"You're just too nice." These four words were uttered to me on two separate occasions, by two different women right before they broke up with me. In that moment, like any regular person, an abundance of emotions swarmed through my body.
They included confusion, anger, sorrow, self-doubt, among a grand list of other things. People who typically have a secret crush ache at the fact that they can't get out of the friend zone (if they're even that close). Some would say it's the worst feeling in the world, but I beg to differ.
In fact, I believe that being in the prime position, and then being demoted is far worse than being stuck in some petty friend zone. That's like your boss saying, “You're good at your job. Actually, you're too good at your job, so I'm going to have to let you go.”
At the time, I thought the point of any relationship was to make your partner happy, but that wasn't the case. Some people have different versions of being happy, and trying to conform to each aspect of it is easier said than done. Two burning questions still remain:
Does the nice guy/girl always finish last? And what is the hidden meaning behind "You're just too nice"?
Here are five signs you should watch out for if you feel like the single life is calling you:
1. You don't argue.
Arguing can be a very nasty battle that no one wants to be a part of. If you're anything like my wife, things can be said or done that you wouldn't think could come out of a loving human being so small. Phrases like, "I hate you", "You weren't ready for marriage" and "I can't wait to go home" definitely pack a punch.
These are just some of the light things my wife would say to me when we didn't see eye to eye. Over time, I've learned not to take these things personally, and definitely not to add fuel to the fire on my end. But arguing is not always a bad thing. The fact of the matter is, arguing is one of the most basic ways to communicate with your partner on both of your needs and wants.
Sure, it starts off small with you not taking the trash out, but then you dig below the surface. You find out the real issue is you don't care enough about your little responsibilities. This may translate to you not being ready for big responsibilities like being a parent or moving in together.
Arguments can get deep fairly quickly, but the dialogue is necessary to get those feelings expressed so you can make things right. If you're being too nice (like I was in past relationships), then confrontation is your last resort. Not having a single argument sounds like the dream, but it can be interpreted in a different way.
I've been told that when I don't want to argue, I give off the attitude that I don't care. I totally understand why it comes off that way. When you argue with someone, you're arguing about something you have a passion for. Your views, your lifestyle and everything else that makes you who you are is worth arguing for.
If you're not passionate about your own individuality, how can you be a part of a power couple who supports each other when it's you two against the world? Moral of the story? Argue. The make-up sex is worth it.
2. You're a push-over.
Being a "yes man" in a relationship can get pretty boring. It's especially boring when you're making all the decisions and your partner just agrees with you. Typically, when this happens, the push-over is the one being taken advantage of.
It's human nature to take your partner for granted at times, especially if they're willing to let you do it. Having your way all the time can be monotonous, and sooner or later the limits will be tested. When the person getting pushed overreaches their tipping point, they finally step up. But often times, it's too late.
Your partner could become confused by your actions because you never expressed your true feelings prior. As the push-over, this is the worst possible position you can be in. You waited too long to take a stand, and chances are, you're eventually going to walk out of the confrontation giving the other person more power. Don't give up so easily. Express yourself sooner.
3. You don't stand up for your relationship.
If it's a serious relationship, it should be one of the top priorities in your life. Once you and another person agree to be together, you're sworn to protect each other, love each other and confide in each other. That's kind of hard to do when your second aunt on your mother's side doesn't approve of your girlfriend, or your older brother despises your boyfriend because he doesn't watch football.
Family and friends can ruin your relationship. Sometimes the people who love you most are also the person who unintentionally holds you back in life. I remember dating a girl in high school who ended a friendship with one of her best friends over the summer.
I was friends with both of them, so I didn't want to get caught in the middle. Every chance the ex-bestie got, she would let me know what a terrible mistake I had made. Not once did I stand up for my girlfriend at the time, or my relationship. To avoid confrontation, I would give a passive laugh or try to change the subject.
Under no circumstances was this acceptable. I should have told our mutual friend, “Hey, I know you two don't get along, but she and I are together now. If you can't respect her, at least respect our relationship and don't say these things around me.”
That conversation never happened. People don't want to be in a relationship where their partner doesn't defend them.
4. Your partner is attracted to assholes.
Most people know at least one person who has a crazy girlfriend or douchebag boyfriend and if not, then it's possible you're that person in the crappy relationship. The only question that's ever asked in this situations is, “Why are you with this him/her?”
Everyone has their reasons why they do things that don't make sense to the masses, but every now and then, the roller coaster relationship grows tiresome and someone will decide they want something new. So, they may change over to someone a little nicer than what they're used to. If you're dating someone and they tell you, “You're not like anyone else I've ever dated before,” you might want to bookmark that conversation because it may be one of the reasons why you two won't last.
5. You're so nice, you're willing to settle.
I've talked to various women on separate occasions about how men approach them in a bar or club setting. When speaking about a guy they didn't like, they would name every little flaw that plagued this man. He wasn't attractive, he was too young, he wasn't tall enough and so on and so on.
They would list all these reasons why he didn't meet their standards, and then complain about him calling or texting too much. Wait, what? Not only did they just discredit their argument about this poor guy, they also had the nerve to criticize him for showing interest when they initiated a reason for interest.
Now obviously, this isn't the case for all (or even most) women. I've been rejected, turned down and in some unnecessary cases, embarrassed when trying to get a girl's phone number. But when I asked them, “If you didn't like him, why did you give him your number?” The answer was almost always to the effect of, “I didn't want to be mean.”
This is the problem. Being too nice can lead you into doing something you don't want to do. But because you're too nice, you overlook those flaws and try to be optimistic about the situation. Some people even convince themselves that maybe the person will change once they get serious. That is a possible scenario, but if you're too nice, you more than likely will tolerate what's bothering you. In this case, honesty is way better than caring for someone else's feelings.
So, do nice guys/girls finish last? The verdict is no. Eventually, you will find someone who's perfect for you while also discovering who you are, what you do and don't like and what's a deal-breaker. Typically, when someone ends a relationship because their partner is too nice, it's because they're at a certain point in their life where they're also trying to figure out what they want.
Every relationship is a give and take. One person doing all the giving, and the other doing all the taking, will never work. There will be days when you can't stand to be on the same continent as your lover. But at the end of the day, when you're wrapped up on a warm couch for movie night, without a care in the world, you can't help but think about how that feeling is just too nice.