I had a revelation last night after another train-wrecked attempt at a relationship: The nicer I am, the more emotional and physical messes I get myself into. It sucks. It’s in my nature to be nice. Shouldn’t a nice guy draw nice people? Yes. Yes, he should. No. No, I don’t. Drama. Just fucking drama.

For example, I like to consider myself a responsible drinker. I drink often but get drunk rarely. Why? Because I usually need to drive, like to be in control, and hate having a hangover. Shouldn’t this draw fellow highly-functional drunks into my life? Yep. But, it doesn’t. I usually wind up surrounded by sloppy drunks who require my investment of time indulging incoherence, suggesting they mix in an ice water or eat something, and persuading them not to drive.

I spent two fucking hours doing this last night with a dating prospect. It sucked. I tried using logic.

“Think about this: If I were as drunk as you right now, would you let me drive?”

“No. But, I need to get my car home, so I’m driving.”

“How would you feel if you let me drive drunk and I crippled or killed someone or myself?”

“I’d feel awful. I still need to drive.”

I suggest alternatives like taking Lyft, letting me follow her, and grabbing a late-night snack first. Nothing works. More fucking wasted effort. Finally, my stash of fucks runs out and I leave. Naturally, she calls to extend the drama. I can’t. I just can’t. I tap, “Ignore.”

Why can’t I attract a responsible, smart, drama-free woman into my life? Aren’t there single women without drinking/drug/financial problems? Aren’t there single women without horrible children/exes/parents/pets? Why can’t I find those women? I think I now know why–because I’m too fucking nice. I keep drawing people into my life who need care because I’m excessively caring. That shit needs to change. I would have been far better served if I had said this to my date:

“Order one more fucking drink, and I’m leaving. Got it?”

Sure, when I’m tending bar I need to be kind or I’ll lose the job. When customers are overly whiny, entitled, or simply impossible to please, most of us respond with, “Have a nice day.” This does nothing to change the behavior, but it usually defuses the situation. Since nothing much changes, the obnoxious customer will continue terrorizing servers on future visits. If it’s my bar, it’s “Get the fuck out and don’t come back.”

When you’re a giver, you’ll meet takers. They’ll fucking drain you–emotionally and financially. Lesson one: Stop being so generous. Keep a huge bag of fucks and use them on yourself.

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About the author

Author of humorous essays about relationships and lifestyles.