It turns out you can have too much of a good thing.
“How is that possible?” you ask. “How can a guy be too nice?” If most of your experiences with men can be described as a “terrible hook up I want to erase from my mind forever” or “toxic relationship that put me off dating for years,” you might think that there’s no way a guy can be too nice. Unfortunately, such a thing is indeed possible. The problem lies in everything that goes on behind all the niceness, the attention, and the affection. At first, all of these things might seem harmless and even great, like proof that you’ve finally found a decent human being that you can see yourself with for years to come. However, after a while, the dark side of this “perfection” will start revealing itself, and you will slowly come to realize that, when it comes to love, too much can be just as bad as too little.
Here are five signs that your S.O. is actually smothering you with niceness:
1. He is the epitome of chivalry, whether you like it or not.
It is kind of the best when you’re very tired, and he offers to carry your bag for you, open a jar that’s too tight, or help you reach something that’s too high. There is no problem with this kind of chivalry because they’re all things that any good person would do for anyone else who needed it. However, these nice actions become problematic when your partner does them as a way of asserting his old-school masculinity. Things like pulling out your chair or opening the door for you, when you didn’t ask him to do so, are actually a very sexist (and sneaky) way of saying, “I’m the strong one here, and you need me.”
2. He’s only nice to you make you feel like you have to be with him.
The typical “nice guy” never gets tired of telling everyone about how nice he is. According to him, if he’s single, it’s because women only like jerks. If he’s in a relationship, his partner should never forget how nice he is and everything that he does for her. For him, being a good partner and being nice to his girlfriend is not a natural consequence of being in love with her. Instead, it’s a tool that he uses in order to make her feel guilty or even indebted to him, so that she’ll never want to leave him. In other words, being nice is actually a means controlling his partner.
3. He thinks he can buy you with gifts and compliments.
Some nice guys smother you with niceness through flattery and gifts, and this is a particularly difficult red flag to spot because who doesn’t like flattery and gifts? It’s nice when your S.O. tells you that you’re the most beautiful girl in the world, that he loves your [insert sexy body part], and that he’s never loved anyone else like he loves you. And of course, it’s also nice when he shows up with some unexpected gift or your favorite snack. But the problem is that sometimes the flattery and the gifts can be their way of “buying” you emotionally. These things are great extras in a relationship, but they can never be the foundation of a healthy relationship between equals.
4. If you don’t give them the same, they’ll accuse you of being selfish.
If you’re dating a “nice guy,” you definitely know what this point is about. The flip side of all his niceness is that you have be just as nice to him, or else you’d be selfish. Now, in a healthy relationship, this makes total sense: it’s about love and equality, so of course you’ll both want to be nice to each other. But, since we’re talking about a “nice guy” here, being nice to him means devoting all your time, energy, and attention to him, forgetting about everything and anyone who isn’t him, and basically, putting yourself in the relationship to the point of co-dependence. Anytime you want to do something else or even just be by yourself for a little bit, he’ll accuse you of being selfish.
5. They can use their “nice” behavior to justify the occasional bad thing later.
Last but not least, here's another gem of “nice guy” behavior. As you’ll remember from one of the previous points, the “nice guy” boyfriend is always telling you (and everyone else in the vicinity) about how nice he is. He’s always saying it because he really does believe it, but also does it, so you don’t forget how nice he is. In this way, if he ever does or says something that is not so nice, he can always remind you of his “nice guy” record, so you’ll put whatever he did wrong behind you and move on. In other words, the way he sees it, his being nice to you earns him the right to act like a jerk every now and then because “you know that he’s not really like that.”
Growing up, women are taught that we should look for our Prince Charming/Mr. Right, a nice, funny, and handsome guy who’ll take care of us and love us. But when does nice become too nice? When does it become too much of a good thing? Maybe when, instead of making you feel comfortable, happy, and loved, your partner’s “niceness” is only a way of manipulating you.
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