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In Praise of Good Boys

There is a popular view in the media that women love a “Bad Boy”, which may or may not be based on reality. Certainly some of the platonic male friends I’ve had over the years have confided that they have suffered from “Nice Man” syndrome. You know, being the dependable shoulder to cry on when yet another flaky relationship comes a cropper for the woman they secretly fancy, but never having that woman pine to be romantically involved with them. What’s interesting now I’m older is that most of these men are very happily settled long term, with doting partners who realize what absolute treasures they have in their lives.

I have always yearned and longed for really Good Boys and I’m not a Bad Girl archetype, (although I have my moments), so it isn’t a case of opposites attracting. All my life I have had incredible crushes on Nice Men. This was despite my friends coming out with the usual ‘Whatever do you see in him?’ comments when I was young. I think this craving began at youth club when a popular Bad Boy once threw a dart past my head in a spectacularly misguided effort to impress me. As time slowed, as my brief life flashed before me and the weapon whistled past my cranium with centimeters to spare, my ‘f***wit’ detection system went live with a vengeance. He was rewarded with my first ever erection-withering glare of contempt and a torrent of sarcastic abuse. I never spoke to him again and avoided anyone displaying similar characteristics from then on.

Instead, my romantic interest was redirected to the safety of the genuine Nice Guy. I found them lurking amongst many subsets and activities: geeks and intellectuals, creative and artistic types, wild boys who loved extreme sport, nature lovers, politicos, animal people, volunteers, eco-warriors, the spiritual and religious, macho men. Many of course, fitted into several groups. I found them with a plethora of personalities ranging from the shy and sensitive to the outrageously confident, from the playful comic to the serenely stable, from the insatiably curious to the courageously fearful. I was lucky enough to find friends, lovers and partners from within this group, all of them thoughtful, kind and considerate. They may not have been the most handsome or confident young men at the time, but they were protective and solicitous, with an internal masculine beauty. And guess what? Like fine wine, as they matured, they got even better!

I suppose most Bad Boys are diamonds in the rough who eventually grow up or grow out of it, though some remain stuck. A gorgeous, wild eighteen year-old boy who rampages around hurting people may possibly be forgiven but the same does not apply to a man in his forties or fifties.  As I’ve aged, my youthful romantic instincts have been proved absolutely right. My friends no longer ask what I see in these Nice Men, because they see it as well. So if you’re one of the “Good Boys”, the decent, loving, honest men with values and integrity, many older gorgeous ladies will really appreciate your special, quieter qualities. Some older women have come through entanglements with Bad Boys a little scarred. Relax, be yourself and let those superb qualities shine!

This blog was written by TBW member Trust the years and published as part of our 30 Blogs in 30 Days campaign, challenging preconceptions about dating. Join in the discussion below or on our Facebook page.

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