I was inspired by reader ss’s comments on my prior post, A pensive moment, as well as another conversation I had directly resulting from that posting as well, so I decided to expatiate in a quick stream-of-consciousness high.
ss, i thought your definition of the good guy was hilarious (“there’s the rich guy, the funny guy, the hot guy, but good guy is just good”). i get what you’re saying about how maybe the stereotypical “nice guy” is only dated because he’s nice — or in another interpretation, there are some guys who just don’t have any other redeeming characteristics other than being nice.
I wasn’t sure I necessarily agreed with the idea that there could be guys whose only distinctive quality was that they’re nice, although I was certain of the phenomenon that, despite other charateristics a guy may possess or exhibit, a girl dates him because and only because he is nice (most likely to make up for the excess indiscretions committed against her by a particularly douchey specimen).
Amused nonetheless, I forwarded the post to the Boy, who doesn’t regularly read este blog because he doesn’t want to run into the possibility of feeling bothered by its contents. He is also, despite (and indicative by) his vehement protests, is undeniably a nice guy.
I had spoken in my prior post about the dangers of expecting people to change for you after you commit to them. But I had a feeling Boy’s takeaway from the post would be what he, as person being committed to, needed to do — as opposed to his interpretation of what people needed to determine in terms of their expectations on change, or lack thereof.
Boy: hrmm so i see where you’re getting at here. i have to make you want to change yourself huh?? oh wait. i mean you want me to make you want to change me
Neither statements were in fact true, but I could see he was trying to figure out what, at least according to the post, he needed to do to fulfill what I was hoping to find in my special somebody. (I told you: nice guy.) I was interested to hear what other thoughts he had on the topic.
me: i don’t think that you should date someone expecting them to change.
The explanation was a bit inadequate. I elaborated.
me: if a person promises to love you, then that should mean they love you for who you are. but if you (that’s a general “you” btw) are willing to change yourself for the better for them, of your own volition, and actually try to, then that’s a sign of deeper care? and by change we mean like… REALLY change. not just, not dumping laundry on the floor instead of the hamper, or whatever.
Then growing sheepish at the length of my justifying, I added:
me: if that all makes sense
Boy responded a moment later.
Boy: “because a bad boy who is good to you is being good to you because he wants to. whereas a good guy is good to you because he’s always good.”
He seemed to mull ss’s comment over. Then:
Boy: yea [your explanation] makes sense
And then his usual niceguyphobia kicked in.
Boy: but… i guess if you are a douche and change, rather than being an NG and do nothing, which would you prefer? which is a sign of deeper care?
I answered honestly, but tried my best to discourage his romanticism over douchebag tendencies, for obvious reasons.
me: i guess the douchebag changing is more monumental. that said, the chance of that is close to nil, and those aren’t odds girls like to play with… even though they still will, and then get burned, and then regret it
Boy: yea it’s a gamble.. but think of the reward O.O
I knew he’d get around to making that point, so I prepared my case for nice guys in earnest.
me: meh, that’s like saying invest $1 mil in the lottery, think of the reward you’ll get if you actually win! but chances are you probably won’t, and you’ll have wasted $1 mil for nothing. crude example, but yeah
Boy: hahhah. but there are still millions and millions of suckers that fall for it. i mean who really wins the lottery? the lottery company. in this analogy, the lottery company = the dbag. the dbag is the winner here. all the while, scratchy tickets are whimsical gifts you give as crappy presents
me: mm, not really. the dbag would be the prize! i guess it’s kind of like, douchebags = shiny lottery. i.e. prize you’ll spend more time stressing out about than reaping any rewards from. nice guys = stable career that provides steady returns and quiet happiness
Fast money vs. career. It was something I thought a lot about these days, especially with a crappy job I had just departed from (overall happily, but not without more degradation and humiliation than any employee the world over should ever endure. I have faith that bitch will get what he deserves in the end). Why not just be a stripper or a bartender for a living and thrive off cashcashcash, rather than be a respected journalist but survive on table scraps?
Boy: well yea definitely from a girls perspective i can see that. but there are more returns for the guys being a dbag than an NG
me: i suppose. but it’s a matter of principal. do you want to be the livelihood-sucking bane of existence, or do you want to be a force of symbiotic nature
Even as I made my own argument for principal, I wondered whether, in the larger scheme of things beyond nice guys and money-making, I really believed my own words.
Boy: did i tell you about the how the joker is a vital part of the gotham universe?
Boy sent me a link to This or That‘s Why The Joker and Not Batman is the Savior of Us All. I read the spiel (complete with — “Ooh, John Nash’s wife in reality was hot? Better look that up.” “Watchmen, remember watching that, what was the plot about again? Wikipedia time!” — multiple distractions), then — after a quick agreement on our mutual goal to read Watchmen, the graphic novel, someday — we finally returned to the original matter of concern.
me: i see why you referred me to the joker thing after our discussion of why any guy would ever in hell choose not to be a dbag
Boy: yes absolutely. poor batman
me: wait, so, in this metaphor of nice guys and dbags to lotteries and stable income and worthless scratch tickets and jokers and whatever, WHO IS BATMAN? is that the unheard of, ever elusive, hot badboy rich caring emotional not too emotional possessive not too possessive that doesn’t exist?
Boy: wouldn’t [Batman] be the NG, the underappreciated fool who is taken advantage of? the slow steady income that people become reliant upon?
* * * * * * *
I think what the whole discussion really comes down to this: What’s more important in influencing a decision to hire, presentation or skill? (I’d like to believe that) I prefer to take faith in skill, and choosing a package based on its contents rather than how it’s wrapped, so quickly destroyed when digging to the root of its being anyway. Douchebaggery, and the concealment of a man’s “nice guy” nature, I feel that that’s all fancy presenting at play, a way to hype up what could very well turn out to be dull, unintriguing innerworkings anyway.
What are your thoughts on nice guys vs. douchebags? Are there really no benefits to be reaped from nice guys? Do girls really only date nice guys because they’re nice, or is this the initial draw? Or is it not an initial draw at all? Why do nice guys always finish last, or do they indeed always finish last?