We’re having a glorious weekend in NYC. Nearly perfect weather, if there is such a thing. But I wanted to take a few minutes away from my sun worship (with ample sunblock, of course) to share this fabulous new Guy’s Story with you. Today’s guest author is Christian Polanco, a comedian and podcaster who does this cool podcast where he interviews comedians about their relationships. You should check it out.
When I was a teenager, I was terribly shy around girls. And I believe this came from the fact that I had a tough dad, who wasn’t always nice to my mom, so my instinct was always to be protective of women. My instincts always told me to be nice to them because I presumed everyone grew up like I did; in an environment where women were emotionally abused. Because of this, I couldn’t get a girlfriend, and I wanted one desperately. I was 18 when I first kissed a girl, and got my first girlfriend. I know, It took a while.
When I met my first girlfriend, I totally felt she was a blessing. She liked me. That never happened before. I was always in the friend zone. So much that I thought that was where I was supposed to be. But when we started dating, I thought, “thank the lord, I’m not gay.” We dated for nearly three years. It was a great experience and she was a wonderful person, but I honestly had no clue on how to be a boyfriend. All I knew about being a boyfriend was watching how Zack Morris treated Kelly Kapowski from Saved By The Bell. And I always told myself to never be as insensitive and careless as Zack.
So I went with what I knew. I was nice. All the time. I was selfless. I was understanding. I never criticized her. I never wanted to make her sad, ever. But what do they, say? Nice guys finish last, right?
The day I learned I couldn’t be that guy happened a few days after Christmas. She was wearing a brand new pair of white Diesel shoes that I had gotten her. We planned a date to go to the movies. I went to go pick her up in my dad’s Geo Metro. She got in the car and was in an awful mood (not because of the embarrassing car). She wouldn’t speak to me and wouldn’t tell me what was wrong. I tried to get it out of her, but she wouldn’t crack. I figured it may not have anything to do with me and maybe the movie would cheer her up. So we get to the movie theater. I park the car. We walk to the box office. The movie she wants to see is sold out. Now she’s even more upset. As soon as we hear the movie is sold out, it starts pouring rain. Her shoes are ruined. She’s furious. I immediately suggest we see another movie, but she says, “forget it, I just want to go home.” So i said “okay.” Now the evening is ruined before it even got started.
We walk back to the car and as we get inside she finally speaks to me. She says, “Christian, i’m just not happy with the relationship right now” (I didn’t understand. But I’m so nice to you). She then says, “Look, I just need you to be more of a man” (Ouch!)
That is the lowest I have ever felt in any relationship, ever. I felt worthless and emasculated. So as soon as she said that…..I started crying.
She saw how much that hurt me, then she started crying. We both cried in the car for a few minutes. She immediately apologized. She felt awful for saying it. And all that tension was gone. We broke up a few months later
I cared about her a lot, but that was a pivotal moment in my life because it taught me something. It taught me that that guy, that giving, caring, compassionate, selfless guy, was simply not attractive. I wasn’t behaving like a guy who’s girlfriend wanted to find him sexy. I did everything she wanted. That isn’t sexy. I never showed confidence. I just assumed, if i showed that I loved her, that would be enough. It wasn’t. She wanted to want me. And she was struggling with that because she didn’t feel like she had a prize for a man anymore. I am grateful for her and what she taught me. Her criticism was informing me that I needed to show confidence, consistently. That moment shaped who I am today. While I am not a “mean” guy now, by any means. I learned that I couldn’t be nice to every woman. They don’t all deserve it. I can’t be a whore with my niceness. It’s not classy.
Tags: friends, girlfriend, nice guy