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I live in a city and am very used to boys being entitled f*cks who treat me like sidewalk trash. Recently, I met an out-of-towner who actually says nice things to me without being prompted, buys my drinks and tells me I'm "adorable."
Does this guy have some kind of brain damage or hidden agenda? Or do you think he's actually being nice?
Sincerely, Jaded Janet
Dear Jaded Janet,
There is something very f*cked up about our dating culture when women have to be wary of the nice guys and the nice guys get slighted, and it’s all because we’ve put the dick on the pedestal.
No, really, we’re so used to letting assh*les get away with treating us poorly that we now have been brainwashed to think there must be something wrong with genuinely good men -- or worse, there must be something wrong with ourselves.
And on top of this, the good guys have to try that much harder because we’ve become so accustomed to giant tool bags that we assume every dude is going to douche on our face.
Yeah, you could say I’ve been there too.
When I just started out in the dating world in NYC, I kept thinking about how much I missed college because at least you knew “where the guys came from.”
You could figure them out pretty easily and knew upfront what their intentions were. In a city, however, every guy has a different story and different conquest. You don’t live here if you aren’t ambitious and thirsty for excitement, after all.
This makes it somewhat difficult to be romantically trusting of a city-dweller. We automatically assume that most of them are using you for something -- to be fair, you’re using them right back --- but this isn’t the bad part.
The bitch of it all is that no one knows what the other person is using them for leading to massive mindf*cks and giving into our insecurities. In a thriving city, it could be anything.
This messes up your game. This messes with your head. This makes it hard for you to accept (and even recognize!) that maybe a good guy isn’t using you solely for sex or connections or dinner plans when none of his roommates are home.
Maybe he is using you for genuine companionship, but we’re so familiar with the total opposite that we can’t even take good intentions seriously, must less spot them.
Here’s what I learned, though, after I finally stopped assuming every nice guy who offered to buy me a drink was a total freak; I was being the freak.
When we say things like, “he must be stupid to like me” or “what is his hidden motive for complimenting my name?” what we’re really saying is, “I don’t think I deserve a good guy.”
These kinds of self-deprecating remarks are actually very toxic and very telling. You’re basically admitting that you don’t think highly of yourself, and so you can’t imagine why any man would genuinely want to be with you.
Allow yourself to think you are great. It’s not as easy as it sounds when you’ve been fighting yourself for so long, and instead are conceding to the boys who are “entitled f*cks.”
Jaded Janet, you are a spunky, entertaining and self-aware individual. You get it when a lot of other people don’t. You are amazing, and it’s time you stopped blindly nodding your head when people say that to you and start agreeing wholeheartedly.
You’re like the Groucho Marx of dating -- you don’t want anyone who wants you. You don’t think you are good enough and therefore you don’t "understand" when someone is interested in you. You immediately think he wants something more tangible other than love.
The “problem” is probably not this guy, it’s probably you. Allow yourself to believe you are worthy of someone who adores you and praises you. Allow yourself to believe him when he says you are adorable.
And who knows? Maybe this out-of-towner isn’t actually going to lead to anything. Maybe those drinks mean nothing and those words come easy, but at the very least you’re being courted and it feels good!
It still might not work out in the end, but you won’t continue complaining that everyone in your city sucks. And you’ll have a benchmark for how you want to be treated in the next relationship.
I’ll tell you something else, Jaded Janet. When you lose the hardened attitude toward men, you actually gain one.
After I finally accepted that, hey, maybe I am attractive, maybe I am desirable, guess what happened? I got a nice boyfriend who thought I was nice back (he might have gotten a little mixed up on that one, but no matter!).
And here’s the secret: He doesn’t pay for my fancy drinks; he pays attention to me.
I’m saying this because I want you to realize not every relationship looks the same. Not every relationship begins with a dinner date and ends with a ring.
You can’t keep thinking there is a certain rubric for love or else you’re never going to find one that suits you.
If he makes you happy and he says all the right things to make you feel safe, then just f*cking trust that it’s real until he gives you a reason to believe it’s not. Innocent until proven guilty, right?
And if it doesn’t work out, hey, at least he’s not from here.
Maybe it’s not him who needs his head checked out; it’s you.
Think about it, LARG