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Bored with Mr. Nice Guy

Bored with Mr. Nice Guy


Dear Rachel,

I really want to find someone that I can spend my life with, but time after time I seem to end up with guys that treat me like dirt. It as if I am a magnet to these kinds of guys. Then, finally, I met a guy who really did treat me like a queen but I just wasn’t attracted to him and things became very boring very quickly. Is there a way I can change my luck so that I can find someone who I like and who is nice?

Looking for a Mensch
Palm Beach, FL

Dear Looking for a Mensch,

It doesn’t seem, from what you describe, that your situation has anything to do with luck. It is not by chance that you are attracting the men that you are attracting, but rather it appears that you are seeking such people and personalities. Don’t get me wrong, I have no doubt that you do not want to be treated like dirt, but it does appear that there is something exciting, intriguing and attractive to you about these men, which is why you keep ending up in relationships with them.

The Torah explains that a relationship between a man and a woman is like a fire. There are fires that burn, with the flames destroying everything in their midst, and there are the fires that warm, that glow, that illuminate. Your relationships sound like they are pretty fiery. They probably start out very exciting, very intense, and yet quickly taper off. Whereas, when you had met someone that was nice, kind and warm, you found that you were bored. Perhaps the problem is that you are looking for an intense flame but not recognizing that often the intensity is not coming from the right place.

A fire burns its highest when there is a conflict, something working against it. When the wind blows, the fire grows, but only until it is extinguished. In order for the flame to remain constant and not die out, there can’t be wind, or water or anything working against it. This stability may appear to be “boring” but it is exactly what is seemingly “boring” that makes for a long term relationship. And when the flame is lower, it is that much less likely to be blown out by some wind if wind comes its way.

It is not just symbolic that the relationship of a man and woman is compared to that of fire. More so, in the words in Hebrew for man and woman, both contain the two letters of an aleph and a shin which make the word aish in Hebrew, meaning “fire.” Yet each word also contains an additional letter, and that is a yud in the word for “man” and a hei in the word for “woman.” These two letters comprise one of the names for G‑d, meaning that fire alone is not enough for a relationship to flourish. It is when there is a Higher power involved in the relationship that ensures that the fire is one that warms and not burn. This means that when both partners realize that the relationship is not just about them, but about the other, and with a holy purpose, then it has the ingredients necessary to last.

Before getting involved in another relationship, take your time to figure out if this is someone that you can see a future with. Do not try to figure out if this is someone you might like now, might be attracted to now. For now is temporary. What is essential is that you look for the component that will attract you to this person 50 years from now. And while “nice” may not be the most exciting quality, it is certainly one that you want in the person you are looking to spend your life with.

I wish you much luck in your search for your husband. May you find someone who recognizes who you are and treats you as you deserve.


"Dear Rachel" is a bi-weekly column that is answered by a rotating group of experts. This question was answered by Sara Esther Crispe.

Sara Esther Crispe, a writer, inspirational speaker and mother of four, is the Co-Director of Interinclusion, a non-profit multi-layered educational initiative celebrating the convergence between contemporary arts and sciences and timeless Jewish wisdom. Prior to that she was the editor of and wrote the popular weekly blog, Musing for Meaning. To book Sara Esther for a speaking engagement, please click here.
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Anonymous USA May 22, 2016

Rachel is in error One thing I've discovered with women is that you treat them they way they want to be treated, not the way you would want to be treated. If I treated a woman well, they got bored and would leave me. Searching for a Mensch seems to enjoy being mistreated, men who treat her well bore her. She wants to be treated that way, so if you think one day she's going to wind up with a guy who treats her will, that will be miserable for her. Reply

Anonymous USA May 21, 2016

Bored by nice guys I've found this is practically universal amongst women, and now I see it doesn't spare even religious women. Sadly for most women like this, the only thing that stops them from badboys is them getting older and bad boys no longer being attracted to them. Then they become bitter and make the Mensch's life miserable. Reply

Emet October 2, 2014

Garbage In, Garbage Out If that letter isn't a zeitgeist of the today's bumper crop of unhappy entitled female I don't know what is.

If mensch encompasses so many good qualities and traits, why would a mensch want to get involved with a woman who's learned from bad boys and caddy friends to treat other humans the way they've been treated (which is, miserably)? Reply

Ruan Els Capetown September 12, 2014

I'm not Jewish, but I read Torah, in Torah Hashem says "you shall not believe in lucky times" this is the essence of Emuna, believing everything is from Him. I don't understand why women want "bad boys" there's nothing to fix. It only means he has a lot of teshuva to make and a yetser harah that's out of control, nothing fun or manly about that. My recommendation is that women should read the books by Rabbi Shalom Arush that are for women only, the role of man and woman intended by Hashem are explained in those books. be grateful for a guy who treats you the way Hashem intends... Reply

Yael Canberra, Australia June 13, 2011

Bored with Mr Nice Guy If you are attracted to men who treat you badly, and bored with one who treated you well, my dear sister, you do have a problem. Perhaps deep down, you feel that you are not good enough to be treated well? Perhaps you confuse excitement-danger with romantic infatuation.
You need to seek the advice of a qualified counsellor to find out how to shake off your addiction for Mr Nasty, treat yourself with respect, and value being valued properly by a man.
Whatever "buzz" you get from Mr Nasty will eventually end in tears and suffering, while the gentle pleasure you get from mutual respect and good treatment will have you flourish like a plant given sunshine, good soil and water.
Act now, and start enjoying the rest of your life. Don't blame yourself, just get advice on how to change your behaviour. You can do it! Reply

Lisa Providence, RI January 9, 2011

Bored With Mr. Nice Guy I don't know if luck has anything to do with it. It's possible something bad happened in your childhood that caused you to date men who weren't nice to you.

As for Mr. Nice Guy, was he really boring? Did you try to talk to him about your feelings? You seem very depressed and you might want to consider counseling. Reply

David Somewhere in a Desert, USA October 18, 2009

Unfortunate truth This is sad, as the guy who is always the nice/boring one I have perspective of the other angle and understand. Modern society dictates that a girl shall be attracted to a jerk and a nice guy shall be attracted to a girl who is usually attracted to a jerk. So there isn't really as many happy mediums available out there. It leaves us just to compromise unless we are extremely lucky. However even lucky people make mistakes. I have to deal with the fact that no matter how sincere and loving I am towards a girl she is only going to hate me for it. where as you may have to deal with the fact that you are not wholly attracted to the person you are with., meaning we have to stay more detached then we would like to be. I've tried being sincere it just never ends well and if you are still young don't even worry about it... you have alot of time to make alot of mistakes go for it. A nice guy is always on the sideline someday, we don't get many dates even if we are hot and smart Reply

Julien Orlando, FL via August 11, 2008

I was taught that the greatest relationship you will ever have is a relationship with yourself. A woman who respects and values herself would see the disrespect and You maybe coming through as "needy" and "desperate" which will attract bullies because they feed and thrive on that sort of unhealthy co-dependance. Rachel is right- you need a slower fire but at the same time you're rushing eagerly to the flames. Start from within and work your way out is what I would suggest. You may just be looking for passion, excitement and some short term pizzazz and not really being honest with yourself. Now, can I have the phone number of this gentlemen you dumped who treated you like a queen? Reply

yamille Anaheim Hills, CA/USA via July 4, 2008

Bored with Mr. Nice Guy Hi!I'm in 6th grade! I think your used to abusive relationships and that you need to work on your self-esteem.Hope it works out! Reply

Former Catholic HoHoKus, NJ/USA May 6, 2008

perfect... this could not be put more perfect. as woman we reach out for the bad boy, the challenge, something we can change... but when we realize we need the lasting feeling it's just then that the internal flame always stays shining w. someone...that is when we find that compatitable person. Reply

Andrew Brisbane, QLD October 19, 2007

You will get a reflection of yourself One of the greatest lines I ever heard was "You will get a reflection of yourself"

I think what you want is a man who is aggressive , take charge and strong. Whilst also having a man who is soft, caring and decent.

If you want these things you need to be them yourself. If you're not when you meet a man who is what you want, there wont be something between you that makes you click unless you are like him. Reply

Brenda Stockton, CA April 18, 2007

I was "Looking For A Mensch" I was the same way. Always the wrong man, the wrong situation, desperately looking for the "right" man.

After fleeing a BAD relationship, I took a year off from dating, to get to know me. I realized I did not like who I had become. It took a full three years to truly become happy with myself. I decided that if I did not find my mensch, I was happy with my life and who I was.

THAT is when I met my husband. I know that if I had met him 4 years earlier, he would have bored me to tears. It may sound corny, but we are best friends. Even through some MAJOR trials in our lives, we are still friends. Reply

Esther Brooklyn, NY April 17, 2007

That may be a strong comment, but all too often we attract the kind of person who we are, rather than who we want.

My first bit of advice, study your own behavior, attitude towards a relationship, etc. and see if any needs fixing. Love is in giving.

The other thing, is to pray that you want your destined one. I find so many people interested in 'dating' that they forget that all they really need to meet is one. THE one. Pray for it over and over, and ask G-d to lead you in the right path, and lead him towards you, in a way that you can be sure from the start that it is for you.

And lastly, study your own background. Perhaps you had a parent or other authority figure in your life who acted that way to you, and since you are used to this type of behavior, this is what you attract. You should find it. Reply

Anonymous Beer Sheva, Israel April 17, 2007

about the article sometimes you just have to take things as they are Reply

Heidi New York, NY via March 30, 2007

Choosing a Mensch Ladies, the men who treat you well are the men you want to marry. Think about the long term. "Exciting" men who do not consistently treat you well are definitely not worth considering...or pursuing. All marriages are filled with challenges from time to time. Both partners need to be equally committed to making it work...that means giving the other the benefit of the doubt and compromising for peace in the home.

A man who thinks the relationship is all about him...meaning he is more concerned with himself than not a mensch. I know firsthand that opening ones eyes to consider kindness and sincerity first in a prospective spouse is the best way to marry a true mensch. Finally, why look to a man for "excitement"...when you are capable of creating healthy forms of excitement on your own? May G-d help us all to make truly wise choices in our lives. Reply

Aviva London, UK March 26, 2007

I can relate I can relate to what's been described. Thankyou, Rachel for the thoughtful response you gave. Reply

Anonymous Walnut Creek, California March 23, 2007

Advice In the first sentence of your response, Rachel, you tell the writer that finding the 'right' person has nothing whatever to do with luck. You then go on to give excellent advice. However, as you close your letter, you wish the writer 'good luck' in her quest. It's so easy to fall back on societal norms even for those who are inordinately well intended and don't mean 'luck' in the conventional sense. Reply

Anonymous toronto, ontario March 19, 2007

good this is a sad article Reply

Lisa Providence, RI March 13, 2007

A Mensch Can Be Difficult To Find I once read a letter from a woman who had 3 relationships since her divorce, and all 3 of them broke up when she asked the man for a commitment. She was told she was either too possessive or she was rejected as a child and continued to get involved with men who rejected her in the same way.

Friendship comes first, and too many people make the mistake of "rushing" relationships. Usually, the longer you know a person, you get to see more sides of that person's character. Sometimes, there are exceptions. Some people have "glaring" personalities you can get to know in only a few seconds.

If I, myself, wanted to settle down, it would take me at least 6 months to a year before I could be 100% sure.

Mensches do exist. You just need to evaluate yourself as a person and your expectations in a friend, future husband and father. Reply

Jordan London, UK March 13, 2007

Your thouhgts on relationships. A good article! Reply

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