When I refer to someone as a nice guy or a nice girl, it is not a compliment.
I believe the notion that nice guys finish last. I was once a nice girl myself—a friend of a friend told me so ages ago. She said she was fairly confident I was always nice “no matter what.” At the time, I thanked her profusely.
I have come to recognize this comment as the worst insult I’ve ever received.
Please understand: I am not talking about a guy (or girl) who is nice. I am specifically speaking of the “nice guy.” The guy who is nice all the time no matter what. The guy who, above all else, aspires for everything to be nice and pleasant regardless of the circumstances.
He will continually sacrifice himself and suppress his natural instincts and reactions in order to achieve this. He will keep his feelings hidden and he won’t take risks. All for the purpose of keeping things nice.
Much like a bad boy, a car guy, or a cat lady (as opposed to a boy who behaves badly, a guy who likes cars, or a lady who loves cats) a nice guy (or girl) is one-dimensional. This one characteristic defines him or her entirely.
To the nice guys and nice girls out there, I don’t believe you are simple or shallow or stupid or less than. I believe you have deep and wonderful layers you have yet to (or maybe can’t) explore for valid reasons.
Maybe you are holding back because of fear or trauma. Maybe you were sheltered from the world and now it confounds you. Or maybe you’ve done some digging but you don’t like what you’ve found so you refuse to share it lest you be rejected. For me, it was all of the above.
Not only have I been a nice girl, I have also dated a few nice guys. Nothing was more frustrating than being in a relationship and yet feeling alone. No fight was more futile than trying to break through the walls and delve deeper into the mind and heart of a nice guy.
The hard truth is you can’t be genuinely nice all the time no matter what. Sh*t happens. And you can’t connect with somebody in a real way if you hold back the less-than-nice bits of yourself. Even if you do find that special someone to love, you may still feel alone and disconnected. You may even doubt their love for you because: “they would never love me if they knew all of me.” What’s worse: how do you know if you truly love them, or if you just need their love to make yourself feel complete?
Before I could share all of myself with the people in my life, before I could accept their love and love them in return, I had to first be broken. Then I had to pick up the pieces and lovingly put myself back together. It was awful yet it was completely worth it because I am no longer a nice girl; I am a real girl.
I get excited and hopeful. I have dreams and goals and I make plans. I risk criticism and rejection but I still try. Sometimes I fail; sometimes I succeed. I feel disappointment, heartache, anger, sadness, pain, and grief. I am kind, funny, thoughtful, and loving. I am sarcastic, vulgar, wild, and passionate. I am stubborn and sometimes I’m a real bitch. But most importantly, I am authentic and I reserve the right to change whenever and however I see fit. My future partner will require his own set of unique and interesting quirks in order to walk with me in life as my equal.
So I’m sorry, nice guys, but I will never be able to give you the constantly nice and pleasant existence you aspire to—I cannot guarantee a life without hiccups or hardships. And you will never be able to give me the deep and meaningful connection I am after. I’m afraid there is no future for you and I.
But something tells me you won’t mind.
Some Help for the Nice Guys, Please.
Author: Elizabeth Conrad
Editor: Travis May
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