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Dating shouldn't be segregated

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Jessica Downey

Coffee addict. The serial single girl. Jessica will give you the what’s what on single life and dating in Chicago.

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Yesterday I received a less than flattering comment through the contact form on my personal website. And while I am not a fan of those comments because they are a total blow to the ego that is not technically what this post is about but it's important to mention because it made me think and it's largely what has inspired this post.

The comment started out by attacking my writing skills, which is fine. I know that my writing style isn't for everyone and I mean, everyone can use a little constructive criticism once in a while. Technically I am not sure how constructive this was but nevertheless it's fine. Then the comment went on to talk about how I should stop looking for a superstar guy and just be content with an average one. Of course I can only wonder how this person even came to the conclusion that I am looking for a so-called superstar guy.

Anyway, I tweeted something about this very thing and one of my friends who writes a blog called the Big Girl Blog sent me a tweet back about how she had just posted about this very thing. The post (which you can read here) described things that I have felt so many times. Actually it was kind of comforting to hear someone else think some of the same things that I do.

Now, I don't believe that this person who sent me the comment was saying anything particular about the fact that I am not a skinny woman, but rather it was more towards either a) my looks (there is a head shot on my website) or b) the fact that I don't come from some fancy schmancy background.. Regardless, though, the idea is still the same.

And again, this post is not about the comment itself but the idea. It's the perception that if I am just an average everyday person then I should only be looking to date those that are average like me. Apparently dating should be segregated and I should only date within my own kind. Whatever that means.

I learned at a very early age that I was not the "type" of girl that most boys my age would be attracted to. I grew up in a very small town where I was taller than most of the boys by the time I was in the 8th grade. That might not seem like it's that big of a deal but when you are one of the only girls who is taller than all the boys at school trust me it is a big deal. Couple that with the fact that I wasn't skinny and it's pretty easy to see why I felt self conscious. Boys my age wanted the cute petite cheerleaders, not the tall chubby artsy girls.

Through the years I kind of developed this take what you can get kind of attitude. If a guy was interested in me - any guy - I thought that I should consider myself lucky that at least some guy liked me. I mean, with all of the hot girls (the girls that I assumed were better than I was) this guy decided he wanted to like me so I should appreciate that and not even question it.

I don't mean to sound like I think that there is anything wrong with dating a so-called average person because I don't think that at all. I actually don't even think of people in terms of who is average or who is better than the other. The idea of what's average (or above average, below average, etc) really depends on the person and there's just too many factors to consider there. As long as you are attracted to the person, they treat you well and you are happy that's all that really matters. Well technically there are probably a couple of other important things, but you get the idea.

The problem here is that the guys I dated didn't treat me well and they didn't make me happy. In fact I ended up dating a guy who stole my parents credit card. He also really just used me because I let him drive my car and he would go see other women with my car. I also dated a guy who did some very questionable "business transactions" when I wasn't looking. He also borrowed my car to see other women and ended up getting one of them pregnant.

I am not saying that this happens to everyone and I am also not saying that the only choices you have in life are to date a really upstanding perfect model citizen or a guy who steals your parent's credit cards. Clearly there is a whole world in between. All I am saying is that when you have this idea that you can't have what you really want because you are a certain kind of person it is too easy to fall into the trap of settling for whatever you can get.

So just because someone might consider me average doesn't mean I am not allowed to have standards. And just because I have standards doesn't mean I am holding out for some royal famous prince to cross my path. However, I will say that even if I am looking for that kind of guy I think that's perfectly fine too. After all, the word superstar means something very different to everyone.

The bottom line is that I should be allowed to date whatever type of guy that I please. Dating shouldn't be segregated based on how average a person is anymore than it should be segregated based on race, ethnicity, etc.

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1 Comment

Joe Amoia said:

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Jess,
You are correct. Every person has their own idea of what a "superstar" is. What one person finds attractive another finds repulsive. I find it ironic that those individuals who tell others how to live their lives often are the individuals who have the most amount of emotional baggage. It's your life & no one has the right to tell what to do or how to do it. The ONLY thing that matters in life is if you are creating the life/results you desire.

I have one rule that I live by. I only take advice from someone who is better at something than I am. I wouldn't take financial advice from the homeless guy on the park bench.

So, the next time u receive some unsolicited advice/criticism simply thank the person and ask them how they earned the right to become an expert on the topic/subject. I have a funny feeling u won't hear back from 90% of them.
Good Luck!

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