RomanceDating

How Counter-Stereotyping Kindness In Modern Dating Helps Us Find Genuine Love

What “nice” guys and girls don’t typically understand about their behavior is how attractive it is to a person who respects themselves.

A person with self-respect will fall for someone nice because they treat them like they deserve. Often, however, people who are marginalized by this sole quality feel soft and like they’ll be unable to attract any higher-power breed of human. This is the furthest from the truth …

What kind people need to hear and know about themselves is much more than the modern dating stereotype. Kindness exists on a spectrum of individuality, and isn’t mutually exclusive with being sexy. Kind people are often respectful, giving, and generous too. They exhibit a myriad of attractive qualities.

The quote-on-quote heterosexual “nice guy”, for example, often attracts a woman who has either been through a few assholes herself, or recognizes a good thing when she sees it despite not experiencing the opposite. This isn’t to say kind partners are perfect human beings – certainly not!

Kind people are people too. They’ve made mistakes. They’re good people who’ve had bad moments like every one of us. What makes them stand out, however, is their ability to recognize bad behavior, remedy it, and improve themselves.

Every one of us has traits our partners will find preferable and un-preferable. But, when you find a good match, those un-preferable traits are not very important. They’re tolerable compared to the rest, because you’ve found a good partner, a kind partner. Un-preferable traits are acceptable in someone who treats us with kindness because their sense of respect, empowerment, and generosity far outweighs their inability to cook, or whatever may have you.

When you date someone kind who treats you well, and whom you love, you find balance between preferred traits and un-preferred, because that’s how the human mind and body truly exist and thrive – in balanced imperfection.

Knowing all of this about dating someone kind, the question still remains: “How do we counter-stereotype dating ‘nice’ people?”

It’s really a tired concept that years of television have taught us. Modern media says a nice girl or guy who treats us well is often boring, un-amusing, or lacking in other redeemable traits. They are just nice to us, and that’s all they are. We can’t be so easily fooled by years of unforgiving dating culture on our television screens, though …

We should never define or strive to define individuals based on one quality. Hopefully, the people we encounter in our dating lives and choose to be in relationships exist in layers. Sure, there will always be dominant qualities that stick out, but when we’re dating someone, it’s important that we recognize and appreciate all of their qualities.

When you’re in a deep relationship with someone, you make the effort to understand, identify, accept, and love every beautiful and ugly trait. So long as you are both happy the majority of the time, grow together, and work through difficulty, you’ve found a good match.

If you fall into the “nice guy” or “nice girl” category in modern dating, it’s likely you’ve been called out for, ignored, or even dumped for being “too sweet” or “too nice” to your partner. Odds are, when this happens, that partner was not looking for much more than a one night stand. That’s okay if that’s what you want, but if you want more than your partner and they let you down like this, that’s just not cool.

Relationships are tricky. They’re not simple, and despite a good match, complications arise. That’s human nature. How we respond to complication and treat each other through difficulty says a lot about us. I would like to think, even in 2019, we’re capable of treating each other with kindness and don’t gag at the idea of having this type of partner. If we’re not ready for that level of love yet, it’s often because we haven’t found a way to love ourselves fully yet. Interpersonal growth is important in relationships, because how we treat ourselves shows others how to treat us.

I believe, when we’ve found someone who treats us with the support, kindness, love, and caring we deserve, and when we truly accept it, we’ve truly found acceptance within ourselves. We show ourselves this same level of care, and want it reciprocated in our partners.

Finding a person with this genuine nature should be a celebration of our development. While it may take someone with self-respect, kindness, and support a bit longer to find an equal match, it is so worth the wait.

Finding your higher power breed of human will feel like no love you’ve encountered before.

No one in the world has just one side … when we look at our partner, date, or whoever they are to us in the moment of our lives, we must learn to see them with our eyes wide open, and not cling to one quality. There is so much to learn about a person that can’t be achieved in one meeting, text, or app message.

There isn’t one trait that we have or our partner does that should swallow us whole, that we should be defined by. There are traits we can lead with and be especially empowered by, but if we strive to be whole people, we exist in many layers, as previously noted.

Whatever your romantic pursuits, I hope you take this advice to heart: Be open, be accepting, be uncommitted to modern dating stereotypes, and look at your new (potential) love with fresh eyes – a blank slate – enjoy them with a level head.

You will never know who is under what society tells you they are if you fail to step outside the heteronormative standards you’ve been raised by media to believe.

If you’ve found someone interesting that you’re excited to learn more about, that’s all you need to know for now to move past stereotypes, explore, and set a path to find a love you deserve, that treats you like your own kind, supporting, and accepting self would.

Adventure and delight. Real love is out there.

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Julia isn't afraid to embrace new challenges. Read more articles from Julia on Thought Catalog.