Are You Too Nice?
Sugar and spice and everything nice. From the time we are little girls, most women are taught to be kind to all people, but at what expense? In the dating world, nice can be toxic. I know, it sounds like a contradiction, but how many times have you been nice when you were not really interested in a guy? Stayed on the phone too long just to be nice? Didn’t say no to a good night kiss (or more) when you were not attracted at all, because you didn’t want to be mean? Or worse, put up with a guy who was mistreating you because you confused nice with firm?
Let’s clarify the different ways to be nice. There’s the nice that I would categorize as polite. Saying please and thank you, asking him about his life instead of focusing only on your own. Nice can also be rejecting someone without hurting their feelings. In the online dating arena, nice can be crafting a kind reply to an email from a person who doesn’t interest you but took the time and effort to craft a sweet invitation to connect. It also means not burning your bridges. Maybe down the road, this person will be right for you or a friend. If you are unkind now, you may blow your prospects for a second chance.
However, nice is not always in your best interest. Example: he always calls you at the last minute and you drop plans with friends to be with him. Are you being nice to him, but unkind to your friends? I don’t think you are being kind to anyone here, especially to yourself. Here’s what you risk: he sees you as having low standards, and you are setting yourself up for being treated poorly by him in the future. Your friends see you as a lousy friend, making ‘last minute Joe’ your first priority instead of them, your long-term buddies who really love you. And over time, after he rejects you because he doesn’t really value you, you will probably see that you’ve lost out on your own self-dignity.
It is not always easy to set standards for yourself as to how you want to be treated by others. But it is an essential first step in dating. Ask yourself, what are your five non-negotiables in a relationship? How do you want to be treated? You get to choose. Make that list before you go on another date. It’s about time to separate out the right way to be nice. It should never be at the risk of losing yourself.
What are your five non-negotiables? Please share them here.