Reality

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“Man meets woman. Man likes woman. Man falls for woman. Man loves woman. Woman meets man. Woman likes man. Woman runs from man because woman loves man”

-Al Steven Harrison Jr.

Acknowledgement

​I created the above thesis at the age of 27. For some, the above statement may seem foreign or simply incomprehensible. I will, however, elaborate the meaning for those whom are unaware. Ten years of experience with the opposite sex have inspired this thesis, as well as many other writings of mine. Other phrases such as “Nice Guys Finish Last” or “He’s Just A Friend” also relate to the summary of these experiences, however I can only retain credit for my own collective writings. Musical Artists, Poets, Writers, Therapists and more have also had influential input regarding this topic.

​Over time, the terms “Good Guy” or “Nice Guy” have held many different definitions. For most, “Nice guy” is interpreted as a respectable, courteous, considerate gentleman. But surprisingly, its usually men who have that definition. For most women, a “Nice Guy” is defined as sweet, thoughtful, generous and strictly PLATONIC. For years now, I’ve questioned just why that is. Speculation grows quicker than cancer while both sexes blame each other for the current state of relationships and marriages. But, I’m getting ahead of myself, lets slow it down a little.

​After much research, and a little experimentation, I’ve gathered quite a few findings. To better ascertain accurate input, many different women were used as a catalyst. Age, nationality, upbringings, even religious beliefs were all factors of difference. Respectably, I must disclose the following consent: “All of the following is simply opinion generated by the evidentiary support of experience and consultation. It’s all a collaboration of the women whom I have either dated, associated with or casually conversed with. No research will ever support an entire sex overall, therefore my findings are only based on an average. In short, no disrespect is intended to either men or women. This is only informative, persuasive writing.”

The “Nice Guy”

​If you’re a woman age twenty three and over, you’ve definitely had one of these. You know him, he’s that guy who’s always there to listen, always answers his phone, always offering to help and is always there to tell you “everything will be ok”. All he’s missing is a big red cape because he’s like Superman, always coming to the rescue and there to piece together the broken parts of your day. My cousin once suggested that a person should never make themselves too available to their mate. She suggested that it will display a less attractive demeanor. Whether this is true or not, the Nice Guy is the epitome of “available”. No matter if its three o’clock in the afternoon or four o’clock in the morning, he’ll be there, dropping everything he was doing for you.

​In the movie “Why Did I Get Married?“, there was a theory called the Superman Complex. The theory explained that once someone exits a broken relationship/marriage, the next mate will typically come in and fill all of the empty voids and save the day. It also continues that thru this theory, it also distracts the person from their post break up state of vulnerability thus prematurely creating emotions that aren’t genuine. In short, you’d probably only be attracted to the new person because they’re everything your Ex wasn’t, and in the process, develop false feelings because of this. This is where the Nice Guy happens to be in the right place at the very wrong time. Because he’s nice, he's everything the last person wasn't. That‘s the attention grabber. It’s also the beginning of his end.

​The Nice Guy’s character description itself is simultaneously the problem. Although his intentions are always pure, benevolent and unconditional, make no mistake, he still wants something. Sure, it isn’t something as simple as sex, nevertheless it's still something he wants. The Nice Guy simply wants to see you smile. This is what inspires him. If he were a parasite, smiling would be his host. Usually, because of what most women have previously encountered, they fail to see the Nice Guy’s pure heart. Instead, they may see what they call “game” and inevitably comes those notorious “trust issues“. In other cases, some women may compare the current guy to the last guy. This is where you’d hear things such as how the last guy was “nice in the beginning too”. If no one has yet to identify the problem here, please allow me to navigate. The CURRENT guy, in no way, shape or form, has anything to do with the LAST guy. Obviously, they’re both guys, however different altogether. And as simple as it is to say, blending these statements with reality is an entirely different story. How many times how you heard people say “you have to let the past go”, “let the past be the past” or “you have to get over it”? In the two seconds it took to say that, it can literally take two years to actually do it. Man or woman. But I digress.

​The Nice Guy is typically misunderstood. He’s nice, respecting the woman at all times and never steps out of line. In short, he’s a “Yes Man”, never saying No. After a long, dramatic, troublesome day, he’s the one she will go crying to. He’s the one who bails her out of the situations she continuously gets into. He’s the one who doesn’t make the first move if they’re alone in fear of disrespecting her as a woman. This, in its entirety, is what distances the woman from him intimately. Although to him, he’s respecting her, thru her perspective, he’s not being aggressive enough. Funny isn’t it? A woman can complain about a man who’s too aggressive just to turn around and complain to the next man that he isn’t aggressive enough. (that’s called irony)

​But yes, the Nice Guy wants to be intimate. He wants to hold her, caress her and make love to her over and over. But he’s also aware of how the last man treated her and wants to be cautious as to not to prematurely bombard her with sexual advances. This, unfortunately, is translated to the woman as being “soft” or “platonic”. Later on, familiar phrases will be stated about how she “just doesn’t see you like that” or you’re “like a brother”. All the Nice Guy can think to himself is how he knew if he would’ve made advances on her earlier on, she would’ve began to think that all he wanted was sex and the whole “Nice Guy” role was only an act.

​Typically, the Nice Guy enters a woman’s life during a rough time. Maybe during the recent ending of a bad relationship. It’s been argued that astronomically, the Nice Guy always seems to stumble along immediately after a woman has ended a relationship with the Bad Guy. What this means is that whatever the Bad Guy did, it will directly affect whatever the Nice Guy will encounter next. In short, the Nice Guy will pay greatly for the Bad Guy’s actions.

The “Bad Guy”

​Its almost unfair to call him the Bad Guy. For most men reading this, they know his name should be the Lucky Guy. For some unknown reason, this guy can do it all. He’s the Alpha and Omega. He’s manipulated her, cheated on her, disrespected her, abused her and is still somehow at the top of her Priority List. Why? Truthfully, not even the women know. Not only has he done it all but the Bad Guy also gets it all. It was argued that sex was the element which holds her loyalty to him. As intriguing as this debate may sound, its also untrue. Sex may play a part in creating and/or developing the emotions which keep her attached, however sex alone is not responsible.

​The Bad Guy also isn’t stupid. Usually, he’s completely aware of the hold he has on this woman and utilizes it fully whenever he feels need. But sometimes, he isn’t aware of the hold he has on her at all. He instead comes and goes as he pleases while the woman, usually out of an emotional weakness, allows him to do so. Almost everyone neglects to recognize the fact that it all started with the Bad Guy. He’s the Genesis of it all. He held the most power. None of this would be happening if it weren’t for him.

​Women are beautiful in nature. In every form, aspect and reach of their being, they are flawlessly beautiful. Without women, men are nothing. So, in the beginning, the woman gives her all. She sacrifices, bleeds, struggles and risks it all for him, for THEM. The Bad Guy, however, sacrifices little or nothing. Originally, she was vulnerable, optimistic and willing to trust. Loyal to him until AFTER her dying breath. Always at his side. That is, until he betrays her. That vulnerable, precious heart of hers was no match for the Bad Guy’s arrogant, selfish blade that pierced it.

​That first relationship, however, didn’t break her heart. But it definitely damaged it. There lies the condition most men aren’t aware of. A woman’s heart is never broken, its simply damaged. This is why she places up so many walls and barriers, so she can keep her heart safe from getting broken. It’s fear. But it’s also perfect sense, why place up walls to protect something that’s already broken? It never truly was broken because a woman is too strong. A woman’s strength is unmatched by anything except God Himself. So once the Bad Guy damaged her heart, she endured the pain and thickened the walls that guard her heart. In contrast, I reiterate, it all started with the Bad Guy.

The “Good Guy”

​Most believe the Nice Guy and the Good Guy are one in the same. Though they definitely are similar, this just isn’t true. But they are in fact two different terms. Ladies, whether you’re realize it or not, Good Guy’s are in your life even as you read this. Of course you’re probably unaware because you’re usually telling him things like “You’re such a good friend” or how “sweet” he is when he buys you roses for no reason (COMPLETELY missing the whole point of that sentiment!).

​To all of those women who believe Shivery doesn’t exist anymore, allow me to introduce to you the Good Guy. He’s also nice, respectable and courteous, just like the Nice Guy. Main difference between the two, Aggression. The Good Guy WILL, respectably, make the first move. He’ll also help her out but he won’t be her Superman. The Good Guy sees the woman as she is, but still acknowledges her as an adult and doesn’t interfere with her methods of handling her business (her life). This is what makes him Good. He loves her for who she is and doesn’t wish to change anything about her. He can agree to disagree. He can be a man and take charge while also being her equal all at once. Problem is, the Good Guy tends to make poor decisions in women. Compatibility recognition is a trait in which he always seems to need improvement.

​The Good Guy usually wants an old fashioned relationship and believes in true Courtship. What this means is that he usually wants to get to know one another first, spend one on one time together (not “texting“), go on casual dates and take time before intimacy. Now, this isn’t a contradiction to what was previously stated, he will make a move however not on the first date. Remember, the Good Guy is old school. First dates are typically ending with a escort to your door, a hug and a kiss on the cheek goodnight.

​Obviously, the Good Guy was breed the right way, for the right reasons, but in the wrong time. In the 1970’s and 80’s he would have been right at home, but in 2011, times are more than different. In my endeavors, I’ve discovered most women between ages 23-27 have no idea what “courtship” even is. Some have heard of the word but never knew what it truly meant. This being said, many women are turned away from the Good Guy because he’s so different from his current age group. He wants to go at a steady pace while they prefer to skip right to the sex and on to the next.

​All is well with the Good Guy up until he gets involved with the opposing type of woman. The woman whom doesn’t believe in getting to know one another first, or going on casual dates, or even taking time before intimacy. Let‘s be real, the Good Guy is still a man. He has hormones, therefore he, at times, may fall for the sexually supercharged, fast acting, promiscuous, notorious Bad Girl.

The “Bad Girl”

​When they say “opposites attract”, they sure do mean it. The Good Guy always seems to be attracted to the Bad Girl. She is simply nothing but trouble. She lies, manipulates, cheats, uses and seems to not have a ounce of remorse for whom she crosses to get what she wants. Oprah and Dr. Phil couldn’t get through to the Bad Girl. Somehow, and impressively I might add, she always seems to find a justification for her actions.

​Its probably rhetorical to even ask what makes the Bad Girl bad, its quite clear. However why she became bad is a question worth asking. Many reasons contribute to the origin of the Bad Girl. In some cases, their upbringing is responsible. Lacking suitable parental guidance. This of course would have resulted in the search for affection from male counterparts, ideally highly aggressive, overly confident, controlling types of men who create a safe feeling of security. Basic child psychology suggests that when affection is suspended from childhood, as an adult, they may subconsciously search for that missing affection from their mate to provide a feeling of completion.

​Lets focus of that theory for a moment. This Bad Girl missed affection as a child therefore found an aggressive mate whom, as surveys suggest, is probably either affiliated with illegal activity, controlling, abusive, short tempered or quite possibly all of the above. I recall a quote from a song called “Song Cry”, the lyrics read that “once a good girl’s gone bad, she’s gone forever”. Meaning that this Bad Girl wasn’t born bad nor raised to be such. It would only be a matter of time before this illegal activity affiliated, controlling, abusive, short tempered mate would deceive this woman. Thus, this is the birth of the Bad Girl. Simple in nature, originally out to obtain fulfillment for that missing affection from childhood, now deceived.

​For any of you who may be lost, allow me to give you the accelerated version. Good Girl was deceived by Bad Guy and now is a Bad Girl. Everyone has their own way of coping with things. Some people close themselves out from everyone, some absorb the emotions and move on, and then some endure the pain and use it as a lightning rod to strike any and everyone who stands in their way only caring for themselves. This would be the Bad Girl.

​Most have heard the saying that a woman “knows within the first five minutes whether she’s going to sleep with you”. That being said, the Bad Girl will meet the Good Guy and know she’ll sleep with him, simply because he’s sexually attractive to her. Unbeknownst to him, he’ll usually treat the Bad Girl as a woman he plans to court and there begins the journey to Chaos. She’ll utilize every and any beneficial factor he offers and string him along until she’s had her feed. Soon after, he’d probably find that all along she had a boyfriend anyway. It’s reality.

​Some Bad Girls are also just simply scorned. Out for blood. Wanting to paint the town red for no reason. After once being asked why do you cheat on your husband, the wife answered “I just like getting me some on the side”. Another wife, whom was asked the same question, answered “I know how men are so I’m just doing what I’m doing”. Whether or not their husbands cheated on them previously is unknown but honestly, would it matter? Would your spouse/mate cheating on you truly justify your actions? Pretty hard having sympathy for a woman who asks “Why can’t I find a Good Man?” when she isn’t a Good Woman herself. (that’s called sarcasm)

The “Good Woman”

​She’s the dream. She’s the one who strengthens your faith. She’s the one men search for their entire lives. She’s the one some men die never having found. She’s the endangered species. She’s the rarest of them all. She’s like a unicorn, everyone believes she’s out there but its just so damn hard to find her.

​The Good Woman is the one who remains true and never reforms to the social standards, scorned or not. This is what makes her a Good Woman. She calls YOU back. She buys YOU Hallmark cards. She treats YOU to dinner. She’s thoughtful, understanding, considerate and realistic. She’ll make doctor appointments for you while you’re away at work. She’ll offer to drive as to not put so much on you. After you two get to the car and you’ve opened the car door for her, she’ll even reach over to the Driver’s side and open the door for you. Yes, she’s keeper. This woman you’ll want to marry.

​Only problem is, this Good Woman, is usually attracted to the Bad Guy (remember, opposites attract). Because of this, she’s usually unavailable due to her loyalty to the poor relationship with the Bad Guy. She’s definitely a keeper because even when the Bad Guy makes mistakes, she forgives and moves forward. All along giving him chance after chance after chance. She’ll eventually leave the relationship with the Bad Guy, but because of her persistence, every time he comes around claiming he’s changed, she gives it a chance. A Good Woman believes in her choices, therefore, wants to finish what she starts. She too, however, has her limits. After a while she’ll end the relationship for good, but not without taking some time afterwards to be “single for awhile”.

​Every relationship is like an exercise. They’re consistent, constantly requiring attention and effort. But, just as with exercise, you must take a break in between. I’m sure all of you have heard the phrase “don’t hop from one car to the next”, meaning don’t begin a new relationship without properly ending the previous one. So, after she ends the relationship, she usually wants to take some time to recollect and become more stable. Over time, and over a period of several unsuccessful relationships, the time taken grows longer and longer.

​See, most men don’t recognize the Good Woman. This is because they’re usually distracted by the voluptuous Bad Girl, and neglect the woman who’s truly genuine. Thus, the probability of the Good Guy courting the Good Woman is dramatically reduced. What this means is the Good Woman will go through a laundry list of Bad Guys. These men will cause the time spent in-between relationships for that woman to grow longer and longer apart. But eventually, the Good Guy and the Good Woman will cross paths. By this time, she’s been with so many Bad Guy’s that she “isn’t looking for a relationship” now. This, my friends, is where the Good Guy is introduced, and officially inducted into, the wonderful land of The Friend Zone.

The “Friend Zone”

​Statistically speaking, three times as many men know what the Friend Zone is compared to women, although ironically, its typically women who place men there. It’s the Bermuda Triangle of relationships. Coming back from the dead would be easier than escaping this place. For all of you who may have a question mark above your foreheads right now, let me be clear and provide detail. The Friend Zone is the area where a person is placed who is good enough to remain in a person’s life, but didn’t make the final cut for anything more than platonic relationships. Ideally, the woman places the man inside the Friend Zone, for many different reasons. A man’s first time entering the Friend Zone is similar to losing one’s virginity. The first time will be rough, painful and unexpected things may come up. Often times, a man isn’t even aware that they’ve been placed there the first time they enter (which makes it even more painful).

​As it stands, a guy enters a woman’s life. He’s sweet, genuine, honest, even aggressive. He makes advances on her and even verbally announces his intentions with her. Initially, she proclaims that they must be “friends before anything else”, so he agrees and accepts. After a while, a steady, strong, open friendship is established. They discuss everything, even stay on the phone with one another while going to the restroom. Months pass since their last conversation about dating one another. One day, to his surprise, she begins to discuss a guy she’s currently dating, whom she met only two weeks prior. Immediately his facial expression cringes. Astonished, amazed, surprised and saddened all wrapped in one. He soon speaks up and expresses his concern being that he announced his attraction to her several months prior. She replies “you’re like my best friend, I wouldn’t want to ruin our friendship”, continuing that “boyfriends come and go but friends are forever”. Anxiety begins to form, he wants to just hang the phone up but instead endures it with false hopes that she’d eventually come around.

​Everyone, just so there’s no confusion, there is NO SUCH THING as escaping the Friend Zone. Once a woman has made up her mind, its over. Sure, she’ll call you to complain about the trifling men she’s involved with, and even express how she would’ve been immaculately and immensely happy had she been with you instead. But, she STILL will not let you out. You’re there to stay. If there are any men reading this who can identify with the Friend Zone and have faith that one day she’ll see you for who you are, let this be a wake up call. She may eventually see you for the Good Guy that you are, however it will most likely be years and years later after you’ve moved on and extinguished all feelings previously held for her.

​On the flip side of this equation, it has been contributed by a select number of women that men have also placed them inside the notorious Friend Zone. Explaining that the current guy they hold interest in has addressed them as being “like a sister”. As rare as this situation is, it does exist. In fact, the Good Guy will commonly place the Good Woman in the Friend Zone because (as stated earlier) he’s distracted by the promiscuous Bad Girl. Sorry ladies.

​So, the reality of it all is as follows. There are Nice Guys, Good Guys and Bad Guys. There are also Bad Girls and Good Women. The Nice Guy is usually mismatched with the Bad Girl because he isn’t assertive enough for the Good Woman. The Good Guy is usually attracted to the Bad Girl while placed in the Friend Zone by the Good Woman. The Bad Guy created the Bad Girl who ultimately uses the Nice Guy and Good Guy, which ever she sees first. Meanwhile, the Good Woman is busy forgiving the Bad Guy repeatedly while securing the Good Guy in the Friend Zone. Every once in seven years or so, the Good Guy and Good Woman cross paths. But because of all the damage they’ve separately encountered with their opposites, they fail to develop a relationship and ultimately result in repeating the above cycle. Maybe, just maybe, after some of you have read this, you will have an adjusted perspective on some of the people in your lives and take time before allowing fear or misjudgment to influence your decisions.

Closing Comments

​Recently, and more often now, I’m asked “Why are you single?”. I’m inclined to believe that this question had a tremendous influence over this disposition. Let it be known, I’ve been the Bad Guy, the Nice Guy and the Good Guy. I’ve explored every angle of the equation. We all choose who we allow into our lives, the parts we allow them to play in our lives and most importantly who we allow to remain in our lives. Hurt and pain brought me to that realization. A lesson well worth the experience. I was once asked “Which is harder to find, a Good Woman or a Good Man?”, as you can see, neither are hard to find. It could be the person on the other end of the phone. It could be the person texting you right now. It could even be the author of this disposition. But sometimes, just sometimes, they’re right in front of us.

Al Steven Harrison Jr.

Read more posts by this author.

Mount Prospect, IL

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