Recently more so than ever I’ve been told by friends and family members to “be nice”. They say it in passing, like a friendly reminder, much like the way someone would call after you, “don’t forget your keys!” or “call me when you get there!”. They say it in heart-to-heart conversations, the way someone would
give quality advice out of concern and compassion. They type it in text and they say it in calls. They say it sternly, with one of those
“I know you and how you are” looks. They say it casually, like I don’t hear the conviction behind their all too nonchalant assertion that maybe, just maybe I should try to be less bitchy and abrasive. “Be nice”, they advice. “Just be nice!”, they demand.
Whether friendly advice or frustrated concern, their words have only reinforced in me that the last thing I will ever actively, willingly and cognitively do is be nice.
Recently more so than ever I’ve been dating. I’ve been dating guys I meet on Bumble, for a free drink and Tuesday night ego-boost. I’ve been dating guys I’ve met at bars, for some quality flirtation and kisses between cigarettes. I’ve been dating attractive actors, and douchey doctors. Real estate broker mates and bottle service bros. I’ve been a lot of things on these dates. I’ve been an animated actress, dominating conversation and charming with my cleverness. I’ve been a flirtatious lush, sipping wine too quickly and letting cami straps fall down off of my shoulders. I’ve been serious and stoic, playing with my hair nervously and opening up about my heartbreak, and I’ve been fun-loving and engaging, hopping from bars to restaurants with my date following behind like a puppy on a leash. In all of my recent dating endeavors though there’s one thing I notably haven’t been. And that’s nice.
It’s not always that I’m an outright bitch. Well, intentionally. It’s often my bluntness that throws people off initially. The off-color comments and nearly blatant insults. My personality also comes off a little strong, I’ve been told. There’s the whole complete lack of shame thing, coupled with the arrogance of someone who knows they have the best cleavage in the bar, and I definitely don’t imagine my foul mouth or overtly sexual nature set me up for success either. But bitchy? I mean yeah, if they’re a wuss…
It’s not that I’m being “not nice”, I’m just not subscribing to the whole boost his ego and suck his dick after the third date kind of thing. People tell me so often to “be nice” but then also tell me to be myself.. So which is it? Because clearly, now that these two words of advice are reiterated so often they practically ring in my head in a million different voices like a schizophrenic nightmare, I need to take a step back and think. Be less blunt? Try to be less abrasive and unimpressed all of the time? Lower my standards or heighten my disappointment bar?
I approach dating like I do anything else in my life: very straightforwardly. Set a goal, accomplish goal, reap the benefits. That hasn’t necessarily worked out horribly for me so far… Moved to NY with a dollar and a dream, landed an incredible job that allows me to live a lifestyle I’m beyond happy with, and I fit into the XOXO dress I graduated from Highschool in! So are my tactics really all that off?
The last time I was “nice” to a guy I had my heart stomped on on 31st and 8th and I guess since then I haven’t necessarily been feeling so ~lovey dovey~. Sure, maybe these inserted screengrabs of 100% true conversations I have with guys will make you think, “gee you frigid bitch being a bit nicer is definitely advice you should be taking”, but t0 that point, why? What will I see from being a bit nicer on dates? If their accent pisses me off, their ego is out of control, their debit card has a beach scene on it or I can’t stand the subtly homophobic comments he’s making then WHY BE FUCKING NICE?
And in addition to why, there’s also how. How do I go about being “nicer”. Can that be accomplished through saying less and smiling more? Filtering my comments and offering to make him coffee in the morning instead of kicking him out before I even have a chance to put a bra on? When I think of nice I think of someone naturally warm and warm without reservation. Is that really a thing that a young girl in this city should be anyway? Should you really be advising that I change my character for strangers that, and there’s no in between, either want to spend a night with me or want to spend their life with me? If being nice is not my natural inclination then why advise, whether friendly or assertive, whether casual or concerned, that I actively rework the way I approach interaction?
My tactics may not be conventional, and my approach will never be one girls should aspire to employ, but as much as it’s “not working” for me it’s working just fine. The next time I find a guy worth being nice to I will be very nice. Twice in a night.