The “Good Guy” is actually an empty, hollow, snakeskin of a Gentleman.
We all know him. Most likely you are him or have been him at one point. I have. And deep down, he's a piece of shit.
The good guy is not one particular person or descriptive attribute. Excuse my cynicism but it seems to be a sign of the times. Even our President uses it to describe one of his beleaguered cabinet members right before they get the ax. My hope is that in the very least it is a phase, like Millenials "adulting", but instead before a boy becomes a man. I’m not that optimistic.
Case in point. At a coffee shop, literally writing this piece, a mid 20-something guy opens the door for a young woman about the same age, but instead of going on his merry way, he looks around to see if anyone witnessed his chivalry, then spent the next few minutes trying charmingly to make small talk. Good guy, yes, gentleman, no.
The good guy is sly in his deceit. He’s great on paper and better with parents. But there is something fundamentally off. We live and date in an era of immediate reciprocation. Let’s say you’re dating one of these Good Guys. He has a good job, probably some slight ambitions, and wants a family. Consider this:
- How many times did he make an excuse not to meet your friends or family?
- How many times in the beginning of the 'seeing each other phase', did he text you “hey” in all its one word glory after 10pm?
Nowadays, I hear this description of a guy a lot. It is usually used after he does something off-putting in some weak way to justify giving this chump a second chance or as a lazy alternative to acknowledging the lukewarm feelings said girl friend has toward him. Every single time, the description is accompanied with a shrug, like a lackluster, 'hey, what can you do?' He prefers avoidance over honestly. He makes a snide comment or gives a belittling look through a big smile, but he, and his heart were in the right place. Or most obvious, call him out on his bullshit and a bouquet of flowers shows up at your work, and damn that's sweet so you forgive him because, drum roll please, he’s a good guy. This is a product of an entire generation going on a slew of Tinder dates, and settling on the least bad option. Let the justifying begin!
"Heard you went out with Aaron the other night." "Yeah, he showed up a little late and the movie was okay, but he's a good guy."
Sounds like a thrill.
"What do you think about Jared?" "I mean, he's a good guy but to step into a team leadership role, I'm not sure."
We need to eradicate this description from the modern vernacular. It is both the dumbing down of the modern man and a self-fulfilling prophecy. If the standard is simply to be good, then that’s all we’re going to be, a diluted, meandering sycophant watching comic book heroes on the big screen.