“You seem like the type of girl who could easily be played,” a guy I was casually dating (and very much wanted to impress) once told me over brunch. I almost chocked on my mimosa.
Me? Easily played? Was he serious?
“Really why?” I responded, incredulous, but trying to seem nonchalant.
“Because you’re too nice.”
BOOM. There it was. “Nice”.
A quality we all claim to want in a romantic partner, but seem to forget the minute six-pack abs, a trust fund or a general abundance of “game” enters the room. A surefire way to end up on the losing team in the game of love. The proverbial ‘kiss of death’ to sex appeal.
Or so I used to believe.
Over the last few years, however, my view of being “nice” and its impact on the whole dating “game” has shifted DRAMATICALLY. In fact, I no longer even consider dating to be a “game” at all, for the very term “game” implies that there are winners and losers. And with a shift in perspective, there don’t have to be.
When we view the people in our lives as both our teachers and our students, and relationships as lessons in disguise, inevitable rough patches + bumps along the way can be seen not as “failures” but rather opportunities to learn and grow.
In order to move in this direction, it’s particularly important to recognize the creative power of the words we speak, and bring awareness to any “disempowering” language we use to describe our love lives. For example, why not replace, “he dumped me” with something like, “he decided that continuing this relationship wasn’t what was best for him—and by extension me—at this time.”
Whew. Isn’t that lighter? Cleaner? Less loaded with self-pity and judgment? I certainly think so.
And to take it a step further, how about no longer letting whether or not a relationship works out “mean” anything about you—or the person you’re dating! If someone breaks up with you, for example, it doesn’t have to mean you’re a not pretty, smart, lovable, or whatever enough. It also doesn’t mean the person you’re dating is a jerk. Its simply indicates that the relationship isn’t meant to work out at this time and that there is someone out there better suited to both parties. Period. End of story.
If there’s one thing I know for sure about love, it’s this:
We get back 100% of what we put out into the world. The more love we give, without attachment to the result, the more love we will receive. Therefore when we treat someone with anything less than love and kindness, we end up hurting ourselves more than we could ever possibly hurt them. Because we are all ultimately connected.
So while being “nice” may weaken your “game” with someone who’s only interested in chasing you (and not fully available/capable of being with you), it has the power to take your universal “game” (aka. karma) to a whole new level; helping you to attract + keep a truly loving romantic partner.
So I invite you to join me in reclaiming your “niceness”.
* In refusing to see dating as a “game” with winners and losers, but rather an opportunity for love and connection.
* In not letting the relative “success” of a romantic relationship mean anything about you or your partner.
* In being brave enough to drop the disempowering dating rhetoric so common in today’s culture.
* And finally, in simply viewing romance for what it is: A chance for you to connect with another human being; To have new experiences; To practice giving and receiving love; To learn, and to grow.
And to the guy who thought I was “too nice”, I pray that one day you will love yourself enough to risk being too nice to someone who is too nice right back to you. Because loving fully and being loved in return (come what may) really is a risk worth taking.