Isabel Chalmers has written a truly compelling, heart wrenching piece at Thought Catalogue about how her slutty days are behind her and she’s ready to offer her vagina to a Nice Guy now. That’s so sweet Isabel. Let’s see what you have to offer:
Dear Nice Guy,
Note the lack of plural. Isabel is not talking to Nice Guys as a group – she is addressing that one special Nice Guy to which she is obviously entitled.
I don’t know you yet but I’m so ready to date you. Seriously, I am. For a long time, I dated bad boys. Yes, I was that girl you blame for always coming in last. I guess I dated bad boys because, somehow, I liked their unavailability, sexy sideways glances, and late-night calls. I fed off the chase and mystery they provided me. I saw them as a challenge that I always happily accepted. Let me tell you, I’ve dated so many jerks throughout the years. A lot of times, I ended up being disappointed with how it ended with them, and wondered why I always had such blind optimism about these guys I clearly knew were jerks to begin with. But to be honest, I don’t regret any of it now.
You dated men you knew were unavailable, and the juxtaposition of “sexy” and “late night calls” strongly suggests you were a booty call for a whole bunch of them. You fed off the fact that they made you feel desirable – they chased you. Your word for these men is “jerks”. A lot of times you ended up disappointed? A lot of times? You’re kidding, right?
Let’s stop for a second here, Isabel, and think about what makes these guys “jerks”. They function to pander to your inflated sense of sexual worth, respond exactly as if your sole value lies in providing sexual services, you prefer them over decent men who are clearly around and yet somehow it’s the guys who are “jerks”?
You claim to have repeatedly experienced “blind optimism” about these men, but what exactly were you optimistic about? You deliberately chose men who viewed you strictly in terms of late night booty calls, and you were hoping that would proceed to what? Marriage? A long term relationship? That you would turn your Bad Boy into a Nice Guy? Be his saviour? His Florence Nightengale? Why not just pick one of the Nice Guys in the first place?
Because then it wouldn’t be all about you?
Just a theory.
I learned a lot from each and every one of those bad boys. I learned something from every un-answered text, from every “I’m just not looking for a relationship” talk, and from every lame excuse as to why he just couldn’t make to my house party until after 1 am. I guess I never let the jerks get to me. I realized it was never me; it was always them. I was born with an abundance of self-confidence. Maybe that’s why I was never too bothered by each guy who was a jerk to me. Maybe it was because I was smart enough to realize I never actually wanted to end up with a jerk. It was always you I wanted, Nice Guy.
Eight sentences, ten uses of “I”. Hmmm. Looks like my theory might be on to something. Oh, but good for you, realizing those jerks were the perfect receptacles for your decisions and your responsibility. Hey, it couldn’t possibly be you that was the problem, right? Nope, nopity, nope, nope. It was always them.
If you have so much self-confidence, honey, then why do you need to be continuously reassured of the fact that you are an object of desire? I think you are confusing self-confident with narcissistic. I’m glad you weren’t bothered by each guy who was a jerk to you (and just how many are we talking about anyways?). I wonder when it will occur to you that those jerks gave you exactly what you wanted from them. When someone gives you what you ask for, how is that being a jerk?
With all that being said, I’m ready to date a Nice Guy.
Good for you. Why would a Nice Guy want to date you? What do you have to offer now that you’ve ridden every bad boy in town?
I’ve learned all the lessons I need to learn from bad boys. I now have the ability to distinguish between when to give up on a relationship and when to fight harder.
Uh, and how did you learn this, when all the bad boys rejected you as serious girlfriend material?
I know all the excuses and lies and can see when it’s right to say a big ‘f*ck you’ or an ‘okay, I’ll let you make it up to me.’
I’ll let you make it up to me?
Oh honey, you are a peach!
I know what it’s like get all dressed up for a night out only to sit in your room watching Netflix, crying and staring at your phone because the person you had plans with never showed.
Is this the abundance of self-confidence you were talking about earlier? Because that is just what self-confident girls do – cry and stare at their phones.
And that a “got too drunk sorry” text is not a sufficient excuse or apology.
But why would such a text surprise you? You’ve chosen men who have an extremely limited view of your value, which you have explicitly encouraged by responding to the idea of being “chased”. You want “mystery” – I think the mystery here is that you are shocked that sometimes men prefer cold beer over the stand-by pump and dump. Yeah, that’s a blow to the ego, ain’t it?
I know all these things. My mom always said that the problem with people who end up unhappy is that they don’t know how to walk away from something that has already served its purpose.
Charming. They’ve gone from bad boys to jerks to things. I think your Mom is wrong, by the way. People end up unhappy because they do not understand a fundamental truth about human beings: we are happiest when we make others happy. Of course, your Mom trashed her marriage when you were just kids and then remarried and now you live in a giant jumble of stepmoms and stepdads and stepkids and halfbrothers and assorted relatives that come and go along with the divorce decrees. Not surprising you would see others as simple tools to learn you something new.
Well, I can see now that bad boys have served all the purpose they possibly could in my life and that it’s time for me to learn a new lesson. I want to learn from you, Nice Guy.
That’s nice. You want to learn. What exactly? And what do you have to offer in exchange for this new learning you’re gonna acquire from Nice Guy? And what happens when you’re done learning? Is the Nice Guy just another thing for you to discard?
Why in the hell would any man sign up for that?
It’s time for me to learn what its like to have someone to fall back on when I feel weak.
Do you know how to offer that same strength in return? If your happiness has to do with discarding whatever has served its purpose, why should any Nice Guy trust that you are going to be there for him when the time comes?
It’s time for me to understand what its like to open up to someone without the fear that I’ll be emotionally shamed or that it will scare them away.
Do you know how to offer the same support in return? Again, if your happiness is a revolving set of men who serve a purpose and then get tossed to the curb, why should any Nice Guy believe you will never emotionally shame him or run away?
It’s time for me to understand why people write love songs or tear up at the end of the notebook. I want to know what it’s like to be desired for more than my body, for someone to look at me with passionate eyes, slowly but surely falling in love with my mind, body and soul.
Aaaaand here we have it. The unvarnished truth. You want to be desired now for more than just your body. That’s not enough. You now want to be desired body, mind and soul. You are the star of the whole universe! Every atom of you is precious! You’re the specialest snowflake that ever snowflaked!
Ugh. Seriously? That’s what you think distinguishes bad boys from Nice Guys? Bad boys chase your body, Nice Guys chase the whole package?
Here’s the thing about adult relationships, Isabel. No one chases anyone else. Mature relationships are not about you feeling your special feelings. They are about giving.
I’ll let you process that for a moment.
Your Nice Guy will give to you, absolutely. That’s what makes him a Nice Guy. But you are sadly mistaken if you think you just get to take, take, take until Nice Guy has served his purpose.
I want to know what it’s like to have someone who will always show up, who will always make time for me and who will always respect me. I want to know what it’s like to be able to count on someone, and know that even though love is never safe, I will be safely hurt by them. Mostly, I know I can learn all these things from you, Nice Guy.
And what will you offer in exchange? Can you be counted on? Can you be trusted never to hurt him? Will you always make time and always be respectful? There is nothing in your letter, Isabel, that suggests you have the faintest inkling that there might be some requirements on your part to interest a Nice Guy.
I don’t want anyone thinking I hate bad boys. I don’t hate them; I’m just done with them. I have to thank bad boys for a lot actually. Bad boys have taught me how to depend on myself. How to pick up my broken pieces. They’ve allowed me to secure the perfect break-up remedy. Booze, friends, rebounds, cry, workout, acceptance, find new bad boy, repeat.
You’re done with them. Discarded. Tossed aside. Ready for the next victim. Gosh, prepare for men to line up around the block for the chance to be your next casualty. And it sounds like there have been rather a number of causalities in the past. Always a charming quality in any woman.
I understand myself so much better because of these bad boys. I know what I’m like at my worst. But I’m ready to know what I’m like at my best.
Well, kudos to you for admitting you have no clue what you look like “at your best”. Sadly, Isabel, you also have no clue what you at your best is supposed to look like. You just want that Nice Guy to throw caution to the wind and hope that your “best” turns out to be a decent human being? That’s rather a lot to ask.
I promise you this, Nice Guy: I don’t know you yet, but I will be a nice girl to you in return. I will show you what you’re like at you’re best. I will treat you with the respect you deserve and will always answer your call when you need me. I will show you what all those bitchy girls couldn’t.
Yep, we’re back to Square One: you’re gonna show that Nice Guy what he’s like at his best. You’re gonna save him! Here’s the thing, cupcake, Nice Guys spend most of their lives “at their best”. That’s what makes them Nice Guys. He doesn’t need you to show him jack shit. He doesn’t need you to save him from those bitchy girls (and recall that you were one of those bitchy girls).
He doesn’t need you for anything at all.
If you want a Nice Guy, you will have to make him want you. He doesn’t need you and never will. But if you want to be wanted, you’ll need to cultivate some qualities that will make his already nice life better. Here’s a short list:
You see, Isabel, Nice Guys have those qualities in abundance. But why should they give them away? Those are qualities that, when reciprocated, create beautiful, long-lasting relationships in which both partners are happier and more content than they were before the relationship.
So, I guess all there is left to say is… I’m ready whenever you are.
Don’t hold your breath.
Lots of love,