Except, it's not just that that's life. It's my life.
Outside of my marriage, I have never been in a romantic relationship that ever saw a fourth month. Ever. To the best of my knowledge, I've never done anything to ruin anything. Perhaps if any of my ex's are reading this, they'd see fit to enlighten me about their side of things, but as near as I can tell what happens is this: I'm not actually like most guys. At first, that's a positive thing. But then what happens is that most girls/women discover they're not wired to actually be involved with me because I don't say or do the same things they're conditioned to expect. I'm very opinionated about many things, but I'm also very committed to civility. Consequently, while I'm not afraid at all of disagreeing with someone, I rarely have an actual argument with anyone. Women who are accustomed to the exhausting cycle of fighting and making up are very prone to finding me boring and leaving quickly.
Believe me, I'll stand up for myself. What I won't do, however, is make a big deal out of something that really isn't worth that kind of energy. I much prefer harmony and peace in my life, and unfortunately so many people are accustomed to frequently getting angry and then experience equally over-the-top phases of making up that they really just don't know how to acclimate to an emotionally stable relationship.
I am not at all the kind of person who will take it on the chin solely to avoid confrontation. In my old age, I've become more selective about when to speak up, certainly, but mostly I've just learned how to speak up without ranting and raving. I can still pitch an absolute fit on occasion, of course, and anyone who has ever watched me play Mario Kart Wii can attest to this. I'm comfortable yelling about the unfairness of game hackers ruining my race.
|I am guaranteed to cuss and yell while playing this @#$%ing game.|
Looking back, one thing I recall several of my ex's all mentioning ad nauseam when we first got together was how stupid each of them felt for how long they had stayed with guys who were unkind to them. My wife's first husband was emotionally abusive, unfaithful and a grade A jerk. She stayed with him for years. I readily admit that I was not my affectionate self during my Year of Hell with severe depression, and I know my withdrawal was hurtful for her. However, I was never actively unkind to her and never once was I unfaithful in any capacity. Why was it so much easier for her to bail on me than it was for her to leave him? I built her up emotionally, even when it was her own blood family tearing her down, but I'm the one she can just up and leave?
One of the few blogs I continue to read is Nikol Hasler's. In a recent post ("Some of Us Would Like to Hear We're Beautiful"), she states:
Some guys believe that a woman would get sick of being treated well. They believe that I would lose interest if they were good and kind and adored me. Those guys are wrong. I like to be told I’m beautiful with such sincerity. Maybe I should give up on dating and just get a parrot.That led to the following back-and-forth between her and me in the comments section.
Me All I know is that every girl/woman I’ve ever gone out with has complained of how much they put up with from the guys who mistreated them, but they didn’t hesitate to lose interest in me. I’ve been complimentary, encouraging, patient, faithful…all the things my predecessors weren’t. I’m not qualified to draw any final conclusions from this, but I do know that just being those things is apparently insufficient to satisfy Jane Q. Public.
NH The misconception is that we lose interest BECAUSE you’re nice to us. Are we still with the guys who treated us like shit? Nope. Because they treated us like shit. The reason we’re not with a guy who didn’t treat us like shit isn’t because he was nice to us. There’s just more to it than that.
Me I readily concede that there’s a lot more to it than “leave the nice guy.” But I definitely feel that women have been much quicker to leave me than they were to leave the guys who were jerks. “My ex cheated on me several times, put me down, wasn’t there for me, etc.” I do the exact opposite, but there doesn’t even seem to be any hesitation or struggle about leaving me. Why are women so much more reluctant to leave the jerks?
NH I may be the exception, but I stick it out with nice guys. I would stay with them forever.
Except (not pointing any fingers), I do know that a few of the guys I dated who harped on the whole “Woman don’t want NICE guys! I’m such a nice guy.” song were actually the biggest jerks I ever dated.
And as for choosing jerks in the first place, that’s not my MO. The last “asshole” I dated seemed really nice for about a month. Then he got mean and I’d break up with him, he’d apologize, do a bunch of really nice things, I’d take him back… It wasn’t his asshole behavior that appealed to me.
It's certainly not an issue so simplistic that all women are bored by nice guys, and just as certainly that most jerks don't come across as such up front. Still, I maintain my point about my own anecdotal experiences. Every ex I've ever had complained extensively about how stupid they felt for what they had tolerated and put up with from my predecessors, and every one of them lost interest in me and bailed after just a couple of months without my having committed any of those offenses.
Also, in case Nikol or any of her readers happen to be here, now is as good a time as any to shamelessly promote my own previous blog post, "On Appreciating the Beauty of Women."
Another reader left the following comment:
I agree fully, Nikol. I think that there’s some sort of mass-hypnosis going on that allows guys to think that women “don’t like nice guys” when, NO….it’s that we just don’t like THEM. Telling themselves that women “only want assholes” let’s them off the hook so that they don’t have to face what it REALLY was that made us lose interest.
I'm sure there are some guys who are disingenuous about the "I'm a nice guy" thing, but I am certain I'm not among them. Not because I'm so full of myself that I'm sure I'm a nice guy because I'm afraid of introspection, but rather the reverse. I'm so self-critical that I'm aware of every flaw I have - even ones that go unnoticed by my (admittedly few) romantic partners. I can't account for what it is that I've done wrong that "REALLY" made them lose interest. I honestly cannot answer that question, and I cannot answer it for any of my past relationships. None of my friends can (or will) explain it, either, and there are no sycophants in my inner circle. They'll kick me in the teeth about everything else, so I cannot fathom that on this one subject they've all conspired to keep from telling me about an obvious flaw.
I also follow a few adult bloggers as well, and I recently discussed my woes with one of them (no links to this one). She suggested that I "get the rope out" and look into purchasing a ball-gag and whip, as well as a Sybian. "They may stick around a little longer," she offered. Her perspective, then, was that women lose interest in me because I'm not sufficiently aggressive or dominant. Now we're back to the struggle between my peaceable nature, and the interests of women. All I can conclude is that women are not interested in a peaceable guy like me.
I would love to know just what it is that I have (or haven't) done that has led every girl/woman I've ever gone out with to lose interest in me after just a couple of months. I would very happily work to change that. At present, though, my understanding of my relationships, the girls/women themselves and human nature in general leads me to just one conclusion: I don't behave like most guys, and no matter how frustrated they may get with Joe Sixpack, he's familiar. They may hate all the arguing and insensitivity, but they're used to it enough that when they're with a guy like me where things are peaceful, it's confusing. It lacks the kinetic thrills they associate with being in a relationship, and the truth is that entirely too many people - of any gender - don't really want companionship nearly as much as they really just want the game playing and charades of courtship.
Feedback is always welcome on this blog, and particularly on this post. Some of you know me and my previous experiences well enough to have keen insights. Some of you may simply wish to relate to the broad themes I've outlined here. Whatever it is, I'd love to hear it!
(While I'm thinking about it, Nikol Hasler is made of awesomesauce and you should definitely follow her blog, Twitter feed and Facebook page, Nikol Hasler Loves Your Shoes.)