I was on a second date the other day, when my date said something that almost knocked me to my knees.

We were at a gallery opening, the kind of event less about the art itself than the scene: free wine and cheese, a DJ spinning trendy, Euro-trash EDM, and enough goodlooking people to keep everyone talking about everyone else. After we discussed the paintings for a while, I seized the opportunity to ask the guy I was with one of my favorite questions:

“What’s your type?”

I like to do this for several reasons. One, it’s just an interesting question. Two, I like to see whether a guy gets uncomfortable at my suggestion that he would be attracted to people other than just me, and what he does with that. Finally, I like to see whether he attempts to woo or flatter me by describing his type as a woman who looks just like me.

In other words, I want to see whether he’ll lie.

This guy immediately looked around with interest, which I appreciated, since the question was also an obvious call to scan the room and see who he’d bang if I weren’t there. He then described his type as usually being tall, lithe brunettes, of which there were pretty much none in the room (and also happens to be a description that’s pretty much the opposite of me). He ended the exchange by gazing at me and saying something to the effect of how he was happy to be there with me, and did I need another drink?

Doesn’t really get better than that.

Except that when he came back with my drink, he turned things around. “So,” he said, sipping his microbrew. “What’s your type?”

I paused. I wasn’t threatened in the least that I wasn’t a tall, lithe brunette; I know enough to know that even if I’m not someone’s ‘type,’ I can still be attractive to him. It’s just a type, not a mold. But I had a feeling he’d be threatened that he wasn’t my type. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, but I wanted to be honest.

So there was the question, hanging in the air.

And there I was, hanging on the other side of it.

Finally, I took a deep breath and told the truth. Just the teensiest bit guiltily, I said, “Jocks. Jocks are my type.”

 

He laughed (he wasn’t really a jock).

“Jocks who can talk about feelings,” I clarified. “You know … communicative, self-aware jocks.”

He laughed again, then:

“So you’re willing to compromise on the jock part, right?”

Whoo. I felt the room spin a little bit. Then I almost put my hands on my knees to keep from collapsing. Because this comment, this remark that seemed so innocuous, confirmed all my nastiest fears, all my most convincing, disheartening, and demoralizing beliefs about what is possible when it comes to me and men.

Worse still, after a short moment of the smile being suddenly and completely wiped from my face, I actually agreed with him.

“Yeah…” I said. “If it came down to it … that’s what I’d compromise on.”

But even as I said it, a part of me died inside.

 

 

If I had to choose – if, at some point in my life, it really did come down to selecting a mate that was fuckable versus relationship-able, I would pick the latter. And there’s a large part of me that believes that’s what I’ll end up with: a wonderful man who can provide what I need on an emotional/intellectual level, but doesn’t actually turn me on.

But if I’m honest with myself about what I really want, it’s all that stuff plus a hard body. I can’t help it – I like muscles. I like guys that work out, the kinds of men who lift and run and used to be on rugby teams or football teams or do martial arts or played lacrosse. My whole body responds to a man I know can flip me about without even thinking about it, can fuck for hours standing up, holding me up while I straddle him with my arms around his neck.

*Swoon.*

But I also really want someone who knows how he feels and can express that. Who is grounded and present. Who doesn’t get defensive when we talk about our relationship and his part in it (and who’s actually into the prospect of being in a relationship). Who can hang when I talk about the nature of the universe. Who actually forwards me articles about relationships (or at least responds thoughtfully when I send them to him).

The problem is, I almost always meet dudes who are either/or. They’re either sensitive new age types in tune with and expressive of their feelings, all about learning about relationships and how to be with women, but who I’d never fuck in a zillion years. Or they’re bro-y jocks I’d love to bang, but who I strongly doubt would be able to actually work through conflict in a relationship. I also question whether they’d know how to listen to me truly madly deeply, which is how I fall in love.

It wasn’t until that moment that I truly grasped the extent to which I believed that at some point, someday, I will be forced to give up this very real desire for a partner that has both. There’s a part of me that truly believes that on some unnamed date in the future, I will have to give up, admit defeat, and voluntarily kill my own dream.

In fact, the whole thing left me so distraught that I eventually left his place, later that night, literally in tears. I begged off, saying I was overwhelmed by life events, but really it was that one comment:

“So you’re willing to compromise on the jock part, right?”

Stay tuned for Part II…

 

 

 

 

1 Comment

  1. Q Reply

    I saw this run across my Facebook feed and the little description beneath caught my attention. I’m happy i read the whole thing. The thought that your “dream” will have to dissolve in favor of more “realistic” men interests me. From my male perspective i certainly experience the same sense of scarcity of women with hard bodies who are primally in touch yet just as well versed in communication and sensitivity. This deserves a bookmark!

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