I was late to jump on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer bandwagon. I had seen the 1992 film and had watched the occasional TV episode when visiting my friend (who was obsessed), but it wasn’t until I moved in with my ex-boyfriend that I really started to take an interest in the show – by this point Season 7 had finished and the programme had ended completely. It began during an evening of boredom, and so the ex suggested that we watched a few episodes to see whether I liked it. From that moment I was hooked, and managed to watch all seven seasons within just a few months.
I was surprised at myself – I was in my early-20’s, I’ve never been a member of anything that even closely resembled a ‘fandom’ and had always rolled my eyes whenever my friends discussed films and TV shows that were based on the notion of werewolves, vampires and suchlike, (and bear in mind that this was several years before the likes of ‘True Blood,’ ‘Twilight’ and ‘Vampire Diaries’ had hit our screens and bookshelves) – but I found myself engrossed in the storyline, willing the characters on in their battles with the ‘big bad’ of that season, and cheering with them in their victories.
However, above all else, there was one character that kept me coming back for more in the earlier series. Spike. Aesthetically, Spike, played by James Marsters, wasn’t my type at all. Angel, played by David Boreanaz was (and still is – David, that is) so pretty I could have cried, but there was something about the dark, brooding ‘Slayer of Slayers‘ that made me weak at the knees, despite the awful English accent and Billy Idol platinum look. Spike was the ‘bad boy.’ In his long, black leather coat he was rude, antagonistic, dismissive, sarcastic and dangerous and I couldn’t get enough. I must admit that I was a little disappointed when he changed over time into a much more sensitive character.
There are hundreds of characters that surround the archetype of the ‘bad boy’ in literature and the media – Christian Grey, James Bond, Mr Big, Tyler Durden, Captain Jack Sparrow, Loki, Tony Stark to name just a few – the drama, the fights, the rebellion, smouldering good looks and the lack of consideration for the future have an appeal that may be hard to resist for some women (and men). There may be all sorts of different reasons for this – a lack of self-esteem and a feeling that they don’t deserve better, a lack of desire for commitment, an attraction to drama or an attraction to something that they can’t have, a need to rescue the bad boys and encourage them to change their ways, even the desire to date someone opposite in character to a father figure… However, it still doesn’t stop the tears and disappointment when the Bad Boy has lived up to his namesake, again.
I’ve done the Bad Boy relationship. Over the space of 18 months I made excuses for his behaviour and accepted the awful way in which he treated me because I felt that he loved me and wanted to be in a relationship. Eventually, after I’d lost a lot of friends and my self-esteem was at rock bottom, I decided that I deserved better and left.
I’ve got some news for you ladies – it is very rare that the Bad Boy will change his ways for you and you alone. Very rare.
But what about Mr Nice Guy?
The nice guy. The one who calls when he says he will, who is where he says he is, with who he says he’s with. The one who is upfront, honest and reliable. The one who doesn’t get involved in mind games. The one women will often go to for a shoulder to cry on after the Bad Boy has let them down.
Yes, that one.
The stereotype that seems to surround Mr Nice Guy is that nice is boring, unexciting and is physically unnatractive, and in my experience I absolutely disagree with all of these. I saw a quote somewhere that stated ‘Nice is not boring, boring is boring.’ Attractiveness is in the eye of the beholder – we all have different tastes and opinions on what we deem to be pleasing to the eye. Nice people are often more respectful, happier and easier to be around.
Here are my reasons why you should get rid of the Bad Boy and give dating Mr Nice Guy a chance.
1. What you see is what you get. While it is impossible to absolutely, truly know someone, Mr Nice Guy is usually who you think he is. There are no mind games, no lies and no bullshit. If he likes or dislikes something, he’ll tell you.
2. He follows through on what he says. He calls and texts when he says he will, he suggests plans and sticks to them.
3. He likes you for you. He listens to you, cares about your opinion, has respect for you and accepts your quirks.
4. He’s up for anything and willing to please. Read into that as you will ;). Note: whatever you imagine is likely to be followed by Mr Nice Guy cooking you breakfast the following morning.
5. Chivalry. Before I start being attacked by feminists, I strongly believe that men and women should be treated equally and that it is important that women should stand up for their rights and what they believe in. However, I do like the chivalrous aspects that accompany a date with Mr Nice Guy. I have been given a date’s coat when it has been cold, doors have been held open for me – I’ve even been offered a pair of shoes at the end of a night after a night of dancing in high heels. I turned down the offer, but I thought it was a lovely gesture. Others may disagree and think that the man had no backbone – I saw it that he wanted to make me comfortable. Unfortunately, this leaves Mr Nice Guy in a situation that he may not ever win – if he opens a door, his date may be offended. If he doesn’t, his date may think he is rude.
6. Others will like him. While the opinions of others shouldn’t matter too much when you are dating someone, the stress of negative feelings from family and friends can sometimes cause a strain on the relationship. Chances are, they’ll like Mr Nice Guy as much as you do.
Note: By no means am I suggesting in this list that Mr Nice Guy is a pushover and someone who can be taken advantage of. Mr Nice Guy will have faults, as we all do, and shouldn’t be settled for simply because the Bad Boy has let you down.
So ladies (and gentlemen), if you want to be spending your evenings waiting by the phone, crying because he’s lied yet again, belittled you, cheated on you and hurt you, you have every right to do so. Carry on. Enjoy yourselves. But stop complaining when you’ve been let down.
However, if you genuinely want to have a committed, fulfilling, adult relationship, then look no further than Mr Nice Guy. Stop putting them in the friend zone and give them a chance. There’s more to them than you think.
Can anybody add to this? I’d love to hear your stories and experiences – do you prefer the bad boy or nice guy?
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Image Credit 1: roowsj
Image Credit 2 & 3: someecards.com
Image Credit 4: thecontrarion1012