Thought Catalog
June 12, 2014

An Open Letter From The Nice Guy Who Was Let Go

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A couple of days ago I read an article called, “An Open Letter To The Girl Who Let The Nice Guy Go.”

After reading that I wanted to share my experiences of being let go because of being the “nice guy.”

As men we are taught to have little to no emotion, to be this stoic person who can seamlessly move from girl to girl without having a second thought. You’re supposedly not being a true man if emotions are shown, feelings are had, or even expressing oneself without being mocked.

Regardless, men do have this beautiful ability to love and to express that love as a protector. The nature of being a protector is as it sounds—to protect those under his wing. The identity of being a protector is so dominant that their protection is focused on the other person and our hearts are left wide open, vulnerable to attack.

In the article I read, the author makes mention of men and women wearing masks in order to protect themselves. See, the masks that were mentioned are quite true. Men find roles to protective themselves to go outside of their true protective nature in a selfish attempt to identify themselves as “just another one of the guys.” Ladies, this is called a defense mechanism. It’s easier to wear these masks and get turned down while these masks are on because we can turn around and say, “Hey, he/she turned me away, but it wasn’t the real me. Whatever.” Whatever? Who really lost on that experience? The person who was denied the true relationship, or the one who lost the relationship because of the mask he/she was wearing?

Vulnerability is one of the biggest fears that a man has about himself. After being taught how to NOT be, this whole concept of allowing people into his world without any hesitation doesn’t sound like the most pleasant thing, especially when it comes to trusting another human being. Protectors like to be in control. Vulnerability is to lose control. See how that works?

I have no shame admitting that I am a man who wears his heart on his sleeve, and when I love, I love deeply. There are countless men in this world who are the same way but because of different experiences have hidden their ability with walls, moats, and every form of protection to keep others from seeing it. This includes using a significant other simply for pleasure, only to fill a temporary void that will never fully be obtained.

When a guy is the “nice guy,” he gets lumped into past sins of the ex, of douchebag guys in general, or even a bad father figure. The idea of being truly loved and truly protected is also a scary concept, because the game of “fishing,” a game that men taught women and women have now perfected, is a lot easier to deal with because there are no strings attached. The only problem with that is that something is always attached, and no matter how we try to hide it, “pain demands to be felt.” The pain of the heart is one of the worst pains, especially when we have to hide behind these masks.

We try so hard to erase the mistakes of the past. We use those relationship defeats as inspiration for the next, but it’s not always seen as that. Sometimes it can be read that we are just trying too hard. Maybe this is just me and my mind, but if I want someone to stick around in my life, I’m going to try hard. Because my mentality is that if I don’t, someone else will.

“You’re just you’re just too nice, and I don’t want to hurt you.” That might be the closest thing to a kick to the balls next to hearing, “I love you, but…”

I have been left many times because of the nice-guy motif, but I have never bought that excuse. Whenever those words are said, it for sure is coming from a place of fear. Fear is love’s ugly cousin, and when it rears its head, it affects everyone involved. My reflection is simply this: Why not fear together? Allowing the possibility of failure to overcome the potential of love is crippling, but if we bear the responsibility together, that’s love.

There are plenty of fish in the sea. Sure. There are also plenty of birds in the sky and trees planted in the ground. However, there is a limited supply of genuine love these days. When you find it, appreciate it. If it’s scary, work on it together. Leaving is easy. There are plenty of excuses out there, but if the truth were to just come out and you just shared, “I’m scared” or “I don’t feel good enough”—whatever the case—isn’t that the point of having love? To love is to have someone that helps you grow with them, not somebody who manipulates your vulnerability.

No matter how many times being the nice guy has burned you, don’t hide your heart. Wear it proudly on your sleeve and be who you are. Because above all, love never fails. TC mark