Look, I get it. It's noble to want to rescue people. There's a whole subgenre of angsty music dedicated to helping girls see that their boyfriend's a dick and a douchebag, and you can't believe she's really going out with him because he doesn't know anything about her, because he isn't what a prince and lover ought to be. Which can be very sweet and very caring. Sometimes. But honestly? It can also be patronizing as hell and extremely annoying, because basically what you're saying to a fellow grown-ass human being is that you know better than her, and she's not smart enough to know what she's gotten herself into. You're telling her that by going out with that guy, she's being duped. You might as well be shouting directly into her face "Wake up, you fucking idiot!"
But you know, in song.
It comes in lots of forms. "Here's all the dirt on the guy you're dating. Here's why he's no good for you. If you were my girl, you'd be treated like a queen." "Please don't do this thing I don't like because it's bad for you, and I want you to be healthy and happy." "Please don't ruin yourself by screwing that guy, or getting that tattoo, or going to that college, or whatever." All of that boils down to Hey girl! I know what you need better than you do!
Whether you like it or not, she's got a reason for doing whatever she's doing. Sure, you can offer to weigh in as a friend. But be prepared that she might not want to hear your opinion, and it's likely to piss her off. Her body, heart, future, and mind are her business. Those things belong to her. Not you. Forgetting that, or acting like she doesn't make good decisions, or nagging her about her life after she's told you to drop it, will make you look like an asshole, and fast.
"Oh weird, I just found these here."
You care. You're nice. But as much as you're going to hate hearing this, sometimes being too nice really is the problem. And that brings me to the point that is going to sound like an alien language to nice guys ...
You Avoid Confrontation At All Costs
Nice people don't like fighting. They don't like hurting people, so they don't risk confrontation. Because of that, they often don't say what they mean. They also don't like rejection, so instead of just coming out and saying they're interested in a person, they drop hints. Then they get frustrated and hurt when that person doesn't catch on. Unfortunately, that all adds up to make you look like a petrified little kid.
If nice people are lucky enough to get into a relationship, they'll do just about anything to keep it ... which often means avoiding arguments. They won't bring up what's bothering them, especially if the source of that hurt (even unintentionally) is their significant other. Instead they hide it, ignore it, or sugarcoat it for a REALLY long time, until they finally hit a breaking point and it shoots out of their word hole like emotional projectile vomit. What should have been a simple, honest conversation turns into a huge blowout argument.
"I FUCKING LOVE YOU, GODDAMMIT!"
Don't do that.
Conflict and confrontation are a major part of relationships. You can't ask her out if you can't confront her. You can't fix a fractured relationship if you don't talk about the conflict. The important part is remembering that there's a difference between "I'd like to talk about something that's been bothering me" and "You've been a fucking bitch lately, and now it's throwdown time!"
It's terrifying -- god knows I get that -- but it's necessary. You want to show a grand gesture of your love and commitment? This is the best way to do it. If the relationship has problems, talking about it (and yes, even arguing about it) shows that you care enough to fix it. If you like the pretty girl, let her know in a straightforward, simple, and honest way. Remember, if she's a nice girl, she's probably just as terrified as you. But at least it won't be because you came across as a creepy stalker freak show.
Mags writes books with kissing and ghosts in them. You can bother her on Twitter.
A relationship can be a lot of work, have you considered growing plants instead?
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