While checking out this article at the Frisky about a guy who claims that the women only like jerks, then goes on to actually BE a jerk, it dawned on me that I’ve heard a lot of women also complain that they are “too nice” to guys, often followed by the complaint that they don’t get out of the relationship what they put in.
This claim has always set my radar on edge.
I immediately wonder if they’re objectively “too nice” to guys or really feeling resentful about being taken advantage of, or both.
When I go out into the world, it’s a always high priority for me to be nice and polite to everyone. I’ve never wondered if I’m too nice when it came to love relationships, mostly because resentment is something that I try really hard to keep at bay. For myself, resentment is the death knell of a romantic relationship. I can’t deal with resentment for very long, and have learned the hard way that if I don’t nip it in the bud right away, I will stew and the relationship will sink.
However, asking “Am I’m too nice?” is a pretty common complaint. Could it be that your expectations of how your guy will reciprocate to your niceness are getting in the way? Could it be that you give and give while expecting the law of reciprocation to catch you? Could it be that you secretly feel that if you don’t keep giving, he’ll disappear?
Are you giving out of fear? Are you giving to people who don’t appreciate it? Is what you’re giving them something that they actually value?
To find out, pull back a bit. Now, I’m not talking about doing anything extreme, just letting him handle more of his own life. Stop the unsolicited gifts. Stop the little surprises. Stop doing whatever it is that is making you feel over-extended.
See what happens if you aren’t the person in the relationship who is always giving to your partner. See if he notices. Don’t be punitive, or make a big show of it. Just pull back and focus on yourself a little more.
If you’re with someone who doesn’t deserve your giving, there will most likely be a problem and you’ll know right away. If you’re with someone who really cares, you might be suprised to notice that he steps up his game a little bit. Nature abhors a vaccuum. Do a feelings check on yourself while you’re pulling back. Are you afraid? Terrified he’ll leave? This will be telling as well. How do you feel while you’re doing this?
You might be surprised that I’ve heard a large number of guys complain that they would like to care of their woman and do more things for her, but she always swoops in and does everything. Surprised? You shouldn’t be.
When men are truly, deeply in love, they are 99% of the time, deeply concerned with making their partner happy. Often men are made extremely happy by making you happy. I would contend that the ones who aren’t just might not be worth being with.
So it begs the question, are you letting him make you happy? Are you giving all the time but never letting yourself receive? Men are incredibly generous creatures when they are appreciated and feel like they can succeed at making you happy. Showing how happy he’s made you when he does the little things, often leads to him doing much bigger things. Sometimes all it takes is you making sure he knows how much you appreciate it, and not being the first one to give all the time.
Also, if you’re giving only with the hope of receiving, that’s ugly and you know it. Be honest with yourself.