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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Vain or Reasonable?

*This is one of those late-night posts that I don't have a filter for. Language will be a bit harsh in some spots. Don't read on if it offends, you've been warned.*

I'm stuck in a conundrum. I'm on two online dating sites (surprise!) and both are producing daily hits, but only one is giving me any sort of messaging responses. Now, I don't mind batting .500 here, but I would much rather the first site give me messages than the second site.

The reason being that, on the first site, I'm able to fully explain myself (in other words, no word limit, which means I get to go into detail) and I think I'm much better on that one than on the other one. There is one, significant difference between the two write ups because of this: I can go further into detail on my "ideal match" on site one than on site two.

You know me so you know that on site one I totally delved into the qualities I wanted in my ideal match. I limited it to three (be proud of me) but I went into heavy detail on those three qualities. The last of those qualities is the one I think is the deal breaker. I want someone who takes care of themselves. Here's what I wrote:

Thirdly, someone who takes care of their bodies. I know a lot of people like to ignore the "body is a temple" thing but I've discovered over the last two years how true that is. I want someone who is committed to taking care of their bodies and not just have it devolve over time. I want us to be together for as long as we can be. We can't control when we die but we can control how we live ... so we should live well.

When I wrote it, I felt like I was being honest. I still feel that way now. I want that in my ideal match. As I reference in there, I have discovered how much a difference a well-taken care of body can be in life. I'm living proof of the difference. I used to require at least nine hours of sleep to be functional when I was fat. Now, I can operate pretty decently on six and I can't sleep longer than nine hours if I tried.

Here's what I'm thinking with this, though: I'm thinking this sounds vain and completely shallow, like I'm just a guy who wants a hot chick with model looks, a nice rack and the ability to be my future trophy wife.

Okay, maybe it doesn't come off that badly but I can't sit there and pretend that it doesn't matter to me. It does. I'm looking at things from a long-term standpoint and I hate to tell you, but human beings are habitual creatures. It is likely that if you're knocking down sodas and pizzas now that you'll be doing the same thing five years from now.

That in mind, is it too much to ask for a person who takes care of themselves? I don't want to get involved with someone and watch their physical health devolve over time because they're not putting any effort into taking care of themselves.

This is a problem across multiple generations, mine included. We get stuck in the mindset that just because our bodies can take the abuse now that it'll take that same abuse in the future. I'm sorry to say, that's not true. I'm also living proof of that. For years I kept to the same eating habits and figured my metabolism would kick in and I'd shed all the pounds, just like I'd seen happen to some of my friends.

As we all know, that never happened. It was a myth, a self-delusion.

Is it so bad that I want a girl who takes care of herself?

I don't think so. I'm not asking for all-star looks or for a girl to be the tiniest waist on the block. Body=temple is not a hard concept. It's a true concept in my experience.

But this past weekend I was told by my not-date date (just as confusing as it sounds) that I should focus more on the present. Which, of course, I rallied against but I was coming down from a caffeine high of epic proportions (epic, I'm serious) and my ability to defend myself was not very good.

Maybe I do get stuck thinking about the future too much but the future is unwritten. Because of this, I can make it whatever I want ... the present is much harder to change.

Yet, I'm sitting here stuck in a conundrum because I can see where my point can be seen as incredibly vain. I'm judging others based on what I've done and I've observed and that's bull shit. My experiences are mine and are likely never to be repeated by another. But it's all I have to judge and I honestly believe if I can do it, others can.

Moreover, I was rejected for years based on appearance as a close friend pointed out very recently. I was the fat guy. I was dismissed by that alone. And for years I resented that, hated that and accepted that as the reality of my life.

Then I changed it. Now, standing on the other side of the fence, I can see why I was rejected ... at least using my own thought processes, anyway. I was a horrible long-term prospect. If dating is supposed to be testing the waters and finding out if there's a possibility that the person you are dating is someone you could spend the rest of your life with ... well, I failed that test out of the gate, didn't I?

Who wants to be with an overweight, overwhelmed, tired and lazy fat-ass? I can't imagine any girls who want that. I can't imagine anyone who wants that.

Is it wrong to want my ideal match to be healthy?

Worse yet, is it wrong to discount a person based on whether they're healthy looking or not?

I'm not sure. The argument has been made that a person's personality, their soul, is what you fall in love with. The body ages and breaks down, it fades away. I was a proponent for years of this argument.

I now find myself thinking I was wrong, at least in part. Yes, the soul of a person is important, but shouldn't the way they take care of themselves also be important? How do you weigh the importance of one against the other?

I don't know. Hence my conundrum, and hence why I'm stuck in this perpetual circle of back and forth. I think it comes down to the tastes of the person, of the individual and my tastes are a jumbled mess.

I'm a 25 year-old male. I've been told very recently that 25 year-old males are pretty much universally regarded as complete scumbags. I'm not one of them, according to what I've been told, but I understand why. It's so easy to get sucked in by the physical attractiveness of a girl.

I mean, a hot chick is a hot chick. The male in me realizes this and naturally demands I make a play for the hot chick. Because she's hot. And maybe she's even red-headed, thusly locking it in that I MUST make a play for her.

But the rest of me flat out denies that. There are more things at play here. What's her interests? What's her faith like? Is she a nice person or a complete bitch? Is she screwing like a bunny in heat or is she a virgin?

There are a lot of questions to consider. This is probably why I freeze up and do nothing, but nothing is fine. Nothing is great. At least with me doing nothing it can only result in nothing.

So, yeah, my tastes are a mess. I'm not sure what I should feel here and I don't want to get into the mindset that, if the girl I like isn't healthy looking, that I can change her. Because that's a bad mindset to get into. I can't change another human being. Nope. They have to make the choice to do it themselves and they need to do it for themselves, not for me or others.

It's a nasty little trap to get caught in. So, yeah, being overweight and unhealthy is fixable. I fixed it. I know others who have fixed it. But I don't want to get involved with someone thinking that I can change things.

If I get attached to that kind of idea I won't give it up. I'm a stubborn SOB.

So ... my question is, is my want in my ideal match to take care of her body vain? Is it reasonable? Does it put girls on the defensive (self-conscious feelings probably play a role)? Am I just over-thinking this?

Chime in and let me know. I'm confused. As always, any and all comment are welcome. 

Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

  1. I was going to post a link to Carly Simon but I think I'll say this instead.

    Recognize (and maybe make it clear somehow) that health is a journey and people can be committed to healthy living but not appear that way just yet. That much may be scaring off some women. I mean, consider this. I am at the obese end of BMI. I will also run my 12th 5k of the year in December. I walk almost every day. I eat carefully and mindfully. But I don't look trophy.

    So find a way to (kindly, gently, sweetly) show that you're interested in women at all stages of the healthy journey. And, as you are well aware, many of them may very well be starting off as overweight.

    Let's get and stay healthy together. I want you around for a long time.

    There, maybe start with something like that. It's positive, it's honest and it's definitely not vain.