Jen: Another ‘nice’ blog post

Yes, dear.

Yes, dear.

Nice biscuits are apparently very nice indeed. There can be no other explanation for the fact that the number one search term that draws readers to this blog is not ‘love’, or ‘dating’, or ‘sex’, it’s… ‘nice biscuits’. Good thing I wrote a piece about biscuity men a few months back then!

Today’s post is not an attempt to draw yet more readers to Beau Dacious through the shameless use of the term ‘nice biscuits’ (did you hear that, SEO bot? I said NICE BISCUITS). Rather, it is about the concept of niceness and how actually, being nice in a relationship can be a woman’s downfall.

Here’s the thing. Apparently men want a mental challenge and nice girls, well, they just don’t provide that. The nice girl thinks she’s doing herself a favour by meeting – and even exceeding – her man’s needs, often at the expense of her own. She makes herself available at all times, is caring, considerate and thoughtful and avoids conflict like the plague.

Unfortunately, being nice does not reap the rewards she expects. Instead of stoking the fire of her partner’s passion, reminding him how darn lucky he is, this behaviour simply tells her guy that he doesn’t need to do anything in order to deserve her. Or keep her. And when he stops trying to earn her, she starts feeling neglected. Which is when the nice girl becomes the needy, whiny girl.

The worst part of all of this? Realising that you, yes YOU, are that nice girl.

Well, that’s been my recent discovery anyway. Which is not to say that I am Pollyanna, but when I am in a relationship, I am nice to the point of losing myself. As Liz Gilbert so accurately puts it in her bestseller Eat, Pray, Love: “I am a permeable membrane. If I love you, you can have everything. You can have my time, my devotion, my money, my family, my dog, my dog’s money, my dog’s time –everything. If I love you, I will protect you from your own insecurity. I will project upon you all sorts of good qualities that you never actually cultivated in yourself. I will give you the sun and the moon and if they are not available I will give you a sun check and a rain check. I will give you all this and more until I am so exhausted and depleted that the only way can recover my energy is by becoming infatuated with someone else.”

Makes you want to throw up a little bit, doesn’t it?

So what’s a girl to do? Well, this nice girl has been reading Why men love bitches. The title is, I think, misleading, as this is not an instructional manual on how to be an absolute cow, it’s a guide to regaining your independence and remaining true to yourself and your needs. As with any book of this nature, much of the advice is to be taken with a pinch of salt, but it has helped me identify some of my behaviour patterns which, quite frankly, are not doing me any favours.

The upshot? I have made a conscious decision, not to be less nice as such, but to be nicer to myself. To be a little more demanding when it comes to relationship ROI. My fellow blogger Cisca said something recently that really stuck with me. She said that she distinguishes between “I love you” and “I give you my liver I love you”. I am not going to hold back on loving, something I do quite freely, but from now on, that liver – it won’t be coming free!

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2 thoughts on “Jen: Another ‘nice’ blog post

  1. Wise. The hard part is to find a man who won’t take everything from you as he wants you to be all you can be; what he originally fell in love with. One who’d be a bit put off if you started giving everything to him.

    Goes for friendships too. When they are all about the other person, back away.

    • Indeed. But here’s a question. What if you gave everything to someone and in so doing you lost them. Can you win them back by holding back even though they know what you were prepared to give before?

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