The first day I met Jason* he told me he was a virgin and a “nice guy” – which was why, according to him, he was unable to get many dates.
“Women are only interested in dating guys who treat them like shit,” he told me.
The virgin thing wasn’t by choice, he claimed, it was just that “nice guys always get friend-zoned.” He made it clear right away that he was interested in me, but I wasn’t attracted to him at first.
He wasn’t really my type physically, but that wasn’t the only reason I wasn’t into him initially. I’ve just never gotten hot for guys who feel the need to tell me about their sexual experiences (or lack thereof) or whine about their dating life (or lack thereof) before we’ve even gone on a first date. Plus, I still had an on-again off-again thing with an ex. So, there was that.
But once I got to know Jason, I saw that he was funny and smart, and we had a few things in common. In a college city where everyone always wanted to be out all night clubbing, he was one of the few people I knew who was content to occasionally spend a night in, just watching Adult Swim or playing an old Sega game. We quickly became friends. (Or, as Jason would say, he quickly became friend-zoned.)
Jason seemed to have a collection of female friends whom he had once been interested in. Some of them had never returned his affections, while others had dated him very briefly.
“She’s not very cute in person,” he explained to me when I saw a picture of one of these friends. I met her in person a couple days later, and she was definitely just as pretty in person. He made a few comments like that about his female friends, but I figured it was just a sour grapes, and didn’t think too much of it.
Eventually, I ended things for good with the ex, and one night after way too much Southern Comfort and Cherry Coke, Jason’s lopsided glasses and dorky grin seemed cuter than normal. We already hung out almost everyday, and I wondered what it would be like to date someone who was already my best friend. But after our first drunken make out session things got weird.
A couple days later, I came over wearing ballet flats, jeans and a tank top to watch a movie in his room. My hair was pulled back into a ponytail, and my makeup consisted of a couple of quick swipes of mascara and a dab of gloss.
“You should start wearing heels more often,” he said, when I sat down beside him.
“Oh?” I said, eyeing his frayed track paints and beat-up tennis shoes.
At first, I really wasn’t sure if he was joking or not. I did wear heels when I went out, but I wasn’t exactly going to dress up to watch TV on his unmade bed.
“And you should really start wearing more eye makeup,” he continued.
This time I laughed, but he didn’t smile.
When the movie was finished, he actually showed me pictures of some of his friends on Facebook with heavy liner, smokey eyeshadow and false eyelashes, in case I needed some inspiration.
At first, I brushed off the strange conversation. He was always a bit socially awkward, so maybe he didn’t realize it was kind of annoying to have someone critique your appearance like that. Plus, he had always complimented me about the way I looked before we hooked up.
Jason’s doctor told him that he really needed to lose some weight (something about an unhealthy BMI and fatty liver), so a few weeks before we hooked up, we began going to the gym together. A week or so after we became friends with benefits, we were walking home post-workout, and he criticized my tummy. He told me he preferred women with “defined abs.”
Since this guy was easily at least twice my weight, with a good portion of his extra pounds in the stomach area, I was stunned into silence. A woman jogged past us wearing a sports bra that displayed her sculpted mid-section, and Jason pointed her out with approval.
“All women should have those little lines,” he beamed.
Needless to say our fling didn’t last long. But when I tried to break things off, he got even weirder. He’d alternate between criticizing my looks and telling me about other women he was interested in, calling me beautiful and telling me he missed me, and then drunk-dialing to yell at me for not wanting to hang out with him any longer – which, of course, he assumed was just because he was too much of a “nice guy.”
Obviously, there were many signs that I should have stayed clear of this one. But now whenever I meet a guy who complains about being too much of a “nice guy,” my unsculpted abs and I jog in the other direction.
*Name has been changed
[Photo from Shutterstock]