Editor's note: Audrey Irvine is a senior assignment manager for CNN. Her experiences in the dating world inspire her "Relationship Rant" column. Check back every week for her take on dating and relationships.
Atlanta, Georgia (CNN) -- Too often my male "fans" (I consider you fans because you're reading the column, right?) have voiced the criticism that I'm a man-hating feminist who only writes mean columns about men.
Well this column is an ode to the disappearing nice guy. Why? It's simple, women don't know how to identify and appreciate the nice guy. Instead women are drawn to arrogant, self-absorbed, assertive men who jockey for our attention. As a result, women's frail egos live for the attention and inevitably end up with the wrong guy.
Today's dating scene has become one that puts focus on the wrong things. It's all about what you own as opposed to what's inside someone's heart. Let's see, we no longer own cell phones, we have iPhones and smartphones. It's not about your home anymore; it's all about the McMansion and how many unoccupied bedrooms you have.
In certain cities, specifically Atlanta and Washington, there is an undercurrent of "bling" that undermines the dating scene and the ability for wonderful people to find each other.
The nice guy doesn't travel in posses, hunting to see how many digits he can score in an evening. The nice guy isn't the one sending over the drink at the bar, because he's concerned about sending the wrong message. The nice guy isn't just talking about himself but actually asking informative questions about the women he's interested in.
The nice guys get lost in the dating shuffle because they choose to be obscure, waiting for the right opportunity to make that connection. The nice guy is virtually obsolete to single women because unless you are introduced to one, they seem practically extinct.
How many times have women said, "I just want a nice guy who can appreciate me for who I am?" We women are hypocrites, because we usually fall for the guy who is doing everything in his power to get noticed.
One of the best dates I had with a nice guy involved a simple gesture. When it snows in Atlanta, which can be anything from half an inch to 5 inches, the city shuts down. This nice guy knew I was snowed in at home and offered to take me to lunch.
Yes, this nice guy braved slick roads simply to go to lunch. We talked for hours and then he brought me home. No hidden agenda, no expectations and the phone call the next day wasn't about what he did. It was effortless; he had a nice time and wanted to see me again. This came naturally to him and didn't require some over-the-top gesture.
A bad boy whom I had been enamored of in the past -- you know what he did? He called three days later asking if I had survived the snowy weather! Thanks for caring!
Now nice guys, I do have a bone to pick with you. One of the reasons that you so often remain urban myths is you don't celebrate your nice guy status and stand up to women.
Instead, you fall for that age-old trick, you settle for being that woman's friend. It's a trap. If you feel something more than friendship for a woman and she's willing to just relegate you to "friend status," you need to cut the cord.
One of my favorite movies is "Notting Hill" with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. In the movie, Grant's character is the consummate nice guy. He's accommodating, sincere, considerate and absolutely adores Julia Roberts' character. She loves him, appreciates him, takes him for granted, dumps him but in the end realizes all along what a special person was in front of her and they live happily ever after.
Nice guys, that's a fairy tale. If a woman cannot appreciate you immediately and realize you are worth spending time with, then stand up to her and do not settle for the crumbs she's leaving you. You will end up spending money on what you view as dates and what she ends up using as free therapy sessions to tell YOU all about her unappreciative bad boy suitors.
To the disappearing nice guy, 2010 is your time to shine. Stop settling for women who don't appreciate your gifts. Don't be afraid to walk away from women who want to use you as a supplement to help pick up the pieces after being dogged by another egomaniac.
Women, open your eyes and hearts to the guy who isn't falling all over you. He might be a hidden gem just waiting to be loved.