I just came across an article today on Elite Daily that really rubbed me the wrong way. The article in question was titled “An Open Letter to the Girl Who Let the Nice Guy Go.” I tried to look at the article objectively. It’s clearly written by someone who regrets a dating decision she’s made. And that I can relate to. Plenty of us, myself included, have that one person that we felt we’ve let get away and regret it. So while I was able to relate to the regret the author was feeling, I was not keen on the tone she was taking.
There was an assumption that if a girl starts dating a guy who is “nice”, that’s it. She does not need to take in any other factors. He’s nice so she is a fool if she lets him go. It’s one of the reasons that Summer is viewed as a bitch in 500 Days of Summer. (Which is a fantastic movie and if you haven’t seen it yet, you need to do so immediately.) Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Tom plays the nice guy who instantly falls head over heels with Zooey Deschanel’s Summer. While Summer enjoys hanging out with Tom, she always feels that there is something missing. She eventually leaves Tom and many viewers questioned what was wrong with Summer. She had a nice guy and she left him go! How could she?
So by this logic, if I come across a guy who is nice to me, am I supposed to drop everything and be with him? Who cares if we don’t have a connection. He holds the door for me and tells me I’m pretty. That’s all us ladies need in a committed relationship.
It’s this way of thinking that reinforces the nice guy and friend zone mentality so many boys seem to have these days. Being nice to someone else does not entitle you to anything. Sex, a relationship, cookies. Not a thing. You choose to do something nice for someone, you want to know the only thing you deserve? A “thank you.” Nothing more, nothing less.
So you were nice to your partner and she left you? Maybe she wasn’t physically attracted to you. (While I will say this is not the most important factor to a relationship, it is crucial.) Maybe she didn’t feel any connection. Maybe she wasn’t ready for a relationship. Maybe she thought you were boring. The list is endless. There are a million reasons that relationships don’t work. If they were easy and not complicated, we’d all be married off by the time we were 19.