By Kyla Lacey
Dating for single, educated, middle class black women in the new millennium is no easy task. There are playboys, there are fuckboys, and there are boys pretending to be men. As women, we face the challenge of wading through a trough of amphibians to finally find our prince. The school of thought for most of us is that there are either bad men or good men out there, not even acknowledging that so many men fall on a spectrum between those two things. Then it happens, we find the guy that we can really see ourselves falling for. Sure, he’s not Jesus walking on water but he’s at least like a handsome disciple or something. He’s not like the other guys you’ve dated either he’s actually a good person. He might not be the cutest, but he’s cute enough, he is kind to you and treats you with the respect you’ve longed for and you’ve grown in yourself enough to know that leaving these little boys behind and finding a real man is where you are in life. But with all of his nice qualities you ignore the fact that he’s also an asshole–a nice asshole if you will.
Yes, one can be nice and an asshole at the same time. The nice asshole is quite possibly one of the hottest commodities and anomalies in town, and he knows this. The best part is that you don’t really know this, because you’re too busy focusing on his good qualities and ignoring the one big red flag: his failure to commit. His options are greater than yours and he has no problem clandestinely exercising his right to pursue those options as you and your loyalty lie in wait. Due to the fact that it has taken you so long to find him, you don’t mind waiting and so you wait, and wait, and wait, and wait for him to ask you to be his girlfriend, but trust me–the nice asshole will not commit. He will just undoubtedly string you along with his buttery soft sweetness and you will never see it coming, until now. Here are a few telltale ways to spot the nice asshole.
Gainful Employment The nice asshole almost always has a great job, now these things are not mutually inclusive, but in order to facilitate his entire plan there needs to be a bankroll for the operation and therefore the nice asshole usually always has a really great-paying position. It is usually something nerdy and inconspicuous, like an IT consultant or an engineer; something that will make you excited about how smart the children he never plans on having with you will be. This good and nerdy job also gives him the opportunity to wine and dine you but not break the bank while he is also wining and dining the next hot young thing. Not only that, being a consultant or an engineer may lend itself to the possibility of frequent travel. While he is away, you are at home waiting for him to come back and make you feel as special as the last woman he was on a date with, but of course it’s not serious with her, because, you know, he would never do anything to hurt you.
Intelligence The nice asshole is very smart. That’s why he has that good job, but his intelligence also helps him to outmaneuver you when you ask questions about where you think you all are headed. He will tell you he has reservations about a future with you. You ask what are they and he has no answer, but to simply say something ambivalent like, “I don’t have a list.” Bullshit! If someone has a list of things they like about you, rest assured they have a list of things they don’t. He just doesn’t even want to allow you the opportunity to work out your issues, because he had already made up his mind that this wasn’t a permanent thing from the start, so there’s no reason to try to fix it. He is a master equivocator and is adept at telling you what you want to hear without outright lying to you. He’s so smart, it’s stupid.
Adequacy The nice asshole is good enough in real life and great on paper. He doesn’t always dress amazingly; he still has his shining moments, and you like that he doesn’t have as much as swag as you are accustomed to. It makes him unique and that’s also one less woman checking for the gem you’ve found. Sure, he doesn’t have the best taste in shoes, but he buys you the shoes that you want, and really that’s all that matters. His ugly ass shoes are probably parked at some other women’s footboard and will still walk all over your heart when it’s all said and done, though. You better ask him to buy you some Nikes girl, and RUUUNNNNNN!!!
He’s Sweet The nice asshole did something you thought was so heartfelt that you cried. He saw that you were struggling to make ends meet and he decided to drop a few dollars in your Paypal account. He makes six figures for gods sakes, that little three hundred dollars to keep your lights on and pay your son’s orthodontist bill is a bar tab to him. Speaking of which, drinks are always on him. He’s always willing to make a stranger’s day when you are around, “next round’s on me buddy!” Why? Do you even know those people, it’s always good to be charitable but is that really charity, or is he trying to impress you, for all the wrong reasons? Sure, he doesn’t want Timmy’s teeth to be crooked but did he really do this because he cares about you or to justify him sleeping with other women. “Of course I’m good to her, her son no longer has that big ass gap.”
Introductions The nice asshole will introduce you to his friends as (insert your name here). You think that because he brought you around his friends that he wants something more? Yes, he wants his friends to see him parade more women in front of them. It’s a game. If he didn’t tell you where you all were headed then the destination is nowhere. What is the point of introducing you to his friends at a barbecue, even if he only said your name, you ask? Because there was chicken there and because you’re pretty, and because you all are going to go and have sex as soon as you leave and he doesn’t feel like driving all the way back to your house to do it.
Birthdays The nice asshole occasionally goes out of his way to make you feel special. He flew in for your birthday! What a surprise, you are having the best birthday ever now! This was nothing but a phone call for him. Were there flowers, or candies or that one thing that you had been dropping hints about all fall? No, but he changed his plans to come and surprise you for your birthday. Whoopdy Doo! He didn’t pay for that ticket, his company did, remember he has a great job as a consultant and travels a lot. The occasional going out of his way is just enough to keep you hooked, but in reality the only effort he put in was giving the uber driver five bucks for driving a little faster, so that he could make the flight. He didn’t technically pay for dinner, he used his corporate card, he got points for this dinner and is writing it off as a business expense meanwhile, you’re just excited because you can order the shrimp. Later on that evening he plays your favorite songs for when he gave you birthday sex, he uses Spotify, with the ads. How nice… asshole. He isn’t really making any sacrifices for you to show you that you’re special, he gets the flyer miles and the points, he gets to eat and fuck. Happy Birthday to you, though!
Time The nice asshole wants to spend time with you but is just too busy, he cannot commit to you because his job is so hectic, or it’s not a good time or his refrigerator is broken blah, blah, fucking blah. He doesn’t have the time to reach out and check on you or call you on a consistent basis because he’s so busy at work. He had that same job when he met you though, he was able to call you and text you consistently when you all first became acquainted, but now all of a sudden he can’t balance the same work load that he had before, get outta here. People make time for the things that they want and if taking five minutes out of his day, every day, is such a task, then he is not worth your time either. Plus he probably doesn’t brush his teeth on a regular basis.
Social Media The nice asshole “doesn’t really do Facebook.” The lie detector determined, that was a lie. He doesn’t mind you putting pictures of him on your Facebook page, but there isn’t a single sign that you exist on his. Oh, and those pictures which posted get conveniently untagged of him. That girl who is always popping up in pictures with him that he’s hugged up on? Oh, uhhhhh, that’s just his really young grandma, or some distant relative that you still have yet to meet. The girl who keeps commenting with the heart eye emojis is just his cousin who is very affectionate to everyone in the family. Sure, he has no problem showing his face on YOUR social media page. Why? He doesn’t mind showing up on your page because he doesn’t want anyone to have you, but he doesn’t want anyone thinking that you have him on his page. You know because–let me guess–he uses his page for work stuff too. Damn you super security clearance IT consultant!
The nice asshole won’t really give you a real definitive reason as to why you all aren’t together, he’s just not in a good space right now, he’s scared of giving up his freedom because he’s so nice and he’s really been hurt in the past, his credit score is bad, his dog has ADHD and hasn’t been doing well in obedience school, nonetheless, when you finally tire of the charade, he is kind enough to let you down in ambiguity. The nice asshole will hit you with the “maybe,” or the “I’m on the fence,” the “I’m not sure,” the “it’s not good timing, right now,” or something of the like. This is his nice way of saying, “I like sex with you… and her.” My mother always says, “if a man wants to be with you, there is nothing that will stop him, not even his wife.” If a man wants you in his life there is no maybe, there’s nothing to figure out, it doesn’t take a whole summer to recognize what sunshine looks like. He is playing you until he finds someone else better to occupy his time.
The nice asshole does this for multiple reasons. The first reason is to alleviate himself of guilt, “yes, I care about you, I just don’t know what I want right now.” So he doesn’t know what he wants, so you wait until he finds out, but of course he never makes a decision. The second reason for this is to leave room to come back into your life later when your anger has dissipated or you’ve caved so as to keep you hooked so that he can still string you along as long as possible and solely for his benefit. You say to yourself, “well he’s not a bad guy…”
Maybe that’s true, but he’s definitely a nice asshole and that’s just as bad.