Monday, July 21, 2014

Let Yourself Catch a Feeling or Two

I received the following texts last night, in the midst of a conversation about catching feelings, putting your guard up, and being the, quote, nice guy:

"I guess I can't be so nice anymore. I guess I'm just too jaded to see the best in people...fuck people, get your guard up...nice guys finish last."

My immediate response to this, as a woman who is looking for a nice guy, is to retort with, umm, no, nice guys do NOT finish last! Because I know that after ten years of dating guys who are jerks, or getting my feelings hurt by guys who really just want to get a piece, I am genuinely looking for a nice guy. And I know that most of my single girlfriends are looking for a nice guy. And I know that on our end, it can feel like a pretty bleak search, because so many guys out there really are just fucking ass holes. So for a woman, who is earnestly hoping to come across one of the seemingly few nice guys out there, it can be confusing when a guy argues that nice guys finish last...and that possibly based on this, he should try to be more of an ass hole. It seems backwards and confusing, and at the same time also feels like maybe this guy is just a prick, trying to play the nice guy routine to his advantage. 

BUT, do I void my own argument by retracing my steps in the dating nightmare of the last ten years? I have to rethink my own statement: Only after ten years of dating fucking ass holes, have I realize that all I really want is a guy who wants to be nice to me. Ten years of drama. Ten years of guys lying to get in my pants. Ten years of being manipulated, having games played on me, having the tables turned or the wool pulled over my eyes. Ten years of choosing the ass hole over the nice guy. It has taken me that many years to conclude that really, the only thing that I want is a man who is nice.

So maybe the nice guys finish last statement isn't entirely untrue?

The fact is, it sort of is true. When we first turn 21 and jump out of the nest, a lot of women do go for the bad guys. We date guys who are crazy and fun and loud and who like to party and spend money and show us off to their equally douche-y buddies. We find guys who don't want to commit, but at 21, that's fine with us, because we don't really either. The difference is, while we don't want to commit to a marriage, they tend to not want to commit to not fucking our friends when we're not around. We don't make the best dating choices in our twenties, us women, because we don't have our shit together or our priorities straight. It doesn't really matter that a guy doesn't know what he wants, because we don't either, and we think in short term rather than in long term, so as long as we are having fun, we aren't really all that concerned about the rest of the details.

So I guess, as much as it pains me to admit, maybe nice guys do, in fact, finish last.

That said, I think perhaps we need to take another look at what that statement really means. And also kinda what it means to be the nice guy.

First, you're not a nice guy just because you think you're nice. It's not that simple, fellas. You're not a token nice guy just because you spend money or do things for girls either. You're a nice guy if you're honest - from day one - about your feelings and your intentions, and if that honesty doesn't falter. Buying presents does not a nice guy make. The nice guy a girl is really after doesn't leave her questioning where she stands or whether she's important, nor does he let her wonder where things are going. Nice guys, per the stereotype, are honest, loyal, committed, and forthcoming - and, per the stereotype, finish last because they are not enough of a conundrum. They aren't mysterious, they don't play games, and they don't leave a girl confused.

So, before you do anything else, clarify internally whether you really do even fall into the nice guy black hole - because many of you think you do, but then you sleep with a girl and take three days to call her back. Not nice, guys. If you're sleeping with someone who doesn't know your intentions, or if you're dating several girls and they don't know it, or if you're keeping secrets, being shady, or guarding your heart from someone, you're not being the nice guy. That doesn't mean you're not a nice guy, of course, but you're not necessarily that stereotypical nice guy that men are so afraid of being.

Second, let's say you're right. So, nice guys finish last. Does that have to be a bad thing? I mean, truthfully, if you are finishing last, doesn't that really mean you are winning? You're the one getting the girl. And isn't the girl what you were after? 

Did it take longer than you may have hoped? Probably. Is she scared that you're the same as all the rest of the guys she's met? Most likely. Does this come with issues that you may have to help her through? Possibly. When you meet her, she may have her guard up. She may be waiting for the other shoe to drop, for the day when you stop being so nice. She may be waiting for the day when you hit her or call her stupid or cheat on her, or the day you threaten to hurt her if she doesn't do what you tell her. And chances are, she will be shocked when those bad moments never come. While in reality none of her issues are your responsibility, you're probably going to become the best thing that ever happened to her. And the thing is, when you're the best thing that ever happens to someone, that someone tends to really appreciate you, to deeply love you, and to always admire and cherish you.

So maybe, even though you were technically last - because here it is ten years after her first relationship and you're just now getting the girl - you're really first.

It's all about perspective, fellas. If you're a nice guy, don't stop being a nice guy because you get burned by some girl who isn't ready for all your awesomeness. Instead, continue to be the nice guy for the right girl. Because while nice guys may finish last, it's the nice guys who - at the end of it all - get the good girls.