I was talking with a single friend of mine about Bachelor #2 this afternoon. He's the sweetest guy, I said to her. He's just so nice.
He is nice. He calls me on a regular basis. He gives me a ride home when I've missed the last train. He listens and helps me into my coat and has offered to help me buy the missing cables so that I can (finally) hook up the printer I've had collecting dust for the past ten months. I can't really explain it. He's just nice.
But, I went on to my colleague.
You're waiting for the other shoe to drop? she said knowingly.
Sadly, she's right. I'll catch myself not believing that he can possibly be this nice, as if niceness comes in limited quantities, and once it runs out, asshole emerges. After decades of dating losers, when nice enters the picture, it's hard to remove our cynical armor.
The thing is, though, I really think he is this nice, that he's just a nice guy. And the more I think about it, when I sort through my mental list of controlling, patronizing, distant, unavailable (but Interesting! Artistic! Mysterious!) relationships past, I realize that nice might be the most-important thing. I'm learning to push aside my cynicism and see Bachelor #2 for who he is: Nice. I'm learning to believe in nice.
A month or so ago, right when I was starting to chat with Bachelor #2, I was out at a dinner party to celebrate my friend A's birthday. After years of dramatic break-ups with complicated and distant men, she had just started dating a new guy, who had come along for the evening, and when a couple of us started asking her about him, she said with a tiny smile on her face, I don't know. He's just nice, you know?
And right now, dating my own nice guy, I'm left thinking that maybe my friend, A, is onto something.
Nice is nice, isn't it?