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I just had one of the weirdest weekends in recent memory. Though, to be fair, spending most of most weekends alone for the past year certainly slimmed down the competition.
I invited a guy over Thursday night. He lives far away and we’d already met so he was going to spend the night. He also spent the night Friday. I wish I were at all exaggerating when I say he slept most of the time he was at my place. We went to bed pretty early Thursday night. He slept all night. Then he slept nearly all day Friday. Which was great for me because I needed to work anyway. Then he fell asleep a few times Friday evening while we were hanging out. Slept all night Friday. Then fell asleep again Saturday morning after I made us breakfast. Believe me when I say I skipped a few naps in the meantime.
Now, I don’t have any illusions that I’m the most captivating company you can find. But (not to brag), generally speaking, people don’t fall asleep while we’re hanging out. Especially men who are nominally trying to date me?
It reminds me of the second weirdest date I ever went on. I saw the first sign the British guy was unusual on our first date when he brought out a strap-on for me to wear. Our second date was a camping trip wherein he refused to talk about anything other than his home renovations. Literally nothing. At one point I asked him if he’d watched any movies lately. Now, again, I’m not under any illusions I’m for everyone. But why in God’s name would you take someone you don’t want to talk to on a camping trip? Where there is literally nothing to do but talk?
Both of those men I met on dating apps, of course. One sad fact about adulthood is that it’s often quite labor-intensive to get to know people who are quite different from you. Most of us tend to work, play, and volunteer with people who are pretty much like us. How many of your acquaintances have a completely different job type, class, race, income, religion, etc.?
The thing I un-ironically love about dating apps is that they’re the easiest way to pretty deeply connect with someone completely unlike you. At least if you date men. I loved online dating in DC because I got to learn a little about what life was like for defense contractors, state department employees, and other people I’d otherwise never talk to.
The bad thing about online dating, and dating in general, is that I have to remind myself that a particular person not getting me doesn’t mean no one will get me. I can tell myself all day long that that level of sleepiness probably has some level of physical origin. But I can’t help feeling boring and rejected all the same.
Sleepy guy has made me think about what I bring to the table in a relationship. It’s made me wonder whether my “you must be this intelligent/intellectual to ride” rule/guideline is less about who I find interesting and more about who might find me interesting.
Before the sleepening, I would walk around wondering whether the fact that he doesn’t really read precludes him ever knowing me. Obviously no one can really even know themselves, much less anyone else. But obviously it’s also a spectrum.
It’s the same thing I think anytime I date someone who doesn’t read my newsletter. I don’t think my writing/inner life/analysis is the only thing that’s good about me. But I definitely think it’s the best thing about me. I identify so strongly with it that to not be interested in it feels like you’re not interested in me.
It’s also confirmed that you can have all the rules and guidelines you want for who you’re going to date but at the end of the day, at least for me, who I’m crazy about has nothing to do with that list and is pretty outside of my control.
The challenge for me, thus far, is two-fold. First, I’m just not that crazy about that many people. Second, the people I am into tend to find me interesting on an intellectual level but do not seem interested in engaging very deeply with me emotionally.
This probably has something to do with how available I am intellectually versus emotionally. And how much more I identify with my thoughts than with my feelings. Who knows.
In other news, I highly recommend Brittany Runs a Marathon on Amazon Prime. I thought it really deftly handled fatphobia.