June 23, 2002
Just had a few thoughts about some of the "nice guys" out there. Myself being one of them.
I used to suffer from low self-esteem. While I came from a solid family, my friends all came from not-as-stable backgrounds, and would often use me as emotional support when the various things in life would cause them problems. (Boyfriend breaking up with them, Parents divorcing, deaths in the family, etc.). Being the nice guy that I am, I would help them out. As a result, I seemed to attract more problem cases. This affected my view on girls. I had the classic "rescuer" syndrome. I.E., I was looking for a girl to rescue all the time. And to be honest, it was worth it when they would smile after crying their eyes out, while hugging me, and say "You're such a good friend". It was worth it to know that I had helped them through a tough time. But, as you can imagine, my choices for the kind of girls I wanted to date were often based around how much I could recue them. Not healthy.
I recently was cured of the "rescuer" syndrome by my ex. After being "rescued", she promptly turned around and used emotional blackmail to "own" me. It got bad enough that she indirectly started demanding homework time. Finally, I've gotten to the point that I can be nice, outgoing, etc., but also define boundaries for myself.
Since then, I've gotten confidence in who I am. I am no longer looking at "rescuing" girls, and instead have started to look for girls who are confident in themselves. While reading your site, I realized that a truly healthy relationship depends on two people who are confident and strong in themselves coming together, not someone who is needy clinging onto someone for strength, or, worse yet, someone who is either equally as needy.
My question is this: am I still classified as "nice guy", or what? I genuinely like to see someone happy, but I don't over-extend myself. Where am I in your meter?