You should never date someone because they’re nice. As far as qualities go, it doesn’t hold much weight. It requires no skill. You know this now but you didn’t know it then. You didn’t know it that one night you partied with all of your closest friends. Dancing in circles, wearing dresses and blazers, getting blinded by flashes from iPhone cameras. At the party, you’re standing on couch being gestured by a gigantic bouncer to get down when the nice boy comes in. His immediate behavior is composed. He’s drinking slowly and making small talk with a few girls at their table. He isn’t dancing or pouring any of them drinks, and he’s kept his hands to himself. He’s being good.
As the night progresses, you drink more and start to stare harder. He’s noticed by now and begins staring back. You take turns exchanging glances and smiles. But you realize he’s not as drunk as you, and suddenly he’s become one of those guys who don’t get drunk at parties. He’s one of those guys that’ll probably think you’re too wild. He’s one of those guys you don’t date. The party begins to spill out into the street. Groups of drunk friends hugging and falling into cabs. You find him. Standing on the corner with his hands in his pockets. He still isn’t drunk, and suddenly you feel so drunk.
He see’s you. You grab a friend and work your way towards him and the group of familiar faces he’s standing with. Before you know it everyone is posing for a group photo - and guess who you’re standing next to. He throws his arm around you and suddenly you’re smiling in a photo with people you never hang out with. Everyone will see this photo and think to themselves, “I didn’t know they were together!” but you are and you will be because the internet says so, and everyone knows that it’s only a matter of time before internet starts imitating life.
So this is when things get blurry. Your friends begin to leave and disappear in a sea of yellow cabs and dark corners. All but the nameless boy. You find yourself standing on a dark corner waiting for your friend to grab a cab for the both of you. Or you think that’s what you’re waiting for. He introduces himself. You chat for 42 seconds before he says he has to go. You panic. You say goodbye but you really just want to be sober with him in a dark bedroom. He hasn’t asked for your number. Why? He stops a cab and opens the door. The door slams and you want to cry at the wasted opportunity. The vodka tells you to chase after him like they do in the movies, and so you do.
You turn around and do the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever done. You open his door and sit there next to him. You kiss the nice boy. He tastes normal, not like the liquor you’ve been drinking all night. The car begins to move and you keep kissing. His hands have found your face and without speaking he’s telling you things that you’ve never heard before. The quickest cab ride of your life ends. You climb out and wait for him to invite himself upstairs. But he doesn’t. Nice boys don’t. You really like him, you think, you know.
What happens after that is a series of choreographed moments, a nice relationship with a nice boy. On your first date, you get something to eat and go to a movie you’ll never watch again. Afterwards
you kiss some more but it’s never a kiss like that first cab ride. You tell yourself, this could be real. He’s so nice to me. But it doesn’t become real. Not even close. “He’s so great, he’s so nice” turns into “He’s so passive, he’s so boring.” Three months later, it’s his birthday and you’re only a six dollar cab ride from where he is, but instead of of celebrating with him and his friends who are dying to meet you, you’re ignoring his calls. Now he’s drunk texting you. Telling you that you’re beautiful.
He calls you beautiful after enduring three months of your bad behavior. Three months of never going to his apartment. Three months of your manipulation. It makes you feel ashamed. You never knew you could act this ugly. It makes you sick. You wonder how this meanness could have lived inside of you undetected for all of these years. In prior relationships, you had been the nice boy. You had been the one drunk texting sweet nothings and laying there like an open wound. How could roles reverse so quickly? Which one feels better? Does it feel good to be shit on or do you prefer shitting on someone?
Eventually the relationship with the nice boy evaporates and you are overcome with a sense of relief. After a while, you start to think about what dating the nice boy taught you. You think real hard and discover that he inadvertently taught you how to be cruel. And what about you? You showed him that everyone has the ability to act contrary to who they really are and that by being the nice one, you’re surrendering yourself to the asshole.
You wish you knew all of this then but you didn’t. So here you are now. Standing on another couch, locking eyes with some guy across the room while thinking to yourself,
“I hope he’s a nice guy..”