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The Thing About Nice Guys

Photo by Noemi Gonzalez.

At work a few weeks ago, I shamelessly asked my friend and coworker, Zoe, about a handsome lad she posted on Instagram. She happened to be passing by my desk and soon regretted making eye contact with me.

“Who’s that fine piece of ass on your Instagram, Zoe?” I asked, as I turned dramatically in my swivel chair to face her direction, legs spread suggestively.

“Oh–uh, do you mean Connor?” she asked.

“Yeah, sure, the guy you posted who’s wearing a wool looking grandpa sweater, standing next to some blonde girl with a barrette. Is he gay?”

“Yes, he’s gay, and there’s no way in hell I will let you talk to him. Connor is a kind and wonderful man, and you would ruin him.”

I pretended to be shocked by Zoe’s bold accusation and let out a quaking gasp. Her quickness to protect Connor was enough proof to show what kind of guy he is. Zoe’s emphasis on the word “ruin” was soaked with chamomile truth tea, and she spilled it all over my entire existence.

“But what-chu mean, Zoe? Aren’t I a gentle lass?” I said.

“Robert—Connor is sensitive, ready to settle down, and hopelessly romantic. You aren’t into any of those things.”

I couldn’t argue with that. I mean, who likes a nice guy? I just don’t have the time. I am a working woman. I am practically Murphy Brown minus the child. My idea of a romantic rendezvous is laying in bed with a guy I’m into as we both do work on our laptops. There’s no better foreplay than that. 

But really though, it seems to be a problem for me and for a lot of us out here in these streets. Why do we make fun of someone who’s nice? Why do we get bored of guys who send us ‘good morning’ texts and roses for no reason? But then it hit me. I have no problem with nice guys, I have a problem with guys who are only nice for the following reasons:

1. He needs validation

One time a guy I was seeing texted me this really nice message while I was at work. I don’t really check my phone at the office and certainly don’t have time to chat. But as I left the message unanswered for a mere two hours, I received another text and another text, and another text. He kept pushing for me to return the compliment or let him know how sweet I thought he was. If you truly feel some type of way about something, you shouldn’t feel worried or in need of a response. Simply speaking your truth should be your intention.

2. He expects a reaction

My best friend Tiffany always says, “I never say something with the purpose of getting a reaction.” It’s like those guys who do something nice for a girl, hold the door open or let them cut in line at Chipotle (or some shit), and then the guy gets mad when he asks her out on a date and she says, “no.” It’s like, dog, you shouldn’t be doing nice things to get something out of it, just be nice for the sake of being a decent human being.

3. He compliments you to feel better about himself

I already know I’m fucking awesome. I don’t need you to constantly remind me. Compliments are great for my ego, but please don’t act like without you, I wouldn’t be able to feel just as awesome. As a gay man, I’ve noticed some guys I’ve dated projected their insecurities on to me, telling me I’m “beautiful” and “deserve to be loved” because that’s what they wish they could tell themselves. It’s as if I was their reflection in the mirror, and they were saying “you are worthy, you are awesome,” as if it their words of consolation were directed toward me. What I’m saying is, guys who act like you need them to be happy probably need you to feel better about themselves. That ain’t healthy. I’ll do me, you do you, and let’s come together to celebrate that. It wasn’t until I started to love myself when I discovered what it truly means to love and admire the men in my relationships.

Now, I’m not saying I hate romance. Of course, if I’m ever in a relationship with a guy, we can get to a place where we are cuddly and gross, I’m sure. But I’m not trying to rush into something right away. I don’t like being pushed into the role of “bae,” especially when that person needs a bae to be happy.

As for the handsome lad named Connor, he’s probably super fantastic and a wonderful soul.  I never got to meet him, but luckily for me, I think I may have already found a guy who’s nice to me for all the right reasons.

xoxo Robby Rob

Read more diaries:

Fall Awakening
9 Reasons Why I’d Make a Wonderful Boyfriend
9 Reasons Why I’d Make a Terrible Boyfriend

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