I am no stranger to blind dates, first dates, good dates, bad dates, and crying in the bathroom, but the past few years, especially since living in New York City, the guys who are actually nice seem like the stranger men to me. Call me jaded or call me cynical (my mom sure does) but when I meet someone for a date, and they are genuinely nice, it is rather shocking and out of the ordinary. And I don’t mean “nice” like they call you the right name or make sure you get off first. I mean nice in the fact that they hold the door, pull out your chair, ask you questions, and make eye contact.
Absurd, I know.
For the past few weeks I have been seeing someone who definitely falls into the “Nice guy category”. After our first date, I came home and called my friends and told them about every minute and mundane detail (like I do after every date) although where I normally would say, “…so I blew him and left” or “he drank white zinfandel with ice” I noted how nice he was – something my friends had very rarely heard me say when referring to a man. The nicest guy I have come across in the past three years is Harum, the guy who works at Dunkin’ Donuts.
All of their reactions were the same: “Oh my god, finally a nice guy”… “This is exactly what you need”… “Marry him.”
While my friends were all infatuated with him, I on the other hand, was on the fence. So, I hopped down, ordered a pizza, and tried to figure out why I was so damaged and jaded.
After my fifth slice, I decided one more was enough and then called one of my girlfriends to talk this out. All of my friends are great and each one has a specific purpose. I have one friend I go to when I need to talk about work. Another one to talk about food. And another to talk about exercise. Actually, I haven’t talked to that friend in a few years…Hm. I hope he’s okay.
Anyways, I called my girlfriend who is really great at analyzing guys and relationships, and has more of a “real” attitude than some of my other friends. While finishing the last of the pizza, I listened to her tell me something I think, deep down, I already knew: You are attracted to assholes.
“Huh” I said. “I guess that’s kind of true.”
“Kind of true? James you dated someone for four months who only texted you after midnight. You dated someone else who forgot your birthday. And don’t make me bring up the guy who pushed you down a flight of stairs.”
“Okay, okay. I am attracted to assholes” I finally admitted. “But how do I stop?”
“How the hell should I know? I just texted a guy who thinks my name is Jennifer and asked him to come over. I’m in the same boat.”
I went out with the nice guy again, and just as expected, we had a wonderful time. He paid for my dinner, helped me put my coat on, and even walked me (out of his way) to my train. He has a successful job, his own apartment, and he reads from fun. He even gets his books from the library, not a book store. Swoon.
I spent the whole train ride wondering what was wrong with me. I had a great evening and liked him a lot, I just didn’t have the butterflies. I didn’t have the zsa zsa zsu. I didn’t have anything.
But there was something missing. I thought about the other people I have dated who gave me butterflies. They weren’t necessarily “assholes” or “jerks”, but there was some type of challenge. Whether it was the drive for passion or just the determination of keeping it interesting, there was always something keeping me texting them. Something that made me want to prove they should date me. But now, in this situation, I already had him. He is already interested. He wants to date me.
So why do I feel nothing?
I know that now, as a “mature” 27 year old, I need to be appreciative that someone so great thinks I am so great as well, but am I a fool for wanting there to be a challenge? Or should I just suck it up, stop playing games, and give this one a chance?
Hello? Answer me.