Why It’s Okay To Break Up With The Nice Guy
We’ve all had those “Sort-Of-Boyfriends,” the ones our mothers continually ask us about at every family function. At 24, I’ve definitely done my fair share of dating, and my family has pretty much liked every guy I’ve ever dated.
When I think back to all of my relationships – pseudo and genuine – there are many guys I think of fondly. The men that I’ve dated have, for the most part, all been extremely nice — the types that would walk closest to the street, open doors for me, pay for my dinner, dote on me, and ask how my days went. But while I truly appreciated those extra steps, unfortunately, it didn’t necessarily mean I was meant to marry them, and it only made breaking up with them that much harder.
My very first boyfriend was the absolute sweetest — we dated for almost two years. He had a good head on his shoulders, got accepted to a great university, and totally understood the value of hard work. The only problem was that when I got to college, I was itching to experience everything it had to offer. I knew a breakup was inevitable, I just didn’t know how to do it and the only advice I ever got was to “try and make it work lest you want to be single and unhappy forever.” I just couldn’t accept that.
My family and friends didn’t approve of my desire to break up with boyfriend #1. They hoped I would marry him, and for a good while afterwards they continued to hope so. I wanted to be free, but I didn’t want to hurt him or my family. Of course, pain was inevitable as I ended up breaking his heart. I spent nights sobbing myself to sleep from guilt, wondering if I had made the worst choice of my life. Should I have settled for the guy that treated me right rather than wait for a possibly better alternative? At that point in my life, I didn’t even know there was an alternative. I was just saying goodbye to someone who deeply cared about me and saying hello to the greater unknown.
The greater unknown had its ups and downs. I was introduced to countless f*ckboys throughout my time in college. They were aggravating (obvs) and only made me yearn for my stable, sweet high school boyfriend. Deep inside though, I knew I had made the right choice. Yes, these f*ckboys were annoying as hell, but at least they were making me feel alive! Furthermore, I was experiencing people and situations I had never encountered before; I was learning about my likes and dislikes.
Instilled in women from a young age is the belief that once you find a nice guy you should hold onto him and never let him go. People claim that as long as you find someone who treats you right and can take care of you, then you’ve made it because well, how often do you find a nice guy these days?
But ladies, we don’t have to settle for Mr. Nice Guy just because he is the safest bet. Not only do we deserve to find fulfillment in our love lives, but so do these nice guys! They deserve to find happiness, and with someone who truly appreciates them and finds them to be exciting because they might actually be intriguing to someone else.
Today, I can honestly say that I don’t regret breaking up with my first boyfriend. I’ve grown and experienced so much since then and I know he has as well. I recently ran into someone who also knew my ex and upon discovering that we used to date he said, “Wow, I can’t picture that AT ALL. You two are so different!” And he’s right, we totally are.
When I was crying myself to sleep over breaking Mr. Nice Guy’s heart, I told myself that if I was to ever settle down into a new relationship, it would be with someone who excites me and pushes me to grow in multiple ways, personally, professionally and creatively. Luckily, years later, I believe I have found just that.