When it comes to men, I’ve never really been able to pinpoint my type. The ones I’ve been into don’t seem to have any common denominators, and I never really can predict who is going to catch my eye.
I was discussing this with my friends recently and telling them about a session I had with a psychic a month or two ago. She told me that I need to break the habit of going for guys who run hot and cold (yes, in my world getting love advice from a psychic is a legit thing to do).
My friends and I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t into the “bad boy” type or the complete asshole but that I also steered away from really nice guys. I was somewhere in between, and then my friend nailed it:
“I think you like nice guys with dick tendencies.”
Yes! 10 points to Charlotte for excellent word choice!
So why am I telling you this? Well I think this is a type that a lot of people, both men and women, go for. It’s a bit of a grey area too, so I want to talk about why it’s harmful and share my tips for maneuvering away from it. After all, ain’t nobody got time for mediocre!
So how do you pinpoint a Nice Guy with Dick Tendencies (NGDT)? He’s the kind of guy who has had at least one serious relationship before (so you know he is capable of love and commitment), he has a good group of friends, speaks highly of his Mom, and loves his dog (or cat, in which case I really swoon). His group of close friends often include girls, whom he treats really well, and he may even have some Facebook profile pictures of him holding a baby (“hey, check out my soft sensitive side!”)
Okay so what is so wrong with these guys anyway? First, there’s a difference between accepting that not everyone is perfect and realizing that a guy has dick tendencies. What you want to watch for is that underlying feeling of unease that you have around your relationship with them. Let’s break it down and look at how different types of guys may act in a situation. Say the guy says he’s going to call you tomorrow to make plans for that evening:
The Asshole: Doesn’t call, and if you call him out or get annoyed, he somehow flips it around, making it seem like you did something wrong. (No! Unacceptable).
The Nice Guy: He calls, as you knew he would, and he calls at a respectable time.
The Nice Guy with Dick Tendencies: You’re pretty sure he’ll call, because most times he does, but when be does, it might not be until later in the evening (i.e. calling at 7 to make plans for that night). He might even offer up some kind of borderline acceptable reason for why he’s calling late, which leaves you feeling confused.
So it’s the latter that I have the most experience with (although I have dabbled in the other two categories).
Here is the main problem that I have had personally with that type: they make you question yourself, when really you should be questioning them.
The types of things that run through my head are “am I being too uptight?” “why am I doubting that he’ll call, I’m sure he will.” “Oh he had a good reason for calling late, I should be more laid back.” “Maybe I’m being too needy.”
It can be so confusing and hurtful to be treated like this, and the worst part is, is that you can’t figure out if you’re putting up with shit or if you’re making a big deal out of nothing (as they will lead you to believe).
Here’s the thing though- hoping they’ll change is never the answer. Hating them and bitching about them to your friends isn’t the answer either (although may be helpful for a short time- when used appropriately, venting can be very therapeutic).
As I said, I’m still working on this myself, so I’m not a fully recovered NGDT dater, but I will be at some point. I’ve given this some thought, and here are the steps that I believe can get you out of the grey area and towards a truly great guy.
The first thing you need to do is trust your gut feeling. If something doesn’t feel quite right, and you’re continuously justifying things that they do, it’s time to seriously question if your “nice guy” is right for you.
Don’t blame the guy, and don’t try to change him. Just move on (or begin the moving on process- it’s not always easy). Most likely, he is actually a good guy- he’s just not the guy for you. As much as it sucks, there’s a good chance that when he finds the right girl, he will treat her right. That doesn’t mean she’s better than you, it just means they’re a better match. You can’t force someone to treat you right- it’s not really your business how they act, it’s your business to stay or not.
Get some self awareness. It’s easy to blame him, but have you always been perfect to guys? Recently, I was thinking about someone I used to be into and getting annoyed over a time when they were kind of shitty. Then I remembered that at that time, I was actually more into someone else, and I was treating the first guy as a back up plan. Sometimes we can be Nice Girls with Dick Tendencies. Forgive yourself, and forgive the guys.
On the same note, be aware of when you are over reacting. It can be easy to put our insecurities onto the people we’re dating, so in some cases he is being a nice guy and you are being paranoid. If I’m confused, I imagine telling my Mom about the situation- if I feel uncomfortable telling her, it usually means I’m covering for a guy’s shitty behavior. If I don’t mind telling her, it probably means I’m over reacting.
Next tip is do your inner work. Relationships of any kind are beautiful because they reflect back to you what’s going on inside of yourself. Why is it that you’re putting up with a guy who is kind of half ass-ing it? Often I think we don’t fully believe we deserve better (sooo not true) or we believe there is a shortage of good guys (also not true), so think we better grab on to one who almost fits the bill. We also tend to love drama and the intensity that comes with someone who runs hot and cold.
Also, if you’re like me, you may have an aversion to really nice guys. Start questioning that. I’ve realized that I assume nice guys are push overs, or desperate, or dorky. Some of them may be, but some might just be genuinely awesome guys who know how to treat you right! Crazy I know, but I think it’s true :p
Now to get the kind of guy you do want, start looking around your life for the people who embody the qualities that you want in a man. The cool thing is that you can look to anyone for this- not just the people you’re romantically into. Say you have a cousin who is always there when you need her, or your friend always remembers your birthday. Maybe your co worker has the best sense of humour and always knows how to cheer you up, or the random guy on the street holds the door open for you.
Also look at the guys you have dated- even if they weren’t amazing, they had some great qualities. I dated a guy in university who would always call exactly when he said he would and would always be there to pick me up on time. Every time he saw me, he told me how nice I looked, and I don’t mean “your ass looks hot in those jeans,” but rather “wow you look so pretty.” Yes he had his dick tendencies, but I loved those good qualities, and I know those are some things I for sure want in a man.
When you come across these qualities that matter to you, get in touch with the feeling that they bring you. Now you know how you want to feel around the right guy, so you have a new set point.
Remember, love is an adventure! We aren’t born knowing exactly what we want or how we should be treated. We experiment and figure it out along the way. Yeah, your future might still hold some assholes and some semi-nice guys, but they are just life lessons. If it’s what you truly want, you can absolutely have the nice awesome guy, or girl, you deserve. Enjoy the ride