How to Get the Guy

My love life became a running joke when I was in university. I’m not really sure why. Maybe it was my love for cats and the crazy cat lady archetype. Maybe it was my poor choices in men (yep, probably that one). I shared those stories because they were funny, but I never really took the time to think about why those kinds of things happened to me. Some of the things that came up were somewhat out of control.

Ohhhh now I’m starting to see why my love life was a running joke…

Enter Trevor (not to be confused with my brother-in-law, Trevor. BIL Trevor is a nice guy). I met him at a bar (I’ll call that half a mistake because you can meet nice people in bars, it’s just rare. This was not one of those times). We hit it off, I got his number or he got mine, and he said he’d take me out on a date. Cool. Little did I know that a date for Trevor involved me going to his house. Late at night. By myself.

I told him in no uncertain terms that his version of date would never happen, but we could meet up for coffee in a public place while the sun was up. That date never happened.

What did happen was months of…. I don’t even know what to call it. He’d call me, we’d argue, I’d tell him to leave me alone, and he always came back. And yes, I always answered. See For the Love to read a post about loving the drama.

At one point, I finally came to the conclusion that enough was enough. I’d met the guy for all of an hour! I deleted him from Facebook and went on my merry way.

Cue a 4 am phone call. He is screaming into the phone that I am “insane” because I deleted him from Facebook. I hung up the phone because nobody has time for that at 4 am (or ever). Then he started texting me, and he sent me the funniest text I think I have ever or will ever receive. I have it committed to memory:

“You are morbidly obese. If you were to jump in the reservoir, the rivers would flood, the docks would tilt, and there would be chaos throughout the city.”

It was just so nonsensical. I am a lot of things, Trevor, but I am not morbidly obese.

Anyway, that whole tale really just serves to paint a picture of what I was dealing with and why people made fun of my love life. I embraced it most of the time because it was kind of true and also because most of the teasing was all in good fun.

But there were also days when I was so lonely. When I thought to myself, “Maybe it will just be me and my 14 cats.” There were boys I should never have wasted my time on, but I did because I was so sick of being single.

Then I began a stage of which I am not proud: my get the guy phase.

It didn’t last long.

This is no judgment on people who read this kind of stuff because if it makes you feel confident, cool. But this whole industry of how to get the guy or how to get the girl is CRAP. It preys on people’s deeply felt insecurities of never being good enough and exploits them to make money while making dating a game of “let me show you what I think you want me to be and then once I’ve got you, I’ll show you who I really am.” Garbage, I tell you.

There is no magic formula to make someone fall in love with you. If there was, I would have found it. I’ve tried being the cool girl, the hot girl, the never stands up for herself girl. Anything to make me more tolerable. Loveable.

I started to read these lists about 10 things all guys want or don’t want, and soon I realized I didn’t want a man to fall in love with some perfected illusion of who I was. I like who I am. I want someone who loves me for that.

I’ve been immersing myself in feminist literature and media lately, and one of my favourite podcasts is the Guilty Feminist. It’s relateable, it’s funny, but it’s also talking about real issues and putting words to things I hadn’t been able to.

I felt like a thing already. I am sick of people telling me what the potential is when I was already something.

Alison spittle, the guilty feminist podcast ep. 15

“You’d be more dateable if you weren’t so loud. Opinionated. Rude. Obnoxious. Attached to your best friend.”

And dare I say it, sometimes it was “you’d be more dateable if you just let me get away with whatever I wanted and never demanded respect from me.”

I was already something: loud, opinionated, rude at times, hilarious, and a package deal with my best friend.

In all of my bending and contorting to make myself dateable, I lost sight of what made me me. Why would I ever want to trick a man into liking some polished version of myself when the person I truly am is pretty dang likeable already?

But that was a lesson I was yet to learn. I pored over those lists of how to get the guy. Text this. Don’t say that. Wait this long. Follow these rules. Don’t be too available. Pretend you’re busy. The list went on.

And it’s exhausting. The dating game is… exhausting. So I decided, scrap that. I’m going to be me, the whole hurricane of me, and whoever can weather the storm is worthy.

I still fell into those patterns of making myself small, holding my tongue, sticking around past my welcome, but I also started to break free of that, mistake by mistake. I actually spoke my mind, asserted my boundaries, and was totally and unabashedly myself.

My “weird, extra, come on too strong, think I’m funny, has STI stuffies” self.

My most meaningful relationships have broken all kinds of rules. Those relationships are the ones where I was myself from the start with all the awkwardness and road rage, the rapping and the loudness. It was all me, and hey, turns out people actually like that.

My ten tips for how to get the guy/girl?

  1. Be yourself.
  2. Be yourself.
  3. Be yourself.
  4. Be yourself.
  5. Be yourself.
  6. Be yourself.
  7. Be yourself.
  8. Be yourself.
  9. Be yourself.
  10. Be yourself.

And let me tell you, hearing that guy, the guy, say “the more you rant about what you are passionate about, the more I am attracted to you” means more than any of those lists could ever say.

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