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April 2, 2010

What’s a nice girl gotta do?

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:49 am

My heart will go on past March 23, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

Why is it that every time you treat a guy like he is a decent, civilized human being he turns out to be a monster? And whenever you treat him like crap he is down on his knees begging for your love and care? I really wonder: will we good, nice, decent girls ever find that sort of guy who cares and really would sacrifice his favorite TV show for us (let alone sacrifice his life like in “Titanic”)?

— Lost White Lilly

Dear Lilly,

Guys! Hello! “Titanic” is a movie! Not real life! I mean come on, do you think that big strong boat really would have sunk so easily? Puuuuuure fiction.

Oh, wait.

Okay, I can still make my point. You want to talk Titanic, we’ll talk Titanic. Kate Winslet treated Billy Zane like crap, and he was a monster. She treated Leo like a human being (eventually), and he begged for her love. Your stereotypes don’t, um , hold water.

Well, okay, each does have a drop of truth: if by “treating a guy like a decent human” you secretly mean smothering him with declarations of love and devotion (see Stacey, above), then yeah, he will turn into Sewer Creature and tunnel out of your life. And yeah, if “treating him like crap” is code for not showing interest in return, then yeah, in some people — women, too (Stacey!) — that does trigger cluless begging, or at very least, heightened buzz-of-the-chase.

Still, to be fair, Breakup Girl did get a little swoony about those doomed lovebirds. I wondered “Wow, will I ever meet a guy who will freeze his butt for me/make me feel like that in the back of an old car/trust me with an ax — all without impressing my mother one bit?” Lilly, I completely understand. But the fact is, it’s not about finding “that sort of guy” — it’s about finding that sort of love. I know tons of guys who would do that (well, at least the TV show part)… for their wives/girlfriends. (Fortunately, through the magic of video cassette recorders, that sort of sacrifice is rarely necessary.) In the meantime, quit dealing in narrow, either /or stereotypes and strategies — for both girls and boys — and just keep being good, nice, and decent. You’ll have a happier ending than that movie, I promise. That part about the boat was such a downer.

Breakup Girl


  1. She just hasn’t met anyone that she meshes well with yet, that’s all. Personally, I expect a girl I’m dating to be nice to me, and by nice I don’t mean kiss my ass, acts like a door mat, ect. I mean the common courtesy kinda nice, ya know?

    Comment by Kelly (male) — April 2, 2010 @ 5:18 pm

  2. If someone routinely dates “monsters”, that raises a red flag for me. Healthy guys aren’t abusive, nor do they tolerate abuse. If Lilly is regularly dating unhealthy men, it indicates there’s a problem with the men she attracts … and the men who are attracted to her.

    Comment by Karl R — April 2, 2010 @ 5:59 pm

  3. […] Breakup Girl » What's a nice girl gotta do? […]

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  5. What about the guys here? Every time I’m nice to a girl she either puts me in the friends pile or “um thanks for dinner and walking me home [um yeah I’ll never call you back, sucks to be you, hope you’re a good parachutist kablam …]”

    so what gives? Why do girls go for monsters in the first place, overlooking the good guys? What’s so magically attractive about the bad guys, and how are the good men supoosed to compete?

    -Mr. Nice (aka DM)

    Comment by DM — April 3, 2010 @ 5:02 pm

  6. @Mr. Nice: What about the guys here? Dude, we got a *lot* about the guys here! :) Check out:http://www.breakupgirl.net/advice/niceguys.html for starters, and also: http://www.breakupgirl.net/?tag=nice-guys (scroll down). And I’ll tell you what: for every guy wondering why girls go for jerks*, there’s a girl wondering where all the nice guys are. :)

    * SOME girls do. my research suggests that MOST girls don’t.

    Comment by BG — April 3, 2010 @ 10:27 pm

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  8. Mr. Nice,
    I think it has a lot to do with our cultural expectations of what a “real man” acts like – IE the Marlboro Man. Another example of this is how you see upper middle class white teenage boys acting like black male inner city teens.
    It all boils down to how we raise our children and the gender roles we force onto them. Real men dont do blah blah or real mesan are suposed to blah blah blah.
    So next time your son/daughter wants to play with a Barbie doll or a GI Joe figure or acts contrary to your misguided concepts of gender roles, don’t say anything just let them do what they want.
    Speaking directly to your concern Mr Nice, you can actually be nice and flirty at the same time – I like to call it non-malicious teasing. The problem a lot of guys have is calibrating, or not calibrating thier flirtatious behavior. You have to read your dates non-verbal queues, in otherwords her body language. So pay atention to not only what she’s saying but also and more importantly what she’s doing *and* how she’s acting instead of wondering what you should say next.

    Comment by Kelly (male) — April 5, 2010 @ 6:59 pm

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