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The mind of an unassuming dude

This week's edition of Leah's Girl Talk podqast deals with a personality I know all too well: the unassuming dude. Meaning, the kind of guy who's nice, funny and caring, but doesn't seem inclined to get out and play the dating field. As much as I hate labels (they make you dismissible), I have a lot of the traits. And I have plenty of reasons why.

I'm not speaking for all unassuming dudes, but I have a very big fear of being burned by someone. It's not like I think all roads in relationships lead to burned or broken hearts, but I've been very affected by such stories by friends of mine and my own experiences. So, my theory was to just completely avoid the circumstances that could lead to this. I decided years ago I would never drastically rearrange my schedule for someone else. I plotted my own detour and have been on it ever since.

I figured if I entrenched myself even more with music, film and books, I wouldn't have to worry about those things ever getting up and walking out of my life. Well, as much as I love having the chance to listen to, watch and read whatever I want to whenever I want to, there's a feeling that this is not enough. Not dealing with the issues that plagued me for so long, I realized it was the mental equivalent of keeping a small dumbbell in my pocket. I had to realize that human interaction is still the best thing for me, even as someone who needs alone time.

But I am not about to get up and actively "play the field." It's not my style. I don't have the motivation to try and fail in the dating world. I do have the motivation to write books, odds be damned. I do have the motivation to play shows, odds be damned. If I were to fail at writing or playing, that would be OK with me. If I were to fail in the dating world, that would not be OK with me. I can be very black-or-white about certain things and dating is one of them.

Leah mentions the frustration about the situation women like her think: "He's nice, he's sweet, but he doesn't ask you out." She poses the question to her male guests about why this is. Both James and Jason respond with very understandable and reasonable responses. I'd chime in with all the times that I've misread the interaction and it didn't pan out into something more than a friendship. How am I supposed to know what she really thinks? It's that whole "yes" means "no" and "no" means "yes" chess game. I'm just not interested in playing guessing games. That's what I interpret most dating is.

Another situation Leah proposes is the woman pursuing the man. If I were to be in this situation, I'd take that to mean this person is pushing too hard and/or desperate. It's not a good first step. Of course, this is a hypothetical situation, but that's my answer. I'm often led to believe there are ulterior motives behind every action, especially in the dating world.

Lastly, just when I start to think dating somebody would be a positive thing in my life, I'm reminded of what I don't like about dating, marriage and family. I'm talking about when the relationship is more dictated by what the woman wants more than what the man wants. It's an uneven balance where one person gets way more than the other. I'm also talking about standing in line at an eatery and there's a mother with a spastic, wired child that can't sit still. It's as if these situations are my destiny no matter what. I fear the Billy Cosby line of "My wife and I were intellectuals until we had the children."

So that's my response: fear keeps me from seeing this other side of life. I argue I've seen a little bit of it and don't really want to know much more. Of course, that could be the fear talking. But there is still plenty of curiosity about things working out. Until I'm proven that it can work out for me, I'll never fully believe it.


jen said…
i'm kind of confused. you bring this subject up every so often, but i don't really understand. how do you expect it to be proven that it can work out for you if you don't actively do something to find out? really, just look around you. there are the relationships that work, and the ones that don't. it's as simple as that.
everyone has different desires and expectations in life, so you just need to find someone who wants the same things as you. not everyone wants a ring and a baby. unfortunately you are indeed going to have to open yourself up and do something. i know, it sucks and it's a pain in the butt, but it's the only way you'll meet someone -- miss perfect fit isn't going to show up on your doorstep. (or if she does you might this she's desperate and pushy.)

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