Self Evaluation & the Dating Woman (or Man)

A sad face.
Don’t let this be you! Image via Wikipedia

I’ve had plenty of friends who have been very unhappy in their dating lives because the opposite sex sucks. At first, they don’t know why they keep running into the same type of person, but now they have it figured out: there really is only one type of person. It can’t possibly be that they are attracting the wrong people by something they are doing, nor can it be that they are attracted to people who aren’t compatible with them. I wonder, how many bad relationship experiences will it take to convince them it’s time to look at themselves?

I’m going to share some experiences with you in the hopes that you can get some value (and maybe even a good laugh) out of them. When I first became interested in boys, I was the first to admit I was late to the party and had no idea how to attract a boy or date him. Not being fully aware that I had a great shape, nice eyes, a mega watt smile, and really great hair, I felt I didn’t have the tools  to attract a guy, but attract them I did. It just never seemed to be the right ones. Well, sometimes they seemed right, but they were all wrong.

If you read the Valentine’s Carol Posts, you’ve heard of  my mishaps with Mookie, Brandon the Boyfriend, and many others. But there were a couple of mishaps you haven’t heard of yet. The reason you didn’t is because I “accidentally” skipped them (oops! ;-)). These “accidents” were College Boy, T, J and * (Yes, I made one of them an asterisk; it felt appropriate; it was kind of a sidenote thing. And yes, when I mentioned College Boy in the Valentine’s Carols, I only referred to him as T’s friend, or other not so nice things…but I’ve grown as a person since then :D).

So, here’s the issue with all of these guys. They were all out of my league, one way or another. Yes, I said out of my league. Not because they are great guys (I’d really only qualify one as dateable for anyone), but because of a few simple traits that we tend to overlook in our crushes: 1) I wasn’t their types: I thought they were nice looking–OK, so two of them I thought were slap yo’ mama fine (yo’ mama, not mine; she slaps back). But just like I have a type, they have a type, and I wasn’t it. 2)I made assumptions about their character based on their looks and a few encounters (as we often do with celebrities–you see them on TV and begin to think that’s how they really are…then feel let down when they turn out to be cheaters, drug addicts, sex addicts, gay, or arrogant jerks). 3) I read too many Betty Neels‘ Harlequin’s where the plain girl with no job, no family and no hope meets and marries the fine surgeon with a practise that spans countries and always drives a Aston Martin.

The thing with College boy that was different is that we talked before I met him. I was just interested in him as a friend initially, someone who went to the college I would be attending in the fall. We talked all summer, sent each other a picture, and planned to meet when I got to school. As things progressed, he “gassed me up”–“Oh, I can’t wait until you get here.” “You’re such a great girl.” “I’m going to snatch you up before all of these other guys get a chance to.” It was all game.

You see, some guys like the thrill of the chase. Since I wasn’t interested in dating him at first, his male instincts were peaked. He just had to have me interested in him. How could I resist him? Thus began the pursuit. However, once I showed up and it was clear I had an interest in him, he pulled back. The fun of it was over. Some girls guys don’t really want to catch, but they’ll chase anything. I wasn’t his type. Honestly, he wasn’t mine, either, but a few words can sometimes turn our heads and override our instincts. Every guy that seems like a great guy isn’t for you. Some great guys are great for someone else (even though he wasn’t the best guy in the end, anyway. I hope he’s evolved and makes someone a happy wife).

The thing about T is, well…this isn’t as bad as it sounds…oh, what the hey, I’m just going to say it. T is College Boy’s best friend. There. Here’s the thing though: 1)I never talked to T; we were just friends 2)T WAS my type. He was taller, muscular, lighter skinned (light skin was in with me then; what can I say), nicer, and a Southern boy (sorta). He had the deep voice and the great smile. He was IT! 3) Since I never technically dated his friend, this wouldn’t have been that bad…right?

T was a great guy. He was my type physically. He made me laugh. He was always nice to me, always spoke when he saw me. He was great with the physical gestures of expressing that you like someone (a hug, a hand at your back, the arm pat–it was like he watched “Lie to me” before it ever came out–body language cues much?). He’s very intelligent. He was mannerable. But: 1) I wasn’t his type (at least I don’t think). 2)He’s a naturally gregarious, flirty guy (or what comes across as flirty). 3) He and his friend were friends from elementary school days, and even if we never dated, that’s just wrong, isn’t it? (:-()

I read the signs all wrong with T. I sent him a very awkward (after the fact) facebook message confessing my feelings (Gah!). I can’t even blame alcohol like a normal person who sends an embarrassing text, email, phone call, or facebook message to a (not really my) ex. He was even polite about that (he wished me luck with my future!). I have nothing bad to say about him. He’s a sweetheart.

* was, well, an *. He was a guy that met all the criteria I had at the time physically: very tall, muscular, athletic, great colgate smile, a little goofy, but very intelligent, and he was an undiscovered (meaning he didn’t have women stepping on each other in a stampede to his door). We were friends (and guys talk about always being in the friend zone? Hello!) for a while, and then, like another friend (who I thankfully never developed a crush on–wasn’t my type), he got popular with the ladies and disappeared. There are some girls you date and some you’re friends with, I guess. I clearly wasn’t his type (he liked blondes and “exotic” Kim Kardashian types). We didn’t have much in common, he wasn’t as mature as I was, and once the thing that brought us into the same orbit was over, so was any attraction. It wouldn’t have worked; the only thing Kim K and I have in common are big butts and black hair.

What does any of this have to do with self-evaluation? What am I getting at? People overlook two key things when approaching love and relationships. One is the fact that the other person has their own set of preferences and expectations, and the second follows the first: you have to be as aware of what you bring to the table as you are of what you want to eat.

To be continued…

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