Pain or Passivity? That is the question. The choice between the pain of rejection or the futility and hopelessness of passivity. Hit on men or wait for them to hit on you?
I have a friend who says my standards in men are too low. She seems to think that I sit on my keester and wait for a man to come to me, any man for that matter. She's mostly right. And this may seem anti-feminist or antiquated and outdated and a little too "Rules girl" cirqua 1998, but the alternative, for me, is a little too unbearable.
I have this theory about men which starts with the idea that men and women often have "a type." Type of physique, look, style, personality they are attracted to. For example, my brother likes really really short girls. Like legally midget height girls. And ethnic. Dark eyes, dark hair. Indian, Iranian. Middle-Eastern. Eastern-European. Me -- I have a few "looks" I go for. But if you are a TALL, dark, Irish, dark-brown to almost black haired man with blue eyes, I'm a puddle of mess over your shit. If you are a poor dresser, too skinny, a total dork, then take me to bed and I'm yours forever. I can't help myself. I'm not proud to say that, but its true. Still with me?
I believe looking around a bar, a coffee shop, the office, you see what you see and you like what you like. The blonde on that stool, the redhead watching football, the guy in the blue crew neck sweater (damn, he's wearing a wedding ring, who let him in this bar anyways?). Similarly, some guys must find me attractive and some guys must not. Not all men are attracted to me. That's life. And all men at bars late at night, Thursday, Friday, Saturday or any night really is gonna scan the crowd and say...she's hot...she's cute...she's not...look at those tits and ultimately a pair of guys will say "Let's go talk to those girls." And the wingman will take the friend or the we gotta go girl and its on.
So what if he's not into you? and you approach him? And you are flat out rejected?
Here's the problem. I know guys take the same chance at rejection on us girls but if a girl isn't interested, she isn't interested, where sometimes a guy who is NOT interested may take advantage of the situation just the same. I say this because my two guy friends Bryan and Ryan once told me...if a guy can have sex with a girl, he probably will. If the girl offers it up, especially on a silver platter, a guy will take it. And lose all respect for you in the process of course. So you can go up to a guy and be rejected because you aren't his type but at the same time he could not reject you and "faux accept" you because he figures you are into him and try to sleep with you which involves a certain amount of feigning interest in you on his part and spending a portion of the evening with you and drinking and talking, etc. Then you either sleep with the wrong guy or date the wrong guy or date a guy that is not that into you but hey, you were there, and he doesn't have any better options or offers, at the moment. OR, ultimately you just wasted time talking to the wrong guy or simply being rejected by the wrong guy. Take your pick.
I wasn't always passive. To my calculation I've been on at least 100 first dates in my lifetime. I've been on 5 dates in 1 week once. I've dated a lot, I've had short term boyfriends and I've had long-term boyfriends. I'm not without experience or knowledge. And frankly, I've been looking actively, intelligently, recklessly, endlessly for Prince Charming and I've been looking since I was 12 years old. Where the fuck is he? I'm exhausted. I'm out there. I'm looking. I'm coming up empty.
So excuse me I've decided to live my life alone. My mother tells me..."Life happens when you make other plans." So I joined a running club and trained for a marathon, work hard and amibitiously shoot for professional success, spend time with the parents and enjoy drinks with the girls.
He's out there probably. At the bar or at work or at a friend's dinner party or at the farmer's market, but I am DONE TRYING and I am DONE ASKING.
My friend on the other hand takes a different approach than embarassed, meak, pathetic, little me. She'll buy a guy a beer in front of all his buddies. She'll make the first move and start the conversation and get the ball rolling. Sometimes I admire her. Her guts. Her confidence. Gumption. But most of the time, it makes me worried for her.
What if they don't like her? What if they aren't innately attracted to her. It breaks my heart before anything has even happened. I know it's all in my head. I know I'm crazy to fret. I know she's a catch and has a right to go after people worthy of her wonderfulness. But I don't have that kind of self-confidence. So I don't understand.
So call me a coward. Call me what you will. But I'll take passivity and loneliness and futility any day over the pain of rejection and embarassment and humiliation, even if its more imagined, then real.