Monday, May 24, 2010

Hard Truths

Recently, I attended a baseball game with my young adult group. Within our section were other groups affiliated with the diocese. In front of me were two gentlemen near my age I never met. I paid no mind to them, but the young adult group leader, who was sitting next to me, said that she sold a ticket to one of them, "Al." She was comparing the two men and said that Al was cuter. I agreed, but I honestly hadn't checked them out before she commented. Al was sort of a cross between Chace Crawford and David Cook. Moreso Chace. Then she mentioned that he and I had the same occupation. I gave some sort of reply, and thought "Oh boy, now she's playing matchmaker." Another young man sat with Al and his friend. My young adult leader again whispered that she thought Al was the still cutest of the three. I agreed and she added, "Those other two look like nerds." I responded, "Well if they're nerds, those are probably my choices!" One resembled this guy, but with brownish black hair.

From there, the conversation basically continued with her saying that I shouldn't settle for one of the nerds and I replied that in adolescence, you figure out who your choices are, and guys as cute as Al don't go for women like me. She asked, "Well, haven't you moved on from adolescence?" I said that I have, but others haven't.

A recent show on Discovery Channel talked about attraction and how humans select mates. People generally go for people equal in attractiveness as themselves. Also, in adolescence, you learn by trial and error where you rank in terms of attractiveness. Guys as cute as Al have never been interested in me. The only guys who have been were, well, me...

It's a hard truth to face: I know some guys are out of my league. Yes, sometimes oogly guys marry beautiful girls, but I never see men date women less attractive than them. It's not that I don't think I deserve an attractive man, but I'm not naive. I know a little bit about how men function despite never being in a relationship! I know I'm not a "ten." I know I'm the nerdy "girl next door." I know that it's a waste of time going after Chace Crawford-looking boys. They won't date me, and why would they when they figured out they could get someone prettier? Nevermind my great personality traits, nevermind the qualities I have that are important for good girlfriends. If there is no sexual attraction, then I'm just a friend.

Some (meaning a couple coworkers of mine) might argue that maybe I should work harder, girl-ify myself more. Dress sexier, wear makeup, dye and perm my hair, flirt more, get contacts, show off more skin, and then maybe I would get more attractive guys (or more guys period). I'm not good at pretending to be someone I'm not, and what's the point of putting on an act? It'll be a hard reality check when I reveal that I'm actually a makeup-less, four-eyed, khaki and cardigan nerd girl. By the way, I understand I need to dress nice on dates (and have some revealing clothes), and I do own some makeup and high heels for special occasions! But that's not daily.

My young adult leader did go on to say that sometimes people are all looks, no substance. We really didn't know anything about any of the three guys. I concurred that that's usually true :-P . She said she still would try to invite him to a young adult meeting. I'm not holding my breath.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Mutual Disinterest

It's so nice when the feeling, or lack thereof, is mutual! No drama, no worrying about what to say, how to dress, whether or not to call, what to do on a second date, how to let the guy down easy if he likes me and I don't care for him in that way...

Nick hasn't called me back, which is fine with me. I waited until Tuesday of last week, and then I sent in my feedback to elove.

What's difficult about elove's feedback requirements is that they want you to be honest, be specific, but not be critical of the referral. I understand that "he's boring and ugly and undateable" is useless feedback, and you want to focus on the date, not the person. But then, how can I "be specific" without being at all critical of the guy? "There was just no chemistry," is not helpful feedback either for a matchmaker. They can't guarantee chemistry and therefore there really is nothing they can do if you just don't "feel it" with the guy.

Well, my membership includes 12 referrals, I believe. So there's 11 more chances, 11 more guys I have yet to meet. They really did do a good job on their first try. Hopefully among their male members is someone who is boyfriend material for me.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Not your type? Just right...right?

Yahoo's Shine site recently had an article about dating outside your type. It had advice from Andrea Syrtash, author of He's Just Not Your Type. The idea was that women should widen their scopes and not be so focused on "checklists" for their dates. Also, women should not freak out if they fall for a guy who isn't their type.

Having never been in a relationship, I don't know what my "type" is. I can't seem to click with anyone. :-P I have a checklist of sorts, but lately I've dated guys who don't fit everything on my list. Actually, I've loosened up a lot having decided to be childfree. It's already "picky" enough to say, "I will not date a man who wants children." I still have a somewhat negative approach when it comes to figuring out my type, as in "my type is not..." I don't want to date Atheists, political extremists, sexual deviants, gangbangers or drug addicts. I have also dated guys who were just, well, dull, and was not interested in a second date. Perhaps that's the sort of man I should pursue according to her? Someone who goes to work and goes home every day? Someone who isn't more than his job, who mostly hangs at home when not at work is who I should consider?

Because I am childfree, I am not in a race against time. I don't need to hurry up and get married and have children because my fertility will stop dropping within a few years. Some estimates say women's fertility can start dropping as early as twenty-seven years old. I come from a long line of Fertile Myrtles, so I don't know if that's true for me. However, I don't need to "settle" as they say. I don't need to settle for someone who's boring but stable and father-material. I can hold out for the type I really want.

Now, I know that exciting guys can be high maintenance and intense, and that might not work for me either. I guess I want someone who's a happy medium. I don't want someone completely average, but I don't want a party animal, daredevil type.

I guess I just need to read the book to see what Syrtash means by dating someone who isn't one's type. I just don't see how a radical, Atheist, BDSM druggie would work for me. :-P

Monday, May 10, 2010

Girls Aloud - Life Got Cold

This was one of my favorite songs in undergrad. I heard it on an online French radio station. However, looking back, I think it contributed to my staying single for so long, particularly the lyric, "I don't believe in Romeos or heroes anymore."

The video is a let down. They're just walking around looking sultry. So close your eyes and just listen :-P

Sunday, May 9, 2010

On the right track...

Yesterday I had a date with my first referral from elove. Although I'm not sure where we'll go from here, I must say they did a good job on round one.

They really did try to match me up with a guy who fit what I wanted and whose personality went well with mine. When the interviewer asked me what guys I find most attractive, I replied that like most people, I often find guys that look like a male version of me are the most attractive :-P. Well, Nick did have features similar to mine so of course I thought he was cute (not "hot," but I recognize hotness does not necessarily equal quality). Both of us also don't eat meat, have the same number of siblings (with a similar age gap between us and our younger siblings) and live within about 5 miles of each other. Also, I said I wanted a man who was stable, employed and independent, all of which he fits. He's a gentleman too, per my request. It sounds like he's Christian (though I didn't ask directly) and he might not be eager to have children. He's also the height and build I wanted.

I wish, though, that elove didn't ask us to give feedback after the first meeting. If I gave feedback now, I'd say give me a new referral. He seemed a little nervous and was not the best at maintaining a conversation. Also, he seemed a little too ordinary. I have various hobbies, like to travel and basically try to do more than just my job. However, all Nick does is work and play basketball with his brothers. He admitted to being a bit of a homebody. Although I am introverted and do enjoy occasional days or weekends where I just sit at home, I wouldn't define myself as a "homebody."

So he's kinda boring. I feel sorry for him. He really is a sweet guy, but as they say, nice guys finish last. That probably explains his lack of a girlfriend.

The fact that he never finished college is a bit of a turn-off too. But at least he has a decent job and works hard. That's not true for all college grads.

However, I know people tend to be more nervous and awkward on first dates than they might be on following dates. Because he is such a nice guy, I'm willing to try a second date with him before I give the feedback. I put it on him, though, to call me. After reading "He's Just Not That Into You," I refuse to chase a guy. Let him call me, let him chase me. Perhaps that's old fashioned, but I am notorious for being a chaser and misinterpreting friendliness for romantic interest. I'll give him a few days, and if he doesn't call, I'll send in my feedback. If he really likes me, he'll call.

So I'll just tell them that I want a guy who was basically a "Nick" but with hobbies and interests outside of work.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

People have sex before marriage, really?

I hung out with some fellow virgin friends of mine this weekend. Well, I can't say with 100% certainty that they are all virgins because I never asked them, but I suspect they all are. At the very least, they have "virginal" personalities, if that makes sense.

They fit a lot of the stereotypes I think people have of virgins.

One of them made a statement that made my stomach sink. First off, let me mention we're both in our mid-twenties. Even though I'm planning until at least my engagement before I get my cherry popped, I realize that my lifestyle is not the norm. Most people in their mid-twenties are not virgins. So it doesn't surprise me when people my age talk about premarital sex like it's no big deal and don't consider waiting until marriage. I thought all folks in their mid-twenties, virgin or not, knew this.

Well, not one of my virginal friends. She commented on a recent episode of "Glee." I don't watch the show so forgive my vague description. Anyway, she talked about how she was disappointed that the characters were so eager to talk about (and have) sex, and was especially disappointed in how one character was having sex. She didn't think he would do so because he seemed "strong." I guess that means she thought he wasn't the type to give into peer pressure. Even the characters who weren't having sex in that episode talked about having it in the near future. There was no talk about waiting until marriage, and she was saddened about that.

I said nothing, but thought, "For real? This shocks you?" I can't recall any teen sitcom promoting "no sex til marriage." How many teens make that commitment? And how many teens who make those commitments, a la True Love Waits, actually stick by that?

In all honesty, I don't know this girl all that well. She's a mutual friend who I've only hung out with occasionally. Perhaps she's lived a very sheltered life, where the norm amongst her circle of friends or acquaintances was "no sex til marriage." She's a very prayerful person. She's very into praying the Rosary and has a very nun-like spirituality. She likes the traditional Catholic prayers. She also has a very calm demeanor and is uber-humble. I discovered the depths of her humility this weekend, and it's almost unhealthy (Catholic guilt?), but anyway.

It made me wonder if this sort of mindset is actually the norm for virgins, if this stereotype is true. Are most virgins, even ones in their twenties, so naive? They are surprised that mainstream television presents/suggests premarital sex and never throws in the option of abstinence (or at least not in a positive light)?

Maybe I'm the outlier. Truly, though I plan to wait until engagement if not marriage, I really don't think premarital sex is a big deal...necessarily. Not every unmarried non-virgin is premiscuous. Some people are actually responsible and don't have sex outside of long-term relationships. For me, the preference is "not til marriage" because I've seen what drama can enfold once sex comes in, and a lot of that drama can be avoided if people just waited until marriage (and were serious about doing marriage right). There's just too much at stake. Maybe the Church's original reasons for telling people, "not til marriage" were more about subduing women, or demonizing sex, or only focusing on marriage=childrearing, but for me, that's not what it's about (and the Church, I think, is starting to give better reasons now).

But I know other people are on different journeys. So I can't make assumptions about all non-virgins. Maybe they do "get" what sex is about even though they didn't wait.