May 18, 2008

Am I Too Good For You?

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:16 pm by LG

I’m discovering a trend in the relationships I’ve found myself in since Dutch. In short, I think I’m too good for the guys I’ve been dating. I know this doesn’t sound like “nice, sweet, modest Little Girl,” but lower your judging eyebrows and let me explain. When I say I’m too good for The Guy (just fill in the blank at this point) I don’t mean “good” in the sense that I’m better than him; I mean “good” in the, let’s say, virtuousness sense. And, at first, I think The Guy is really attracted to this quality in me. I mean, duh, right? After all, I *am* a good girl. I’m trustworthy, I’m loyal and considerate, I have a strong moral compass, I’m ambitious and independent, I’ve got an incredible career, and I value, inter alia, intelligence, curiosity, and being kind to others. *And, I’ve gone through a lot of feelings of rejection since the divorce, so I feel less boastful and more entitled to recognize these attributes about myself now.* To be frank, I’ve got my shit together. In fact, I probably do more on a Monday that a lot of people do in a month (and some in a lifetime). But, the preceding personal rave notwithstanding, I am also very humble, approachable, feminine, and (at least I believe) non-threatening. In fact, one of my older guy friends always tells me that I’m the kind of girl that makes a man feel like a man. And, in the beginning, I think this is true. The Guy generally enjoys basking in Little Girl’s glow of girlie goodness…. but only until it makes him feel like shit, which it inevitably does.

T was very much this way. He had a history of tumultuous love affairs with “edgy” women: women who do drugs and have vast and varied sexual experiences; women who are high-maintenance, disloyal, self-obsessed and selfish; women who punch walls, threaten suicide or homicide all while exuding, or seeming to exude, some kind of “you can never tame me but I know how to make you keep trying” aura. I think T needed a break from that (and even though I certainly have *some* craziness, it paled in comparison to what he was used to) and I quickly became a safe haven from the lousy, lonely terrain he had been traveling…. I was the “light” he never thought would shine in his world of darkness. (I know, puke, but I totally ate that up at the time, given my prior need to “fix” my partner.) I was a “good influence” and he felt good about being with me because it was as if he was doing something good for himself.  After awhile, however, things changed and my goodness — what had attracted him to me in the first place — began to bother him. He thought I was naive for being so optimistic about life. I think he was mad that even through my struggles, I found some happiness in life, while he had to endure whatever demons lay in wait for him every night in bed. And I actually started to feel ashamed of myself; like, I was this silly Little Girl who just had a lot of growing up to do, and, in time, I would understand the excruciating tragedy of life and stop being so damn cheerful. I convinced myself that I should, indeed, develop an “edge” (after all I’m going to be a prosecutor and this could only help me in my career): So, I cussed more, I downed shots of whiskey instead of sipping martinis, I smoked a few cigarettes, I became pessimistic about my job and my friends, I held back gasps during barroom talks of sex, drugs, and women, and I didn’t freak out about tattoos or sexual exploration. But, in the end, I could only go so far before I realized that it just wasn’t me. And, thankfully, I started to become more secure with who I was and, perhaps more importantly, who I wasn’t.

In subsequent relationships, I fear that my goodness has been (or will be) a liability.   The Guy is drawn in by it, certainly, but in the end, I think he comes to hate it because it makes him feel badly about himself. He realizes that he’s been modifying his behavior around me to “protect” me, to not offend my “innocent” sensibility; and resentment sets in. He realizes that, despite valuing authenticity, he’s never actually shown his true self to me and that it’s just too damn difficult to maintain this “I’m really a decent guy, LG” role. He convinces himself that he prefers a girl with an edge — after all, he can feel more worthy around a tatted-out, pot-smoking, trash-talking drama queen.

I’m still tempted to try out the “bad girl” role every once in a while, because it *is* a lot of work being responsible to myself and responsible to the world . . . but in truth, I think that I push myself to the *real* edge of life more than most women, and it will just take a pretty special guy to recognize that.

So in my personal edginess, I remain hopeful.



  1. LvL said,

    You *are* too good for them. But not because you gasp at barroom talk, prefer martinis to shots, or don’t generally engage in some of the riskier behaviors that some people do. Because those things aren’t what make you better or more virtuous. Well, maybe more virtuous, but if that’s all it was, it wouldn’t end the way it does. You can have different “virtue” levels without the guy being dark and tortured and idolizing you and then resenting you.

    You are too good for them because you are more mature than they are. You know who you are and what you want. Sure, it may sometimes get a little hazy in the area of men, but not in a taking drugs, sleeping around, acting like someone you’re not, sabotaging your overall success and happiness kind of way. They wouldn’t have been in those prior relationships or engaged in the type of behavior they probably did if they were anywhere close to where you deserve to have them be, and just because they want to (or profess to want to) get to that point and do it with you, doesn’t change who they are. There will be enough to “fix” if they are already grown up when you date them.

    The rule I try to live by is that guys mean what they say when they say negative things. It is much easier for a guy to tell you what you want to hear, and as you know they are very skilled at doing that. So when they also say things you don’t want to hear (like, “I’m not looking for a serious relationship,” “I’m not good at relationships,” “I’m not good enough for you,” “You don’t realize what kind of guy I can be,” “I don’t know if I can do this,” etc.), listen. And run away.

    Be bad, be edgy, try new things, but only do it for you and always be yourself. And wait for the guy who just might be too good for you (but isn’t).

  2. Tiffany said,

    Lvl dished up some excellent advice! My own two cents: I ended up marrying a definitely edgy guy (at least for me… tattoos, dirtiest mind I’ve ever met, drank like a fish), but who has the biggest heart of anyone I know. I do see myself trying to fix him despite my best efforts not to, and I do see him 1) loving the good girl in me for keeping him grounded and 2) constantly trying to corrupt me. Still, we’ve got an amazing, loving, difficult, work-at-it-every-day marriage. No matter what, I think when you’ve found the right person, it won’t matter who’s fixing who and how good (or naughty…within reason) either of you are. In fact, if you find the right balance, it can actually work in your favor. Keep on searching and leave your heart open. Mr. Right is out there!

  3. Anonymous said,

    1.) No.

    2.) Your use of ‘inter alia’ makes me want to shake you.

    The end.

  4. Paolo said,

    I completely agree with you, for everything….never never forget who you are and don’t try to change yourself for someone else. I think you are one of the best person that i know and i always appreciated you, keep going you will find your route, you will find and make your “Dream”!

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