Dating standards can never be too high
Reflections of a Nice Girl
"You are not the kind of girl guys want to date. You are the kind they want to marry."
I am convinced that when I attended the graffiti dance almost four years ago, I must have had a sign on my forehead that said in big letters, "I'm a nice girl, and nice girls have to be respected, treated like ladies at all times. And if you do those things, it doesn't mean you are going to get any."
A close guy friend of mine told me that most men have radar. They can tell who and what they can get out of a young woman within the first few minutes of meeting her. This amazed me. I did not think I sent any signals of any sort, but my list of guy "friends" was steadily getting longer. Anything more was pretty much non-existent.
I grew frustrated. I was tired of all of my friends telling me that when "it" happened, "it" would be real. Well, what was this "it" they knew so much about? Then I was told my expectations were too high. That I should lower my standards a little. That I was "high-maintenance." Is that what asking for respect and honesty is? "High maintenance?"
On top of these comments, I would see and hear stories about men saying they wanted a "nice girl." The problem is, many of these same men want a different girl every night who they can call, see and deal with when they feel like it.
I used to ignore the fact that the guys who treated me with respect and asked how I was doing also asked someone else — rumored to have a negative reputation — what she was doing later that night. I developed this theory that all men had a split personality. They treated "nice girls" like nice girls but went home with the other kind.
At some point in all of my frustration, I accepted the fact that my split personality theory was wrong. This allows for excuses. That is not how it should be. It is not acceptable to be with someone for the sake of getting something from them. Even if you heard they were giving it out for free, this does not make it right. What does this say about the character of a man who is a gentleman only half of the time.
Women. You say you want a "nice guy." You say you want a guy who treats you like a queen, takes you out on dates and opens every door for you. Do you actually think you will meet this Prince Charming while you are dancing in a cage at Heartland?
We are so quick to say "men suck" when we have an experience with a jerk. We are so quick to blame men for our frustrations when what we should do is look to ourselves and ask, "What type of man do I want?" and, "What type of man am I attracting?" A former Domer said this: "Men take a lot of crap, but it's not all their fault because if women wouldn't put up with all of the junk they do, then men would be forced to change."
There are a lot of nice guys out there who are waiting for their princesses. Imagine how they feel when a girl says to them, "You are such a nice guy. I wish I could find someone like you." Then she runs off to call her pseudo-boyfriend for the fifth time in one day hoping that this time he'll pick up the phone instead of screening her call on caller ID. Maybe this time it'll be different.
Women see men as potential. We often see how a man may be in the future. We often think that "he's not ready now, but maybe in a few weeks ..." We tend to think that he may change if we look a little prettier, if we don't go out as much, if we call him more or less. The list goes on.
We tend to think that we can mold them. This is our biggest mistake. Men see a woman and pay close attention to how she carries herself at that very moment. They see her first impression as the most important impression.
If we are going to engage in healthy relationships, we must realize that it is possible to have fun, experience different people on various social levels and remain true to ourselves. It is when we do not actively try to change the pattern of negative dating that we become bitter.
It saddens me when I see women close to me engage in relationships that are dangerous to their minds and bodies. They keep going back to the jerks when there are many "nice" guys waiting to treat them with respect. It hurts when guys who you think are nice participate in activities that disgust and bewilder the many "nice" girls out there.
A wise professor once told me to make a list of all of the things I wanted in a mate. His list went up to 100. His wife met 99. My list had 49 items on it. They ranged from "someone who looks at me in my eyes when I talk" to "someone who knows to leave me alone on a bad day, but assures me that he is there when I need him." My nice guy met 48 items.
There is no such thing as having standards that are too high. There is no such thing as being "too high maintenance." There is someone out there for everyone. Do not compromise your beliefs. Do not change your soul to accommodate another. Do not be so quick to say that "there are no nice men left."
By all means, do not give up. Whether you are a "nice girl" or a "nice guy," eventually, you'll meet each other when it is meant to happen. Believe me.
Kimmi Martin is a senior at Saint Mary's College. Her column appears every other Wednesday.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.
All Viewpoint Stories for Wednesday, February 23, 2000