Auntie Dote is HBI's answer to the usual, treacly, self-help advice columnists.

Disclaimer: This isn't an advice website. Yet from time to time we receive email asking for the Heartlessly Bitchy point of view. If you need serious medication, therapy or professional help, seek elsewhere. However, if you still insist on soliciting OUR advice, just remember...


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Ask Auntie Dote
The Auntie Dote for what ails you...


From: "Some random guy"
Date: Sept 2012


Hola, zorras.


I liked your webpage, I stumbled upon it derpin' through the interbutt reading on the enthralling subject of the Nice Guy TM.




Another mistake Nice Guys make is to go after "hard luck" cases. They deliberately pick women with neuroses, problems, and personality disorders, because Nice Guys are "helpers". A Nice Guy thinks that by "helping" this woman, it will make him a better, more lovable person. He thinks it will give him a sense of accomplishment, and that she will appreciate and love him more, for all his efforts and sacrifice. He is usually disappointed by the results.


I've pretty much always? identified myself with the Nice Guy TM stereotype, although I prefer to think that I'm not a total asshole. I do find myself in a quantity of the stupid traits and, ahem, shortcomings that you adscribe to Nice Guys TM. But that particular quote above almost nails it. Almost, just not quite.


I don't actively seek out neurotic women as prospective partners/fuckbuddies/whatever - I actually happen to find myself attracted to them!


As the years pass and I get to know myself slightly better, I've looked back at girls I dated/had a crush on and all of them were somewhat funny up the head. You'll probably think that I'm just that terrible at choosing targets - that may be the case, but not the point.


Throw me in the middle of a nice pool of potential/hypothetical sexual/romantic objects of interests - an average university classrom qualifies. Now, when one scans a given area/population through the "would I bang these or not" lens, one finds uninteresting non-targets, aesthetically/physically pleasing targets within a range of desirability, and really titillating targets, which trigger a stronger (and mostly unjustified) emotional reaction.


Learning to mistrust myself, I paid attention to the behavior of those people who were "really titillating targets" (bleh that sounds like some sort of crap ufo acronym) for me, and sooner or later I learned that they were at least 30% nutjob, sometimes worse. Really attractive and mesmerizing nutjobs, for me at least. Some of them eventually lost desirability in my eyes after paying enough attention to how much of a wacko they were. Some didn't.


To the point: somehow I prefer the nutcases over more stable people, even before I can possibly know they're nutcases. The same applies to lesbians to a lesser extent, to boot. Sometimes, not necessarily in Soviet Russia, it's the nutcase who jumps onto me.


My hypothesis: Some of the people that can be labeled as "Nice Guys TM" may not be deliberately picking neurotic women - some of them/us? probably can't help it.


Gah, I have all my radars wrong.


Dear Random Guy (you didn't leave me with a moniker for salutations),

Lots of people SUBCONSIOUSLY pick damaged partners. This behavior isn't restricted to Nice Guys. The key here, (and I give the same advice to women who keep picking assholes or abusers), is that in order to not get attracted to damaged people, you need to work on your OWN damage. Repair your own past hurts and frozen needs. That takes a lot of work (especially for some people). It's pretty basic psychology - if you were hurt in the past by someone important to you (usually a parent), you seek out someone LIKE the parent (perhaps in emotional or behavior but not necessarily physical ways), and try to repair the damage with that person. But the problem is, the person is generally just as (or more) fucked-up as the parent, so it invariably fails... And the worst thing is, until you work on your shit, your subconscious will rule, and you won't even SEE the "nutjob" factor until far too late (if at all for some people). Fix YOUR hurt places, and you'll find the type of people you are attracted to changes over time. (Yes, that means therapy. And remember, therapists are just people - 50% are above average and 50% are below average. You need to find one that is right for YOU).

I refuse to buy the "I can't help it, that's how I'm wired" bullshit rationalization for learned behaviors. Attraction to fucked-up people is a LEARNED behavior. You can UNLEARN it if you seriously want to put in the effort.

BTW - attraction to lesbians (or anyone else emotionally or physically unavailable) is a CLASSIC sign of someone trying to fix a parental relationship problem (cold, emotionally and/or physically unavailable, unsupportive, etc) with prospective partners.

heartlessly, Nataliep (sitting in for AntieDote)

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