let’s focus on the stalking. Men know that showing up outside a woman’s window at 2 a.m. is not kosher. However, they have no problem bombarding a woman with texts before she responds to a single one. This behavior is creepy, and no one should do it.

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Men might think it’s cute to send a text immediately after a date. It shows you had fun and want to see the person again. But the key is to wait for a response before texting again.

Men should avoid sending a string of texts under the guise that they’re worried (unless there’s an actual reason to think something bad has happened). That doesn’t qualify as being a nice guy. At best, it’s annoying.

Women are especially unimpressed by men who are the self-proclaimed “nice guys.”

Reddit user thisisalltitillating says, “It immediately makes you immature. It’s the equivalent of saying ‘I’m not like other girls.’ Sure maybe you are/aren’t but proclaiming it does nothing for proving it.”

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This sentiment applies to any positive quality. If you want to prove you’re a good conversationalist, have a good conversation. If you want to demonstrate your sense of humor, make a joke. And if you want to show you’re a nice guy, be nice.

Most of all, men should remember that having one desirable quality does not make a person desirable. As Redditor TheLittleVintage points out, “You don’t get special credit for showing the bare minimum of human decency.”