Do You Become “Too Nice” When You Like A Guy?
When you really like a guy, you don’t want to lose him. But it’s important to make sure you don’t lose yourself either.
Here's the scenario: You just started dating a guy, and you really like him. He’s kind, he’s driven, he makes you laugh, and at the end of every date you’re counting down the minutes until you can see him again. As the relationship progresses, you find yourself making seemingly insignificant sacrifices because you want to keep seeing him. You’re worried that butting heads or asking for what you want would mean the end of the relationship.
These sacrifices start small. Maybe he wants to get dinner at the Thai restaurant right by his place, but you drove all the way to his side of town for the last few dates so it doesn’t seem fair that you should have to commute again. You want to see him though, and you don’t want to upset him, so you agree to the Thai place.
Maybe he rarely texts you during the week, and that bothers you, but you don’t want to seem overbearing so you don’t say anything. Instead of asking for more communication, you sit and stew as days pass without hearing from him, then act like everything is hunky-dory when he finally does text you to make plans. You’re just happy you get to see him again; that’s all that matters to you.
Sound familiar? While these sacrifices might seem insignificant at first, they will only grow larger and more consequential over time. Maybe he eventually says something that you vehemently disagree with – something that goes against your morals – but you don’t want to lose him, so you simply smile and nod and let the issue go instead of speaking up for yourself.
If you’ve found yourself behaving like this with past (or current) boyfriends then you, my friend, are too nice. And it’s likely ruining your relationships.
Why Do Women Become Too Nice?
One of my favorite relationship experts, Matthew Hussey, spoke about this topic on a recent podcast and explained that part of the reason we become too nice is because when we like a person, it automatically raises the stakes of a relationship: “When someone becomes more important to us, even for superficial reasons, the stakes suddenly become very high. And when the stakes become high, the cost of mistakes feels great. So now we don’t want to make any mistakes. Now we want to perform perfectly.”
When the stakes are high, you’re more likely to sacrifice your authentic self for the sake of the relationship.
No person – and certainly no relationship – is perfect though. Faking it can only last so long, and it’s likely to take a toll on your psyche, because it’s exhausting to try to be perfect. This is especially true when “perfection” comes at the cost of your own wants and needs.
While men also suffer from the “too nice” syndrome (we’ve all heard the “nice guys finish last” trope), it’s more pronounced among women. This is likely due to the fact that, on average, women score higher for agreeableness and neuroticism than men do. Because we tend to be more agreeable, it’s easier for women to fall into the too-nice trap.
Our higher levels of neuroticism make us fearful of losing this person and more likely to obsess over the health of the relationship, especially in light of the heightened stakes. You worry that doing or saying the wrong thing will drive him away, so you begin sacrificing pieces of yourself for the sake of the relationship.
When You’re Too Nice, You’re Not Being Your Authentic Self
No matter how high the stakes seem (and they’re likely not as high as you think they are), it’s important to have standards and stick to them when you’re dating. Every relationship requires a bit of self-sacrifice, but the benefits must outweigh the cost, and you should never sacrifice the things that are most important to you, like your morals. That’s not fair to you, and it’s also not fair to the person you’re dating.
How can someone get to know the real you if you refuse to speak your mind and say what you think? When you’re too nice, the person you’re dating isn’t getting to know the real you, and you’re not getting to know the real them either. After all, do you really want to be with someone who can’t handle a little bit of pushback? You’ll never know what this guy can handle or what he really thinks if you refuse to challenge him, and vice versa.
Being inauthentic in your relationships is unfair to you both and will only lead to resentment.
The beautiful thing about a healthy relationship is that it shapes both partners into better versions of themselves, and that can’t happen when you’re not being honest. Also, being too nice (i.e. inauthentic) in your relationship will eventually lead to resentment. If you let your partner walk all over you, you’ll begin to resent him because you’ll see him as the reason you can’t say what you think.
How To Stop Being Too Nice
Now, the goal here isn’t to be mean. The goal is to be honest, and honesty sometimes comes with some tough love. If the guy you like is well-adjusted, kind, and reasonable (which is the kind of guy you should be looking for), then disagreement will actually strengthen your relationship, not weaken it. Healthy couples argue too!
If you’re worried that the guy you’re with will stop liking you if you challenge him at all, then he’s probably not the right one for you anyway. Having high standards and sticking up for yourself is a sign of self-respect, and it also makes you more attractive, not less. A high-quality guy doesn’t want a woman that he can walk all over or who will always agree with him. He wants someone who’s not afraid to stick up for herself and will call him out when he deserves it.
To stop being too nice, you need to lower the stakes in your mind. Just because you disagree with your boyfriend (or the guy you’re dating) doesn’t mean the relationship is over. Instead, view a disagreement as an opportunity to get to know each other on a deeper level and make your relationship stronger. And if the guy you’re with can’t handle being challenged, then he’s probably not the right guy for you anyway.
As scary as confrontation can be, it’s a necessary part of any healthy relationship. Standing up for yourself and working through your issues will only make the relationship stronger. You want a man who will stand by your side through tough times and challenge you to be a better version of yourself, and that can only happen if you’re being completely authentic.
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