The Good, The Bad, and The One for Me

Motorcycles aren’t my thing. Really. I know they are quite popular among the Southerners I grew up with, but they’ve never oiled my engine. The savage beast inside of me is not tamed by the musings of a musician with a sleeve of tattoos and a knack from strumming strings with precision. A detailed rap sheet or a scent that attracts bar fights aren’t things I’d put down my dream man’s checklist – and they’d be a red flag in a hot minute. I’m not impressed by the number of shots a dude can down or how many women have been nailed up against his bedpost. I really don’t care how fast he can drive his car, no matter how expensive it is.

I’ve never really wanted to date the bad guy. You know – the one who’s flawed around the edges and rough with me. A player or a gangster, a homeboy or unattractive unemployed artist have never caught my eye or held my attention. I may not be entirely specific about what type of person I desire, but I know he doesn’t fit the bad boy protocol.

Well, at least in the traditional sense, anyways.

I have a knack for attracting unavailable men with miles of baggage and disclaimers. Those who make entirely more money than what I would know what to do with and the ones who avoid commitment in ways more clever than my own. They don’t walk on the wild side, but they bring out the wild little freak in me who over analyzes everything to death – with the help of friends over Gchat, Merlot, and mass text messaging. They don’t put me down, but my self-assurance can leave as easily as they have seemed to do, and I’ve admittedly been a doormat a few times, allowing them to walk all over me in the process. They are not crazy or dangerous in any sense, but they make my heart feel like it’s in harm’s way and I go a little crazy for each of them, each time.

A few years ago, as I was describing my most recent opposite-sex induced dilemma, my mother exclaimed, “Lindsay – where do you meet these guys? They are so complicated and have such odd hang-ups. Don’t you ever just date a nice guy?”

In my own defense – I’ve tried dating the really good guy. The one who, on paper, would seem like the best fit for me. Someone who is tall, attractive, comes from a great family, makes a decent living, likes what he does, answers when I call, responds to emails and text timely, doesn’t question his desire to be with me, takes me to nice places, and compliments my eyes. He says all of those things I want to hear, exactly when I want to hear them, and he is never too much, too invasive, too needy, or too anything. He’s just fine.

And that’s the problem.

I’d classify myself as an equal-opportunity dater, give or take a few non-negotiables that I’d never lower my standards for. I do tend to give most everyone a chance –or at least a drink – and see how I feel before writing them off into never, ever land. But generally speaking, I’m a middle-ground kind of girl: I really don’t care for the bad boy in the rock band, but I also don’t find myself gleaming at the guy who has everything together. Or at least the versions of together I’ve met so far in the game.

Does a man need to have visible flaws for me to be attracted to him? Do I confuse passion with a disaster waiting to happen? Am I lured in by an unfinished project, rather than a sturdy hunk of a man? Do I overcompensate the importance of a personality, of a man who makes me laugh, who keeps me on my toes, and continuously guessing? Do I think for a relationship to be successful, it needs to be work? Is a stubborn, charming challenge more alluring to me than one of those easy, simple, All-American boys?

Or is that we all just attract the company we keep? Or the people we really are?

If I’m a little messy, if I’m a gal who will snap back the wit as quickly (if not quicker) than its spewed, if I’m a woman who needs constant intellectual engagement – is that what I’ll find in return? If I’m still haunted by the ghost of past-love, will I inevitably meet men who can’t shake the lingering what-if’s from their last girlfriend? If I’m attempting to figure myself out and see what Manhattan has to offer all in the same breath – will I meet a multi-tasker, just like me?

I’m nor the good girl or the bad one. I’m not the down-and-dirty, hardcore gal, but I suppose I’m not strawberry shortcake and lemonade, either. I can be messy, I can be indecisive, I can be all over the place – so why wouldn’t I be intrigued by a man of the same manner? After all, isn’t imitation the highest form of flattery?

The nice guys are always irritated by the women who won’t give them a chance and will say they always finish last in the pack. The bad guys on the other hand, don’t really seem to give a damn who finishes where. Maybe the reason I find myself searching in the gray area between the one with wings and the ones who gets high enough to think they have wings – is because I’m search of myself. I’m always looking for answers, so I want someone who is willing to think a little more out of the box. I’m going to get upset and I’m going to be less than polished and classy at times, and I need to be around someone who accepts me as I am. I’m not an extremist but I also would never be satisfied by a life that’s painted with mediocrity. Any investment I’d make with my money would be on something that I felt was worth the risk or the time, but part of the thrill, is in making the wager. If I don’t feel like I have something of value, by my own standards, something that I would hate to lose, why would I go for it at all?

Maybe the good guys are meant to show us what we should want, while the bad ones are designed to tease us with what we shouldn’t. But they each show us the life we don’t want to have forever, and are merely ideas of futures we’ll never experience. They show us the different sides, varying scenarios we’ve imagined, but they also give us a reflection into our own psyche. At whatever point in our life we’re at, that’s the partner we’ll decide to pact with. The way the good guy gets the girl or the bad guy steals her away- isn’t based on the men themselves, but the woman who choses what’s best for her, right then, right at that moment. There’s no way to determine if she’ll go left or right – or go straight into the army of middle ground again.

But somewhere, between the ones who brings me to my knees and the one who would get on their knees for me- is the man, who is good for my life, bad for the attention-span, but perfect for me.

PS: Jennifer from Cincinnati, OH completed Love Addict’s survey and won a fabulous glass from Lolita and perfume set from Pacifica. Love Addict will be doing another giveaway soon, so make sure to take the survey for your chance to win! Congrats Jen and thanks for reading!

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5 thoughts on “The Good, The Bad, and The One for Me

  1. What’s drawn me to my attachments ? Well, my wife anyway. My wife of 22 years, ignored me where we met. Shop of a few men and dozens of women. Her beauty caught my eye, months before we spoke. One woman taught me inadvertently to stimulate conversation by asking to sample a lady’s spicy food dish. Another tried to embarrass her, in discussing future schooling requirements, with my wife bold enough to admit she needed more Math. And I the re-educated math teacher, offered to help, but was rebuffed.

    Put all that together, we met at work, she doing more observing of my behavior around other women prior to ever speaking to me. She had months of observational time, in dribs and drabs at least. I dressed well enough, but not over the top. I was obviously not a player hitting on all things in skirts. Easily able to focus on work despite some obvious distractions. Confident to work in a small shop in a high profile role. Not a hunk, but with an athlete’s carriage, confidence, and energy.

    We made each other laugh. We excused silly things. We worked to be understood, and worked to understand. We were at the same place in desire for future kids and marriage.

    I think a hole in the wall of meeting and dating is that observational time when you can learn things about someone that you need to know, and can’t trust them to tell you. That’s why the “I met him at work” or “I met him at school” happens. Or someplace else one frequents. Size someone up too early, you don’t get to know extra detail of more things that later disqualify, but you get a more intimate ride along the way. But you may miss Mr. Right, because he’s sizing you up, and you disappeared with another Mr. Maybe-I-Should-Know-Better, missed who you mistook for a Mr. Is-He-Too-Polite-and-Boring ?

    I ended up with a lady a bit less educated than me, but more spicy, more daring in some aspects, less daring in others. One who could freeze a wedding reception on her entrance as all eyes turned in awe at her descent from a circular stairway (with her arm in a cast matching her deep purple dress, clutching the banister she never knew they stared), and then have a great time only having eyes for me.

    Others ? As an adult, only at work also. Repeat encounters and what might pass for group chat with others at lunch promoted my wit to get me noticed. Lots of others, but without the pre-date observational time, lacking that added lunch room time, either I was rebuffed or imagined un-worthy. I’m now chattier with other female co-workers, but only infrequently, and don’t hit on any of them. Good – since I’m married. But I’m trusted, good company. Women like that I like people.

    Lindsay – try developing a regular haunt, not for a drink, but for lunch. You could have three or four places you hit every week, but pick ones and stay there. Become a regular. Observe other regulars. What kind of place do you want to go, feel comfortable as a regular, meet another regular ? Independent work makes it tough to have that pre-dating extended observational time. Maybe that’s cheating.

    A new female friend at work told me a guy just needs to ask in a nice way, at the right time. We were discussing being shy, what does a guy do. Her current or recently long term beaus ? One at work, one from family friend’s regular get togethers, one from her regular poker haunt. Guys she had some observational time with. One in her work unit. Another, brother of a family friend she saw monthly before talking to him. The last, chatted on smoke breaks at a casino. Not sure any are Mr. Right, but one is a consistent Mr. Good-for-her-right-now, makes her happy. And she’s been away and back again to him. She’s content, but not married yet.

    Maybe need to meet and greet a few more times, observe, then date. Extend your radar, but no need to focus on anything that does not spend safe time in your environ. Comets and asteroids pass by. Galaxies interact inexorably, approach more slowly, but the result is unavoidable, with a blending and re-construction. And union.

  2. I was just reading the website for Rachel Greenwald. She met her hubby at a party she threw. She had this huge dinner party and invited people with some guidelines in mind: a female friend who has lots of interesting male friends, a male friend who has lots of interesting male friends, etc. Her friends were allowed to invite 2-3 friends. And it was a huge mingle party. I don’t know how much observation time she got of this, but I thought it was an interesting idea. She also suggested going on Facebook and looking at your friends’ profiles and find 50 men that you find interesting. Then send them all short messages. You already have one friend in common so there is a place to start talking.

  3. I totally hear ya on this one. Because I tend to be the same way. Kind of. (I have fallen for the guy with tattoos and plays guitar… but is actually somewhat of a good guy. It’s complicated.) But I’m one of those where I can see everything is good on paper with a guy, but it still doesn’t fit. I actually just had a conversation with one of my close friends about his girlfriend that he’s been dating for the last few months. He really likes her and cares about her, on paper everything is perfect – but there is something missing. I feel like we need to pay attention to that. Do we need the “good guys”? YES. But that doesn’t mean they have to be perfect. There can be issues, because EVERYONE has issues. It’s just about learning how to deal with them together as a couple. I feel as though you can’t go to the extremes on these things.

  4. This makes me wonder if we actually have types, or if that’s just something that tries to get defined in finding someone to love?

    Especially if finding yourself is the first step to finding someone to love the identity you’re discovering…that’s a lot of frogs that can fit into that path of self discovery. A few of them probably look alike or act alike or like similar things.

    I guess the point is..how do you have a type of guy that you’re looking for if the one that’s looking doesn’t know who she is?

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