I’m 34 and have had a long dry spell in dating and reading your blog and starting to go through your Finding the One Online has been very helpful.
Just today I was reminded of a recurring theme that I have run into with men. A friend told me about something that was said about me behind my back by an acquaintance. Nothing nasty, nothing meant to be negative, I believe. He said, “she’s too nice for my taste.” I have heard this repeatedly throughout my younger dating life as well as a reason that men don’t want to date me – or theoretically wouldn’t want to if they had the opportunity.
My question is… what does that actually mean? That they believe my “niceness” is fake and don’t trust it? That because I’m so sweet that somehow I wouldn’t be good in bed? That lack of drama would make for an uninteresting relationship?
I am a nice person, meaning I believe in being nice to people.
I am a nice person, meaning I believe in being nice to people. Politeness, agreeableness, and compassion are important to me. I’m not a spineless pushover with no opinions who ingratiates herself to others – perhaps that would be annoying. If I’m nice to you it’s because I want to be – there’s no fakery there.
I would not really think much about one person saying this about me, but as I alluded to, this is recurring. Why wouldn’t a man want a “nice” woman?
After I proposed to my wife, one of her best friends, Kristi, took me aside and said, earnestly “Thank you for seeing what makes her special. Many men – including her ex-husband – didn’t.”
If you think that sounds like an insult buried in a compliment, I hear you, but I didn’t take it that way. It was merely Kristi’s acknowledging what I already knew, “She is nice, easygoing, and good to the core and a lot of men couldn’t appreciate why those qualities make for a spectacular relationship.”
She was right. The entire time I was dating my wife, I was wondering if I should feel more intensely, specifically because our relationship was so drama free. When you’ve spent your life chasing chemistry, pining for the hottest/smartest partners, and discovering that the ones I loved the most never reciprocated, you can’t always recognize when your spouse is right in front of you.
I made a choice to marry my wife that turned out the be the best decision I ever made, but it didn’t come easily. See, the very qualities that make a relationship feel “safe” are not the qualities that stimulate intense attraction. Dr. Pat Allen, the author of “Getting To I Do,” once held up a blank index card to me to explain this phenomenon: “On this side is passion. On the other side is comfort. Choose one.”
I’m delighted to say that Dr. Allen is wrong. It’s not an either/or choice, but it is a trade-off. Generally, more passion = less comfort. And more comfort = less passion. What we’re all trying to do is find the point on the graph where both of those needs are ably met. It’s not easy – and we’ve all made questionable decisions where we stayed with an awful person out of passion or settled on a dissatisfying relationship based on comfort.
nice girls are not doomed to finish last.
They are, however, plagued with the same issues that face nice guys. Their strengths are their weaknesses. By being unconditionally kind to everyone – a great quality by the way – people who are defined by their “niceness” often don’t inspire enough attraction to make partners want to stick around. That’s why women say they want a nice guy with edge, and conversely, men want a cool girl with boundaries.
In other words, men aren’t passing you up because they think your niceness is fake. Nor do you have to stop being polite, agreeable or compassionate to get a man. All you have to do is what my wife did – persevere long enough to find a similarly nice person who appreciates all you bring to the table. Do that and you’ll have a relationship that all the guys who dumped you will ultimately envy.