What His 10 'Nice Guy' Lines Really Mean

By Logan Hill

A jerk will flat-out lie to your face. But a nice guy? He'll spew a web of white lies so astonishing, you'll forget where the conversation even began. Now I'm translating his classic male BS.

1. "Let's Not Use Labels."
If I cheat on you and you're my girlfriend, I'm a jerk. But if you're just someone I'm seeing, am I really such a bad guy? Hard to say. So I prefer to give myself the benefit of the doubt ... Oh, sorry, I gotta take this call from my - I mean, this girl I see sometimes.

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2. "I Just Can't Be a Boyfriend Right Now."
What can I be right now? The guy who's blowing you off.

3. "Is This About Your Ex?"
This couldn't possibly be about me, because I'm a nice guy! So, yeah, it's probably your fault.

4. "We're Just Going Through a Rough Patch."
Sure, the rough patch is probably my fault, but I'd really rather not be single right now. Don't dump me. Please!

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5. "I Don't Deserve You."
You're so much better than me that I have to break up with you. See what I did there? I'm such a sensitive feminist that I just dumped myself because I didn't think you'd do it.

6. "I Don't Want to Hold You Back."
I don't want to hold you at all. In fact, you're holding me back. From being happy. God, I'd sound like such a jerk if I said that aloud. Which is why I didn't.

7. "I Really Need to Focus on My Career."
I'm not happy, and I know I'll grow to loathe you if this goes on any longer. So I'd rather cut it off before it gets ugly. But I can't say that, so I'm inventing this BS about my career.

8. "I've Just Got a Lot of Issues to Deal With."
Maybe I'll deal with a few of them before I die, but mostly, I'm just going to repress them. After all, they're convenient. When I'm feeling like a bad guy, my issues are the ultimate excuse. It's not me; it's them.

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9. "Let's Not Get Emotional."
Whoa. Why are you so furious? Let's discuss this in a calm, rational manner, like I never did anything wrong. In fact, that's exactly how I'm going to act right now. In fact, why don't we both act that way? Then it will be just like I never fucked up.

10. "I Feel Like There's Something You're Not Saying. Go Ahead, Say It. Let Me Have It."
Please tell me you want to break up with me. If I dump you, I'll feel like a jerk. I'd much rather make you miserable and then manipulate you into breaking up with me.

This article was originally published as "Nice Guys' Classic Bullshit Lines - Decoded" in the July 2014 issue of Cosmopolitan. Click here to subscribe to the digital edition!

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