“Can’t we just talk about this?”
“How do you know you won’t change your mind?”
“But…I’m such a nice guy.”
I sit there, watching the texts flood my phone and I do not respond.
I had just politely and fairly ended things with a guy I had been casually seeing. A normal guy. A guy who shopped at J. Crew and went to the gym. A guy with a five year plan who saw himself with a white picket fence and probably a golden retriever.
A nice guy.
There was no falling out, no giant blow up. It was a simple break up; a parting of the ways, if you will. I simply didn’t feel into him for no particular reason, and figured it would be better to cut it off after four weeks of drinks and dinner before it got any more serious.
He did NOT see things that way.
Here’s how I see it. Everyone wants to believe in the nice guy. Everyone want to believe in the idea of a guy who always has good intentions, is patient, listens to your wants and needs. They want to believe that nice guys finish last because assholes eventually get knocked out of the race, and that beta males are more desirable than an alpha after someone gets out of their “bad boy” phase. They want to believe that there really is a nice guy out there just waiting and that there is a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow.
But you know what all of that is, what a “nice guy” really is?
Why? Because there’s no such thing as a nice guy.
Calling yourself a nice guy is really just an excuse you make for why you shouldn’t be rejected. Calling yourself a nice guy is really just a whiney way of lamenting that someone didn’t choose you. Calling yourself a nice guy is just a way to justify your bad behavior when you’re feeling bruised and bite back instead of moving on.
Being a nice guy is an excuse to make that paints someone else the villain, instead of simply respecting their decision even if you disagree with it.
Because even the nicest nice guy still doesn’t want to hear the word “no”.
I don’t believe in the nice guy. I think that everyone has a nice side, and a bad side. I believe that we all snap when we should be patient and say things without totally thinking them through. I believe that we all have the capability to be compassionate and giving and empathetic and everything in between.
You don’t get to automatically label yourself as better or nicer than someone. You don’t get to use being a nice guy as a reason to attempt to push your way into someone’s life. You don’t get to cry “nice guy” when things don’t go your way and pout about not being chosen.
And you don’t get to cast yourself as the hero in someone else’s story.
Because you know what? They might not even be looking for a hero.
“I’d love a chance to say my side.”
“Can I just tell you how I feel?”
“How does a nice guy like me get a chance?”
My phone keeps lighting up with texts from the self-appointed nice guy who just can’t see that no response is actually a response. I was going to be quiet, going to let him tire himself out. But I have last word syndrome, so I reach across the bed and answer him.
“Nice guys understand the words ‘not interested’. Have a good night.”
And then I blocked that nice guy’s number.