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PSA: Please stop faking it

Posted by Karyn Polewaczyk  December 17, 2013 12:45 PM

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Confession #1: I eavesdrop—sometimes. Specifically, when I’m within earshot of someone talking loudly, like a pair of women on the subway engaged in a conversation about a guy that one of them is (was?) casually dating.

Woman 1: Do you like him?
Woman 2: Well, he’s really nice.
Woman 1: So are you going to see him again?
Woman 2: I guess so. He’s nice, you know?

Confession #2: Not really a confession as much as it is a WTF? Because “nice” simply does not cut it.

I have been Woman 2 before. So have many of my friends at some point or another. And, likely, so have you, or someone you know.

“Nice” is fine. Nice is polite, well-mannered and respectful. “Nice” pays for dinner, opens the door, and asks you out again and again. “Nice” is a Rules guy (or girl; swap for gender and sexual preferences accordingly). “Nice,” however, is boring.

The same applies with the Tepid Man: the guy who texts breezily and leaves you hanging for weeks, cancels plans at the last minute, and in general, shows up when it’s convenient for him, like in a 1 AM text on a Saturday night. If you want a more specific, and hilarious, example, I highly recommend checking out this post Heather Havirlesky’s “Dear Polly” column at The Awl, or this recent post about playing hard to get by one of my favorite relationship writers, Terri Trespicio. Anyone who can integrate a Kanye West lyric with dating advice gets a gold star in my book. (Warning: most of the language is NSFW.) It also applies to people who, for one reason or another, we just don’t click with.

In any instance, it’s not the offending party who’s responsible for the upset. It’s you, reader.

Yes—you. The one who keeps the filler guys around because it seems better than having no guys around. The one who accepts dates from guys she has absolutely no interest in because that’s what she’s been told to do. And, on a friendship front, the one who hangs out with unfulfilling people who’ve passed their expiration date for fear of being alone.

While my words may seem harsh, they have a silver lining: you control who you keep in your personal orbit. It can feel strange, and even scary, to purposely say “No” to people and plans when we don’t have a backup, but it’s really the only way to keep our dockets open for something worth our time. Sure, I’ve heard the argument that sparks can develop over time, and that first impressions aren’t everything—to some extent, I agree. But frankly, I’m sick of hearing people complain about their lackluster love lives, when the truth is often that they’re settling for good enough.

So consider this a PSA, or at least a gentle plea, for the pending new year: stop faking it. Real feels so much better.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About this blog

Karyn Polewaczyk lives and writes in Boston, and believes that heading out into that good night, like any adventure, begins with the first step. Let's Go Out is a conversation about dating and nightlife in our notoriously chilly city, with first-hand tips from the trenches. Karyn's writing, which focuses largely on women's lifestyle topics, has appeared in the Weekly Dig, Jezebel, xoJane, Northshore Magazine and More.com, among others. Follow her on Twitter at @KarynPolewaczyk.

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