Many moons ago, I dated this complete jock strap when I was living over in the U.S. I’m not being mean –he really was grade A assclown material–but he was a knock-on effect of dropping the previous assclown. I tended to look for opposite qualities to the previous guy but neglected to take into account the qualities of the existing guy, and then when I ditched him (think alcohol issues, aggression, jealousy, and possessiveness amongst a number of things), a few months later I found myself going out with a ‘nice guy’.

I was attracted to the fact that he was an opposite (again). He was younger than me instead of being in the 7 to 10 years older category, he was seemingly quiet, unassuming, sweet, shy(ish), agreeable, sort of cute and didn’t appear to have any of the qualities that I usually sought out with my usual assclowns.

Three months later, the relationship was over.

The sweet guy became a pain in the arse, overgrown child, who was petulant, moody, possessive, manipulative with his sweetness and agreeability, and had me playing the responsible mother role. What had initially been attractive became like a noose around my neck.

I dated a few more actual nice guys with varying qualities and it was just so awkward and I feel sorry for some of them because the problem was me.

I played the opposites game for years, albeit unknowingly. What have I learned from this?

If you don’t deal with issues that affect your ability to engage in healthy relationships, you will pick varying partners with varying good and bad points that will be attractive for all of the wrong reasons and unattractive for all of the wrong reasons.

Basically, we’re unlikely to find happiness because we’re in No Man’s Land.

Pick an assclown and while we might feel serious lust and immeasurable feelings that we think are love, we’ll also be miserable because they are incapable of delivering on a decent relationship…which is why we chose them…

Pick a so-so guy or even The Nicest Guy on Earth and you’ll still be unhappy.

You might think he’s mocking you with his sweetness or think that he’s boring the crap out of you.

You’ll go along for the ride because you think that you should because you normally have such bad taste in men, but then find yourself trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, plus, because you haven’t dealt with why you were with the other guys, you’re not happy anyway and can’t enjoy the relationship.

And let me tell you something for nothing: If a guy wants to stick with you even in the face of your apathy and disinterest as he tries to sell you the idea of the relationship or fix the mistakes of the chumps that came before him, he is likely to have his own issues, because he could be out there forging a relationship with a woman who is actually interested in him instead of forcing one with a woman who isn’t.

His behaviour should be familiar to you–he’s doing what you have done in the past with men like Mr Unavailable.

So, no, you can’t force these things and much like when one of the Mr Unavailables that you get involved with will become a catalyst for showing you the way to a healthier you because enough suddenly becomes enough, the experience with a ‘nice guy’ can also be an opportunity for personal growth because you can see your typical behaviour mirrored in him and realise how unattractive it is.

Don’t be unfair to these guys and think you’re doing them a favour by being involved with them, and don’t rationalise your experience with them by deciding that you’re not like a man, because you have been with men who have been rationalising their poor actions to you and their inability to put both of their feet into the relationship, and it didn’t feel very nice when you were on the receiving end.

The only option you have is to opt out of this relationship.

If you’re going to return to it, it should be for the right reasons, i.e. because you have dealt with the issues that have held you back and you have got your emotional baggage down to hand baggage territory.

If he’s got issues he needs to deal with, he needs to deal with his too. But two sets of excess baggage equals an overloaded relationship plane waiting to crash.

Take the focus off him and bring it right back to you and stop avoiding dealing with issues that are impacting on how you feel about yourself and how you can engage in healthy relationships.

Your thoughts?

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