culture by Alyssa Castillo

Single in the City: Mr. Nice Guy of Manila

“He makes for the boyfriend every girl wants but…”

Ask anyone and they would tell you that dating today is quite complex. While technology adds a layer of convenience to meeting new people, it does so with some baggage in tow. We send off our twenty-something into to the digital landscape to find out how things really are. The mission? Go on a Bumble date for every NBHD we cover, and live to tell the tale. Next up: Mr. Nice Guy of Manila

“Out to prove that nice guys exist.” This is exactly what Mr. Nice Guy wrote on his About page. I swiped right almost instantly after I read that. And when we matched, I didn’t hesitate to say, “Hi, I like nice guys.”

There was no need to be flirty. It was enough that he was thoughtful and caring. He would casually ask me how my day is going or ask if I’ve eaten my lunch yet. He’d tell me to get home safely after work and make sure I get enough rest for the next day. And even if it would take me hours to reply to his messages, he didn’t make a fuss about it.

When I met him for a coffee date, I felt like I was meeting an old friend whom I couldn’t wait to catch up with. He had a warm aura and a pleasant personality. He was funny, too. And I loved the way he talked about his family. We also talked about our past relationships, and shared our personal sentiments on dating in our twenties in such a small world as Metro Manila.

As he met his previous girlfriend through Tinder, Mr. Nice Guy believes in being able to find love anywhere. Meanwhile, I confessed my skepticism toward online dating or using dating apps. Before, I’d insist that relationships grow organically; you don’t go out look for it. But as time passed, I realized that to each his own. And with technology rising, people looking for genuine friendships and lasting relationships may actually find great connections on a platform like Bumble.

Mr. Nice Guy makes for the boyfriend every girl wants. But here’s the plot twist: There was the lack of attraction on my part, and it was holding me back. This date felt like it was a platonic bonding time with a friend, a guy friend who would give you advice to your own boy problems. And I wondered if him being too nice had something to do with it. Before we parted ways, he asked for a second date, expressing that he wanted to begin seeing me seriously. It crushed me to tell him that I would love to keep in touch, but only as friends. Of course, he was nice about it.

While in my Uber, I concluded that he might’ve just proved to me what he said he would. After a string of “bad” guys in 2017, Mr. Nice Guy reminded the jaded me that decent men like him still exist. He messaged me as I was on the road, saying that he thought I’m “an amazing girl” but admitted that he got a little disappointed at how the date ended. It left me with a question: Do nice guys really finish last?

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Alyssa Castillo
Alyssa Castillo is a freelance writer and is concurrently Rogue Media's Editorial Assistant for The NBHD. She reads for fun, writes for a living, and wastes too much time entertaining the possibility of a zombie apocalypse. Find her on Instagram as @alyssakcastillo.
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