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Dear Stavroula

Ask Stavroula: He’s a Good Guy, Why Don’t I Like Him?

I am 26 years old and for the past five months I have been dating someone who is very kind, takes great care of me, does not hurt me, and in general his behavior towards me is impeccable. He is what we call a ‘good boy’ from a good family, good looking, and with a good job. My parents and friends are excited about him. I was, too, when I first met him. But from the moment our relationship progressed, I started to get tired of his behavior. Although he never makes a fuss about where we are going or what we are going to do, and he is tender and often gives me gifts, he irritates me by bombarding me every day with messages which when I do not answer upsets him. It also upsets me that he always wants to do things together – but only the two of us. I wonder if I have a problem, because in my previous relationship, my ex regularly took no notice of me, yet I chased after him, fell madly in love with him, and I was hooked. Do you think something is wrong with me? How do you explain the fact that I am with someone who treats me so well and I find this unappealing?

Zoe

 

Dear Zoe,

Many times behind the label ‘good boy’ can be hidden a man with great insecurity or emotional immaturity. Excessive politeness and unconditional submissiveness may mask the need for validation or the fear of rejection. This is why these men tend to be highly dependent on their relationship. In fact, many times in the continuation of their relationship, they can become pushy, jealous, seek to be with the person they are constantly interested in, and protest, when she wants more independence – they may even try and create feelings of guilt.

‘Good guys’ are often emotionally unstable, and may not create a sense of security in their partner. In an equal relationship, both participate in decision making, something that may not happen in the case of the ‘good boy’.

Maybe something like this is happening in your case and you are worried about it. If you think that there is an exaggeration in your partner’s behavior, if you feel that he does not set limits, that he does not take the initiative in your relationship, that he accepts without resistance your own behaviors that should logically bother him, then he may not be the partner who will offer you an equal relationship of respect and love. In relationships that are healthy, the aim is not to avoid conflicts but to solve problems, and there is constructive communication between the two partners.

But if this is not the case, that is, if you believe that the problem is yours, then you may need to seek the help of a mental health professional who can help you get to know yourself better. Especially if this behavior you describe is repetitive and applies to your previous relationships. There can be many reasons why someone feels uncomfortable in a healthy relationship or seeks to have relationships with people who reject them. Behind such behaviors may be insecurity, low self-esteem, or even fear of commitment. In such a case it is very important to work hard with one’s self, to discover the repetitive patterns in relationships or behavior, and with love and respect for yourself to start your personal path to self-knowledge and happiness.

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