About a month ago I wrote a post about dating. Really, there had not been much dating going on here since January when This Guy dropped off the face of the earth (which was sort of what I was writing about then), but I had (and have) been thinking a lot about dating.
It’s almost the same thing, right? (Okay, it’s not quite the same. I know this. )
I haven’t just been thinking about dating like “Gee, I’d like to do more of that sometime soon”, I’ve been self analyzing my dating tendencies and my (albeit limited) past dating successes and failures. While there hasn’t been much of either, there is something to be learned from the experiences I’ve had. One thing I’ve noticed, as I mentioned before, is that there are certain similarities in the men I’ve gone out with. This is no surprise BUT I’m not talking about things like having dark hair and at least borderline nerdy interests. I’m talking more about similar behavioral things and interpersonal dynamics that have emerged…My pattern.
Everyone has a pattern but you’re more likely to notice other people’s patterns than your own. For example, this single friend of a friend, I look at (what I know of) her dating habits and the guys she dates. It seems like she does the same thing over and over. And, guess what, she gets the same results…over and over. She chooses these alpha male types, police officers or military guys, that type. They’re manly men with strong protective instincts who like to be in charge. This is her type, her pattern. Even though it doesn’t really go the way she wants it to she picks the same guy over and over again.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
This girl, she’s not unique. It’s a human thing. So when she would come up in conversation and some of her dating woes were mentioned I began to wonder Do I have a pattern? I definitely don’t want to repeat the relationship dynamic of my marriage. Not at all! And I’ve only just begun dating. So far the guys I’ve chosen to date varied quite a bit in professions and personal interests and a lot of things like that but the almost-relationships that I’ve had (all two of them) followed the same pattern. Super interested, fun back and forth texting or messaging, meet, go on a few fun dates & getting to know each other, start liking, then…fade out. Or just straight up drop off into the abyss. Seriously, this has happened a few times now. So what was the similarity? What’s my pattern? Clearly you can’t make or discern a pattern with two data points so I can’t just include the guys I’ve actually been on dates with but when you look at Almost guys or Interest guys the pattern becomes clear…
My type, my repeating folly, is the unavailable asshole. I was originally going to use that as the title of this post buuut my previous post had asshole in the title too and I didn’t want to overdue it. I probably use the term asshole more liberally than your average girl (or guy). Not that I run around assholing all the time, it’s just that I really do think everyone has at least a little bit of asshole in them, some more than others. Way more. Or in different ways. So I pretty much call almost everyone and asshole but in a general way, not an angry, trying-to-insult-them way.
Apparently, based on past male interactions of interest, I like a particular brand of asshole. It’s not something I was really even aware of until recently when I was talking to my co-blogger. She asked about a guy I was involved with awhile back, as I was describing his personality, she started laughing. She said that I just described the guy I was currently having a flirtation with. That gave me pause. My perceptive friend, co-worker, and co-blogger had hinted at such a thing but I didn’t recognize it until that moment.
Turns out I like assholes….nice ones though. The ones who can be, and always are for a while, overwhelmingly nice, especially nice to me even while they’re being assholes to the other people in their lives. Funny, sarcastic, assholes. The type that will tell you straight off and with a charming smile that they are an asshole. If they have some baggage that makes them somewhat unavailable it’s a bonus. A double whammy of attraction for me. (hence my pattern guy being the Unavailable Asshole) One guy, the disappearing concert ticket guy, told me he was probably too nice for me…turns out not so much. But he read me right; I know I can be a jerk so having someone who gives it back to me a bit might be a good thing. It’s the whole Scarlett O’Hara principle: Like Marries like. Actually her father said it first. and she didn’t believe him but over the course of the story she realizes it’s true. About the same time Scarlett finally figures out that she & Rhett are alike and that’s why they belong together, he decides he’s done with her. Timing is everything.
At any rate, unavailable assholes, it’s a thing.
The unavailability clause, now that has been a little more apparent. There’s the emotionally unavailable guy with baggage that prevents him from really investing and the logistically unavailable guy…or sometimes they’re both. The first guy I went out with more than a couple times (I think it was like five, maybe six altogether) was a bit like me in his level of busyness. His days were packed and his free time was limited. Sounds familiar right? He told me on the first date that he was very into his career, worked a lot, and it had been a problem in past relationships. His work was his main interest, almost his obsession. I can understand that and it was quite an interesting career (he’s a detective and did stuff with data patterns and linking people…it really was pretty cool). And that obsessive level of involvement made him more attractive to me and…well, unavailable. Then there was the younger guy (who it never would’ve worked with anyhow…part of his appeal). We went on two & a half dates and then he dropped off. Turns out he was seeing another girl too and that took a turn for the more serious. I learned this when they were in Splitsville for a bit and he contacted me again. Hey buddy, your asshole is showing!
It doesn’t take a degree in psychology to see the appeal of the unavailable. It’s safe and I don’t have to worry about things actually working or getting serious and what I would do with that. I have some pretty strong self-preservation mechanisms, the unavailability clause is just the first layer.
So what now? After realizing this and acknowledging my pattern, what do I do with it? If I keep doing the same thing I will keep getting the same results. If nothing changes, well, nothing changes.
Even though I probably shouldn’t, I got back on an online dating site. I wasn’t really planning on it but then saw someone interesting and unhid my profile. The momentum built from there. I’m trying to take a different approach this time though and date people I might not normally date. Nice guys. Normal guys. Available guys. So far I’ve been on one date and it was…okay. We had decent conversation but a spark was missing. I’ve been cautioned that that might be the asshole spark and, keeping that in mind, I’m giving it some time to see what happens. A second date and maybe third…well, as soon as we find a time that works for both of us; it’s looking like that might be a challenge but not because of him. Looks like I may be a bit of an unavailable asshole myself.