From his weekend volunteer efforts to his epic cuddling skills, I’m 100% positive that I dated the nicest guy on the planet for five blurry, regrettable years. I’m sure that if we got married, I would’ve been moderately happy… but so freaking bored. I eventually ended it but I seriously wish I hadn’t waited so long.
He was great to cuddle with, but that’s about as exciting as things got in bed.
Our relationship started as a friendship, evolved into alcohol-induced hookups, and ended up with us resigning ourselves to a relationship. There were no instant sparks or butterflies fluttering around in my stomach. Instead, I found myself coming up with excuses for why we couldn’t have sex. When we did do it, usually with the help of an entire bottle of wine, it was all missionary and annoyingly gentle. I seriously couldn’t wait for it to be over.
I was desperate for him to give me a reason to be jealous.
I honestly dreamed that I would catch him flirting with another girl at the bar or that I had to worry that his work wife becoming more than just a friend. In reality, I never knew it was possible to be aggressively loyal. I thought that maybe I would be more attracted to him if other women wanted him but I never found out because it never, ever happened.
My family was obsessed with him so I felt stuck.
He was invited along to every family vacation and pictured on each year’s Christmas card. My mother even gave him my great-grandmother’s engagement ring to size when he was ready. It sat in his watch box for a year and I felt like it was burning a hole in my heart every time I walked by it. When we finally broke up, it took more time for my parents to get over it than it did me.
He was my best friend and I didn’t want to lose that.
He made me laugh until I was in tears and I could tell him absolutely anything without being judged. Friendship is an important part of a relationship, but when it is the only thing keeping it afloat, it’s doomed to sink eventually. I knew deep down that we wouldn’t last forever but selfishly, I couldn’t let go. Who would I lean on if I lost my best friend? Plus, I really did care about his happiness and knew that breaking things off would devastate him.
I sought excitement elsewhere and the guilt was killing me.
Since our relationship was lacking any excitement or attraction, I started looking for it elsewhere. It started with what I thought was harmless flirting, grew into micro-cheating, and finally evolved into the real thing. I only saw him as a friend, and why would my friend care if I flirted with someone else? The guilt of my choice to deceive the nicest guy on the planet weighed so heavily on me that I started having panic attacks.
We practically grew up together so he felt like a body part that I couldn’t just cut off.
You go through a lot of changes between college and the first few years after graduation. By the end of the relationship, I was a different person than when we first met sophomore year. We traveled together, lived together, and grew into adults at each other’s side. The thought of breaking up really was as dramatic as cutting off an arm, but once I did it, I immediately felt myself start to heal.
I needed a guy to make me “walk the line” and the nice guy wasn’t it.
I’ll be the first to admit that I need a guy to call me out on my crap. I can be aloof and a little wild and he was allowing me to walk all over him. I’m not saying I need a man to set rules, but I could definitely use some boundaries.
A “comfortable” relationship just wasn’t doing it for me.
I wanted to be challenged and inspired by my boyfriend, not become complacent because of him. I lost the drive to explore and better myself because we’d turned into a 70-year-old married couple. We were literally the only 23-year-olds playing Scrabble and watching Jeopardy re-runs on a Friday night in New York City.
Stringing him along was a waste of my time and his.
Looking back, I think I knew from the night we started officially dating that he wouldn’t be “The One.” While the “nice guy” would be enough for some women, I craved passion, chemistry, and spark. If I was brave enough to face it early on, I could have saved both of us a hell of a lot of time.
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