Yesterday I was asked an innocent enough question, “What are your best attributes?”, that I jokingly replied to, but it did get me thinking about my best attributes, and if we’re being honest, my worst attributes, because I’m my own worst critic. Going down this path brought me to a thought I haven’t had in a while, and something I haven’t written about in a while. The idea that you should be the sort of person you’d want to date. I wrote that piece awhile back, but it’s an idea I’ve always held on to. If you want to meet someone who has certain qualities, whether they are physical, or mental, or status based, you’ll find that it’s much easier to meet them. Want to date highly successful or highly attractive people, step 1 (to make things easier for you) is to be those things. Sure there are times when opposites do attractive, we’ve all known at least one couple who were vastly different in how attractive, how intelligent, or how educated they are, but those are few and far between. People tend to date people who are like them, whether it’s religion, education, or whatever else, people tend to find and date their counterparts.
What I left out, and what I think a lot of people don’t do very often, is asking themselves whether or not they’d want to date the person they are now.
I’ve felt, for the last 5 to 6 years or so, that I was the sort of person I’d want to date. Prior to that, not so much. I’ll spare you the messy details, but I think that the 25-year-old version of me, and everything before then, is the sort of person I wouldn’t wish on anyone else’s love life. I was selfish, callous, and lacked empathy in dating. The change from being a terrible person to date to like, a halfway decent person to date wasn’t an accident, nor did it happen overnight. The change came because one day I looked in the mirror and realized, man, who would want to date this guy? I know I wouldn’t! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some storybook dating prince now, I’m just not actively a garbage human. At least not when it comes to dating.
The biggest change for me came when I realized that I didn’t have “commitment issues” I had issues with being selfish and not wanting to change being selfish. I realized that most of the reasons why I wouldn’t want to date me, or someone like me, had less to do with commitment issues and more to do with the fact that I was selfish and kept calling it other things. “Commitment issues” or “She’s too demanding” or “I feel stifled” really all boiled down to “I am selfish”. Some people do have commitment issues, but I didn’t, I was just selfish. You know what sort of person I never wanted to date? A selfish person. You know what I did when I realized I was way too selfish? I worked at being less selfish. It wasn’t easy, there was no one step solution, and it’s definitely still a work in progress, but it’s something I worked on so that when I asked myself “Would you date You?”, I could honestly answer “Yes”.
So let me ask you a question: Would you date you? Not future you, or past you, I’m talking about you, today. Assuming you want to date at all, if someone came along who was exactly like you, in every single way, and was the sex or gender that you prefer to date, would you date them? Don’t give me that “Oh I would never date someone like me, then we’d be too similar!” crap, be real with yourself here. “Opposites attract” sounds catchy, but please don’t let idioms, or how magnets work, trick you into thinking that you have to find someone dissimilar from you to make things work because that’s very often not the case. Don’t get caught up on the physical stuff either, because for the record, I’d date me, but I’d never date someone who has a penis, I’m talking about what makes you who you are to your very core. Would I date someone who is passionate about something in their life, someone who I thought was smart and clever, who had interests ranging from the most popular of pop culture touch-points to the most obscure, someone who valued family, hard work, and continual self-improvement? You can bet your ass I would.
If you can answer that question honestly and say yes, congratulations you well-adjusted person you, you’re well on your way to meeting someone who recognizes your value too! Not that it’s a guarantee that you’ll meet someone amazing, but like recognizes like, and water seeks its own level, and being happy with who you are, knowing that you’re the sort of person that you’d even want to date, will make finding a good match that much easier. If you can’t say that you would date you, or someone like you, I would highly recommend figuring out why that is, what you’d like to change about yourself, and work on making that change. It won’t be easy, and it wont happen overnight, but I’m certain that if I can make that change, and I promise you there was a lot about myself that I thought and needed to change and did besides being selfish, believe me, I think you can make a change too if you want to.
Good Luck Out There.