What constitutes ‘too nice’ when it comes to relationships?

2 Jun

For those of you who grew up in the south, terms like ‘southern hospitality’ were second nature.  Ideals such as treating others as you wish to be treated were omnipresent; it was never acceptable to treat anyone with anything but kindness.  This kindness was not only extended to friends and family, but also to your significant other; the one who, in those days, brought home the ‘bacon’, mowed the lawn and, well, kept the armchair warm on those cold football watching Sundays.  

While conversing with my mother this past weekend, I touched on the fact that me and my siblings have always been very accommodating when it comes to our romantic relationships.  However, the irony is that each of us (myself, my 23 and 28 year old brothers) seem to find mates that do not appreciate our giving nature or, quite possibly, are turned off by it.  I said, “is it possible that this is all your fault?  Did you raise us to be too accommodating to others?”  My mother simply said, “well, I could have taught you to be disrespectful and angry… would that have made things better?”

This brings me to my question of the day: what constitutes ‘too nice’ when it comes to relationships?  If I care for someone, and I know exactly how they like their shirts pressed, is it wrong to press them?  If I know that they love meatball subs from Subway, with banana peppers, is it wrong to pick up dinner exactly as they like it without any questions?  If something is really important to them, but not to me, is it wrong to support them whole heartedly even if it is a boring or horrible experience for me?

Don’t get me wrong… I can have a selfish side.  I am somewhat of a type A personality, enjoying being in control and taking charge.  However, when it comes to romantic relationships, I find myself constantly wanting to please him and make things absolutely comfortable for him.  Is this wrong?  Is this a turn off for the average guy?  If so, am I required to change who I am just to find happiness or the happy medium as I like to call it?

One last thought… a good friend of mine told me (a male friend at that) that men should be “traded like commodities”.  If they aren’t working for you, then why bother?  Trade them in for a new model!  I think he was trying to tell me that I should act like I don’t care so much and men will be falling all over me.  I have given this much thought and I still find it puzzling.

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7 Responses to “What constitutes ‘too nice’ when it comes to relationships?”

  1. shannonmcmanus June 2, 2009 at 1:13 pm #

    Well, I think the trick is to find a happy medium. It’s wonderful to bring home the Subway sandwich with banana peppers just make sure you’re getting a foot massage at the end of a long day too.
    It’s a give and take.
    But your friend is 100% right. Men should be traded like commodities. It sounds cold but if women are honest with their partners and trade out of the relationship, kindly and honestly, when it stops working, both parties will benefit and there would be a much lower divorce rate.
    Nice writing!

  2. Nazanine June 2, 2009 at 1:53 pm #

    A wise man told me that don’t do too much for a man (my father) I have learned from experience that you should take care of yourself first and foremost. You can do nice things but if the person takes it for granted why extend yourself. I think the key is to date a MAN versus a BOY. Boys need the shirts pressed and have dinner picked up. A MAN will press his own shirts and take YOU out to dinner.

  3. Heather June 2, 2009 at 5:12 pm #

    You are the Carrie Bradshaw of Advance 🙂 I think it is give and take and if you’re doing all the giving – it gets old! It’s never wrong to be nice to someone – as long as they are appreciative and reciprocate in some way.

    I wish I had all the answers, but I surely don’t! I look forward to reading your blog though!

  4. Jillian June 2, 2009 at 8:27 pm #

    First off I think that if you do all those nice things and that truely is coming from your heart then I say “BRAVO”. Keep doing those things because that is truely who you are and believe me that is a plus. Do not alter yourself but alter your relationship by getting rid of the person who only wants to play games with your emotions. A true man who LOVES YOU will always appreciate those things.

    But make sure you are not the only one who is doing. A relationship is a give and take. The other half cannot always be taking. Look I am not saying everything is 50/50 because it NEVER will be but make sure your nice gestures result in nice actions from your significant other.

    The biggest mistake most women make is that we change who we are and try to change the man at the same time.

    I read a quote right before I moved to CA and it stuck in my head for over 10 years. It’s simple but straight to the point. It makes you think how you live your life. Maybe you are looking for safe instead something that can bring true love. It will take risk, heartache, and a good look at yourself but trust me the result is SOSOSO WORTH IT!!

    “Everyone is looking for stability rather than opportunity”

  5. shannonmcmanus June 3, 2009 at 1:18 am #

    Right on!

  6. Prince Bill June 3, 2009 at 4:08 pm #

    I believe you touched on the root problem when you mentioned your type A personality. Most men do enjoy being doted on from time to time but in excess it viewed as controlling.

    A man likes to feel as if (note that I used as if) he is the leader, he makes the decisions, he protects his mate…its how we are wired so overly generous, although well intentioned gestures do come accross as controlling.

    As far as the commodities comment…most men don’t change dramatically over time although it has been the mission of many women to try to enact change therefore I would suggest you get the right guy first and not the one who is more hot, rich, endowed…etc. that you think will change as opposed to the regular guy who is more compatible.

  7. Emma June 5, 2009 at 5:42 am #

    I agree a bit with Bill and as well that it is a give and take, but I think as well that it is important to think about your own thoughts and feelings before, after and during these “acts of kindness”.
    Are you doing these for your own pride, “look at me and what a great wife/partner I am”
    Or playing the victim and THINKING, “ I am doing this and I do not get anything back”
    Or even along this one are you doing and then nagging, “ I do all this for you and you don’t do anything for me” … Are they getting the opportunity to do anything or do you then step in and do it anyhow?
    (something I am struggling with right now)
    I think as well understanding that once in a while, a surprise is good but there are TWO in a relationship and EACH should be both giving AND taking.

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