You don’t get it! You’re loving, kind, conscientious, accommodating, caring and hospitable, yet you still find yourself alone. Why is this? Maybe you’re just too nice.
It’s great to posses the characteristics listed above. It’s also great when we share them in a relationship with someone who deserves and appreciates them. Unfortunately we often share these attributes too early during the beginning stages of a relationship hoping the object of our desire will revere us for it, before they have even shown us if they are worthy. In doing so the reverse happens. We get taken for granted, the relationship ends and/or we get placed in the “friend zone.”
For years, I never understood this concept. I always thought being nice would make me more attractive and desirable to a mate. For the first few months, my charm would seem to work. Boyfriends would be mesmerized by my sweet and agreeable nature. Then all of a sudden, disturbing thoughts would creep into their minds, “Can she really be this nice?” “Does she really never get upset?” “Can a relationship be this smooth?” A few weeks later, the relationship was over and my heart was broken.
After watching this pattern repeat in my life and the lives of others over and over again, I finally realized that what we were doing was unnatural. We weren’t being nice because we were “just that nice.” We were being nice because we were putting the other person’s thoughts, needs and desires before our own. We didn’t want to ruffle feathers or come off as disagreeable for fear of losing the person. So in some ways, we were changing ourselves to become more accommodating. If he was a vegetarian, on dates we stopped ordering meat or if she liked romantic comedies, we wouldn’t even suggest seeing an action movie. What we weren’t realizing is that by doing this we were alienating ourselves by displaying insecurity, lack of self confidence and the perception of trying too hard. None of these attributes were sexy. People wanted to date who we authentically were and we were giving them the image of who we thought they wanted us to be.
Over the years I have learned that most individuals appreciate the differences and even the disagreements because it makes life interesting. So be yourself. Say what’s on your mind even if you feel it may be an opposing view point. Feel free to be who you truly are. Being your true self allow others to have an appreciation of the real you and gives them the opportunity to asses who they are actually dating. Whereas being too nice will assure that you end up as someone’s emotional doormat or alone.
Do you feel like you have been “too nice” in previous relationships? What was the result? What ways do you feel you can be more of your true, authentic self in relationships?
Photo: US Army Africa / Flickr