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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, March 22, 2004

Even smooth pickup lines can't help the lost cause

 •  Nice guys are clueless about dating, author says

By Katya Cengel
Gannett News Service

Wondering if men really were this clueless, we decided to ask a sampling of men whether author John Fate might be on to something.

Doug Cornish, 29, a dental student, doesn't think tricks of the dating trade are something you can learn from a book. As for the suggested questions to ask women, that's normal small talk, he says.

"These aren't magic phrases," says Cornish, who is single.

He says he goes for a more natural approach. Memorizing questions from a list isn't for him, he says, and he doesn't think that would work well for other guys either. "If it's too rehearsed, it won't work."

Bradley Berryhill, another student, says many of Fate's suggested questions for maintaining conversation — such as "What's your favorite TV show?" and "What TV shows do you watch regularly?" — struck him as pointless.

"It doesn't matter," says Berryhill. "All girls like 'Friends' and all guys like sports."

Which doesn't offer many conversation openers. Luckily, he doesn't need any — he says he has been happily married for five years.

Meanwhile, Sara Trombetti, single and 25, says she isn't sure a book for nice guys would help the men she knows.

"I know guys who could benefit (from 'The Nice Guys' Guide')," says Trombetti. "But it wouldn't help, because their real personality would show through after the first date."

Ty Allen, a 29-year-old real-estate appraiser, says most of the "Nice Guys" tips seemed pretty basic, but are "probably a good thing to think about if you're not having luck" or, as John Miller, 27, put it, if you are "really clueless."