We all know the cliche, “Nice guys finish last,” but what about us? Nice girls finish after way after nice guys. Think about it. There’s books dedicated to men loving witches with a capital B. When women are apathetic, no-nonsense and could care less about what people think often serves as a challenge for men and we all know that men love challenges.
Nice women who are loyal, supportive and just want honesty and respect in return usually get the short end of the stick. I know because I’ve been all of these things to men and have seen my stick get shorter and shorter.
Somewhere along the way, romantic and genuinely sweet gestures have become annoyances and expected, so they are never truly appreciated. Love cannot be bought or earned. The receiver of the nice treatment does not always feel love for the giver. In fact, they may feel manipulated, burdened or just ungrateful.
A few years ago, I met this adorable guy named Gavin. He was tall, smart, funny, ridiculously sweet and attentive. I thought I’d hit the jackpot. One night, Gavin wanted to hang out, but I explained to him that I was going to be celebrating my friend’s birthday at a local restaurant.
Gain sighed heavily, “And after?”
His desperation was adorable in the first couple of weeks. He loved spending time with me and was never shy to vocalize that. But after the hearts and stars in my eyes began to fade, I became increasingly irritated by his urgency. “After, I don’t know. It’s Lisa’s birthday, so we’ll probably be out,” I rolled my eyes. “I have to go babe. I’ll call you when I’m done.” I hung up, ready to complain to my girlfriends about how thirsty Gavin was becoming.
“I can’t believe you’re complaining about your boyfriend wanting to spend time with you. Why are you even with him?” One of my girlfriends challenged my disdain.
I rolled my eyes, “Because he’s sweet. And he’s a good guy.” I dismissed the entire conversation with a joke about how good the sex is and as we roared with laughter, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I looked up.
Gavin smiled down at me, “Hey babe.” He squatted next to me.
I frowned, “Hey Gavin.” I tried to smile as I glanced over at my friend, mouthing to me to fix my face. “What are you doing here sweetie?”
“You said that you were coming here for dinner. I missed you so much and needed to see you.” Gavin squatted down beside me.
“That’s sweet, but, it’s girl’s night…”
Gavin cut me off, “Say no more.” He reached into his pocket, “This is for your dinner.” Gavin placed a small wad of cash in my lap. “And take Lisa out for drinks or whatever, just leave enough to take a cab to come be with me when you’re done.”
My heart should have fluttered with excitement, but I remember distinctly being annoyed. “You’re so sweet. Thanks Gav.” I kissed his lips. “See you later.” I dismissed him.
“Can’t wait.” He stood up. “Goodnight ladies,” Gavin said, addressing the eight women sitting around the table.
“Goodnight Gavin,” they all said in unison.
Gavin and I broke up a week later. Everything he did was disgustingly nice. I should have appreciated him a lot more, but I often found myself annoyed by Gavin’s attention and affections. I still have no clue why. But once the tables were turned years later, I figured it out.
When I met Roman, I was shocked that someone with his model good looks (because he is a model) was even entertaining my shameless flirting. But we exchanged numbers and began a texting/calling marathon that spanned six months before we hung out face to face.
When I tell you this man is beautiful, that’s an understatement. He’s got pearly white teeth, a smile that would make Mario Lopez jealous, more abs than I can count on one hand and the kind of chocolate skin that Willy Wonka would want to melt down into a river. The tables had definitely turned and I found myself behaving the way Gavin behaved towards me.
I was constantly calling Roman, texting him when he didn’t answer my calls, asking him to come over so I could cook for him and offering him massages. I was constantly buying little trinkets that reminded me of him, that I knew would make him smile. I always sent him messages to inspire him and was overly supportive of any and everything he had going on. I ran him away with my over-caring.
Being nice means that you are people pleasing, especially in relationships. There’s nothing more suffocating that people pleasing in relationships. Nice people are always agreeable to dropping our lives and rushing to pick up our boos’ lives. We make time where we really don’t have it, we dote over them, acquiesce and try to be as convenient and easy as possible. All of these niceties comes off as being needy.
The easiest way to get someone’s attention? Ignore them. If you’re too available, too attentive, too sweet, you won’t get your boo. Which is crazy because to have the single men and women tell it, we all want someone who makes time for us and treats us with respect and kindness; until we get it, then that story changes.
So I am saying that you have to be an ass to find and keep love? No. I am saying that I need to be more selective with my time, attention, and niceness. You cannot be eager to please, needy, overly-available or endlessly nice. To create a loving, respectful and grateful relationship, you have to know the rules of the game and play by them.