Sunday, 26 January 2014

Playing My Cards Right

Ever wondered what it is about someone that makes them attractive?

Having been single for over 4 years now, I've had a fair amount of time to ponder what attraction means to me. During my singledom I've met a variety of men: the gorgeous waiter with the brown eyes and trendy haircut, the 20-year old Swedish backpacker, the guy with the Aston Martin, and most recently, a professional soccer player.

During that time there's also been countless emails and "matches" from various online websites. Most of which seem to house men who either have the personality of driftwood or look like a serial killer.

When people ask why am I single, internally I laugh. Only someone who isn't on the current dating scene could ask such a question. "Oh, but you're attractive and fun and interesting," they say. "You'd have no trouble finding a man." And they're right. I don't have any problem finding men. Only thing is, the ones I come across make drinking a cup of peppermint tea feel like a chore and frankly, should never be allowed to create offspring.

We can thank Steve Jobs for making home computing what it is today, because if these guys weren't spending so much time updating their online profiles they might be out on the streets.

And that would be scary.

If you've read my previous blogs you'll know that in the past year I've actually only met one guy who I was genuinely interested in.

One.

That's 50% less than two.

I'm no maths genius but even I have worked out that the numbers aren't great.

Every book I've ever read on dating talks about how women (if they want to marry) should play by a certain set of rules which include remaining mysterious, never calling a man before he calls you and being so busy he can't get a date with you for at least two weeks. I've tried and tried to make head and tail of this advice but time and again I end up thinking F*ck this, if I've got to play games in order to get married, I'd rather be single.

Especially if the guys who want to marry are the ones on eHarmony. We're already using up 50% more than our planet's resources can cope with. Thank God these men exist otherwise we'd be in a heck of a lot more trouble.

Friends have told me I should heed the rules, that I give too much away too soon, that maybe I should play my cards a bit closer to my chest.

Well, here's the thing: I have never played my cards close to my chest. My chest is a casino table and my cards are well and truly splayed out in a fan shape with a sign that says "Pick a card, any card…" Anyone who's actually game to pick a card is in with a chance. I mean if someone is too scared to come close enough to see what's in my deck, then they sure as heck aren't going to make it past date #1 and have absolutely no chance of passing Go or collecting $200.

To all those dating rule books I say show me a man who has the balls to be open with me and I'll play any game he wants. But he must have a community chest full of interesting layers and a stack of chance cards that leave me wanting to know more.

Too many times I meet men who I can box up and categorise within the time it takes to drink a flat white, which leaves nothing for me to discover. You're financially secure? I couldn't give a f*ck… You own three houses and love your kids? Good on you, your medal for man of the year is in the mail… You have a great job and like watching sport? Lovely, well, I like kiwifruit and had a shower this morning.

B-o-r-i-n-g.

If playing the rules gets you a one-dimensional man then great, play away if that's what you want. But what I learned from the last guy I fell for is that multi-layers work for me. And regardless of how I'm supposed to "snag" a man, I believe some people are just meant to meet and get along; and for the record, the few men who interest me beyond a first date are far smarter than any rule book would give them credit for. I hope that any guy I click with has more depth than a paper cut and would therefore know they were being played.

But maybe (as friends tell me) that's why I'm single.

Well, I have one thing to say to that: Thank God.

Thank God for all the girls who play by the rules. Thank you for skimming some of the dead wood out of the dating game. A man who can be played by a woman who follows advice from a book that (shhh…) men can read too? No thanks.

A man who can operate from both male and female perspective and appreciates a woman with the courage and motivation to make her life her own? Yes please.

In summary: I'm at home on a Saturday night writing this blog because I choose to be. I had a date with the above mentioned soccer player booked for tonight (yes, really), but I cancelled and chose to have a date with myself instead. Mr Soccer Player is a nice guy: caring, keen, ambitious and tastier than a bar of Dairy Milk a week before my period. But I already knew who he was after the first date. Sure, there was more to learn but the layers weren't there.

And layers, it seems, are what I'm looking for.

I don't care if you're finically secure, have three houses and a boat, or won an award for being best striker in 2003. What intrigues me is knowing there is more to you than meets the eye. I want to come away from meeting a guy and not know who he is, yet know enough to understand that it could potentially take a lifetime to know him.

If I know everything about you in the first meeting then why would I bother seeing you again?

As for the rules, I'm making up my own and they go something like this:

1) Remain open to finding someone that interests me
2) Listen to my heart and only connect with men who I intuitively feel have something extra to offer
3) Be willing to spend time alone if my heart tells me my date is a no-go
4) Don't read anyone else's advice on dating; simply remain true myself

But what about meeting someone and getting married? Part of me is into that idea and part of me couldn't care less. I've never been a girl who dreamed of a white wedding and although I think it would be cool to share my life with someone, equally I have no desire to settle for a communion that isn't anything short of intriguing, inspiring and utterly fabulous.

My life is already those things so if anyone is going to be lucky enough to land the real estate on the other side of my bed, they will need to be bringing a whole lot more than an extra bag of laundry and a mortgage to the equation.

As for the law of attraction? I'm pretty sure my saying "no" to Mr Soccer and "yes" to an inspired evening watching Jobs the movie and writing this blog will get me a whole lot closer to meeting a true match than a thousand days spent on eHarmony or RSVP.

Yes, I know that Mr Right is unlikely to knock on my door, but when it's a given that a hundred Mr Wrongs are also lurking in the local bar, I think I'm making a good call by staying in every now and then and recharging my batteries with a good movie and some creative expression.

And speaking of batteries… I have some pressing business to attend to.

Goodnight.