Sunday, December 1, 2013

Nice Guys Finish Last (Or Do They?.....Yes They Do)

Something I've struggled with in college how to treat girls. I know how they want to be treated, and I know how they deserve to be treated. And it turns out those are two completely different things. 

When I was in 7th grade I had my first-too-legit-to-quit puppy love crush on a girl. Naturally I wanted the girl to like me and in my simple young mind I hatched a plan. I would be super nice to this girl and then she would like me. It all made so much sense, why does anyone like anybody else? Because that person is nice to them right?

If Bob is nice to me, compliments me, shares his snack pack with me and all that jazz, I’m going like Bob. I’m cool with Bob. That Bob guy is alright with me. So If I like Suzy, I just have to be super nice to her. Super logical right? Yes.

The problem my young mind did not comprehend, was that this was romance, and it had its own set of logic. Yeah Suzy liked me for sharing my snack pack with her, but not quite in the way I had hoped. Thus came to pass the first friendzoning of my life.

I have since learned that girls do not want to be treated super nicely. They want their minds to get mixed up. Horrible I know. Trust me, it pains me every time I have to do the mixing, but it pains me even more when I see my fellow man still in the simplistic and totally ineffective do-anything-to-please-the-girl mode.  

Basically it comes to down to value. We have a really hard time valuing ourselves, and so we use other people to do it for us. Very much like that game where you have cards on your forehead and you have to ask other people questions to figure out who you are. This clip will refresh your memory:

We take cues from other people as to what our value is. In dating, if someone is too nice or too easy (i.e guy tries too hard or girl gives it up to soon (“it” just being just kissing in mormon world of course, get your mind out of the gutter!), then we instinctively know that we could do better. It’s like deep down we think, “I don’t know what my value is, but I sure as heck know it’s higher than poor sap’s”. Likewise we sometimes we think someone is out of our league (or more valuable than us) because of cues we take from them or other people.

In dating the sweet spot is somewhere in the middle. Imagine a doctor’s scale (if you will allow me to mix metaphors here for a second). When there is too much weight, the pointer drops down. When there isn’t enough weight, the pointer shoots up. But when it’s right around the true value, its bobs up and down for a second before finally resting on correct number.

That bobbing up and down is key.  To translate that “bobbing” to dating, that’s thinking everything is great, then doubting yourself. That’s having a great date with someone you’re interested in, then seeing him/her flirt with other girls/guys. That’s waiting forever for that person to text, and then finally getting a flirty text in response. Those highs and lows, the near misses and miraculous wins, we get off on that crap. It’s addicting and deep down it makes us like someone the way little Suzy never liked me (the tramp, haha no really she’s a sweet girl who has a third kid on the way by now). 

Having to work for it and sweat it out at times makes us think that we are at the right value, like we earned it.  Everything is in balance.

Of course, just like the scale eventually has to settle, relationships in the long run have to settle for things to work out. I don’t think people would tolerate the bobbing forever, at some point there has to be some confidence and comfort. But in the short run….there needs to be some bobbing up and down to keep people interested. Nice guys are horrible at bobbing.

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