And I listened.
And I cared.
Then I stopped. It was half because I realized the pattern that was going on and half because I systematically alienated every one of my female friends.
Now I consider myself a jerk. I don’t know if it’s actually true, but it sure makes me feel better. You’d have to ask someone who knows me. I’ve declared myself an idealistic nihilist jerk who wants the best for everybody but doesn’t consider humans to be morally considerable. I figure the more contradictions I throw in my personal description, the more accurate it’ll be and the less people will expect of me.
Yesterday I had a conversation with my roommates. I posed the question of whether they’d prefer a boyfriend who was emotionally distant or one who was too attentive.
“yeah, probably me too.”
Why? Because the alternative was suffocating. So then I asked whether they’d prefer a nice guy or a guy who was consistently a jerk. They asked me for a few hypotheticals, but eventually responded with:
“jerk, because nice guys are boring.”
“I’d get tired of the nice guy.”
Then I went on to question them as to what would make the ideal boyfriend, just because I was curious (their responses were boring and noncommittal, no sense repeating them here). I’d always realized women were drawn to making stupid choices, but never thought that they knew their own patterns.
I also never realized that they equated niceness with boring. Nice does not mean boring. Nice means that they legitimately care about someone other than themselves. Nice does not mean predictable. Nice also does not mean spineless, but that’s a topic for another post.
It is perfectly consistent for a nice guy to be random, romantic, or just plain insane.
Imagine two boyfriends. Boyfriend A and Boyfriend B.
- Boyfriend A is nice and predictable. He always opens doors, he always pulls out chairs, and he always asks his girlfriend how her day was.
- Boyfriend B is a jerk and predictable. He always unlocks doors but only opens his own, he always pulls out his own chair only, and he always interrupts his girlfriend when she’s talking.
Eventually, the girl will grow tired of Boyfriend A and might break up with him. Boyfriend A will fight for her, but ultimately understand because nice guys always understand.
With Boyfriend B, she’ll grow annoyed and frustrated and might try to break up each time, but he’ll always convince her to stay and she’ll look past his bad characteristics to his good ones. She’ll stay with him, and each time he’s being a jerk, she’ll call up a nice guy and complain.
(enough linking already. Read this post: http://www.pixcapacitor.com/2005/06/nice-guys-screw-themselves/”>. It’s more accurate than I’d care to think about)
The problem with predictable nice guys is that their niceness turns against them. When niceness is predictable, girls will try to get rid of the predictability and see the good traits behind, never realizing that they’re getting rid of the good traits with the predictability.
Jerks have less good traits, but their traits aren’t tied in to their predictability. As such, women seek them out and stay with them longer than necessary.
What’s the solution?
Hell if I care. Leave me alone. I’m the unpredictable jerk.