Each time I dip a toe in the dating pool, I learn more about what I want, and don’t want. I want what most people want–someone I find interesting and funny and smart and kind. I’ve realized there are simply Men I Cannot Date:
The Dreamer: You’re not an actual boat restorer if you only want to be one in your mind and really sweep the floors at the marina in real life. Close enough doesn’t count in this instance. This one is also known as “The Liar.” This makes for a very long dinner as well–please, please, please don’t order an appetizer.
The Hipster: I cannot take a man in salmon-colored skinny ankle jeans seriously, no matter how hip a hipster you are. If you’re small enough to wear those, I’m pretty sure I can arm wrestle you and win.
The Alias: Discretion and boundaries are important as you carefully get to know someone. However, when you are so paranoid that you ask to be called “Mr. V,” your control and trust issues aren’t something I want in my life. Plus I feel like I need a cool, mysterious alias and cape too–call me “Ms. X!” No, actually, don’t call me at all.
The Italian Model: When you’re more vain than I am, this just won’t work. When you tell me you love living in a climate with four seasons because you get to show the world how hot you look in turtlenecks and peacoats, this is a problem. And you really don’t have to keep reminding me you’re an Italian Model–I can see you, and I’m not impressed.
The Cleaner: When you ask me if I’m finished with my meal as you’re grabbing the plate away, and I’m in mid-bite, I wonder how many other social cues you miss and where I can grab a burger on my way home.
The Boss: When you tell me how Human Resources had to explain to you that you can’t lay your hands on your staff no matter how disrespectful they are to you, I have to wonder about your judgment and temperment. Then when you tell me you had no problem doing this in your previous job, I have to wonder what on earth you really do.
Son a Mexican Drug Lord: I’m not kidding. I’ve seen enough movies–I know what happens if things don’t go well. He knows people!
The Ex-Con: Seriously. So here’s the thing–a gentleman was just released from the state penitentiary seven days ago, and he kindly asked me out. I appreciated his courage and honesty and kindness. I kindly declined, as he wasn’t my type in other ways.
So I laugh that an ex-con has asked me out. But in all seriousness, he was the kindest and most authentic of them all from this list. The others I cannot date because they were not honest, they were not authentic, or they just weren’t kind. The postured, put on airs, or lied. So I guess when it comes down to it, the only kind of men I can date are kind, genuine, compassionate ones.
But here’s the other thing. It’s never the quirks or faults or rap sheets that are dealbreakers in a relationship. We each bring those to the table (perhaps not the mugshots). It’s the magical connection, the mysterious chemistry everyone talks about– that spark that you either feel or you don’t. It’s when you feel something, that you’re able to forgive the faults, tolerate the quirks, love the annoyances, understand the outstanding warrants. It’s when that magical mojo is missing that the quirk becomes a dealbreaker. I’m not talking about mojo being lightning strikes or love-at-first-sight-swoons; I’m talking about the “Huh, that was fun. I’d like to see him again sometime”-something. If that’s missing, there’s no second date. Or third date. Those quirks most definitely are not endearing then.
I was going to tell my friends about some of the irritations from my last date, when I realized it didn’t matter. None of it mattered. I would have easily overlooked any or all of those faults if I felt something click. So it doesn’t matter what he did or didn’t do. What matters is I didn’t feel it. Or anything quite honestly. These are perfectly fine men–so much so, that I’ve actually become friends with several of them and set them up with some of my girl friends. There’s got to be the beginnings of a rom-com here. Or at the very least, a mid-season replacement sitcom.