They say that nice guys finish last, but they'll still f**k you over given half the chance. Not all of them, of course, but growing up we're tricked into believing that men fall into two types; the Good Guys and the Bad Boys. But as it turns out, there are plenty that drift somewhere in the middle. These men are arguably the worst, because you're never quite sure which one you're dealing with. Hence why I was laying in a pile of leaves in a local park, with my pants around my ankles, feeling cheap and unsatisfied.
I'd been chatting to The Nice Guy for about eight months, though we'd known each other in passing longer than that. We'd subtly flirted on Facebook chat while I was living abroad; messaging for hours through our insomnia, and I could tell he was genuine. A little shy, but one of the good ones.
The night I got back to the UK, I bumped into him in a bar - it felt like fate. He wasn’t particularly forthcoming so things didn’t progress at their usual rate, and the signals were so mixed I felt like I was trying to read brail: missed calls in the middle of the night, then two weeks of nothing. As far as I'm concerned, the only time a man should ever blow hot and cold is when he’s noshing you off with ice cubes and a cup of Earl Grey.
A couple of months later, on the day of the Orlando massacre memorial in Soho - amongst ten thousand people - I bumped into him again. Fate, right? It turned into what felt like an unofficial first date. What followed in the weeks after, was plenty of flirting but not much else. I turned down his invite for a booty call because I wanted more than just sex, and he declined my invitation for drinks with a feeble work excuse. Eventually I gave up trying, because time waits for no man - even the nice ones.
Our paths crossed again at Brighton Pride last month. After realising we'd both be in town for the weekend, we quickly discovered that we're only residing a few roads away from one another. He suggested meeting in a nearby park, and I was naïve enough to hope it was for a casual catch-up and maybe a snog.
Next thing you know we're in the bushes, tugging on each other's genitalia like feral animals. Getting down in a park may have been passable in the '90s, or in one’s teenage years, but I should’ve outgrown that by now. I've never been one to have a stick up my arse, but leaves in my hair and scuffing up my Air Max is a different story.
He came within a couple minute. Evidently, nice guys don't always finish last.
"I've gotta go", he announced before he'd even done up his fly. Not exactly the three words you dream of hearing straight after. Perhaps his abruptness could have been slightly excused had I arrived too - after all it wouldn’t have been the first time a man has ran away after ejaculating to be alone with his issues - but after chatting to somebody for that length of time, you’d hope any natural instinct to scarper would have been outweighed by their respect for you.
Then it became abundantly clear, he wasn't The Nice Guy. He was the f**kboy, cumming first, and I was the Nice Guy finishing last - or not at all, as was now becoming evident. Listen b*tch, if you’re gonna chuck a pearl necklace at me and leave, it at least needs to be from Tiffany’s. Reminder: I must remove "fabulous judge of character" from the special skills section on my CV.
I was angry at myself for knowing that sex would instantly reduce our relationship nothing more than that, but for giving in anyway because there seemed to be no other progression. The concept of The Nice Guy doesn’t factor in bad boys in masquerade. But I’m still learning.
The bottom line isn't about whether he was a Nice Guy or not - in fact, it's nothing to do with him; he's irrelevant. It's about your relationship with yourself. Elena Roosevelt once said that "nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission". By meeting under these circumstances, I'd not only given The Nice Guy my permission, I'd basically laid down like a big 'welcome' mat for him to come and go as he pleased.
What matters is that you know you’re worth more than someone who uses you; worth more than a wolf in sheep’s clothing; worth more than a half-arsed blowie in a bush. The lesson? Forget the 'Nice Guys' - make sure you always come first.
Anthony Gilét is a London-based writer, blogger and YouTuber – follow him on Twitter @Anthony_Gilet.
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