The Nice Guy: Thoughts on Settling.

July 3, 2010

photo stolen from @pauljblin


So you meet someone. He’s cute, he’s courteous, has a decent sense of humour, he’s fun and basically the guy every girl would love to have meet her friends and family.

But. (There’s always a but) When people ask what he’s like, the best you can come up with is, “He’s nice.”

Like, really really nice. Polite, almost to a fault. Do you guys ever give out nicknames to people you date? Just me? Right. I’m a jerk. Anyhow, for me, this guy was Nice John. There wasn’t a more prominent quality about him. He was just NICE.

And as theoretically perfect as his veneer was, there was nothing I found incredibly interesting about him. Our conversations didn’t go on for hours, he didn’t have weird hobbies (the weirdest thing was that he liked Star Trek… and honestly, given my dating history, that was downright normal) or think the apocalypse was coming, his jokes were pretty tame (I go for offbeat and irreverent to the point of almost-offensive). And I as I began to realize this, I wondered what he saw in ME.

So I asked him what he liked about me (I know, I know, leading question) and the answer was basically what I’d been telling my friends about him. I was “nice.” So I knew to continue seeing Nice John meant that he would always be chivalrous and open doors for me and pay for dinner. If he said he was going to call, he would. He wasn’t going to play games. But. But where was the spark?

Could I live without the spark? The guy who could check off all the “perfect” qualities I had listed for potential suitors, just didn’t have that je ne sais quoi, or as my group of girlfriends likes to say “he doesn’t sparkle.”

Usually when people talk about settling, they talk about settling with someone that has most of the qualities they’re looking for. They’re ‘good enough’ — so it’s weird to use settling in the context where the person has everything you’re looking for… but doesn’t.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is we don’t often include chemistry in our lists of what we want in the perfect partner. And yet, when we come across someone with which we have amazing chemistry but maybe none of the other “requirements”, we don’t consider that settling. Things to ponder.

Photo Cred goes to @pauljblin


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