Reading the definition of "Nice Guys (TM)" at Shakesville got me thinking about my own recent experience with a "nice guy" who ended up deeply disappointing me when it became clear that our friendship had never been what I thought it was.
Two years ago, I became friendly with a guy from work. He knew that I was engaged, but suggested that we hang out and watch some movies together. I asked my fiance (and my mother) what they thought I should do, since I was getting vaguely flirtatious vibes from this guy. Comrade Dziga (fiance still ... but only for six more months!) told me that of course I should enjoy a friendship with this interesting guy; we shared interests and Dziga pointed out that he had plenty of female friends. So I went forward with the friendship.
For months, Nice Guy and I would hang out and watch films, with nothing romantic/flirtatious/sexual going on. He'd tell me about his relationship troubles, and ask me about my relationship. I was always uniformly positive about things with Comrade Dziga, and for good reason. The man's a marvel! Suffice it to say, I never gave any indication that I was in any way questioning my engagement or that I was interested in Nice Guy.
Finally, Nice Guy met Comrade Dziga (with whom I've been in a long distance relationship for 2.5 years). Things got weird. Weird in that he started behaving completely differently, not talking to me, a host of strange behaviors. Since then, Nice Guy periodically mentions how wonderful it was when we used to hang out, suggests that we correspond by letter, or proposes that we do something together. I gamely try to follow through, from the theory that it's a friendship I would like to preserve. And he ends up leaving me hanging, backing out on plans, and generally behaving weirdly.
So thanks, Jeff