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Feb 21, 2001

The Goddess of battle, strife, and destruction explains it all for you

Despite our best efforts to dissuade you, many of you have still decided to write to us with your problems, complaints and crises of the moment. We don't have a trained therapist on staff, and this isn't "Dear F*ckin' Abbey", but we DO have Bonnie, who has graciously volunteered her time and heartless perspectives in order to minister to (or macerate) the misguided, with "Dear Fuckin' Bon..."

January 13, 2002

Guest Entry:
Dear Fuckin' Natalie:

Let me tell all of you out there something - not all "Nice guys" are insecure clingers (some are, but don't lump me in with them. For a long time, I was not a nice guy, I would do all the things that girls would complain to their friends about and yet really drew them closer to me...

So you were a game player.

More recently, I have decided that I want a real relationship - not just a long-term relationship. Instead of playing games like not calling her when I should or blowing her off for my friends, I decided to call her when I wanted to call her and go out with her whenever I wanted to go out with her. Now granted, our first few dates, I made all the decisions about when and where (hint to all guys - almost all girls want YOU to plan the first few dates).

No, what they want is for YOU to show some creativity and initiative. It doesn't mean you have to plan everything, but it also shouldn't be a litany of "whatever YOU want to do, dear" when she asks.

We had a great time together and I would do things for her because I liked doing them and it made me feel good to do them, not for any other alternate motive. After some time, things weren't going so well, and we were fighting a lot. During a couple of these fights, she said directly to me some of the things that you complain that nice guys do - specifically she said that "I never asked you to do anything for me!"

She wouldn't have said anything about the things you did, if *you* didn't indicate, in the midst of those fights, that you felt unappreciated for all your efforts. If the things you did were TRULY unconditional, then there would be NO strings attached -- expectation-wise or other-- and she would have no reason to say that she never asked for your help.

Your letter *reeks* of someone caught up in "rescuer" syndrome. Guys with "rescuer" complex and a build-up of toxic shame, "do" things for others to make THEMSELVES feel better - not really to help the other person -- no matter how altruistic it looks on the surface, and no matter how much they try to convince themselves and others that their acts are selfless. When you DO something for someone else, and it WASN'T something they asked for, (and ESPECIALLY if they are upset that you did it), then you had better look at your own motives a little more closely. It requires INCREDIBLE personal honesty, self-awareness and integrity.

Sometimes the act of "doing" for someone else, without their requesting it, can actually "shame" the other person. Before doing anyone a favor, you might try ASKING them if they would like help first.... in such a way that there is no emotional pressure to say "yes".

Well, guess what ladies, there are some of us out here who do nice things for our girlfriends simply because we like doing them - they make us happy to do, and as a nice benefit, they usually make you happy to. I do nice things and favors for my friends all the time and none of them have ever used that against me.

Ah... your first reason was that it makes YOU happy to do it.

Doing something SELFLESSLY, for someone else, is about doing something for the *other* person first and foremost. It isn't about making yourself feel good.

It is a violation of someone's boundaries to "help" without being requested, if you don't ask that person first. Even something as simple as bringing someone a coffee in the morning. "Can I get you a coffee?" as opposed to just bringing one and then being disappointed and saying, "You didn't drink the coffee I brought you...."

If you keep up with the martyr complex, you WILL be one of those guys who gets dumped and wails, "Everything I did, I did for HER...."


Trust me, I can get other women, and I have been on several dates since my girlfriend and I decided to take a few steps backward. The difference is that I really cared about her, not that I was insecure and couldn't get anyone else.

It isn't about insecurity over whether you could get someone else, it's about RESPECT, and feeling good enough about yourself that you don't have to "rescue" or play the big man in order to be *equal* with someone.

I'd LOVE to hear from your "girlfriend", and what *she* has to say about your behavior and why she decided to take a few steps back.

Sounds like you didn't really *listen* to where she was coming from, or you wouldn't have HAD to take " a few steps backward".

Get off your high horses ladies. I am a nice guy because I want to find a nice girl.

Get off YOUR high horse, and maybe you will have a hope of finding an emotionally healthy relationship. Based on everything you have written here, your last girlfriend was right to tell you to take a hike. You secretly (or not so secretly) think you are BETTER than the women you date. You are a classic "Karman's Drama Triangle" player.

Very very unhealthy.

I do things for people that I care about because I like doing things for people I care about.

Why do you like it? I would posit it is because it makes you feel better about yourself. It makes you feel worthwhile. Can you feel worthwhile if you DON'T "do" things without being asked, or at least by offering first, and being able to take "no thanks" for an answer?

If you can't accept that and think that I have to do those things to win you over and keep you with me than I have a couple of other things to tell you: First, I know that you wouldn't be with me if you weren't interested, so I don't have to "win" you, I already did that.

Someone willing to go on a few dates is not "won" over, and btw, relationships aren't games to be won and lost. You may look interesting on the surface to someone, but like the last girlfriend, a bit more time into the relationship, and she starts to see the unhealthy patterns and gets out.

Second, if any of you are lucky enough to meet someone like me that gives for the sake of giving,

"Lucky" enough? You really DO think you are better than them. A "prize" catch. Ick. No wonder the last one turfed you. ... and you clearly DON'T give unconditionally. You expect appreciation and adoration in return for your acts of self-sacrifice.

don't accuse us of doing these things out of fear of rejection. It's very unbecoming and it tells me that you are in this relationship for all of the wrong reasons.

Sounds to me like YOU are projecting here. You might not do things out of fear of rejection, but the way you talk in this letter, it looks a lot like you may "help" others for the wrong reasons - to make YOU feel better about yourself, and so you can feel superior.

If you perceive that someone needs your help, that they can't do something for themselves, and you do it without asking them if it is what they want, then you start assuming you know what is best for them. You take on an attitude of superiority, no matter how subtle the camouflage.

The only kind of woman that will stick around with someone as caught up in rescuer syndrome as you appear to be is going to be co-dependent and unhealthy. Your last girlfriend wouldn't have dumped you if she was that insecure and unhealthy. It sounds to me like she had enough of her shit together to know she didn't want some guy presuming to know what was best for HER, and she rightly questioned your motives.

The reason that some "Nice Guys" get hurt is that we find women who act secure on the outside, but are really insecure as hell on the inside.

The reason that so many "Nice Guys" get hurt, is that they are insecure as hell on the inside, and go after women who seem "damaged" and in need of help so that they can play rescuer and feel better about themselves. Or, they go after women who are strong and secure and everything they are not, and they try to get that woman to pay attention to them. They hope that THEY can be like her, just by being around her.

My advice to those "Nice Guys" like me is to keep looking, you don't want that girl anyway. And don't ever compromise who you are for anyone - that's why the divorce rate in this country is 60%.


My advice to those nice guys is to GROW UP, look *honestly* in the mirror, and stop making excuses and rationalizations for your self-hate-driven behavior.

Compromise is necessary in all relationships - even friendships. What people should not do is to sacrifice their essential needs - to change themselves for the sake of another person. HOWEVER, if you find yourself repeatedly coming up in bad relationships, and your partners keep giving you the same message - you might want to take a look at your own motivations and your behavior. If you think your "giving" nature is part of your essential self, I'd counter that it is probably a very unhealthy pattern, driven out of a need to feel good about yourself. The problem is that everything you give has a string attached, even though you deny it. That is not the kind of behavior to be proud of.

Emotionally unhealthy people attract unhealthy partners. You might want to change your behavior for your OWN sake, so that you can feel better about yourself *outside* the context of a relationship. If you keep up this attitude, the only women who will stay with you for any length of time will be co-dependents.

Dear Fuckin' Natalie

Copyright© Bonnie & Heartless Bitches International ( 2000
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