In Part One of “How Nice Guys Finish Last,” I told you about one of my good buddies who recently went from touching the sky to (trying) to pick himself up from one of the longest and hardest falls in his romantic life. I really feel for “Damien” because he’s a great guy, with good intentions. He’s got that proverbial “heart of gold.”
Let me recap. Damien met this masculine, attractive guy, who’s rather “easy on the eyes.” According to Damien, they seemed to have quite a lot in common—similar backgrounds, characteristics, interests, points of views.
Damien was walking on Cloud Nine, in a state of euphoria! He talked about “Winston” almost ad nauseam. I advised, “C’mon now, slow down! Take it slow and easy, and enjoy the process of getting to know one another.” I added, “The process is like peeling back an onion, stripping back each other’s layers. That’s so crucial!”
Unfortunately, he didn’t heed my warnings. Instead, Damien made himself just too dang available. He was “up under” Winston too much, not giving him enough breathing (and thinking) room.
Damien made too many phone calls; sent too many texts, emails, IMs. Translation: he was “sweatin’ tha “brotha!” As well, he let Winston know how he felt about him “wayyyyyyyyyyy” too soon—and revealed too much (too soon).
Damien, with sparkles dancing around in his cold-black, expressive eyes, kept smiling, “Winston’s my soul mate! I just know he is!” Shaking my head I mused, “Is there really such a ‘thang’ as a soul mate?” And, two weeks into their dating experience, my buddy broached that (can be) touchy subject, which is spelled: R-E-L-A-T-I-O-N-S-H-I-P.
And soon, Winston began to pull away. He wouldn’t answer Damien’s calls, texts, emails, IMs. He just faded away, disappeared!
Needless to say, Damien was devastated.
Thankfully, Damien is recovering emotionally, albeit slowly. His is the text book case of “The Mistakes Nice Guys Make That Ruin Relationships.” Actually, this is the title of an article written by Jerry Plaza for Gayguys.com.
As a journalist who has written about romance, I found this article interesting on various levels. In “How Nice Guys Finish Last, Part One,” I wrote about Plaza’s first ten blunders. Now, I’m going to recount his final ones. And then, I’ll end by cluing you in on those I believe you definitely should not make.
Ready? Well, let’s go for it!
- Trying to be too likable. We all want to appear likable, but there’s a fine line between a man of character and being disingenuous. Pretending and over exaggerating your generosity or kind spirit will soon be transparent overtime. In the long run, we don’t fall in love with likability alone. We fall in love with authenticity.
- Buying affection. Paying for every date you go on is one step away from begging. When you give him space to walk all over you, you’re slowly creating a monster. A very spoiled monster.
- Being nonsocial on dates and focusing only on him might make you feel like you’re giving him the attention he deserves, but in reality it’s giving an impression that you’re unfriendly. Don’t be afraid to talk to people in front of your man. It conveys confidence that quickly turns into sexual attraction.
- Rewarding bad behavior. Just because you’re a nice guy doesn’t mean he can disrespect your limits. If he does something rude, you can’t make him think he can do it again and again. Grow a backbone and have enough respect for yourself to let him know what he did was wrong, even if it means sending him to the dog house. It’s okay to make him fight for you from time to time. It’ll remind him that you’re someone of value.
- Talking the talk, but not walking the walk. Often times it’s easy to talk a lot of game, but fail to execute them. With so many one-liners to choose from, it’s difficult to think underneath the words. Nice words won’t get you nearly as far as kind gestures.
- Apologizing for yourself. Leave the self-deprecation to standup comedians. There’s no need to apologize for asking too many questions, feeling too many emotions or acting on impulse. It shows a bit of shame and lack of knowledge in who you are and what you have to offer. That’s an energy no one wants to be around.
- Talking too much about your past relationships. It’s easy, especially at the beginning to talk about your exes and what went wrong. Sometimes it feels like they will feel the need to be “better” than him. In reality, it either makes him think you’re still in love with your ex or you don’t know how to hold a long-term relationship.
- Agreeing with everything he says will only get you so far. If you lack the ability to make your own decisions, he will have less respect for you. This doesn’t mean you need to win every argument or idea, but the idea of compromise is more powerful than you can imagine.
- Deflecting Drama. Everyone preaches about how much they hate drama. Soon, it turns into a conscious effort to ignore it as soon as it arises. Though it feels like you’re dodging needless energy, it also can make you look like you don’t care. Pick your battles and use your intuition to decide which situations deserve your concern, but don’t pretend it doesn’t exist.
- Too sexually closed off. Men like to date guys with good heart and souls, but that doesn’t mean you should pretend NOT to have sex on your mind. Our biology can’t help itself sometimes so there’s no need to be embarrassed at the fact that you want to jump each other’s bones. With so many hookup apps running around, we want to appear “different” from the other gay guys we’ve dated. But the desire for sex shouldn’t be ignored, especially when it’s a mutual affair. There’s nothing wrong with wanting sex, so long as it doesn’t overrule everything else.
“Innerestin’,” eye-opening info, eh? I firmly believe you should use all of it as serious food for thought.
Now, I present to you—in no particular order–Wyatt’s Top Ten Dating Potholes to Avoid—At All Costs! Some of the mistakes in Part One are included:
- Rewarding Bad Behavior.
- Buying affection.
- Letting him know how you feel too soon.
- Playing the “boyfriend” too early.
- Apologizing for yourself.
- Making yourself too available.
- Trying to be too likable.
- Agreeing with everything he says.
- Talking too much about your past relationships.
- Lack of competition.
So, devour all of this food for thought, digest it….and let it nourish you! Perhaps it can save you heartache…and enable you to maintain your self-respect.
***And by the by: DON’T be too sexually closed off! Need I say mo’? LOL!