Why Are We So Impressed By Guys Who Do The Bare Minimum?

You see it on social media all the time: the woman who swoons because her boyfriend bought her flowers or the women who sing a guy’s praises because he loves his girlfriend’s body, flaws and all. WTF? Instead of putting such guys on pedestals, we should be seeing them as ordinary. Here’s why.

  1. What they’re doing is normal. Guys who treat their women with respect and love should be a relationship standard. They’re not doing anything amazing, for goodness’ sake. They’re doing the minimum things required to be called a good boyfriend, so why the hype?
  2. Those qualities aren’t rare. Qualities like honesty and loyalty seem to be on the path to extinction. Sadly, lazy and toxic guys have become the norm, and good guys have become rare. But that’s just our perception. The truth is that there are still many good people out there, so why treat one good guy like Mr. Perfect? He’s not.
  3. Sometimes social media antics are an ego trip. I’m sorry, but when a guy goes on social media to wax lyrical about how much he values his woman and is a good man, that sounds like he’s really chasing down an ego boost. It’s about him, not the GF he’s supposedly praising. Besides, can we ever know what that guy’s really like behind closed doors?
  4. Don’t elevate the good and ignore the bad. It’s easy to think that a guy who’s so nice to you is perfect, but honestly, what about his flaws? If you concentrate so much on what makes him a great boyfriend, you could be ignoring what makes him a bad boyfriend, which could screw you over. Have some perspective and a balanced view of people so you don’t get brainwashed by your own fairytale views of them.
  5. Don’t lower your standards. If you think a guy’s so great just because he walked you to your car late at night or sticks up for women’s issues, you’re exaggerating his good qualities. The risk is that this could cause you to lower your standards because you feel he’s so great, you shouldn’t expect even more from him. Screw that. The bare minimum isn’t the gold standard.
  6. Don’t compare him to bad guys. If you think he’s a great guy because he does what other guys haven’t done for you, it doesn’t mean he’s a knight in shining armor. There’s always someone worse than the one you’re with, but also someone better. No one’s perfect. Keep a level head.
  7. The problem is you’re not used to goodness. The sad thing is that we’re so used to guys who treat women badly, so when a good guy comes along it’s like the heavens have opened and are raining down chocolate chip cookies. But that says more about us than how great the guy is. If you’re not used to being treated well and you’ve come to believe that you’re not worthy of it, any guy with a tiny good streak in him will seem more amazing than he actually is. So messed up. Get used to goodness and respect, and give it to yourself so you don’t need it from men.
  8. Chivalry is basic respect. You might say that chivalry’s dead and you wish more guys were chivalrous, so when you do meet a chivalrous guy, it blows your mind. But wait a minute. His chivalrous acts, like letting you walk into a restaurant before him and giving you his jacket when it’s cold, are really just basic respect. No reason to crack open the champagne.
  9. How he is outside of romantic relationships is just as important. It’s not just what he’s like with you that matters. What about the way he treats other women, such as his family members, friends, or even strangers? That’s a true test of character. If you don’t pay attention to that, you could be buying his “good guy” act that he whips out in romantic situations.
  10. He’s not better than you. So maybe he really is a good guy and that’s wonderful to have in your life, but don’t think he’s some sort of god who needs your praise. Don’t forget that you’re wonderful too! He should be treating you well every single day because that’s the least you deserve.
  11. He’s not the eighth wonder of the world. He doesn’t cheat or lie, so you treat him like he’s the best guy in the world. WTF? It’s almost like you think he’s gone against what men are wired to do. That whole “boys will be boys” thing is BS. A guy who doesn’t fit in with that bad behavior isn’t actually a better man. He’s just a decent man and shouldn’t be up for the Boyfriend Of The Year award.
  12. He doesn’t make you a better woman. You should feel like the best version of yourself in your relationship. It should uplift you. But if you’re mad about a guy because he’s so nice to you that he makes you feel worthy, that’s a problem. You shouldn’t need a man to make you feel good about yourself. He should just be the cherry on the cake, but he’s never the whole cake.
  13. Is he refreshing or a douchebag? Just because he talks about how he prefers women who aren’t model types or he wants a strong woman even though other men don’t, this doesn’t make him great. He needs to get over himself and no, telling you that you’re beautiful even though you’ve put on weight around your midsection isn’t actually a compliment.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.