As stated, things seemed back to normal with Daphne and I. There was no more discussion of our missed second rendezvous. We were back to texting regularly most of which was light-hearted. I asked her once to tell me something new so I could get “one more piece of u.” She told me her favorite movies, Iron Giant and Totoro, older animated movies that I had never heard of before. I found them for her, downloaded them, and sent them to her over the cloud. I mention this because this where I really started going out of my way to do anything and everything for Daphne. I realized the dangers in this. My friends, including my female friends, often tell me I’m too nice to women and that women are really adverse to nice guys. I tend to believe this based on my own experiences when I was younger.
In my mid-20s, after being burned by girls and girls not really showing much interest in me, I had an unintentional romantic awakening. After a series of major life events, my depression had suddenly vanished. I was happier, felt better about the direction of my life, less insecure, and generally felt more confident in everything in my life. I also accidentally stumbled upon a new look. In my early 20s, I had long hair much like everyone during the grunge era. The long version of my hair is really thick spiral curls, something I didn’t really like. Every once in a while I would try various methods to straighten my hair. One time, I went to a salon and get my hair chemically straightened. After that, my hair started to fall out. If I ran my fingers through my hair, I could pull out clumps! I had to shave it all off. I ended up with the Caesar cut, that had just become a trend. Anyways, with my new attitude and new look, suddenly girls started showing interest in me. That gave me more confidence and then I had a lot of girls around me. Unlike my high school years, I was not so sensitive and innocent with these matters. Most of the girls around me wanted to date me. I wasn’t into it, I was having too much fun. I became the guy they chased, not the other way around. I was not nice to them, like my younger or older self. But, I was also not explicitly mean to them either. I was simply indifferent. I was carefree and it didn’t matter to me either way. At the time, the indifference was the greatest attractor of women for me. Females around me could not grasp or understand such an attitude, which made them want me more.
With a few exceptions, I carried this indifference for the majority of my life. However, the indifferent attitude since then became a result of an indifference for life in general. After about a year without depression, it came back and I lost my confidence and my insecurities resurfaced. Like I mentioned before, I have been in the requisite number of relationships for my age and was also married. For the most part, I was just going through the motions and continued to mostly be indifferent in those relationships. After I got divorced, I started trying to be nice again when approaching new women. The reality is that I am fundamentally just one of those nice guys. I’m a throwback to another era, I still open car doors for women, hold their hands across the street, let them order first, bring them flowers, etc. Now that I’m older, I was hoping that the old adage where women want bad guys would no longer hold true. Surely females have moved beyond this train of thought in this elevated day and age. Ironically, my general indifference in life allowed me to carry on with my old-school etiquette. When my friends told me I would do a lot better with women if I was less giving and nice, I told them I didn’t care, that I was who I was, and that I wasn’t going to change just to attract someone.
With Daphne, I adored her so much that I wanted to spoil her and try and maintain an unfailingly, high-degree of kindness. I was consciously deliberate with every word and action around her to hopefully make her feel unquestionably wanted, supported, and cared for. As you can guess, this was one of the reasons for our demise. I do not have any regrets however. I cannot help the way I felt for Daphne. Whenever I found myself faltering, I would remind myself that I didn’t want to leave anything on the table. I didn’t want to feel like I could have done just a little more for her. I did not want to live with any regret. Even though good guys do indeed finish last, I do not have one ounce of regret in the way I treated Daphne. My conscience is completely clear. I could not have done anything more, other than treat her like the asshole she really wanted. That is not who I am. Ultimately, from my perspective, Daphne didn’t know how to accept kindness and love, she didn’t believe it was a possibility and that she was worthy of it.