On One Hand

September 23, 2008

Why are all the “good guys” already taken?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 11:31 pm

Someone posed this question to me recently, and I did my best to offer good advice. We all know the experience – you’re out looking for love, and every person who piques your interest already has someone slung over his shoulder, in what looks like romantic bliss, leaving you always high and dry. The rest of dating culture looks pathetic at best. Is it a “grass is always greener” scenario, drawing you to want what is inaccessible simply because it is inaccessible?

I don’t think the answer is quite that, but the situation is still a matter of perception. Those who are single are inherently not as compelling as those who aren’t, which has less to do with some essential quality and more to do with the circumstances related to NOT BEING SINGLE.

Being single when you don’t want to be (indicating some degree of desperation) can make you kniving and insecure. On top of that, it’s human nature to experience pangs of apprehension when you are close to getting what you want – sure, this guy’s good, but is there someone BETTER? I’m sure we’ve all experienced a period of confusion soon before a relationship starts. This impulse causes us to ruin everything at the last minute.

Those who are in a relationship, and stop looking for relationships, seem calm. They focus on other areas of their lives, they build authentic friendships which are not based on potential love or sex. Sure there are bad relationships everywhere, needy or unfaithful partners who don’t seem happy at all, but when a relationship is working, it makes its members more attractive and appealing overall. If you’re looking for a stable relationship, seeing your friend appear to be in one indicates to you that he is ABLE to have stable relationships – something so many others don’t seem to have – which makes your attraction increase.

That’s why it seems like all the “good guys” are already taken. I’ve been there many times – only to watch the seemingly perfect couple, eventually, perhaps through circumstances not entirely anyone’s fault, break up. And when it happens, its members join the same horny, desperate, wishy-washy mosh pit that the rest of us are in. Those who seemed to be a step above the rest of society are really just normal people. Come to think of it, you know you’ve seen that too, right?

I’m not entirely pessimistic about love. If you pull your fixation away from getting into a relationship NOW and find an accepting, patient, meditative approach to relationships which gives you all the coolness and sense of stability that guys-already-in-love seem to have. Perhaps the flaw in the approach is indicated in the initial, nearly universal problem, “to find a great guy to date.” That’s an attitude many will eventually grow out of; they might still be looking for it, but it eventually subsides to a more pragmatic level. Rather than specifically seeking someone to date, focus on your own life, having fun, enjoying your hobbies, being in the present, and let yourself naturally fall in love with someone who may surprise you.

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