Thursday, April 3, 2008

Sucky offers and SLGs

I know I can't fast forward through the sad parts of life like I do when I'm watching Titanic, but I definitely could've lived without the past few days. However, aside from the constant ache in my heart (I'm not trying to dramatize the situation, that's just how it feels), I've had a very interesting week and a few realizations...

An old friend - a very good-looking, successful Swedish guy (we'll call him Mr. S) - stayed with me over the past weekend. After finishing his MBA a couple weeks ago, Mr. S stopped in to see me on his way around the world and before starting a two-year contract with Samsung in Korea. Mr. S has wonderful social skills (I think my mom still reveling in her "after-glow" from her brief conversation with Mr. S), is sophisticated, well-traveled, interesting and considerate...and although we've never had more than a kiss or two (way back in 2004) he's had a crush on me for the better half of a decade. Much to the surprise of my friends who've met him, I don't have any romantic interest in Mr.S...which is probably part of the reason he likes me so much. Anyway, at some point during his three-day visit he sat me down and asked me to move with him to Korea and give "us" a chance. As Mr. S was sitting in front of me, looking at me with hopeful eyes, I couldn't help but think that his offer kinda sucked. Not only was he asking me to give up my whole life and most of the things that are important to me, he was doing it for a completely selfish and transparent reason - he's afraid that I'll be married by the time he comes back from Korea.

This offer led me to a couple of realizations:
1) Men make offers like this..."move-in with me," move across the country to "see where this is going," come to Korea and "give us a chance." These offers are packaged as romantic, and often give women the idea that these men are making some grand gesture of commitment, when in fact, the guys are often buying time, and avoiding choices or personal sacrifices (like career opportunities or their own lives in some other geographic area). As usual, I'm generalizing. I guess my point is that sometimes these offers seem a little bit like selfishness in a nice, shiny, romantic wrapper.

2) The second realization is that I have a type. I never thought I did, but I do. I definitely don't have a physical type, but I often date men with a lot of the same personality characteristics...and a certain demeanor. The guys I date are typically intelligent, kind, mild-mannered, attentive, a little dorky and usually work in business or engineering. Obviously some of these characteristics are things that I should be looking for, but what suddenly dawned on me is that these guys, these "sweet little geeks (SLG)" as I call them, don't challenge me. They're safe, and to be totally honest, I choose them with my brain, not my heart. Sometimes I'll come home from a date and when my roommate asks me how it went, I'll respond with something like "eh, I could eat him for lunch." Most likely, this means I was on a date with an SLG.

What I didn't fully understand until last night (I was suckered into a date with a very nice, very cute SLG), is that I need something more...a little bit of edge, a little bit of wit, and a certain "manly" demeanor that SLGs just don't have. I don't want to feel like I'm going to have to protect my boyfriend when we're walking down a dark alley. Sure, this sounds archaic, but it's true, and I'm okay with it.

I also realized that this is exactly why I was (am...come on, it's only been a week) so attracted to J-Dogg. He is completely different from any guy I've ever dated. In fact, before we started dating, I tried desperately NOT to be attracted to him, because it didn't make sense...or so I thought at the time. He has most of the characteristics from this list that I actually need, but we see the world, people and relationships very differently. These significant differences caused arguments, but they also made me feel alive and brought out different sides of my personality. Clearly this doesn't change the fact that J-Dogg is still about five years behind me in terms of being ready for a relationship, but I think this realization is going to be helpful in general.

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