Married At First Sight

Selin and Anthony's relationship on Married At First Sight teaches us why "nice" guys finish last

Sometimes being ''nice'' just isn't enough.

By Alana Mazzoni
It's long been assumed that women pine for a man who open doors for us, puts their jackets around our shoulders and spontaneously buys roses.
While most women wouldn't necessarily call these simple acts a red flag, old school chivalry does not always equal, well, an equal relationship.
This was palpably evident when watching Selin and Anthony's relationship unfold on Married At First Sight tonight.
For context, the two single parents hit it off on their wedding day and had all the makings of a 2022 Jules and Cam. But just one night into their honeymoon, Anthony's displays of traditional "gentlemanly" values didn't have the desired effect on Selin.
Selin and Anthony started out strong, but the cracks began to show on their honeymoon. (Image: Nine)
The single mother wasn't too impressed by Anthony's offer to physically spoon feed her fruit in bed, nor was she over the moon to have a bath drawn for her.
"It is full on. I'm not a baby, I can do it myself," Selin told the cameras of the gestures, denying Anthony's claims that she had a "wall" put up.
"I thought it was getting more awkward as it went on," she later told Anthony on Thursday night's episode.
"I don't feel a spark. I'm definitely not saying you're not a man or anything like that… but I feel like you need a lot."
Selin was overwhelmed by Anthony's romantic gestures. (Image: Nine)
This is in no way an attack on Anthony, who, by all accounts, has been a perfectly respectful, attentive and thoughtful husband.
But grand romantic gestures like this can feel suffocating, contrived and even cringe-inducing, no matter which gender is on the receiving end.
Anthony's completely innocuous display of kindness therefore begs the question: Do women just get turned off by "nice" men?
While a lot of this could be pulled back to the notion that people always want what they can't have, there's also an element that being "too nice" is actually code for "he's a pushover and lack boundaries".
Romantic gestures can feel suffocating, contrived and cringe-inducing. (Image: Pexels)
Being showered with affection and acts of service before establishing where the relationship even stands can lead to a power imbalance, and therein lies the problem.
Refusing these gestures can feel aggressive or mean, while accepting it can often leave us feeling like we "owe" the other person something.
Let's remember, Selin and Anthony had only known each other for all of 24 hours before he started pulling out all the romantic stops.
Oftentimes too, men's kindness can be weaponised if their advances are not met with the same affection in return. Cue the "I'm a nice guy, why do women always go for d--k heads?" trope.
Many guys also fall into the trap of believing being nice is all that it takes to score a woman and wind up lacking a sense of humour, grit and personality.
We all know people who've stopped seeing certain guys because they deemed their kindness as desperation. These two aren't always mutually exclusive, but if someone who barely knows us is going above and beyond, it can make us question their dating history and what led to this.
This comes from an inherent entitlement that some men believe they "deserve" a woman if they check all the boxes of a very low bar; paying for dinner, giving a compliment and not putting on pressure for sex.
There's also a fine line between being a gentleman and acting plain patronising, and sometimes this can get blurred, especially when guys have the best of intentions.
Whilst some women like to be coddled and feel like they've been wrapped in a ball of cotton wool, for some of us it can feel smothering, as though we aren't capable of taking care of ourselves.
A lot of it comes down to intention - is this man taking an interest in my life and treating me with respect for no reason other than being a decent human being? Or is there an ulterior motive involved?
After a certain quota of "niceness", will his true colours will show?

Want more on Married At First Sight season nine? Check out the links below: