Let’s preface this by saying I am incredibly single. Sure, it’s not like this was a choice I consciously sought out in my life - but things have a tendency to work out unexpectedly. It’s not like I haven’t tried, but failed relationship after failed relationship has a way of screwing with your head, and eventually you lose hope. Despite the fails, as any hopeful single female understands, you have to keep trying.
Living in a big city, there are countless ways to meet guys - and trust me, I’ve tried all of them. Dating apps, mutual friend set ups, business connections, the guy at the bar, you name it. There have been the a**holes, the players, the liars, the jerks, but my newest dating category I’ve been trying may be the worst thus far. Meet: the “nice guy”. Everyone always says you’ll eventually come to your senses and realize the nice guy is the guy who will treat you the way you deserve. Sure in theory that sounds grand, but what I’ve come to realize is the “nice guy” isn’t necessarily the nice guy at all.
You see, I’m not exactly a shy, timid female. I may be sweet and lady-like, but I’ve learned through this turbulent dating cycle that the only way to get what you want is to speak up. Though a jerk may hurt your feelings with a “he’s just not that into you” speech, at least he’s blunt and to the point. Close the chapter. Walk away. Done and done.
So what is it like dating the so-called “nice guy”?
THE WAITING PERIOD
One of the most admirable qualities of a nice guy is that he holds his standards of respecting women. He prides himself on taking things slow, not making sex a priority, and really enjoying the one-on-one courting process. The dates are amazing, the conversations are memorable, and you begin to swirl in excitement that you’ve finally met someone who treats you the way you deserve to be treated. Hello, prince charming.
As time continues, the excitement begins to wear as things progress at the speed of a snail. What I’ve learned with the nice guy is that finding where you stand isn’t easy. Since the “nice guy” is actually nice, he’s not going to push things - but taking things slow takes on a whole new meaning with this guy, and you begin to wonder if things are progressing or if you are heading directly into the friend zone. Don’t get me wrong, I completely appreciate being treated like a lady - but there comes a point after a couple months when you just need to know if there’s a physical connection.
The key part of why the nice guy isn’t the nice guy in my experience is “the fizzle”. When a nice guy decides you’re not the one, rather than actually telling you his feelings, he starts the process of gradually letting the relationship die a slow and painful death. The dates become more spaced out, the texts are further apart, and his work schedule magically intensifies overnight. Despite this change in action, the conversations remain the same.
As the fizzle continues, you become consumed with a series of negative thoughts wondering why things have changed. You question your sanity wondering if you’re crazy for thinking things are regressing. You suddenly feel irrational and confused that the time you’re spending together is vastly decreasing, the physical connection is still not a priority, but yet his calls and texts are still caring and interested.
There’s nothing worse than getting dumped, but realizing you are getting dumped while you think you are dumping someone is in fact worse. The “nice guy” doesn’t want to hurt your feelings, so he avoids the conversation all together. As things slowly fizzle, you begin to wonder if you should end things. Though you can’t place a finger on what exactly the issue is, you mentally prepare yourself for the break up talk. Rather than sensing a feeling of shock and a “let’s work this out” reply you were hoping for, you hear “I’m happy you brought this up, because I’ve been feeling the same way.”
All of a sudden, clarity shines in. The “nice guy” has mind f*cked you into breaking up with him. Somehow throughout this long, drawn out process, you are faced with the reality that he hasn’t been into you for quite some time. Since a “nice guy” doesn’t want to hurt your feelings if things don’t work out, he backs away silently and slowly until the breakup becomes YOUR idea.
So just like that, you broke your own heart.