Nice Guys

oohhhh. This is a good one.

Typhonblue has a rant up about “Nice Guys” vs. “Jerks”… (Hugo has an entirely different rant up about this article, but it triggered way different things for me).

Who would you rather date? (for those of you, fair chiklits, with an interest in dating men).

She has some interesting stuff up, and some good thoughts. But I worry when she says she’s happy to have Jerk boyfriend who’ll hit her back when she hits him. If you guys are smacking the crap out of each other in anger, you shouldn’t be together.

But that’s me. I still like to pretend that men and women can be in equal, respectful, loving relationships where they make each other better instead of dragging each other down into a pit of abject despair.

I’m old-fashioned that way.

I constantly hear Nice Guys ranting about how this woman who is just gorgeous, just like a model, is living with this good-looking, unemployed, alcoholic dickwad when she could get any man she wanted. Nice Guys never seem notice that the woman is an unemployed alcoholic dickwad.

Ohhhh boy. Yea. Ain’t that the truth.

My buddy Jem: “She seems like such a nice girl. Why is she with that asshole, Kameron?”

Me: “Cause she’s an asshole? Stop thinking with your dick and pretending it’s your logic.”

I have had a good many “nice guy” friends who I got to listen wax on about how amazing some woman was (and in high school, these were usually the “experienced” women – the ones who slept with four or five different guys every year – only, not with them), how “no one else really understands her,” how “she’s just so sad all the time, so confused, I could help her,” how “I don’t understand why she comes and talks to me and has sex with him.”

Believe me, buddy: it’s better for you that she’s sleeping with him. They deserve each other. That woman ain’t no soft cookie. She’ll eat you alive. Or, hell, the one I’m thinking of would have eaten *me* alive, too.

The “all women are goddesses” lament is a problem because it creates a dichotomy. If all women are goddesses, but the goddess doesn’t want you, you start to resent women, and “they” get pushed onto the flip side of that, which is “whore.”

The problem with worship is what happens when you lose your faith. You tend to want to destroy everything you believed in.

And I’ve met “Nice Guys” who did that, too.

Nice Guys are incapable of discerning differences in the personality traits of women. Perhaps this is why Nice Guys always bemoan the model-types who date Jerks, rather then the average types who date Jerks. Since all women have the same personality – beatific, angelic, perfect – there is no way Ms. Plain Jane can compete with a beautiful woman for the attention of a Nice Guy via any positive character qualities she might posess. Beauty is the only criteria for judging women in the eyes of a Nice Guy. Thus the Nice Guy’s astounding tendency to complain about how no woman notices him, while a Nice Girl is trying to say hello.

Yep. These are the Nice Guys who’ll sit over coffee with me lamenting about all of the amazing women who aren’t interested in them, even though they open the door for them and everything. Often, I’ll try and sneak something in like, “Maybe if you were employed and had some passion about something, she might look twice at you,” but that might be stretching it a little thin with them.

The worst sitting-over-coffee-with-a-nice-guy thing is when you’re listening to him moan about how great the hot chick with Major Issues really is (cause he can just see into her soul), while all you really want to do it is leap across the table and have sex with him right there.

Being a not-hot chick with minor issues, you either fall off the Nice Guy radar, or they put you on it as “goddess,” and don’t treat you like a real person.

And I think that’s what the author was really getting at: guys who actually act like themselves, who say, “This is me,” and treat you like a real person are the sorts of people you want to hang out with.

Guys who pull on a Nice Guy hood and then bitch because they’re moving all of the pieces around and not getting any “reward” for it (like, say, sex), aren’t really Nice Guys at all. They just think they are.

Here’s where I start to worry about her rant:

Because my Jerk boyfriend doesn’t carry my pack, I’ve gotten that much stronger and more rational about what I pack. Because he doesn’t give me his jacket, I learn to remember it so I have it even when he can’t offer his. Because he doesn’t always drop everything and tend to my emotional ills, I’ve become more independent and capable of tending to them myself. Because he hits me if I hit him, I’m reminded that I’m accountable for my actions. Because he doesn’t reward my bad behavior, he’s helped me mature and grow up.

Cause it’s your boyfriend’s job to play dad?

The hitting thing bugs me, but there’s something to what she says, and here’s where I agree: I’d rather I was treated like a human being than an angel. That doesn’t mean telling me I’m a fucking loser, stupid, or hitting me. That’s not treating me like a human being either.

What is does mean is that if you get me a dozen roses every week when, in fact, I actually don’t like roses, you’re not actually being all that nice to me (yes, I had somebody who did this). What it means is that you haven’t heard a word I’ve said, and you’re getting the roses for yourself, which is great: but don’t pretend it’s about me. You’re living in a fantasyland about the way the dynamics of a “relationship” are supposed to work, not being yourself, and not respecting me (as a side note: it turns out he liked roses, and wouldn’t have minded me getting him roses… now, that I can deal with. Shit, guy, tell me these things, OK? No, darling I don’t “think it’s gay.” Damn. This is why communication is important).

And what I see when I look at men who try very hard to be “nice guys” and then wonder why they aren’t getting dates with the sorts of women they want (and there are, indeed, some who are indeed quite happy to date women who look like real people), are guys who are trapped in “this is the way it’s supposed to be” script.

As nice as that script may work for imaginary women living in fantasyland, you’re going to get more affection if instead of playing by a set script, you listen to what the hell she’s saying and make some alterations in your “affection” tactics. If she doesn’t like flowers, find out what the hell she likes. And – and this is important – if she disrespects you, leave. Because I wouldn’t expect a woman to stay with a guy who disrespected her any more than I’d expect a guy to. Cause people are people, and if we can get away with being assholes, most of us probably will. And who the hell really wants to be with somebody who doesn’t respect themselves?

I’m obviously carrying around a lot of bias against guys who described themselves as “nice,” because when I sit down with them, they sound a lot like martyrs. I used to describe myself as a “nice” girl. But you know, I realized being nice was, in fact, really boring. I got a few dates that way, but they weren’t with people who were very interesting, and there was going to come a point where I was going to be who I was, and he would either freak out, or try and get me back to being “nice.”

So I don’t bitch that I’m not dating anyone because I’m “nice.” In fact, I’m not dating anyone by choice – the people who’ve made inquiries or who I’ve met haven’t done much for me, and I’m not yet at the point where I’m ready to actively pursue.

But I did used to bitch about being nice and unnoticed, so I know where some of these guys are coming from. I know all about what it is to try and play by the script, and not have it work, and not know why.

In my case, it was because I never got to be myself, so I never had any fun, so the guy I was with didn’t have much fun (or if he did, it wasn’t enough fun for me to continue).

The Nice Guy, while searching for a Goddess, eventually turns into a non-person, too, and might even become somebody he’s not so sure he really wants to be.

Find out who you are first, before you go looking for a woman to fill up the void in your life.

You might realize that that was the problem all along.

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